Should I Lineup My Hairline? Pros and Cons of Lining Up Your Edges

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Written By Dominic Howard

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For many men, especially those with curly or oily hair textures, having a crisp hairline is an important part of their style. One way to achieve a sharper hairline is by getting a lineup, which is when the natural hairline is enhanced and defined by shaving or cutting it into a straight or curved shape.

Lining up the hairline has become an increasingly popular grooming choice, with barbers offering a range of lineup styles from simple and conservative to dramatic and artistic. While a fresh lineup can give your hairstyle more structure and make you look well put together, there are also some drawbacks to consider before committing to maintaining this look.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over the pros and cons of getting a lineup so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Lining Up Your Hairline


It creates a sharper, neater hairline. One of the main reasons men get lineups is simply to look more styled and groomed. Shaving the hairline into shape gives it definition and structure, taking away any wispy edges or stray hairs. This gives your whole hairstyle a tidier, finished look.

It ups your style game. In addition to neatening up your hairline, a lineup can add a bit of flair to your hairstyle. There are myriad designs and shapes to choose from – straight, curved, geometric, artistic. This lets guys customize their look and show off their sense of style. Pairing a unique lineup with a tapered cut and styling can really make you stand out.

It works for all hair lengths and textures. No matter if your hair is long, short, straight, curly, or anywhere in between – you can probably benefit from a lineup. They are especially popular for coarse or kinky hair that tends to look less structured along the hairline. The crisp edge makes the hair of all lengths look more intentional.

It draws attention to your face. Lining up the hairline also subtly draws the eye upward, focusing attention on your facial features. This can make your bone structure look more defined. A lineup essentially frames the face, so you’ll want to choose a shape that complements your features.

It makes hair easier to manage. For guys with tightly coiled or curly hair, shaving down the hairline can help reduce volume and friction along the edges. This makes the hair smoother and your style less prone to extreme shrinking. Keeping the perimeter tidy minimizes frizz and flyaways around the face.

It lasts a decent amount of time. Depending on how fast your hair grows, a lineup can remain crisp and fresh-looking for weeks at a time. Typical growth is about 1/2 inch per month, so biweekly or monthly touch-ups are pretty standard for maintaining a lineup. Compared to a haircut, it’s relatively low maintenance.


It requires consistent upkeep. To keep a lineup looking sharp, you’ll need regular touch-ups every couple of weeks from your barber. This means making standing appointments and budgeting the time and cost. If you’re impatient for haircuts or don’t like making the time commitment, it might not be for you.

Hair regrowth looks messy. In between trips to the barber, new hair growth along the hairline is inevitable. This can look unkempt and scruffy. Those with very coarse or fast-growing hair may be dealing with stubble after just a week. The growing-out phase can be annoying.

It can cause irritation for sensitive skin. The lineup is created by shaving the hairline with a straight razor. For some guys, this process leads to bumps, ingrown hairs, razor burn or folliculitis along the edges. This may worsen with frequent touch-ups. Not ideal for sensitive skin.

Harsh lines may not suit all faces. While a lineup helps define the hair and facial features, very boxy, harsh lines can overwhelm or look jarring on some. Young guys with rounded hairlines can end up looking too mature if the shapes are overly sharp and angular. Know your face shape.

Artistic lineups are high-maintenance. Going for a stylized, non-traditional shape probably means getting it touched up weekly to keep the artwork looking perfect. Average lineups retain their structure a bit longer between cuts. Intricate lineups require more visits.

It’s not for everyone’s lifestyle. Some guys have jobs or hobbies that make keeping a lineup impractical – for example, military members who buzz their hair routinely. Likewise for athletes who wear helmets and sweatbands that quickly mess up a fresh lineup. Know your schedule.

You’re stuck with the decision. Shaving your natural hair growth to create a lineup is a long-term commitment. If you later decide you dislike the look, you have to wait weeks for the hair to grow back in and the lineup to fade. It’s not as simple as asking for a quick style change.

It can limit styling options. Some popular styles don’t necessarily complement a sculpted hairline, like letting your hair grow out into an afro or loc. A very long length on top with a stark lineup can look a bit silly. Keep the silhouette balanced.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Lineup

If you’re on the fence about whether a lineup is right for you, here are some things to keep in mind:

Hair type and growth patterns – Coarse, tightly curled hair will likely hold the lineup shape best, while straight hair regrows quickly. Know how your hairline grows in and if it lends itself to crisp lines. widows’ peak or uneven growth patterns may be harder to line up cleanly.

Face shape – Strong, angular faces suit squared off hairlines. Rounder faces look better with a subtle arch or wave shape to soften and complement the features. Ask your barber for lineup suggestions tailored to your face.

Current style – Make sure the length of your hair won’t compete with a dramatic lineup. For example, a high-top fade with a sharp box works well, while medium-long dreadlocks may overshadow the hairline details.

Skin sensitivity – To avoid irritation, prep the skin along your hairline before getting it shaved. Exfoliate regularly and use treatments to prevent ingrowns. Ask your barber to prep the skin and use a fresh, sharp blade.

Maintenance requirements – Accept that you’ll need touch-ups every 1-3 weeks to keep the lineup fresh, and budget/schedule accordingly. Alternatively, ask for a conservative shape if you don’t want high maintenance.

Your lifestyle – Make sure your job, hobbies, and grooming habits allow you to keep a lineup. Frequent helmet wear, sweatiness, manipulation of the hairline and postponing haircuts can cause the lineup to degrade quickly.

Aesthetic preferences – While lineups are trendy and cool, make sure they fit your personal style and sensibilities. If you prefer a natural look or dislike too much grooming upkeep, a lineup may not align with your aesthetic.

Patience during the grow-out phase – If you later decide to nix the lineup, you’ll have to wait patiently while the hairline grows back and the harsh lines fade. This can take a month or more of awkward in-between stages.

How to Maintain Your Lineup In Between Haircuts

To keep your lineup looking styled and structured in between barbershop visits, follow these simple tips:

Exfoliate the skin around your hairline regularly using a facial scrub or loofah. This will minimize bumps, ingrown hairs, and dead skin buildup along the edges.

Use a beard oil, moisturizer, or pre-shave oil daily along the hairline. This hydrates the skin and softens hairs that start poking through, making for easier shaving.

If longer hairs pop up along the edges, use clippers or trimmer at home to gently nip them in the bud. Don’t try to redefine the lines yourself.

Avoid excessive sweating and wear headbands during workouts to control frizz and flyaways that distort the crisp hairline. Rinse out the sweat after training.

Use an edge control brush and light pomade or gel to keep hairs slicked down smoothly along the hairline between haircuts. A toothbrush can also help.

Don’t mess with the lineup shape by constantly brushing or manipulating the hairline throughout the day. Let it set and stay in place.

Sleep on satin pillowcases to avoid creating too much friction along the hairline at night, which can cause the lineup to look fuzzy.

Wear a durag or wave cap when lounging around the house to keep the lineup section tame and minimize hair curling up.

Limit wearing hats and headgear that rub against and apply pressure to the delicate lineup area. Opt for open-back caps.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo and gentle conditioner when cleansing your hair, massaging the products gently along the hairline.

Lineup Style Ideas for Your Hair Type

There are endless lineup designs to choose from, but some styles tend to suit different hair types best:

Coily Textures:

Box lineup with 90-degree corners to accentuate fullness and natural shape

  • Curved U or horseshoe silhouette for balance on a round head shape
  • Geometric/zigzag hairline to show off precise barber skills
  • Stylized shapes like stars, waves, and lightning bolts for a flashier style
  • Exaggerated widow’s peak for gravity-defying shape and height

Kinky Curly Hair:

  • Defined sideburns tapering inward for distinction and flow
  • Precisely arched lineup to complement a fade haircut
  • Textured/deconstructed look with some fuzzy edges left intact
  • Only the front hairline lined up to allow the sides and back to curl naturally
  • Combination of straight and curved lines for visual interest

Wavy Textures:

  • Subtle lower forehead lineup to subtly sharpen hairline shape
  • Faded temple lineup only to blend the edges for casual flow
  • Widow’s peak lineup on naturally pointed hairlines sharpened and angled
  • Softly rounded silhouette to reduce boxiness on square faces
  • Irregular/textured hairlines for an undone, diffused look

Straight Strands:

  • Conservative squared-off edge with understated sharp corners
  • Low taper fade leads into the lineup for a minimally layered combo
  • Widow’s peak accentuated and taken up to a subtle point
  • Part line crisply shaved on either side to accentuate precision
  • Visual interest added with subtle waves/notches along the hairline

Frequently Asked Question

1. Should I consider lining up my hairline?

Lining up your hairline is a personal decision. It involves shaping your natural hairline for a neater and more defined look. If you’re interested in a well-groomed appearance, this might be an option to explore.

2. What is a hairline lineup?

A hairline lineup involves carefully trimming and shaping the edges of your hairline, often using a razor or trimmer. It can help create cleaner edges and enhance your facial features.

3. Does a hairline lineup work for all hair types?

Hairline lining can be effective for various hair types, including straight, wavy, and curly hair. However, the results may vary depending on your hair’s texture and thickness.

4. Can a hairline lineup damage my hair?

When done by a skilled professional, a hairline lineup shouldn’t damage your hair. However, excessive or improper shaving could potentially lead to irritation or ingrown hairs.

5. How often do I need to touch up my lined-up hairline?

The frequency of touch-ups depends on how fast your hair grows and how well-defined you want to keep your hairline. On average, touch-ups every 1-2 weeks can maintain the look.

6. Should I attempt a hairline lineup at home?

It’s generally recommended to have a professional barber or hairstylist perform a hairline lineup. They have the experience and tools to achieve precise results without causing harm.

7. What’s the difference between a hairline lineup and a full haircut?

A hairline lineup focuses solely on shaping the edges of your hairline and cleaning up the area around your forehead. A full haircut involves trimming or cutting the entire head of hair to a desired length.

8. Does lining up a receding hairline make it less noticeable?

Lining up a receding hairline can create a cleaner appearance, but it might not make the receding hairline itself less noticeable. Consulting a stylist can help determine the best approach for your unique situation.

9. Are there any alternatives to a hairline lineup?

If you’re hesitant about a hairline lineup, you can explore other grooming options like styling products, different haircuts, or even embracing your natural hairline.

10. How do I find a professional who can do a hairline lineup?

Search for reputable barbershops or salons in your area that specialize in grooming and styling. Reading reviews and looking at before-and-after photos can help you choose a skilled professional.


A fresh lineup can elevate your style by making your hairline look crisp and adding unique flair. However, it does require an ongoing time and financial commitment to maintain the look. Ultimately whether you should get a lineup comes down to your individual hair type, style preferences, grooming habits, and lifestyle factors.

If you don’t mind visiting the barbershop frequently, enjoy experimenting with sculpted hairstyles, and want to make a statement, then a customized lineup is likely a good option. It can give curly and oily hair more structure and take your grooming to the next level. Just be sure to choose a shape that flatters your face shape and complements your hair length.

However, if you prefer low-maintenance styles, chafe at haircut schedules, or prioritize a natural look, then skipping the lineup is probably the better call. You’ll avoid potential skin irritation and the hassle of continual touch-ups. Guys with especially sensitive skin or those in fields like the military where buzz cuts are required may not be good candidates either.

Ultimately there’s no right or wrong choice – just decide based on what’s important to you. A skilled barber can advise you on whether a lineup will work for your hair and which silhouette options best suit your features. Maintain the look properly in between appointments. And if you later want to ditch the lineup, just be patient during the transition period. With some consideration beforehand, a lineup can be a stylish detail that makes your regular cut stand out.

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