The undercut is a vintage men’s hairstyle that was popular throughout the 1910s-1940s, characterised by it’s closely shaved back and sides with a longer top section. Even though it’s been around for over 100 years, the cut has seen a major resurgence as of late thanks to hit period TV shows, including Boardwalk Empire and Peaky Blinders.
A classic undercut would typically be grown from temple to temple, with anything below that being shaved one level. However, more modern styles also feature taper fades and even nape undercuts. The longer top section of hair can be styled in a variety of different ways, from slicked back or combed over in a side parting to more messy textures.
Best Undercut Hairstyles for Men
Thinking about giving the undercut haircut a go? Before heading off to the barbers, see a selection of the best undercut hairstyles, below.
This is the perfect Thomas Shelby-inspired undercut style. The top is short but still long enough to play around with different looks, and the separation line between the top and bottom section is clearly defined – all the key criteria for a good undercut. Credit: @salonexte
Editor’s tip: Get the look by rubbing a small amount of the TONI&GUY Men’s Texturising Fibre through your hair, using your fingers to push the hair forward to add definition and texture to your style.
Men with long hair can pull the undercut hairstyle off amazingly. From James ‘Jimmy’ Darmody in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire to Charlie Hunnam’s hair in King Arthur, the long hair and undercut look has never been so popular. Credit: @rustandtrust
David Beckham Undercut
David Beckham has a lot of great hairstyle inspiration to choose from, but this undercut has to be one of his best.
Retro meets modern, this pompadour undercut mixes old and new to create a classic look with a fresh twist. Perfect for adding volume and height to thin hair, check out our guide to styling a pompadour for help rocking your new ‘do. Credit: @abbasmomo
Editor’s tip: The pompadour undercut is all about the lifted look. Need a helping hand? Make your hair look thicker with the VO5 Lifting Paste to give the top layers of your hair shape and fullness.
Low Fade Undercut
Want to try out a fade but worried about taking it too short? With a low fade, the taper (the blend from long to short) starts lower down on the head, adding shape without taking away too much length from your overall style. Credit: @barber_sako
Thick Hair Undercut
Blessed with luscious locks? This statement undercut is great for men with thick, mid-long hair as it helps to take some of the weight away while still letting you hold onto your length. Credit: @danish_zehen
Braids with an Undercut
Historically undercuts have had fully buzzed sides but if that’s too daring for you, you don’t have to write off the whole undercut trend completely. This Instagrammer’s faded undercut has all the appeal of the classic style but with a more subtle finish. Credit: @domenicotomei
Man Bun with an Undercut
Combine two of the hottest men’s hairstyles for one spectacular look. If you have spent the last few years growing out your hair to work the ever popular man bun, the last thing you may want to do is cut it all off.
So why not team your longer locks with a discreet undercut cuffing the ear? You won’t have to sacrifice any of your hard-earned length and will give your mane a fresh edge. Credit: @vucci92
Side Part Undercut
Classic but cool, this guy’s defined side parting contrasts with an undercut for a neat and polished look. Credit: @aggari_o
Editor’s tip: If you need to keep your style in place, we suggest using the VO5 Mega Hold Hairspray. For 24 hour hold and a non-sticky finish, simply spritz your finished style with this nifty hairspray.
Curly-haired gents needn’t miss out on the awesome undercut trend. If your curly hair is tricky to manage, take some of the stress away by going for an undercut (half the hair = half the stress).
Pairing his undercut with what has been dubbed ‘the surgical part’ this Instagrammer’s curly brown hair looks picture perfect. Credit: @lieanne
Like to show off your personality through your hair? Get creative with your undercut by experimenting with different patterns and designs. Credit: @barbeariacentral1002
Slick Back Undercut
Looking for a way to smarten up an undercut? All you’ll need is some gel or pomade to be able to quickly take your look from daytime casual to a dapper evening look, ideal for when you want to look on top form. Credit: @kingston_dean
Skin Fade Undercut
If you prefer a look that lets you get up and go with minimal styling required, you’ll love this no-fuss textured undercut. The best part about this hairstyle is that the more lived-in it looks, the cooler the effect – so you’ll finally have an excuse to rock the bed head look. Credit: @daniels_barber83
Undercut Comb Over
For the guy who likes to keep on top of the latest men’s hairstyle trends, let us introduce you to one of the hottest haircuts of the moment – the mushroom cut. Inspired by K-Pop band BTS, try adding an undercut to this updated bowl cut for an edgy, fashion-forward look. Credit: @sunyoung_ximending
Want to know how to get curtains hair with a modern twist? Consider adding an undercut (it can be as subtle or statement as you like) to the look to bring this iconic ’90s style up to date. Credit: @bladeyskye
This Instagrammer has given his bold undercut the ultimate modern makeover, by colouring his hair a pastel pink hue.