A classic undercut has a long and colorful history: from simple undercut designs in the past to popularised by different TV shows and celebrities, modern dope haircuts.
Indeed, the undercut style is sometimes referred to as “Fashy Haircut” or “Hitler Hair”, protagonists sportive aggressive haircuts inspired by the Peaky Blinders BBC series, a Viking haircut. Not to mention Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Justin Bieber, or Zayn Malik undercuts – these are just a few of the many celebrities we associate with various undercut styles.
So, what is an undercut? And why do such different characters and personalities chose and choose it?
Probably, it’s because the undercut haircut is distinctive and sophisticated: the high contrast structure is really memorable, it goes hand in hand with classics, which guarantees it to keep up with the fashion no matter how it changes.
It can be quite short and extremely long. But no matter whether you go for 2-inch hair, 4-inch hair, or 10-inch hair, it’s still fairly easy to style and maintain.
All the endless variations of men's undercut, tips for styling, and lots of inspiration are already packed for you in this recently created guide:
What Is An Undercut Haircut?
In a nutshell, the undercut haircut is a short to medium-length hairstyle with contrasting extremely short sides and a longer top.
The sides and back are usually buzzed in a high skin fade (however, fade variations are possible). As for the crown, it also allows for multiple options to every taste: sometimes hair naturally falls, sometimes it’s short and spiky, sometimes guys disconnect their faux hawk with a blow dryer, or on the contrary, slick it back in a decent manner adding a distinctive hard part.
The basic idea of the sharp contrast between the top and sides probably is the secret of its success and incredible popularity throughout the decades.
Indeed, it’s believed that the first men’s undercut hairstyle dates back to Edwardian Britain. In the 20th century, working-class men could barely afford a capable barber and get a clean tapered fade – thus, they just had their sides buzzed. Later, a shaved undercut became a hallmark of criminals and gangs, and in the 80s and 90s, the top section was altered being styled into a fringe or curtains.
And the variety of styles you can get with a classic undercut keeps growing every day. Today, your choice can vary from a basic Nick Jonas’s clean undercut to a mindblowing Zayn Malik undercut with color hair and a complete mess.
Undercut Hairstyles Variations
As we’ve already mentioned, modern undercut hairstyles allow for multiple styling opportunities, work for different hair lengths, hair texture. Here are some of the most popular undercut hairstyle variations:
- Undercut Quiff
- Side Part Undercut
- Undercut with Fringe
- Undercut Mohawk
- Side Swept Undercut Hairstyle
- Hard Part Undercut
- Undercut Pompadour
- Messy Undercut
- Textured Curly or Wavy Undercut
- Men’s Undercut Fade
What Face Shapes Work Well?
Will an undercut suit you? Yes! If you consider your facial structure, head shape, and hair type when choosing your variation of an undercut. Also, you need to adapt the cut to fit the look you want to go for.
So, what undercuts will suit your face shape?
After you identify your face shape, check out this guide:
Oval Face Shape – Perfect Match
Ideally suited for undercuts of all types. A subtle undercut won’t ruin your balanced proportions… probably, no cut will.
Round Face Shape – Perfect Match
Thanks to the fact any undercut emphasizes the volume on top and visually elongates the face, it works great for round face shapes. The best undercut hairstyles are the ones with a distinctive hard side part.
Square Face Shape – Perfect Match
Strong features of the square face shape complement the angular style of the undercut. Avoid very sharp undercuts, though.
Diamond Face Shape – Good Match
An undercut can work for a diamond face shape only in case it’s sharp enough and not too textured. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a too angular, over-sharpened look with pronounced cheekbones.
Oblong Face Shape – Good Match
But still risky. Don’t go for tight sides – they will severely elongate your naturally oblong face even more. Try undercuts with minimal height of the top and consider a taper fade on the sides.
Triangle Face Shape – Good Match
Can be a good match – give it a try. But don’t play with long textured undercuts too much. Remember you need to offset the jawline.
Heart Face Shape – Incompatible
The risk is too high that your wide forehear will be accentuated with the tight sides even more. You can try some variation with a fringe but still can struggle to style an undercut in a win-win way.
How To Get The Undercut Hairstyle
Undercut styles are quite versatile and flexible when it comes to hair length. You don’t have to wait until your hair grows to a necessary length – any top from 2 to 6 inches works well to go and get it. But still, there are some general guidelines.
As for the sides, you can ask to shave them, buzz them as short as 1 inch, or go as long as 5 inches.
However, remember that the top should be longer than the sides in any case.
If you go to the barber, grab a picture or two with your goal undercut (you can find them below) so that the stylist exactly gets what undercut haircut you’re looking for.
And if you’re a risk-taker who wanna get a DIY hair undercut, here are some life hacks for you:
- make sure you’ve got a decent trimmer
- tie all the hair you don’t want to cut at the top with a band, clasps, or pins
- trim the sides from bottom up
- when finished with the sides, let the top fall naturally and decide whether or not you need to cut it, or just style it in the desired way.
How To Style An Undercut?
Like a fade, the undercut is just a detail of the entire hairstyle – and it’s completely up to you, what your final undercut variation will look like.
When styling a cool undercut, you should bear in mind that there has to be a strong, angular leap between the top and the sides – all the rest is flexible. So, let’s talk about different ways you can style the crown of your undercut hair style.
The first association that springs to mind when you hear “long hair undercut” is probably a smooth slicked back top with a glossy finish.
Another variation of a classic style for long or medium length hair is a pompadour undercut (smooth or disconnected), a side part, or a hard part.
As for more casual options, you can apply some texturizing products and sweep the hair up with fingers when using a blow dryer. If you have a fringe or a faux hawk, sweep it forward, to one side, or just disconnect it randomly, creating a slightly scruffy look with some hair pomade.
What you can do with a long undercut when going to the gym is to put it in a pony, top knot, a man bun, or braid. An undercut with beard and facial hair is also a nice way to go.
And also remember that with medium or long hair undercut, you should have a variety of the Best Hair Products For The Undercut Hairstyle to make it possible to style it in lots of different ways.
How To Maintain The Undercut?
As for the maintenance, an undercut haircut requires regular upkeep. It is the short sides and back firsthand that have to be trimmed regularly to maintain a fresh and clean undercut look.
In average, you’ll have to visit a barber not less than once a month to refresh the undercut fade and optionally touch up the top section.
Best Men’s Undercut Hairstyles
One of the most significant factors determining which undercut hairstyle will work for you is the length and style of the top section. So, we’ve worked really hard to provide you with this complete up-to-date guide on the most trending, diverse undercut haircut ideas for every request:
Brushed Back Taper Fade
Looking for a powerful, manly style that will show off your inner predator but also fit in the office dress code? Search no more – a brushed-back thick hair undercut with a clean high fade is exactly what you need.
Slicked back Undercut + Medium Skin Fade
A slicked-back undercut is probably the most recognizable and predictable variation of a long hair undercut. This smooth and rather simple style has become immensely popular in men’s hair fashion and men’s fashion overall. All you need to get that glossy shine of a slicked back undercut (which is a definite trademark of the style) is to apply some pomade, gel, or wax on the top and spread it evenly with a comb.
Undercut With Thick Waves
Textured hair is in a win-win position when it comes to medium and long hair undercuts. Use your length and texture to create a striking memorable look with lots of volume, movement, and a slight disorder. Exaggerate the natural properties of your wavy hair and nobody will forget your faded undercut, for sure!
Undercut + Brushed Up Fohawk
A fohawk aka faux hawk is another favorite of guys who wear classic undercut hairstyles. In this style, the hair gradually becomes longer when moving from the vertex to the forehead, and the fringe is upswept in a sophisticated manner. It’s easier to construct such a fohawk on naturally thick hair. Thin hair will require a texturizing product or some dry shampoo to keep the desired shape.
Side Part Undercut
Side part undercut hairstyles for men are timeless. Short or long, with or without a hard part, smooth or disconnected – they always make the necessary effect and allure everyone around. And if you breathe new life into a classic side-swept undercut with a couple of dramatic and edgy hard parts and facial hair, you’ll just throw this look to the brand new level of excellence!
The undercut haircut keeps leading trends in popular men’s hairstyles due to its adaptability and flexibility. This, modern undercut can be literally whatever you wanna see it. Even if you have short hair, you’ve got all the chances to shine bright with your pretty ordinary short hair undercut if you play with the colors and shapes in a bold way.
Disconnected Undercut Pompadour with Tram Line
A disconnected undercut hairstyle means that the length of the hair on top of the head is vastly different from the hair on the sides. Indeed, the transition from the longer hair on top to the short hair on the sides of this pompadour undercut is abrupt rather than gradual. Another aggressively eye-catching detail is the tram line, giving the whole image some hipster aesthetic.
Textured Quiff with Undercut
When you choose a textured finish over a slicked back one, you also opt for the most noticeable and dramatic variations of the medium or long hair undercut. The hair on top is messed up and disconnected from the faded sides with a hard part. What adds extra juice to the look is that nicely groomed beard and mustache with a skin fade.
Side Part Undercut with Beard
No matter if you're clean-shaven, wearing a full beard, or somewhere in between, you’re guaranteed to find the undercut hairstyle that will balance your face shape, highlight your facial features, and complement your personal aesthetic. How you groom your undercut with beard will strongly affect your overall look, so make sure you keep the balance of messy textured hair and a well-groomed beard, or vice versa.
Undercut Comb Over
If you wanna slightly modernize a trivial comb-over style, a faded undercut can be the way to go. With a fade undercut, you can use fading down to the skin at any point – it allows you to maximally adjust the style to your face and head shape.
Afro Undercut with Hard Part
It’s not a secret that thick black hair perfectly keeps any shape you want, so various flat-tops and angular high hairstyles are so common for guys with natural thicker hair. Here, you can see how creative and unique your rather short undercut style can be if you play with it a little bit. Isn’t this Afro undercut fade a piece of art?
Modern Asian Undercut for Fine Hair
Since Asian hair is naturally smooth and glossy, it’s better to keep the hair straight to emphasize that charming shine. You can style the hair on top into a smooth side-swept undercut with or without a hard part, or make a classic slick back undercut. Skin fade will also look win-win on dark Asian hair, creating a cool eye-catching contrast.
Long Textured Undercut with Clean Fade
Clean fade undercut hairstyles add charm, messy curls chopped with hair clippers add good vibes to every personality. Suitable for any occasion from the office to parties, this long textured curly hair undercut is disconnected into two parts with an edgy side hard part.
Undercut for Gents’ Long Hair
Long undercut hairstyles feature short sides with long hair on top, but an ordinary slicked back style is a way too predictable. Thus, if you’re looking for something really special, try spicing up the high skin fade with shaved-in design, and the long hair on top with a messy wavy texture (you can get such waves if you make several braids on slightly wet hair with texturizing product and let them dry).
Edgy High Skin Fade Undercut
This edgy short hair undercut with beard and a skin fade is the way to go for conservative men. Clean fade, forward-swept Caesar-inspired top, and a faded properly-groomed beard and mustache.
Undercut With Long Fringe
A long fringe greatly invests into a stylish mens undercut. With a long fringe, an undercut hairstyle can go in a variety of options. You can sweep it up and slightly backward, like in this photo, or wear it straight, side-swept, messy, voluminous, in a pompadour, or let it cover your forehead as a curtain.
Hidden Undercut + Long Hair
Such a hidden undercut for medium-length hair will work nicely for men with round or oblong faces. Just style it as a comb-over, or gently brush your hair back – adjust this flexible longer hair style to your taste and needs.
Spiky Messy Undercut Hairstyle + Low Fade
For those, who are sick of looking average and wearing casual slicked back undercuts, we’ve prepared this mind-blowing messy and spiky long undercut with high fade.
Side Swept Undercut Hairstyle
Even a short undercut hairstyle allows for choice: are you wild or dapper? With this side-swept thick hair cut, you’ll be a bit of both. By the way, this is also a cool undercut for men with a receding hairline too.
Undercut + Brush Back + Beard
Instead of making a flat slicked back style, consider giving your longer hair on top extra volume. Texturize the pompadour you get, at the back, add a spiked-up hawk. Next, work with the faded sides: curve them with a razor in a dramatic manner. The beard and mustache should also be groomed in line with this crazy undercut.
Undercut + Textured Pompadour + Hair Design
Here is another idea of how you can texturize your pompadour. The red highlights and shaved-in design on the sides are optional.
Loose, Curly Undercut
If you have a perm or naturally curly hair, leave your fringe longer and let it fall naturally to the forehead. Also, this photo is an awesome example of how else you can refresh a basic temple fade in undercut hairstyles for men.
Big, Loose Undercut
Blonde highlights are always a good idea for long, loose, straight hair on top of an undercut haircut.
If your hair is rather thick, and you’re not into hair experiments, then the undercut quiff is your cup of tea. To showcase the difference in length, blow dry the top section and slightly wrap it with a round brush. Even if you don’t, you’re going to look suave and stylish anyway.
Wavy Blonde Hair
Shorter hair undercut variations can feature wavy texture too. This and similar undercuts require less maintenance but offer a stylish and masculine look, especially if paired with the trending white color and a contrasting beard.
Brushed Up Mid Skin Fade
One of the great things about this faded undercut is that the top hair is styled in several directions. But it still leaves you free to alter your final look. To achieve this style, wash your hair and dry it lightly with a towel, then, use a blow dryer and direct the front strands up with a brush. Then, use pomade or gel and finish with hairspray.
Sharp Undercut with Subtle Line Up
A subtle lineup is exactly what grabs most of the attention in short undercut hairstyles. Just make sure you keep the undercut fade neat and clean – and a killing look is guaranteed.
Highlighted Fringe with Hard Parted Undercut
The colder shade of your blonde is, the sharper it’s gonna look on your dark hair if you cut it in a disconnected undercut. And if you also make it a texture undercut and add a smooth faded transition from the sides to the facial hair, your undercut fade will turn into a futuristic art installation.
Not all undercut hairstyles need to feature long hair on top. If you’re rocking skin shaved sides haircut for men, you can go with a maximally short length on the top. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance problem-free subtle style, here it is.
Man Bun Undercut Fade
A man bun undercut is often associated with an undercut viking haircut. This style can also look like a half pony. Whatever you choose, a man bun or a top knot is the most comfortable way to wear the long hair on top of your layered undercut.
Undercut and Low Fade
If we say “undercut fade”, you probably imagine a decent classic short undercut style. But, apparently, a low fade can go much further.
High Fade Undercut With Medium Textured Hair + Line Up
A high fade undercut can also be updated with an edgy detail at the back of the head. Combine a gradual fade on the sides and an angular sharp transition from the longer upper part to the shaved lower part at the back.
If you’re a lover of the mohawk haircut, but don’t wanna stand out too much with an excessively eccentric hairstyle, try a shaved sides long top undercut with spiky hair from the photo above.
Long Fringe Side Swept Undercut
For a silver fox, we’ve got a handsome side-swept undercut that carries a whole lot of attitude. The sides and back are trimmed neatly and short. The hard part turns it into an elegant asymmetrical look, which is bold and striking at the same time.
Undercut + Messy Comb Over + Shape Up
The disconnected undercut relies on a visual contrast between your hair on top and the shaved sides. A messy comb over creates a bold and striking appearance on top of naturally straight hair, which is ideal for fashion-forward gents. So, if you’re searching for a new look, sometimes it’s enough just to grab a styling product and rock a textured undercut instead of your typical boring slicked back one.
Angled Undercut with Thick Beard
An angled undercut doesn’t necessarily mean straight lines. Here is an idea of how creative you can be when personalizing your disconnected undercut hairstyle. The top of the cut is swept forward as in a Caesar cut, so this option will also serve for the guys with a receding hairline.
Undercut + Textured Angular Slick Back
The slicked-back smoothly swept undercut has been worn by men embodying the alpha-male archetype. This is a maximum contrast style, usually done on straight hair rather than on curly hair undercut. Any concerns? Bear in mind that the longer your top section is the more time and effort it will take to make it look appealing.
Hard Part Pompadour Undercut
To blow dry such a high slicked back pomp, you’ll need a stronghold hair product and a round brush. Also, a final touch with a hairspray is a must. The hard part and the geometric hairline make this disconnected undercut even more self-assured.
Undercut with Fringe
Undercut styles with all sorts of fringes and bangs are highly popular these days. So, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, you have to try adding this fresh element to your look. Fringes are a fantastic way to alter the style, visually balance the shapes, and it’s undoubtedly a fashion-forward touch to your hairstyle.
Long Top Undercut for Wavy Hair
This natural hair undercut will look nice even if you just wake up and do nothing with your longer crown. BUT only in case your natural hair texture is wavy or curly. In case it’s not, a styling wax should be your best friend forever.
Drop Fade Undercut for Curly Hair
If your hair is naturally kinky, a curly undercut style can make an excellent option. Shave the sides and back of your hair for the undercut, and dye all your natural volume and texture on top with eye-catching color to your liking.
Undercut with Thick Textured Spiky Hair
Here we go with another curly undercut idea for Afro curly hair. Nothing new, same upstyle, but who said it’s out of fashion?
And, finally, meet the classic undercut hairstyle for guys with short hair. Versatile and always appropriate, this classic fade haircut is simple but sophisticated. And it also works magic for most face shapes and hair types.
No doubt, the undercut hairstyle is one of the most iconic and stylish men’s hairstyles of all time. Hopefully, after checking out this article, you know exactly what you want and what photo will show when going to a barber next time.
Youthful and versatile, mens undercut styles work for thin hair, thick hair, curly hair, wavy hair, and straight hair.
Feel free to interpret your undercut haircut in many ways, using our top-notch guide.