Learn how to style (and someday, transition out of) a long hair undercut with these cool, wearable options.
Still got that long undercut flow, but running out of ways to wear it? Yeah, working with a hairstyle with two drastically different lengths can get frustrating, especially when it reaches that dreaded growing-out stage—then things just get awkward and spiky, and you don’t really know whether to go for a shave again or just wait it out. And in the meantime, you’re left with this hedgehog-esque pouf, which, particularly on straight hair, can get even more unmanageable and annoying.
One of the best things about a long undercut is its versatility, and just in case you lost touch of the many other ways to wear it while it’s going through its stages, we did it for you. We’d really hate to see this edgy trend go out of style, so scroll on:
Old versions of this “dad” look might have sustained a bad rap, but this modern update is sleek, smooth and even kind of sexy. Use pomade (we like Bed Head for Men by TIGI Slick Trick) to slick your hair down to one side and comb it to refine.
2. Half-Up Knot
For dudes who are smack in the middle of this in-between stage where hair is neither here nor there, a half-up topknot can get you through the worst of times. Some firm-hold gel on the sides, like AXE Adrenaline Spiked Up Look: Extreme Hold Gel, can help tame down any spikes.
3. Barbershop Fade
A medium-faded shave is ideal if you’re growing out the top but want to leave the sides and back a bit groomed. Bonus: This look is one of the easiest to maintain and quickly transitions into a regular classic fade if you decide to chop it all off.
A long undercut on natural-textured hair is great for braided looks, like this pair of thick cornrows. Have it professionally done at a barbershop or salon and ask them to use their Dutch braiding skills.
For undercut long hair with a relaxed texture, make sure your lengths are combed and groomed regularly to achieve this polished yet edgy look. One of the most popular versions of a true long hair undercut features one side that’s completely shaven, and the other side worn straight near the chin or longer. Edgy and high-impact, it’s also a high-maintenance look that requires frequent trims to keep that neat side clipping looking fresh. Tip: Invest in your own clippers to save yourself a few trips to the barber.
Sporty and definitely more casual than other versions, this look features sides and a back that are almost fully slicked down and a top that’s been dyed for a little somethin’ somethin’ near the bang area.
7. Choppy Gray
If you’re still experimenting with your the length you want your undercut to be, bide your time—and keep yourself from getting bored with your look—with a trendy color. Also ask your stylist to make the top a bit choppy (no razor-cutting!) for a chunkier, more textured feel.
8. Sleek Man Bun
Can’t go wrong with a classic! Great for appearing well groomed during more formal or corporate settings, we love a sleek man bun or knot on super short or shaven sides. We don’t suggest attempting this look if your back and sides are spiking out.
A good example of how a great color and a clean, rounded haircut can help blend two different lengths of hair. Look closer and you’ll see that the top is floppier and much longer than the sides and back.
If four to five inches is the most you’ll go in terms of a long undercut, upstyling it in a high, volumized pompadour with the help of some paste (we like Dove Men+Care Sculpting Paste) can help you experiment with texture and volume.
11. Top Knot
Another classic go-to, while hair is growing out, is the baby topknot. Simple enough to create quickly, all you have to do is brush the top back into a small ponytail and leave the last loop tucked into the elastic and not completely pulled through. Ideal for back and sides that are just a couple of weeks grown out, where you can still see a skin fade—any longer or thicker on the shaven parts, and you’ll be needing some gel.