How To Style Undercut: Top 20 Best And Most Handsome Undercut Hairstyles For Men
How To Style Undercut: Top 20 Best And Most Handsome Undercut Hairstyles For Men
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The undercut is a hairstyle that was fashionable from the 1910s to the 1940s, predominantly among men, and saw a steadily growing revival in the 1980s before becoming fully fashionable again in the 2010s. Typically, the hair on the top of the head is long and parted on either the side or center, while the back and sides are buzzed very short. It is closely related to the curtained hair of the mid-to-late 1990s, although those with undercuts during the 2010s tended to slick back the bangs away from the face.

Here is how you can style your undercut, and top 20 best and most handsome undercut hairstyles for men in 2022.

What Is The Undercut Haircut?

You may see this cut everywhere, but what is an undercut exactly? First of all, these haircuts for men involve the length contrast: the sides and top are of different lengths. The top is always left longer, and the sides, as well as the back, are razored or buzzed. As for the overall length of your cut, it can range from short to long, but originally this cut comes in a short-to-medium style.

History of Undercut

The "undercut" hairstyle can be dated back to the days of Vikings, however this style shaved the back of the head with long bangs, not the sides. The purpose was to cool the neck and keep the sun out of the eyes, with the neck also shaven while maintaining a pointy beard on the top. Some Native Americans wore a similar style.

Historically, the undercut has been associated with poverty and inability to afford a barber competent enough to blend in the sides, as on a short back and sides haircut. From the turn of the 20th century until the 1920s, the undercut was popular among young working-class men, especially members of street gangs. In interwar Glasgow, the Neds (precursors to the Teddy Boys) favored a haircut that was long on top and cropped at the back and sides. Despite the fire risk, much paraffin wax was used to keep the hair in place. Other gangs who favored this haircut were the Scuttlers of Manchester and the Peaky Blinders of Birmingham, because longer hair put the wearer at a disadvantage in a street fight.

During the jazz age of the 1920s and 1930s, hairstyles of this type were considered mainstream fashion. Military barbers of the World War I era gave short back and sides haircuts as fast as possible because of the numbers, under orders to facilitate personal hygiene in trench warfare, and as nearly uniform as possible, with an eye to appearance on parade. This made the short back and sides style the norm in the UK after 1918, and its variant the brush cut became common in North America and France. In Nazi Germany, a version of this haircut which was long on top but shaved at the back and sides was popular among Wehrmacht officers. The undercut remained common in the UK and America until the 1960s, when longer hair such as the wings haircut was popularised by the mod subculture and British Invasion bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

In the early years, Turkish women made the decision to get an undercut to prevent lice.

Beginning in the late 1980s, centrally parted undercuts derived from the bowl cut made a comeback among fans of new wave, synthpop, and electronic music as an alternative to the mullets and backcombed hair of glam metal bands. A collar-length version of the haircut, known as curtained hair, went mainstream in the early 1990s and was worn by many celebrities, most notably Tom Cruise. Another variant, with a floppy permed fringe, was known as the "meet me at McDonald's haircut" due to its popularity among fast food workers during the 1980s.

Curtained hair and undercuts went out of style in the early 2000s, but underwent a revival in the early 2010s among hipsters and skaters who imitated the 1930s and 1940s version: longer with pomade in or swept to one side on top and shaved or clipped at the sides. At the time, although the style had many different names, the most controversial were the "Hitler Youth", "Jugend", and "fasci". Some of the most high-profile early adopters of this haircut included Macklemore, Kim Jong Un, David Beckham, and Win Butler.

During the late 2000s and early 2010s, undercuts were often associated with villainous movie characters such as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, Johnny Depp's portrayal of gangster John Dillinger, Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad, Guy Pearce in Lawless, and various German officers in war films. Characters from television series such as Jimmy Darmody on HBO's Boardwalk Empire and various characters from the BBC series Peaky Blinders were also associated with the undercut. By 2014, the haircut had become relatively mainstream in the UK and was worn by people not normally associated with the indie scene, such as reality television stars from shows like The Only Way Is Essex.

During the late 2010s, the American and Israeli press associated the undercut with alt-right agitators such as the American white supremacist Richard Spencer or the British far-right and anti-Islam activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) and with neofascist supporters seeking a less intimidating alternative to the buzzcut.

In some Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, the undercut is considered controversial and in breach of Islamic teachings governing hairstyles. According to the Ḥadīth literature, the Islamic prophet Muhammad forbade traditional Pagan Arab haircuts that were long on top but shaved on the sides as makruh.

In the early 2020s, the middle parted undercut is coming back due to the 'E-boys' subculture on the social media network TikTok. Although, in the UK, middle parted undercuts (curtains) have been popular in the Irish Traveller community for years.

What Face Shape Work Well?

Photo: Men's Haircuts
Photo: Men's Haircuts

When speaking of classic variations of men’s undercuts, square and diamond-like faces are the perfect match for the cut. Since it has a minimalist and smooth silhouette, it will balance out the angular facial features of such face shapes, making them look less sharp. But let’s don’t forget that undercuts can be different. That means some blended or seamless options for men with round or oblong faces can create the needed smoothness to their faces too.

How To Give Yourself An Undercut

While it is always advisable to find a good hairdresser to do your undercut, there is a way of trying out the style yourself at home; just make sure to have some good quality hair trimmers to hand.

Then tie up any or pin back hair you want to remain longer, making sure that the section left to cut is in a neat line at the same height around the head.

Next, take your hair trimmers and carefully trim the hair you want to cut, working from the neck upwards. Use a mirror or ask a friend to help with trickier sections around the back.

Will an Undercut Suit You?

In short, yes. Of course, you have your own unique hair type, facial structure, head shape, beard preferences. And, you operate within various social and business settings. That said, there are definitely one or more undercut variations that can be adapted to fit the look you want to go for.

There is no single face shape that works best for every undercut hairstyle. The key to choosing the right look is to be aware of your natural features. For example, soft vs. angular, round vs. long, small vs. large forehead, small vs. square jaw, etc.

Before selecting a hairstyle, check out models who have a similar look to yourself. Once you have made your choice, ask your hairstylist for their honest opinion on what adjustments, if any, should be made to better cater to your unique characteristics.

The Keys to Success with an Undercut Hairstyle

We’ve given you a lot to digest in this article, so let’s review how to take action toward getting an undercut hairstyle that will take your look to the next level.

1. Know What You Want

Before making an appointment with your favourite barbershop or hairdresser, it’s important to be clear on exactly what you want. Make sure you can describe it and find a photo to show your hairstylist.

2. Be Open to Making Adjustments

When you sit down and start talking to your stylist, don’t take the approach of giving them orders. Tell them what you want, but also ask for their opinion and advice. After all, this is their speciality, and they may see opportunities for refinement to your preferred look that you aren't aware of.

3. Watch, Learn and Ask

The cut is the foundation. Next, your stylist will use one or more hair products and techniques to set the look. Be sure to watch how they do it and ask if you need clarification. Find out what they recommend in terms of products that will fit your hair type and your chosen style.

4. Maintenance

Your hair is going to grow. However, many undercut hairstyles require real skill to cut. Rather than trying to do touch-ups at home with your clippers, it might make sense to regularly drop by your barbershop for maintenance trims. The frequency will depend on how fast your hair grows and the style you’ve chosen.

The Modern Undercut

The undercut continues to lead trends in popular men’s hairstyles to modern-day. If you’re a Hollywood fan, you have probably seen almost every A-list actor sporting an undercut at one time or another. In recent years, the likes of Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Zak Efron, and more have rocked undercuts in blockbuster movies.

Disconnected Undercut

Visually, the disconnected undercut makes a bold statement. As you might have guessed, the term “disconnected” refers to the length of the hair on top of the head being vastly different from the hair on the sides. In other words, the transition from the longer hair on top to the short hair on the sides is abrupt rather than gradual. This is an aggressively eye-catching style that can work well with a hipster aesthetic.

The disconnected undercut hairstyle is characterized by a sharp contrast between the very short or shaved sides and longer hair on top. This disconnection can be reinforced with a hard part or shaved side part. Disconnected undercut hairstyles have evolved over the years.

To get the mens disconnected undercut, your hair should be long enough to achieve the desired effect. Make sure that you have at least 2 inches on top of your head to make the contrast between the top and side hair striking. Use the clippers to give the hair on your sides a classic undercut. As for the hair on top, you don’t need to cut it at all – just brush it back and it’s done. What actually creates the contrast is the pompadour blended with the quiff.

Fade Haircuts—Low and High Fades

Fade haircuts are generally much shorter and may use fading down to the skin at any point. This has the effect of minimizing the hairline. The more you search men's undercut hairstyles, you'll notice that the fade is a popular trend.

Low fade undercut hairstyles add charm and good vibes to every personality. They are suitable for any scene from the office to parties. They look particularly striking with hair on top that is either long or medium in length. You will notice a visual effect that makes the hair look higher in volume.

Many men prefer the sleeker high fade haircut. It is distinguished where the fade line starts and how strongly the cut is tapered. Some prefer their fades to be cut down to the skin for a high bald fade. Meanwhile, others ask for a high taper fade. In any case, a high fade is a stylish cut that you can combine with a short, medium, or long hairstyle on top. The high fade can work well with a pompadour, side part, quiff, comb-over, and fauxhawk hairstyles.

Undercut with Beard

Whether you're clean-shaven, sporting a full beard, or somewhere in between, there is an undercut hairstyle that will complement your personal aesthetic. How you groom your beard will strongly influence your overall look, so be sure to keep that in mind when choosing an undercut hairstyle.

How To Maintain The Undercut Hairstyle

Like most hairstyles that feature short cuts, an undercut requires regular upkeep. However, if you are okay with the way your hairstyle develops when the hair grows out, you can leave it like that. Yet, to touch it up, it is better to visit a hairstylist as often as once per month. In case you want your cut to look the same, you need to ask the barber to cut your hair all-over. If you want to get a more contrasty look, such as a disconnected undercut, for example, ask the barber to trim the back and sides only.

Top 20 Best and Most Handsome Undercut Hairstyles for Men?

1. Undercut Mohawk

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

An undercut mohawk hairstyle is for every bold, daring, and fun-loving guy to try on at least once in their life. The haircut is by some people still seen as something that belongs to the punk world, but this hairstyle can be very flattering and it can look really good.

If you’re a lover of the mohawk haircut, but concerned about how it will be perceived, know that an undercut makes it much more acceptable in a variety of settings. Some men even go for a cool fauxhawk because the sides are short but not shaved.

2. Slick Back Undercut

Photo: Mens Haircuts
Photo: Mens Haircuts

An undercut can work with all hair types, but it appears particularly sleek with straight locks. So, if your hair is straight, consider having it cut into an undercut and slicking your hair back with pomade or gel. Not only will the style appear sharp and dapper, but the undercut will also add interest to your look without the need for any texture. As a bonus, it’ll also make your morning routine seriously simple.

An undercut slick back haircut is a male cut that implies shaving off the hair on the sides and brushing the elongated top toward the back of the head. As it looks polished and refined, a slicked back hair undercut is suitable for any occasion. This and many other benefits have made it one of the most popular mens hairstyles.

However, swept back hair has not always been popular among all men across the world. Initially, hipster barbers made it their signature haircut. Yet, after a while, celebrities, singers, sportsmen and other influential people popularized it globally. Modern slicked back undercut can be pulled off on any hair texture, from straight to coily.

When the barber has given you one of the mens haircut styles that can be slick back, it’s time to arm yourself with a bunch of grooming tools that will make the process of styling slicked back hair effortless – a high-grade pomade, a styling mousse, a blow-dryer and a non-pulling comb. They will also come in handy for any other popular haircuts for men should you decide to upgrade your hairstyle again. Depending on the finish and hold you want, the type of pomade will vary. For wavy or dense hair, opt for a styling product with a strong hold. If you’re after a natural and textured finish, go with a matte pomade.

3. Side Part Undercut

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

For a simultaneously sophisticated and edgy appearance, you should consider rocking a side part undercut. Combining the sharp contrast of an undercut with the smart style of a side part, this haircut is perfect for modern gents. For a daring take on the look, opt for a disconnected undercut. Or, if you prefer a more subtle appearance, stick to a classic undercut with a little bit of length on the sides.

To style their side swept hair men should stock up on a strong hold hair styling product. This guarantees that your long top will stay in place. Also, similar to a disconnected undercut side swept one should be voluminous on top. So, make sure to choose products that will allow you to create an ample volume. You will need to apply your product of choice to your locks and distribute it evenly with a comb. Then, you should flip them to one side so that the hairstyle looks asymmetrical. Finish off with either tousling the strands or smoothing them.

4. Undercut Blowout

Photo: Haircut Inspiration
Photo: Haircut Inspiration

One of the great things about an undercut is that it leaves you free to style the hair on top of your head however you want. A blowout, for example, is but one excellent style to try with the cut. To achieve a perfect blowout, wash your hair and dry it lightly with a towel. Then, blow-dry your hair, directing strands up and back with the aid of a round brush. Then, use pomade or gel to add shape before finishing with hairspray.

Many blowouts radiate from the center of the hairline, but this isn’t one of them. With the long top hair all leaning towards one side, the result is an incredibly unique, angular style.

5. Temple Undercut

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

Not quite ready to completely chop off the underside of your hair? That’s no problem. You can always opt for a temple undercut. Unlike a regular undercut, a temple undercut features shorter hair only around the temples. As such, any hair behind the ears and at the back of the head is left long like the top. The result is a uniquely stylish appearance that’s subtle yet eye-catching.

6. Grey Hair Undercut

Photo: Haircut Inspiration
Photo: Haircut Inspiration

It’s not just young gents that can look great with an undercut. Many silver-haired men can also look awesome with this sleek and stylish cut, provided that they have the confidence to pull it off. So, if you have grey hair and are looking for a fashionable new haircut, consider asking your barber for an undercut. The look is sure to boost your appearance and turn heads. Then, just pair it with a sophisticated slick back to ensure your overall look is polished and appropriate.

7. Men’s Undercut Fade: Styled Two Ways

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

A perfect demonstration of just how versatile this haircut can be when it comes to styling. Here we have one haircut styled in two very different ways. On the left the hair has plenty of volume created by a blow dryer. If you have thick hair like this guy use a stronger hold pomade and style the hair front to back into a slicked back look. On the right, the textured hair has been styled back to front into a messy crop look. Two cool hairstyles for men! This modern take is called an undercut fade.

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8. Undercut with Comb-Over or Brushed Back

Photo: Gatsby
Photo: Gatsby

If you have medium length hair and are seeking a look with more volume than the slicked-back undercut, consider a comb-over or brushing your hair back. This flexible hairstyle can be adjusted to fit your taste. Depending on your hair type, styling wax or pomade will aid in keeping the volume of hair on top properly brushed back. You’ll be a man who is in demand.

Related: How to Style Men Undercut Hairstyle in Hottest Trends

9. Undercut Fringe

Photo: theYou
Photo: theYou

Undercut styles are highly popular these days. So, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, you may want to add a fresh element to your look. Fringes are a fantastic way to add a fashion-forward touch to your hairstyle. Whether your undercut is all over or confined to your temples, a fringe will be an excellent addition. Just ensure it suits your face before deciding to stick with it.

10. Curly Hair Undercut

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

If you have naturally curly hair, an undercut style can make an excellent option. Not only will this style show off your curls on top but it will also work to tame them. By shaving the sides and back of your hair for the undercut, all your natural volume and texture will be concentrated on top, creating a neat and smart appearance.

Related: How To Style Curly Hair Men And Top 10 Trends in 2022

11. Spiky Messy Undercut Hairstyle + Low Fade

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

A super cool haircut. This new men’s hairstyle is a mashup of several different looks. This haircut has longer textured hair on top that gives it a spiky messy look and is styled back to front into a crop hairstyle with longer fringe. Use a strong hold pomade in slightly damp hair to keep the choppy textures intact all day long. The messy undercut has been a super popular choice.

12. Short Undercut

Photo: Haircut Inspiration
Photo: Haircut Inspiration

Not all undercut hairstyles need to be partnered with long hair on top. If you’re rocking shaved sides, even a short length on the top of your head will offer a stylish contrast. So, if you like the look of an undercut but enjoy a subtle style, you should try a short undercut. However, be aware that without the weight that long hair provides, it can be challenging to get your hair on top to sit neatly back. As such, a short undercut is often best paired with a full style, such as a pompadour, or a forward-swept look.

13. Hard Part Undercut

Photo: Haircut Inspiration
Photo: Haircut Inspiration

Gents with an edgy attitude will love the combination of an undercut and hard part. While from far away this style may just look like another side-parted undercut, it is, in reality, much bolder up close. Featuring a shaved part, this undercut style is modern and statement-making. All you need to do is adjust the thickness of your part and the length of your undercut to suit how strong you want the look to appear.

14. Cool Disconnected Style + Long Fringe

Photo: Cool Men's Hair
Photo: Cool Men's Hair

This haircut is 100% COOL. Love this haircut by Mikey one of the most creative barber/stylists. Medium length thick wavy hair styled neatly on top with fringe hanging down to the eyes. Disconnected well-groomed beard looks amazing with this very cool men’s hairstyle. Hair is styled to one side and is a great looking modern comb over hairstyle.

Definitely a top pick of the bunch.

15. Pompadour Undercut

Photo: CoolMate
Photo: CoolMate

Channel the 1950s into your undercut with a voluminous, rockabilly pompadour. The pompadour works best with longer locks and brings a stylish and slick look to your length. Think along the lines of the slicked back version of this cut, but bigger and bolder. You’ll want to use a wet-look, strong-hold gel product and comb for the most accurate interpretation of the ‘50s look.

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16. Long Hair Undercut

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

For those looking to make a statement with their hairstyle, the long hair undercut offers just that. The combination of short sides with long, unrestrained hair on top makes for an eye-catching juxtaposition. The cut also brings a sense of style to a long-haired look that might otherwise appear unkempt and careless. Have your barber take some of the weight out of your hair when cutting to ensure your locks flow and keep the contrast looking distinct.

17. Half Pony Undercut

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

Perhaps you are looking to keep the long hair with your undercut but in a more restrained, modern context. The half-pony is still as popular as it has been for the past couple of years, and why wouldn’t it be? A half pony is an excellent option for hair in that awkward transitioning length, bringing an edgy but under-control look to your long locks.

Related: How to Style A Ponytail Haircut With New Ways

18. Side Swept Hair Undercut

Photo: Haircut Inspiration
Photo: Haircut Inspiration

The first step to harnessing a side-swept undercut is to ensure you have longer proportions up top, so the parting of the hair works well with the shorter sides of your haircut. The key to pulling off the side-swept undercut is to make sure that you’re parting your hair the right way, which differs for everyone. So, ensure that you’re choosing the best parting for your face. This is typically determined by which way your hair naturally falls.

19. Forward Swept Hair Undercut

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

Let’s get this straight, forward-swept hair does not necessarily equal a fringe. That said, a forward-swept look does bring a modern take on this haircut. This offers a neat look that works best with shorter hair. Use a matte hair product to add some interesting texture to this look. If it has been a while since your last fringe, opt for consistent length across the top, you will soon learn how and if it works with your face.

20. Layered Undercut


For something a bit different, a layered undercut is what you’ll want. This version of the cut is perfect for those who want to add fullness and depth to their hair from a visual perspective. By adding layers, you’ll visually amplify your locks, working to make the hair look voluminous. You should also determine to what degree you wish to layer your hair. To do so, you should start by asking your barber to cut shorter segments off your hair, and then proceed to take off longer portions if you like the way it suits your face.

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