A slicked back undercut is a popular men’s haircut in which the sides of the hair are shaved off while the top of the hair is kept longer and worn brushed back. Dapper, well-groomed and a fave of stylish dudes the world over, the slicked back undercut has quickly skyrocketed in status during the past couple of years.
What first began as the trademark look of hipster barbers has now become a classic in its own right. Celebs, athletes, DJs, singers, models, your friendly neighbourhood barista—well, let’s just say you’d be hard-pressed to turn any corner these days and not find an iteration of this popular haircut. Wearing an undercut slicked back works so well for so many different types of hair, whether you’ve got thick or thin, straight or curly hair – scroll down to see the many different ways you can pull off the style.
Classic Undercut with Slicked-Back Hair
While you might not be brave enough to emulate Brad Pitt’s iconic Fury slicked-back undercut, you can ease into the cut by opting for a medium faded undercut, like this gent has.
Bald Undercut with Slicked-Back Hair
Want a style that’ll have you standing out from the crowd? As you can see, this gentleman has swept back his thick hair and gone bold (or should we say, bald) with this shaved undercut style. Combined with his Viking-esque beard, this look is the perfect balance between stylish and statement-making. Credit: @cortesmasculinos
3. Textured slicked-back undercut
Want to get in on the undercut + slicked back hair trend, but don’t think your waves or curls will work with the look? Well you can put those fears aside, as your natural texture will work a dream with an undercut style.
4. Side part undercut hairstyle
Feel too exposed when your hair is brushed straight back? Combing the hair back at an angle like this can be more flattering on some people, especially if you’re self-conscious about your forehead or hairline. Credit: @ppreshaw
5. Disconnected slicked-back undercut hairstyle
Here’s a brilliant example of how to rock a disconnected undercut with slicked-back hair. Casually swept over the crown, this sharp look is full of eye-catching contrasts, making it perfect for anyone who’s looking for a ‘do with creative flair. Credit: @cortesmasculinos
6. Long hair + slicked-back undercut
Just because you’re ready for the buzzer, that doesn’t mean you have to part with your long fringe. In fact, long hair can work amazingly well with an undercut, helping to provide tonnes of contrast and definition.
7. Wet-look slicked-back undercut
If we’ve learnt anything from the men’s catwalks this season, it’s that wet-look hairstyles are in — which means you can definitely test the waters with a slicked-back undercut.
Pulling the 2 trends together perfectly, this dapper gent keeps his longer hair firmly under wraps and gives his style some on-point edge, too. Credit: @mario8855
Editor’s tip: Want to get the wet look effect? Then you’ll need the Alberto Balsam Wet Look Gel, which adds a wet look shine to the hair and gives a non-sticky hold that’s easy to wash out.
8. Subtle undercut
As long as you keep the hair on top long, you can make the sides as subtle or exaggerated as you want by playing with different lengths. Credit: @alexndr_belov
9. Clean and smooth
The slicked back undercut requires minimal styling time, but make sure you keep on top of your trims to keep this high-contrast style looking fresh and clean-shaven.
10. Full shaved sides
Some guys prefer to keep some length on the sides but for those who aren’t afraid to show some scalp, there’s this edgy look with fully shaved sides.
11. Comb over undercut
If you’re a fan of the vintage comb over then you’ll appreciate the updated version of the classic hairstyle, which we spotted on this gentleman.
So, if you really want your mane game to be top notch this season, combine the classic and modern looks together and you’ll be ready for anything.
12. Sharp and sleek
When you want your undercut slicked back and gelled, use a fine-toothed comb to work the product evenly through your hair and give you defined comb lines.
13. Medium fade
14. Man bun
Let your hair on top grow out long enough that you can tie it into a top knot on day when you want your hair out of your way.
15. Long slicked back undercut
This epic undercut, beard and ‘tache combo is all the inspiration you need to give this modern slick style a go.
Editor’s tip: Limp locks? The VO5 Rework Texture Foam is great for adding lift at the roots, simply apply 3-5 pumps through damp hair before blowdrying for fuller looking hair.
16. Slick undercut fade
For a close shave and authentic undercut look, your barber will use clippers to trim the back and sides ultra short.
17. Curly fade
The slicked back undercut is often seen worn on straight hair, but it can look just as great on naturally wavy or curly hair textures. In fact, the shaved sides will help to accentuate your waves or coils and make them the focal point of your look!
18. Shaved sides with a beard
Make a bald fade undercut all the more impactful by balancing it out with a full and luscious beard.
19. Grown out
One of the great things about an undercut is that actually, even though you might think there would be an awkward transition stage if you decide to grow it out, this isn’t a problem. As long as you use a pomade to keep the top section under control and the short sides exposed, it still looks good, so you don’t have to worry about having to shave all of your hair off and starting again!
20. Undercut for a receding hairline
Hair loss is a common problem in men but while it can be stressful, hairstyles like this slicked back undercut can help to conceal thinning sides and make the most of the hair you do have up top.
Editor’s tip: You can easily add texture and body to your long, slicked-back undercut with the VO5 Boosting Fibre. This will help add texture to those with fine strands and with its light hold, you don’t have to worry about your style falling flat.