How to Make a Ducktail: Master the Art of Styling

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To make a ducktail, shape your hair at the back into a point by trimming the sides shorter and leaving the center longer. A ducktail hairstyle is a classic look that has made a resurgence in recent years.

This iconic style, characterized by a tapered appearance at the back of the head that resembles a duck’s tail, exudes a cool and edgy vibe. Whether you want to achieve a vintage-inspired retro look or simply want to try something different, learning how to make a ducktail can add a touch of style to your overall appearance.

By following a few simple steps and using the right techniques, you can create this unique hairstyle that will surely turn heads. We will guide you through the process of making a ducktail, so let’s dive in!

The History Of The Ducktail Hairstyle

The History of the Ducktail Hairstyle

The ducktail hairstyle, also known as D.A. (duck’s arse), gained popularity in the 1950s and became an iconic symbol of rebellion and youth culture. The origins of the ducktail can be traced back to the early 20th century, influenced by the slicked-back hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s. However, it was in the post-World War II era that the style truly took off.

Evolution of the ducktail over the years witnessed several variations and adaptations. Initially, it featured a prominent and sharply styled back, resembling the shape of a duck’s tail. Over time, the hairstyle evolved to incorporate different lengths, textures, and styling techniques, to cater to changing fashion trends and individual preferences.

The ducktail found its way into mainstream popular culture through various iconic figures and subcultures such as the rock-and-roll movement. Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Johnny Cash all sported the signature ducktail look, further popularizing it.

Despite experiencing fluctuations in popularity over the years, the ducktail hairstyle continues to have a lasting impact on modern hairstyling, making occasional comebacks and inspiring new iterations that incorporate contemporary elements. Its unique blend of classic sophistication and rebelliousness ensures its place in the annals of hairstyling history.

Tools And Products You’Ll Need

To make a ducktail hairstyle, there are a few essential tools and products you’ll need. These tools can help you achieve the desired look with ease. First and foremost, you’ll need a high-quality comb or brush to detangle your hair and create the perfect shape. Additionally, having a reliable pair of sharp scissors is crucial for trimming and shaping the hair. It’s also important to have a handheld mirror or a larger mirror to assess your progress from different angles.

When it comes to products, using a styling gel or pomade can provide hold and control for your ducktail. Look for products that offer strong hold and a matte finish. This will ensure that your hairstyle stays in place throughout the day without looking greasy or overly shiny.

Overall, having the right tools and products at your disposal will make the process of creating a ducktail hairstyle much more manageable. With a comb, scissors, mirror, and the right styling product, you’ll be on your way to achieving a sleek and stylish ducktail.

Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Classic Ducktail

Preparing your hair for styling:

  • Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup.
  • Towel dry your hair gently to avoid excessive damage.
  • Apply a volumizing mousse from roots to tips to create texture and hold.
  • Blow dry your hair upside down using a round brush to add volume at the roots.

Shaping the ducktail with a comb and scissors:

  • Start by combing your hair straight back.
  • Using a fine-toothed comb, separate the longer top section of your hair from the shorter sides and back.
  • Trim the sides and back to your desired length, ensuring a gradual taper.
  • Using the same comb, create a horizontal parting at the back of your head, just above the nape of your neck.
  • Comb the lower section downward and trim any excess length, creating an angled shape.
  • Repeat the process, gradually making the top section shorter toward the front.

Adding volume and texture for a polished look:

  • Apply a small amount of pomade or styling wax to your fingertips.
  • Rub the product between your hands and then distribute it evenly through your hair.
  • Use your fingers to push the hair forward at the front, creating height and volume.
  • Finish by using a comb to smooth out any stray hairs and refine the shape of the ducktail.

How To Achieve A Modern Twist On The Traditional Ducktail

Incorporating fade or undercut for an edgier style: To give the traditional ducktail haircut a contemporary twist, consider adding a fade or undercut. These techniques create a striking contrast between the longer hair on top and the shorter sides and back. It adds a modern touch to the classic ducktail look.

Using styling products to achieve a textured and messy ducktail: To achieve a textured and messy ducktail hairstyle, use texturizing products like waxes or pomades. Apply a small amount of product and use your fingers to create a messy and textured look. This will add dimension and create a tousled effect.

Experiment with different lengths and angles: Play around with different hair lengths and angles to find the perfect ducktail variation for you. Consider tapering the back and sides, while leaving the top longer for a more dramatic effect. Don’t be afraid to get creative and find the style that suits you best.

Regular maintenance for a polished look: To keep your ducktail looking polished and well-maintained, make sure to visit your barber for regular touch-ups. Trimming the hair every few weeks will help maintain the shape and keep the style fresh.

Maintaining And Styling Your Ducktail

Maintaining and styling your ducktail is essential to keep it looking sharp and polished. For your daily care routine, start by washing your hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner to keep it clean and healthy. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the hair while it’s damp, and avoid excessive brushing to prevent frizz.

To preserve the shape and definition of your ducktail, consider using a styling wax or pomade to add control and texture. Apply a small amount to your palms and work it through the hair, focusing on the back and sides. Use your fingers or a comb to shape the ducktail according to your preference.

When styling your ducktail for different occasions, explore various options to create a unique look. Try adding height and volume to the top, or use a texturizing spray for a more casual and tousled appearance. You can also experiment with parting the hair differently or incorporating accessories like headbands or hair ties.

Remember to regularly trim the ends of your ducktail to maintain a clean and polished look. Find a hairstylist who understands the specific cuts and styles associated with a ducktail, and communicate your desired outcome clearly. With proper care and styling, your ducktail will become a signature look that sets you apart.

Celebrities Who Rock The Ducktail Hairstyle

How to Make a Ducktail
Name Profession
Elvis Presley Singer, Actor
James Dean Actor
Marlon Brando Actor

The ducktail hairstyle has long been associated with iconic figures who have popularized this edgy and timeless look. Elvis Presley, known as the King of Rock and Roll, was one of the influential figures who embraced the ducktail. His stunning hairstyle perfectly complemented his rebellious persona on stage. James Dean, another cultural icon, made the ducktail even more popular in the 1950s through his portrayal of troubled characters in movies. Marlon Brando also added to the allure of the ducktail with his gritty performances on screen.

Modern Celebrities Who Continue to Embrace the Style

Today, many modern celebrities still proudly rock the ducktail hairstyle. Some famous names include David Beckham and Jared Leto. They have successfully revived this classic haircut, giving it a contemporary twist and further cementing its status as a symbol of coolness and individuality.

Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

How long does it take to style a ducktail?
Styling a ducktail usually takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on your hair length and texture. It is important to have the right tools and products on hand to achieve the desired look.
Can the ducktail be combined with other hairstyles?
Yes, the ducktail can be combined with various hairstyles to create a unique look. It pairs well with a fade or an undercut on the sides, or even with a pompadour or quiff on the top. Experimenting with different combinations allows for a personalized and stylish result.
What face shapes suit the ducktail the best?
The ducktail is a versatile style that can suit various face shapes. It particularly complements oval and square-shaped faces, as it adds definition to the jawline. However, it can be adapted to suit other face shapes as well by adjusting the length and volume accordingly.
How to Make a Ducktail: Master the Art of Styling


Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Make A Ducktail

How Do You Make A Ducktail Hairstyle?

To make a ducktail hairstyle, start by combing the hair towards the back, then apply some styling product to hold it in place. Use a comb to create a part down the middle, and comb the sides towards the back, shaping them into a point.

Finish by using a hairspray to set the look.

What Hair Length Is Best For A Ducktail?

Typically, a medium to long hair length is best for a ducktail hairstyle. This allows for more hair to be styled into the classic sleek and tapered shape at the back, creating the signature ducktail look.

Can Anyone Pull Off A Ducktail Hairstyle?

Yes, anyone with the right hair length can pull off a ducktail hairstyle. It’s a versatile look that suits different face shapes and can be adapted to various hair textures. With the right styling techniques and products, anyone can rock a stylish ducktail.


Creating a stylish ducktail hairstyle doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps, you can achieve the trendy and classic look you desire. Remember to use the right hair products, be patient, and practice until you perfect it.

With a little effort and attention to detail, you’ll be turning heads with your sharp ducktail in no time. So go ahead and rock that confident and stylish look with your new ducktail!

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