Home Men's Hair The Undercut: A Modern Classic That Elevates Your Look – Learn How To Get This Hairstyle In 2023

The Undercut: A Modern Classic That Elevates Your Look – Learn How To Get This Hairstyle In 2023

by Triston Brewer
Zayn Malik's Blonde Undercut

Listen up, gents. If you’re itching for a fresh cut that’s equal parts clean and edgy, you’re in the right place. The undercut is that rare bird in men’s hairstyling: it’s versatile, low-maintenance, and damn good-looking. Whether you’re sporting a military buzz or managing a mane of curls, the undercut has got your back—or should I say, your head? In this no-nonsense guide, you’ll get the lowdown on killer undercut styles and even some tips on DIY-ing this look, if you’re feeling brave.

Nailing the Undercut

Sure, your neighborhood barber is your go-to for all things hair. But for those of you willing to take the wheel, here’s how to carve out your own undercut.

Tools of the Trade

Before you go Edward Scissorhands on your hair, gear up. First on your shopping list should be a quality electric razor. Look for one with adjustable settings, especially if you’re gunning for a fade undercut as opposed to a disconnected one.

Next, arm yourself with a pair of sharp hair scissors and a fine-tooth comb. Got hair that dries out quicker than a smartphone battery? Keep a spray bottle of water handy to keep those locks manageable.

Prep and Finish

Before you dive in, get that hair squeaky clean with a solid shampoo. Once you’ve hacked away and are satisfied with your new look, a high-quality hair wax or clay is your final touch for that matte finish or extra shine, depending on your vibe.

There you have it—a comprehensive guide to leveling up your look with an undercut. Stick around for more tips and hacks that’ll keep you ahead of the game.

Military Undercuts for Men

If you’re into simple, unfussy cuts that still have a unique style, then one of the shortest undercuts for men might be right up your street. The military undercut takes shaved sides to the extreme, leaving the hair on the top of your head basking in the spotlight. It’s a fairly intense style, but you can play around with the length to create different contrasts if you want something a little more subtle.

This undercut stands out the most, and you need to have your sides shaved rather than trimmed, making sure the undercut is as short as possible. You can then keep your top short or let it grow out into a long, sweeping fringe. This cut does require a decent amount of upkeep, as you need to keep the sides as short as possible, so if you’ve got a steady hand, getting yourself an electric razor might save you money off the barbers.

Pompadour Undercuts for Men

If the really short undercut isn’t for you then ignore the military side of things and opt for the classier undercut and pompadour style. The pompadour comes in many styles, but the thing that stays the same is, of course, the statement swept back middle. You can make this as bold or subtle as you want, adding wax or hairspray to help add some volume or keeping it neat and classic by smoothing it down with a good hair clay.

Generally, when it comes to a pompadour undercut, you want to keep the sides at a manageable buzzcut length, never going for a bald look like you might with a military cut, while keeping the rest of the hair smoothed back. If your hair does happen to fall out of place, however, you can easily run with it, creating a side swept undercut that has a less structured look. 

Side Part Undercuts for Men

If you want to create something a little different with your undercut, then an undercut side parting is a possible option. Undercuts hairstyles for men don’t generally have side partings, so adding one to the mix is a good way of separating yours from the crowd.

Unlike most side partings, that can sometimes create a slightly uneven balance, a side parting with an undercut simply adds in a clean line and helps to direct the hair more easily. If you want to go for this style, your side parting will need to be cut in to ensure that the hair falls properly while still achieving a clean, eye-catching look. You can also try out a side part undercut with a fade, which tapers the edge of the parting to create a softer, less blunt finish.  

This is a great undercut for long hair as you can opt for a clean sweep of hair on one side, and counter-act this with short cropped hair on the other. The cut in parting then helps to separate the two sides and make the striking contrast look intentional.  

Curly Undercuts for Men

Curly, wavy or just dense hair can be a challenge to control, but the right haircut can really make a difference. Men’s undercut hairstyles tend to focus on straight hair, but, although cutting thick hair short can have its drawbacks, an undercut with curly hair can actually work pretty well.

On top of that, a curly hair undercut can be customised to work with the texture of your hair. If you’ve got hair that only curls when there’s a lot of it, there are plenty of long hair undercuts for men that can work with this. If your hair works better in a short style, that will work as well, and you can create less of a contrast by adding some length to your undercut. 

Messy, Textured Undercuts for Men

When it comes to short haircuts for men, a lot of the time it’s how you style it that can really make an impact on the look. A messy undercut that focuses on texture and hold, rather than length and hair type, and is easily achieved with the right products. If you’ve got thin or straight hair then a light wax is enough to create a textured look, while coarse, thick hair might need a clay or heavy duty hairspray to give it dimension.

This is the ideal cut for those of you who don’t want the neatness of the military undercut but might not have the waves to create some of the curly hairstyles. If your hair is easy to manage then you can add in extra details such as shaved in patterns, a short back and sides fade, or even just a fringe to help create a unique look.

The Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Undercutting

Look, if you’re thinking of doing this yourself, caution and precision are key.

  1. Preliminary Trim: Use your scissors to snip off any excess length from the top. This makes it easier to work with.
  2. Sectioning: Use the fine-tooth comb to section off the hair you want to keep long.
  3. Clipping: Start with a higher guard setting on your electric razor for the initial pass. You can always go shorter.
  4. Detailing: Drop down to a lower guard setting for the edges, and make sure to keep them clean.
  5. Finishing Touches: Once you’re done with the major cutting, style the top as you like. Apply a bit of hair wax or clay for hold and texture.

Maintenance and Aftercare

You’ve got the cut. Now keep it looking fresh. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you’ll need touch-ups every 2-4 weeks. Also, invest in a solid conditioner to keep the top part lush and healthy. A light dab of hair oil can add that extra sheen, if that’s what you’re into.

So there you have it—your ultimate guide to owning the undercut. It’s more than just a hairstyle; it’s a statement. Now go make yours.

On That Note

Male hairstyles aren’t always that exciting, but an undercut is something that won’t let you down and can easily add some interest to your look, regardless of what hair type you’re dealing with. A long undercut for men can work for curly, coarse hair, while a short, textured one can be perfect for straight hair that needs some more dimension.

Think about how much work you want to put into styling, and what style is going to compliment your hair before you head to the barbers. While there’s an undercut for everyone, but you want to make sure you’re picking the right one first time.

Feature image from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zayn_Wiki_(cropped).jpg

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