Once considered the more directional option, and seen mainly on editorial pages and runways, the undercut has steadily risen the ranks to become one of the most sought-after looks among the ever-growing roster of men’s hairstyles.
Thanks to the various modern interpretations and timely adaptations of this long-time fashion favourite, the undercut hairstyle has never been more versatile. As well as boasting a certain youthful stance, another enticing aspect of this hairstyle lies in the fact that it’s suitable for just about every hair and face type!
But with such a wide variety of styles available, making a decision on which to get (and how to ask for it) can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. So here’s where we step in…
Try the undercut: Our favourite looks you should totally rock
1. The smart undercut
Keep the length on the top, but remember to request a slightly longer undercut, as retaining more hair will still allow you to tap into the undercut hair trend, just without showing any skin.
Editor’s tip: Keep your smart undercut looking slick and cool by styling it with some TIGI Bed Head Slick Trick Firm Hold Pomade, for a non-greasy hold that provides plenty of shine.
2. Long on top
Love the style, but feel super attached to the lovely length of your mane? Don’t worry, with this medium cut, you can keep hold of your precious hair!
The key to nailing this ‘do is to keep the top casual and tousled, for a perfectly undone finish. And if you have really long hair on top, you can always try styling it into a relaxed man bun.
3. Colourful hair
Are you a daredevil at heart? Then this statement look is a must for any brave souls out there!
To enhance the contrast created by your undercut, try dyeing the top of your hair with an ultra bold colour. And if you’re stuck when it comes to hair hues, check out the celebrities who are rocking bright new colours, here!
4. Undercut with beard
Who cares that Movember is over? If you’re a firm fan of facial hair, then you’ll really love this dapper undercut inspo. This influencer really knows how rock the style and proves that it’s a great choice for globe trotting gents. Credit: @beardedcouture
5. Curly hair
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you guys with curly hair! Undercut hairstyle ideas are an absolute treat for anyone with curls, as the cut will take away some of the overwhelming mass of your strands, while the longer lengths work as a fantastic way to flaunt your hair’s natural texture.
This will both showcase your cool curl pattern and give you a bold contrast that can’t be beat. Result! Credit: @adamkpray
Don’t be fooled by all the extreme undercut hair ‘dos you see on the street, because you can rock this look in a far more subtle way.
Just take a look at the fella above: this is a great example of how to work an undercut in a classic and sophisticated way, that easily gives any ‘do a refined finish. But if you feel like taking your hair game up a notch, ask your barber to softly shave in a parting, for an instantly dapper twist! Credit: @myneighborshair
7. Statement ‘do
Do you like to live life on the wild side? Then this daring hairstyle will be right up your street!
With its punk-inspired aesthetic, this ‘do is all about extreme lengths on both ends of the spectrum – shaved back and sides, and long, undone strands on top! It’s also the ideal style to try if you’re a fan of the mohawk, but want a softer, less spikey, way to rock it. Credit: @rustandtrust
8. Wet-look undercut
We’ve seen influential designers send models up and down the runway sporting undercuts teamed with slicked back or wet-look hair. And if it’s good enough for the fash-pack, it’s good enough for us, right?
To achieve this look, a great cut is essential: just ask your barber to keep the top section of your hair fairly long, while clipping the back and sides much shorter (but not too short!). Then spray some VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray onto the top section of your hair and use a comb to sweep your strands backwards (and slightly to the side if that’s the look you’re going for).
Once you’re happy with the way the top looks, gently comb a tiny bit more gel through the sides, to create a wet-look effect to match the top!
9. Side parting
A big fan of your dapper parting and don’t want to lose it? Don’t fret: you can still rock a men’s undercut with a side part of your choosing.
To achieve the look, simply create your desired parting by blow-drying your hair into place. Note: this doesn’t have to be where the undercut starts, as depending on how dramatic you want the end results to be, it can start slightly off-centre for a more subtle look.
Editor’s tip: Just use some TONI&GUY Mens Texturising Fibre and a comb to help set your hair, so that your parting stays put all day long.
10. Wavy top with faded sides
It’s time to style your waves with a fashionable fade undercut! This variation is perfect if you’re a newbie and want to ease into this hair trend, without having to make any changes that are too dramatic.
Instead of a harsh, straight-up undercut, your barber will give you a subtle fade on the sides and back. This means he/she will start to shorten the length of your hair from approximately mid-point downwards.
11. Quiff with an undercut
Rocking a high quiff? Why not pair it with a stylish undercut hairstyle for men? This is one of the easiest styles to pull off: simply ask your barber to leave quite a bit of length on top for your quiff, and to clip the sides and back ultra short to create a dramatic contrast.
12. Textured locks
Thought this style was out of the question because you have thick, heavily textured hair? Not so. This particular undercut is actually great for men with *ahem* ‘unruly’ locks.
Designed to enhance your natural texture and promote volume up top, you can opt for longer sides for a more subtle effect, or shorter sides for a more edgy look.
13. Long, slicked-back undercut
A more extreme version of the classic look, this option means leaving the top part fairly long, and going super short at the sides. While it may well mean having to grow your hair out quite considerably for this style to work, the slicked-back undercut is excellent for adding a bit of height.
The right products are key here in achieving the look you want and to help keep things neat up top. For a more structured, retro effect, consider a wet-look gel and for texture, a matt hair mousse is ideal.
14. Classic look
One of the more conservative options, the classic style is characterised by neatly-trimmed sides and a moderate-length top, ruling out any extreme styling options.
The advantage of this type of ‘do is that it’s super versatile – it can be slicked back or side-parted – and relatively easy to maintain: just a bit of mousse or a tiny slick of gel will keep it looking smart and polished. Add a more directional twist to the look with a subtle fade or taper.
15. Man bun
Feel like working more than one hot-to-trot hair trend at once? Well, the beauty of the undercut is that it can be work in conjunction with a tonne of other styles!
Just take a look at this undercut man bun: the closely cropped sides give great contrast to the longer lengths of hair on top, helping to make your man bun really stand out from the crowd. Credit: @nickdriver
16. Disconnected hair
A more directional variation on the classic style, the disconnected hairstyle is defined by a distinct ‘disconnect’ between the top and the bottom part of the haircut, while retaining short-trimmed sides and a not-too-long top.
Practical and versatile, much of the effect of this cut depends on styling. A side-part usually works best with products that will add texture and gloss to help strike a perfect balance between modern and retro. Credit: @menshair.jpg
17. Side-swept pompadour
A cool, contemporary combination of two classics, the undercut with a pompadour is best styled with a side sweep. Leaving the hair longer up top (for slicking purposes) and sides shorter (similar to the long, slicked back style) results in a neat look with just enough of an edge to make it interesting.
Just remember to take care when parting: it should correspond with the way your hair naturally falls, which is, of course, different for everyone. The key here is to tailor the cut to suit your face shape; men with narrow features should opt for a shorter top and more length on the sides, while those with wider faces can have more volume up top and shorter sides to help elongate your face.
And there you have it, gents, all the hottest undercut hair ‘dos to see you through the season in style! But if you’re still looking for more ways to style your undercut, head to our Undercuts page for more tips, ideas and inspiration.