Step up your #neckbuzz game, gentlemen.
We’re halfway through the year and it looks like undercuts are still as strong as ever. No surprise there, really: This (in)famous men’s hairstyle has evolved way past its roguish roots into one of the most requested—and, surprisingly enough, most universally flattering—styles today. Due to its immense popularity with both industry insiders and regular Joes, countless variations of undercut designs have now burst on the scene. Some good, some bad and several not for the faint of heart, these highly original, creative versions are the prime reason for the undercut’s widespread appeal.
The go-to ’do for individualists and “me”-llennials everywhere, there truly are a thousand ways to personalize this highly bespoke-able haircut. What other style can say the same?
We’ve distilled down some of our favorite designs in the list below. And now, for your bookmarking pleasure:
The Coolest Undercut Designs and Looks for 2016
1. Graphic side clippings
A few strategically placed lines can spell the difference between vanilla and super-duper dapper. Our favorite iteration: graphic clippings right where the hair starts to fade, just right below the crown. Subtle, but kinda tongue-in-cheek as well—always a sexy combo.
2. Slicked back with whitewalling
A true, definitive undercut if there ever was one, a whitewalled (a.k.a. fully shaven, with maximum scalp exposure) version brings the focus solely on the tuft of hair at your crown. Slicking it back is a clean, slightly retro/vintage look that also has hints of the subversive. In short, badass!
3. Flawless “ombré” fade
We’re taking the ombré hair color trend and flipping it here to mean a perfect, blended fade from the sides of your undercut downwards. Guys looking for a more conservative version can dip their toes into this look. The gateway drug of undercuts, you can always opt to go higher and shorter as you please.
4. Funky fades
Groovy swirls, blocky chevron stripes or tattoo/religious-inspired prints, razor-sharp temples and edges, out-of-the-box undercut designs have been taking social media by storm. For this, it begs to be said: Only go to an experienced barber, or else that Instagram-worthy #neckporn you waited months to show off just becomes a total fail. In case these looks might be too out there for your desk job, opt to get your design higher and on only one side of your head, which can be easily hidden by a comb-over.
5. Sharp side part
Speaking of comb-overs, update this Dad classic with an undercut twist. Style your regular undercut with a side part, and instead of a gradual taper on your minor section, have your barber shave it off, resulting in a permanent part line. Best for guys who only stick to one hair parting (hey, you gotta commit sometime) and work in corporate environments—as well as for the occasional soccer heartthrob—this look is sharp, professional but also oozes a certain unbuttoned sex appeal.
Because everyone loves a good-intentioned hot mess! Gaining a lot of traction with Asian pop stars, this undercut design features a longer “tail” at the back, instead of a uniform taper all around. This look is also very customizable, and you can go as low or as high as you want with your side shave. Wear it nice-guy style with a textured bowl cut, or go buckwild for the weekend and muss up the front in a fauxhawk. Tons of options at your fingertips!
Which of these undercut designs will you try?