The guide to getting the undercut right.
It’s the short-back-and-sides – but all grown up and with celebrity-endorsed cred by the ton. “Any guy can rock an undercut, from an accountant to a plumber,” says Brian Oosthuizen, owner of Cape Town chop shop Blokes Hair. “And it takes so little effort – wet or dry, just add product and take a few seconds to style and you’re good to go.” Master the style of the moment (as seen on everyone from a greying Brad Pitt to a newly platinum blond Adam Levine) with our tips on what to ask for when you’re in the chair and how to style your new do when you’re at home.
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“The length on the sides is completely up to you,” says Ooshuizen. “Decide how long or short you want the sides and how much contrast you want between the sides and top.” This is where the undercut shows the versatility that has kept it a perennial favourite among guys – you could get one side shaved closer than the other with a disconnected undercut (Levine opted for this), scalp-level buzzed (like Macklemore) or go the traditional route of evenly shaved sides that blend into the longer top locks (just like Beckham).
How to cut it? “The undercut should be divided just above the temple area to create that perfect balance between long and short. Taking it any higher or lower wouldn’t make for a good-looking style,” advises Ooshuizen.
Now for the final touch. “Product wise, depending on a wet or a natural look, guys should be using a heavy wax with great hold. Hold is important with undercuts – you don’t want your hair flopping from side to side. It should stay back all day,” says Oosthuizen. Thick hair wears the style best, but if your mane is on the thinning side, blast it with a hairdryer for a minute to work in some volume (flat, lifeless hair is never going to be cool). Then, simply warm a thumbnail-sized blob of product between your palms and work into your hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to guide your hair into the final style.
For a matt finish, try: Redken Firm Grasp Texturising Clay
For a wet-look finish, try: V05 Sports Gel