Thanks to the menswear runways and stylish trendsetters on social media, undercut hairstyles have seen a huge resurgence in popularity recently. And it should come as no surprise, seeing as male icons such as Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Justin Timberlake have all rocked this distinctive cut at some point in their careers with much success. Another true testament to the fact that, despite its directional, youthful attitude, the undercut also boasts a certain timeless appeal and brilliant versatility, too. One of the most popular – and current – versions of this style is, of course, the undercut fade. So if you’re looking to refresh your look, or give your current hairstyle a cool, contemporary spin, this one may worth considering the next time you pay a visit to your barbers.
Want to know more about the undercut fade and what it entails? Keep reading for our quick guide to this trending hairstyle and see how you can make it work for you, below.
The undercut fade: A quick guide
Defining the undercut
The undercut has two defining characteristics: longer hair on top, combined with shorter back and sides. But while the traditional version keeps the same length on the back and sides all the way around (and without a taper), the more modern version: the undercut fade (which, as the name suggests, combines a classic undercut with a fade) gives a lot more room to play around and get creative.
So, how do you choose the right look for you?
Ask the pros
The depth and style of your undercut will depend in great part upon the natural texture of your hair. How short you should get it, as well as how high up the fade should start, are decisions you should make with advice from your barber. So, don’t be afraid to ask for his/her opinion on what look would work best with your face shape and hair type. While fine or straight hair can work well with a variety of fades, the more textured, or curly your locks are, the more careful you should be to keep a clean one.
You’ll also need to make sure that your barber uses the right tools to achieve your look. You’ll find many good stylists will go for a technique known as ‘scissors over comb’, which is can help achieve ultra precise results in a short time.
Classic, rock ‘n’ roll or casual?
So now you’ve got the basic cut that you want, it’s time to decide how you’d like to style your undercut fade.
The ’40s-inspired, slicked-back, undercut fade is a classic look that’s ideal if you’re after a smart, refined hairstyle that exudes magnetism and elegance. Remember: it’s all about keeping a defined and precise side parting, neatly styled with the help of a pomade or styling wax that has a slight sheen. To achieve this look, try the VO5 Extreme Style Grooming Pomade (£3.99*).
For a more rock ‘n’ roll take on the cut, simply inject a generous dose of volume – think a more upbeat pompadour or a dramatic quiff on the top section. Combined with the faded sides, you’ll get a great-looking contrast to complete an utterly modern look with just a pinch of retro cool. Try the TIGI Bed Head Small Talk (£16.95*) – a brilliantly lightweight cream that helps to volumise, thicken and provide a soft, touchable hold!
However, if you want to keep it more casual, but without losing the smooth attitude, simply tone down either of the aforementioned looks to avoid such an extreme effect. For best results, work a sophisticated side parting with a little extra movement by creating a tousled texture at the ends of your locks, using the VO5
Extreme Style FunkyShaper (£3.99*). Or try a more low-key version of a quiff by taking the top slightly shorter for a look that’s suitable for both work and play.
*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.