Over the undercut? Easy transition tips abound…
We’ve all been there: rocking the hottest hair trend one day and then wanting to switch to another a few months later. Some of you might have been sporting the undercut, which was undeniably one of the hottest men’s hairstyles for the past few seasons now, and might think it’s time for a change (and if you’re a loyalist, then that’s okay too – here are some tips to keep it looking on point!).
If you do think the time has come to switch up your look, we commend your bravery! We all know that growing hair out – especially shaven looks – can get painfully awkward, and requires quite a bit of patience and character to see things through. But it can be done! Luckily, this is where you guys have the edge in this department: it won’t take as long for your strands to even out into a brand new look altogether. And in the mean time, all it takes are some clever styling hacks and a couple of great, transitional styles to keep you fresh, clean and on point. Read on…
5 Ways to help you grow out your undercut
1. Master the man bun
If you’re coming straight from a completely shaven undercut, then you’ll need a few weeks for your sides and back to properly come in. This is primetime man bun season, as it’s a tried and tested trend that helps guys look somewhat put together in the meantime (and it also keeps you sweat-free at those end-of-summer outdoorsy weekends).
Don’t forget your hair care regimen: a thickening shampoo and conditioner, like TIGI Bed Head for Men Charge Up Thickening Shampoo (£9.95*) and Conditioner (£10.95*), will help leave your hair thick and full-looking, not to mention hardy enough for some tugging.
To get the look, simply brush the top section of your hair back to remove any tangles and gather into a ponytail. Twist until it resembles a rope, then coil it around itself (or if too short, just pull it through the elastic band, making a knot). Tie a hairband around the base of the coil, tie it around once with a figure-eight loop, and you’re done!
2. Try a high and tight
After three weeks, the sides and back of your undercut may have some respectable shadow, which is all you really need for a good high and tight haircut. This look is basically a high fade, which is almost military-issue in its neatness and is equally awesome as a transitional look or maintained as is. Ask your barber for a high taper all around (similar to a buzz cut) but leave 1-2 inches at the top. Play with this length by mussing in a pliable clay or paste such as the VO5 Extreme Style Texture Rework Putty (150ml, £3.99*) on damp hair.
3. Train hair via a hair dryer
While your high and tight is gracefully growing in, there are times when the sides and back of your undercut can awkwardly stick out. Train your strands to lay flat as they grow by blow-drying in a backwards direction from your face. Finish with a non-greasy pomade or gel, such as the Lynx Adrenaline Super Hold Cream Gel (£4.29*) to keep things looking smooth.
Also, make sure to get your back and sides trimmed regularly to gradually blend in that disconnect on top, as forgetting to do so at this stage can make you look shaggy.
4. Get a classic taper
Once your sides can lay somewhat flat, it’s time to go in and switch out to a classic medium taper. A bit longer than the high and tight, it maintains that general shape but with around 2 inches more on the back and sides, and can also be done with scissors instead of clippers. Take note of the crispness of your sideburns and your back, which can make or break the look.
5. Go for a square cut
The square cut, or gentleman’s clean-cut taper, is like a classic, medium taper but done with scissors. A truly dapper and polished look, unlike the undercut, it has almost an equal length of hair on all sides (hence its name), save for a few inches on top. It flatters almost all hair types and can easily go from day to night with just a dime-sized swipe of pomade, such as the VO5 Extreme Style Groomed Grooming Pomade (£3.99*). This haircut can also be styled via a modern pompadour or a quiff, another two of our favourite guys’ haircuts for the new season.
Looking for more ways to style your undercut? Head to our Undercuts page for more tips, ideas and inspiration.