15 Ways to Wear the Undercut Hairstyle

Who knew this haircut had such a juicy past?

Whoever predicted that the undercut hairstyle would prevail to this day is probably laughing all the way to the bank. Did you know that this edgy, directionial style making its rounds on the fashion scene had quite the colorful past? To give you an update on the most modern ways to wear it, we’re sharing a brief history lesson, as well as 10 of the swaggiest undercut hairstyles to check out:

It first gained attention around 1910 during the lavish Edwardian era, but its association as primarily being a poor-boy’s haircut, though, is what gives the undercut its curious appeal. It was a style apparently adopted by blue-collar Englishmen, who couldn’t afford to go to skilled barbers and would then end up with a crude, non-blended hairstyle. The shaven sides were apparently also practical in street fights, making the undercut the go-to style for gang members. It also was a popular haircut with soldiers during WWII, which furthered the style’s controversial reputation.

It then became a fixture of the punk and new wave scene in the 1980s and gained even more steam two years ago. This was thanks to celebrities who displayed and rhapsodized the undercut in its various forms. Today, it remains one of the most sought-after styles, notoriety aside, due to its versatility, ease of wear and some would say an unparalleled swag factor.

1. Undercut with side quiff

undercut hairstyle side quiff
Rake product upward and outward to create height.

Blended with a slight downwards taper, this style incorporates two trends in one: the undercut and a fun quiff at the hairline. One of the more wearable versions due to the fading and slightly mussed-up feel at the crown, it’s a trendy, boyish take on this look and is popular with the model-off-duty set. Style with a clay or putty, like Axe Signature Spiked Up Look: Styling Putty, to maximize texture.


2. Undercut with clipping


undercut hairstyles side clippings
Side clippings, even the most minimal, can upgrade the most no-nonsense of undercuts and fades.

A high and tight fade is one of the best ways to showcase some cool hair clippings or designs on your whitewalled (shaven) sides. Ask your barber for something distinctive, yet minimal near the hairline to keep it fresh but still professional.

3. Slicked-back undercut

undercut hairstyle slick back
Surprisingly versatile, the slick-back also hides any bald spots too.

The classic of all classics, tell your boys this is literal street style right here. Ask your barber to leave at least four inches of hair at the top for a length that can neatly be slicked back à la scallywag—or you know, to keep hair out of your face while typing out reports in your cube.

4. Comb-over undercut

undercut hairstyle comb over
Comb-over undercuts are best when shiny, but not greasy.

Made for the dapper dudes out there, the comb-over is the good brother of the slicked-back undercut. Simply run a comb lengthwise on your natural part and comb hair away to each side towards the ear. Use a gel or pomade, such as Dove Men+Care Defining Pomade, for a glossy look to play up the retro vibe, or a matte version for a less vintage feel.


5. Undercut with pompadour

undercut hairstyle pompadour
Up and at ’em: The modern-day undercut pomp is lower and less greasy than its predecessor. Photo credit: Dvora

Another hip 2-in-1, the definitive pompadour cut gets updated with shaven sides. This look starts out as your regular top-heavy undercut, but with a slight fade where the tops are styled with a 1950s greaser wave. A

6. Fauxhawk undercut

undercut hairstyle fauxhawk
How to work it for work? Gel that fauxhawk back at an angle.

Either you’re trying to relive that CBGB life or you have a killer facial structure to pull this off, because this style is definitely not for the regular Joes of the world. Cop this confidence-booster by asking your barber for a high fade that tapers both at the sides and towards your parietal ridge, and relatively shorter hair on top (around three inches). Use a blowdryer and some mousse on damp hair for more volume and create your faux hawk.

7. Knotted undercut

undercut hairstyle top knot brown
The top knot: Nifty for keeping your hair away from your face on off days.

It’s the style du jour of busy-slash-peacocking celebrities and sports heartthrobs everywhere. The top knot or man bun with an undercut is a pretty handy way to keep your long hair out of your face on off days, or even grow the style out if ever you decide that you’re over it. Make sure hair is at least six inches long before knotting to avoid pressure on your scalp.

8. The Caesar undercut

undercut hairstyle caesar cut
A fringe by any other name: The Caesar bowl cut features a short bang at the forehead. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Famous during the ’90s (aside from, well, Ancient Rome), the Caesar bowl cut gets a 2016 revamp with a high and tight fade on the sides and back. The top lengths, which are normally left to an inch short, can be left to grow up to three inches and styled flat on the hairline for a masculine fringe effect (Yes, boys can get bangs too.)

9. Curly top

undercut hairstyle curly platinum hair
Take advantage of all that texture with the proper cream. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Guys with wavy or naturally curly hair shouldn’t be averse to trying an undercut hairstyle. It looks equally interesting worn with curly textures! Emphasize the hip, modern feel of your undercut by asking for a taper on the sides and styling the tops by simply following your natural texture as you dry. Run a softening product on your curls, such as Axe Natural Look: Softening Cream, and blast your hair with a blowdryer, finger-styling to refine.


10. Floppy long bangs

undercut hairstyle floppy long bangs
Pretty boy swag: Have your bangs trimmed to ear-length to keep things neat. Photo credit: Dvora

We’ve been seeing a lot of gentlemen rocking this major undercut hairstyle. It’s a throwback to the ’90s, but with a cool twist: a sexy mid-fade. This undercut hairstyle variation also an awesome way to show off that full, bouncy head of hair.

11. Silver Strands

undercut hairstyle silver
Silver is the new black.

Get it on the silver hair strand and pair it with an edgy undercut for a super fresh look.

12. Major Volume

undercut hairstyle major volume
Get it on the volume.

Amp up the volume on your strands and pair your undercut with a voluminous style.

13. Classic Pompadour

undercut hairstyle pomp
It’s a classic for a reason.

You can’t go wrong with a classic pompadour!

14. Voluminous Waves

undercut hairstyle voluminous waves
Embrace your natural texture.

Embrace your natural texture and show off your wavy strands.

15. Subtle Highlights

undercut hairstyle highlights
Opt for a subtle color story.

Add some subtle color to your strands and draw even more attention to your edgy undercut.

Are you thinking about trying out one of these undercut hairstyles? Be sure to snap a picture and tag us @AllThingsHairUS!

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