How to Do an Undercut Design: Your Easy Step-by-Step Guide

The undercut is a hairstyle that allows both men and women to experiment with their look by adding an edge to their personal style.

Featuring shorter length on the sides or back, often buzzed with clippers, an undercut can be hidden or displayed depending on the length of the hair on top. It’s versatile enough to be paired with a variety of hairstyles, from pixie cuts to longer tresses, and adding a personalized design into the undercut can take this bold look a step further.

Today, we will talk about all aspects of how to do an undercut design, including preparing your hair and styling it afterward.

Key Takeaways

  • The undercut is a versatile hairstyle that combines short sides or back with a longer top
  • Proper preparation and understanding of the style are key to achieving a good undercut
  • Personalized designs in an undercut allow for a bold and unique fashion statement

Understanding the Undercut

The undercut hairstyle is a unique expression in the vast world of haircuts, characterized by its distinctive sections which offer a bold statement. It’s a versatile look, easily tailored to fit one’s personal style. Before we can talk about how to do an undercut design, we have to look at the history of the hair style.

History and Popularity

The undercut seems like a modern trend but actually dates back to the early 20th century, originating from the working-class areas of Edwardian Britain. It became associated with poverty and delinquency, which later was transformed into a symbol of edginess and independence. Over the years, the undercut has surged in popularity, adopted by various subcultures and fashion-forward individuals. It has become a mainstream haircut, loved for its ability to make a statement while being adaptable to different personal styles.

Types of Undercuts

Traditional Undercut: Typically, a traditional undercut involves short sides that are completely shaved or buzzed, while the top hair is left significantly longer.

Disconnected Undercut: This style takes the contrast further by making a sharp distinction between the long top hair and the extremely short or shaved sides. It’s bolder and more pronounced than the traditional undercut.

For Women:

  • Undercut Bob: A classic bob paired with shaved sides can turn an everyday style into a trendy statement
  • Undercut Pixie Cut: Combining a pixie cut with an undercut creates a chic and edgy look

For Men:

  • Undercut Mohawk: By shaving the sides and leaving a strip of longer hair from the forehead to the nape, the undercut mohawk is a nod to punk culture
  • Long Hair Undercut: Men with long hair might opt for an undercut to reduce bulk and add an unexpected edge to their flowing locks

Regardless of hair length or personal style, there’s an undercut out there that can elevate one’s hairstyle game, making it as unique as the individual sporting it.

Preparing for Your Undercut

When they’re ready to take the plunge into the world of undercuts, there are crucial steps one must follow to ensure the haircut turns out just as they envision.

Choosing the Right Salon & Stylist

Selecting the right salon and stylist is like finding a trusted ally in the hair transformation journey. They should look for a salon known for its expertise in contemporary haircuts with stylists who have a portfolio of undercut designs. It’s crucial that the stylist they choose understands exactly what they’re looking for. A good sign is if the stylist asks questions about their lifestyle and how much time they’re willing to dedicate to styling their undercut each day.

  • Qualities to look for in a stylist:
    • A portfolio showcasing experience with undercuts
    • Positive customer reviews
    • A willingness to discuss the person’s haircut vision in detail

Deciding on Length and Design

The undercut involves shaving part of the hair usually at the back or the nape of the neck, and they can choose to keep it simple or incorporate intricate patterns. Length plays a major role—they have to decide how short the buzzed area will be and if it complements the desired design. They shouldn’t shy away from bringing images or examples to clearly communicate their vision. The stylist can help them understand how the pattern will work with their hair texture and growth patterns.

  • Considerations for the undercut:
    • Length: Short buzz, medium fade, or long enough for a design
    • Design: Geometric shapes, lines, or custom patterns
    • How the design will evolve as the hair grows out

Executing the Undercut

When creating an undercut, the precision in sectioning and shaving is crucial, as is the creativity involved in adding a personalized design that aligns with one’s style and hair type.

Sectioning and Shaving Techniques

Before they dive in, they should define their undercut area. This is usually at the nape of the head or on the sides, depending on the desired style. Using clippers, they’ll carefully shave the sectioned-off area to the preferred length—ensuring evenness is key. For those tricky spots around the ears and neck, switching to a smaller trimmer helps in achieving a clean, sharp finish. It is always wise to start with a longer clipper guard and go shorter gradually to avoid cutting too much off.

Design Ideas and Techniques

Now comes the fun part—adding a design. The shaved space can be a canvas for a simple hair tattoo or more intricate patterns like zig-zags, stars, or flowers.

To create these designs, they should use the trimmer without a guard for precise lines. It’s helpful to sketch the design on paper first or start with lighter etches before committing deeper into the cut. For longevity and sharpness, they might go over the design a few times. It wouldn’t hurt to practice designs on other materials before approaching the hair; steady hands lead to cleaner lines.

Styling Your New Undercut

After crafting a sharp undercut, it’s not just about keeping it neat – it’s about making it your own. Whether they’re aiming for a laid-back look or a sleek, polished vibe, one can achieve their desired style with the right approach and products.

Maintaining the Undercut

To keep an undercut looking its best, regular trims are essential, usually every 3-4 weeks to maintain the shape. Between salon visits, one should clean up the edges around the ears and neck.

  • For thick hair: They might need to thin out the top for a balanced look
  • For natural curls: Embrace the texture; curls add personality to the longer section

Styling Products

The type of product they select can dramatically alter the appearance and feel of their undercut.

  • For a sleek look: Pomade is their go-to
    • How to apply: A small amount worked through damp hair, styled with a comb
  • For versatile hold: Wax offers a stronghold without stiffness
    • How to apply: Warm it between their hands, then work it through dry hair for texture
  • For added volume: A spray can be ideal
    • How to apply: Spritz at the roots of longer hair on top and use fingers to tousle

Showcasing Your Undercut

The right styling can transform an undercut from a cool, edgy feature into the surprise element of one’s look. From keeping it hidden beneath flowing locks for an everyday style to letting it take center stage with an updo for special occasions, an undercut’s versatility allows one to switch up their appearance with relative ease.

Everyday Looks

For day-to-day life, one can showcase their undercut in subtle ways that hint at their daring side. They might let a part of it peek out when tucking hair behind the ear or choosing hairstyles that play with asymmetry. Braids, for instance, offer a brilliant method to both reveal and conceal the undercut depending on the braid’s positioning and tightness.

Here’s a simple way to incorporate an undercut into everyday hairdos:

  • Side-swept hair: Sweep hair to one side to subtly display the undercut
  • Tight ponytail: Pull hair into a high ponytail to reveal the undercut beneath

Special Occasions

When one wants their undercut to make a bold statement, special occasions are the perfect time to go all out.

An updo hairstyle ensures the hidden undercut is suddenly the star of the show. This works splendidly for events like parties or gallery openings where one’s bold sense of style is celebrated.

Highlighting an undercut with special designs carved into it can also be a fun way to add an extra layer of edge to the look.

Here are some signature styles for showcasing an undercut when the situation calls for something outstanding:

  • Bun or top knot: Elevate hair into a high bun to display the undercut dramatically
  • Twisted updo: Twist hair into an intricate updo, strategically placing twists to expose the undercut

These styles allow someone to surprise and captivate, making the once-hidden undercut a conversation piece.