Today you’re going to see one of the best (Best for multiple reasons its stylish, versatile, and easy!) and my favorite of the men’s short hairstyles:
The short quiff/undercut.
First, I will show you the style and discuss why it is one of the most popular hairstyles for men in 2017.
Then, and this is the really special part…
….rather than just showing you some pictures, like almost every other men’s style website will do, I will walk you through every step you need to achieve this hairstyle perfectly!
Lets get started.
Men’s Short Undercut Hairstyles
This type of style is what we are going to achieve
A classic haircut that in some way or another has been used by the majority of the male style and sex icons over the last 100 years.
Classic Hairstyles Versus Trends
Hairstyles always have trends: some good, some bad. However, much like with suits and shoes, there is always a classic hairstyle…
If we look back at 2003 we can see one of the worst trends in men’s fashion. The lesson here is that trends should not always be followed.
Classics do not.
Another example can be seen here with the cast of Star Trek meeting officials from NASA…
…no one wants to be caught looking like one of these actors in an old photo, which is why sticking with a classic style always gives you a great look.
By no means am I saying that there is only one good hairstyle for men or that you should avoid all trends. I am just trying to provide you with the basics that make a good men’s hairstyles so you can develop your own look and style.
It is important to look into the past to see what has stood the test of time and what has fallen short.
Back to Our Men’s Short Hairstyles
Now that we have established the importance of understanding classics versus trends…
…let’s dig more into men’s short hairstyles.
David Beckham has a long history of hairstyles, but the one below is arguable his best and the one everyone goes crazy after and there is a reason for this.
We took a classic hair style, the side part, added volume on top, contrast from having shorter sides, and made it a little messy which created a “new” style undercut based on a classic one: the undercut.
David Beckham is just showing off one way to wear this style. If you are interested in a few more of these styles you can check out this great post I wrote showing three different haircuts and how to style them.
As I mentioned earlier one of the great things about men’s short hairstyles is that they are versatile. This haircut gives you the several options and really allows you to go for the style you want. Again, I hate the idea of pushing one perfect hairstyle that will work for all men. That is just simply never the case.
However, knowing how to utilize the fundamentals of a basic hairstyle will allow each one of you to create a style for yourself.
Now I am going to walk you through the steps you can take to make sure you get the perfect haircut next time you go see your barber or stylist.
What to Tell Your Barber or Stylist
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you when you are going for a new style is to always show your barber a picture. A picture is worth a million words: especially in this case.
We have all been in this situation: you are about to get a haircut so you plan out everything you want to tell your barber. Driving over to the barber you are telling yourself exactly what you are going say…
…and then it all hits you the second you sit in the barbers chair and he asks “So, what are we doing today?”. You had a great plan of exactly what you wanted but at the last minute you forget it all! I used to have this problem. It started with me telling my barber to “do what he thought was best”. Then it would end with me going home unsatisfied and with a pretty terrible haircut.
The point of this whole story is to bring a picture.
Not only will it help you when you forget what to say, but it will also give the barber a better idea of what you want. Even if you are able to say “I want a #2 on the sides and back blended with scissors. Leave the fringe long about 5 inches and tapper it as it goes back towards the crown down to about 2 inches. And tapper the neckline.” The person cutting your hair will still benefit from a picture and it never hurts to show one. Showing your hairstylist a picture should not be embarrassing. It is there job and they will forget about you the second you walk out of their shop.
The only reason to be embarrassed would be if you left without that haircut you wanted because you were too shy to speak up.
Now for the measurements and details to the haircut.
I will focus on a faded short undercut in this exact tutorial, but as I have stated there are so many alternatives and variations on this haircut.
Start by telling your barber you want a “disconnected undercut”. This will give them an idea of the cut and that you want the lengths on the sides to be short and disconnected, rather than blended, from the long hair on top.
Ask your barber to shave about half way up the sides of your head with a #2 guard. Then ask him to go the rest of the way to the part with a #3 guard. Finally ask him to blend these together with scissors. Finally ask your barber to do the same for the back of your head, blending the hair as he moves towards the crown. Also be sure to mention you would like your neckline tapered rather than a straight cut. A straight cut neckline usually looks more professional but does not flow as well with this haircut.
Now that the sides and back are taken care of we can focus on the top. Like i said we need a bit of length on top but this can vary. My hair currently is about 6 inches at the fringe/bangs. You can certainly have a length that long and pull off this undercut hairstyle but since we are specifically talking about men’s short hairstyles we will go for about 3 inches in the front.
Ask your barber to cut your hair in the front to about 3 inches and then gradually fade it back as you approach the crown down to about 1 inch (and make sure he blends this with the back of your head, otherwise you will awkwardly have your long hair laying on your shaved head). The back of the head should be blended and is the only part of this style that is not disconnected, I like how it looks because it is much more natural.
The final step is to make sure you have your hair thinned out a bit so it can have more volume, this is crucial if you have very thick hair like myself.
And that’s it your done! Thank your barber and let him put in any final touches he may have such as a straight razor shave for your neckline.
The video below shows off one amazing way to achieve a haircut similar to this! If you are really worried you can show your barber sections of this clip.
The Tutorial: How to Style Men’s Short Hairstyles
The most important part of this style is having good volume. I will an overview here but if you are looking for more information I have an incredibly in-depth tutorial of how to add volume to men’s hair.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Getting Your Hair Damp
Almost always when starting a style I am going to tell you that you need to get your hair damp.
I usually style my hair immediately after showering, but if you are styling dry hair just get your hair soaking wet using the sink. From there begin towel drying your hair until it is damp, or there is not more water dripping off your hair but it is still wet.
You may be wondering “why do we do this?”
After waking up with bed head or just previously styled hair, your hair is “set” into a certain position. Adding the water helps us remove it from this position and style how we like. The water molecules bond to the hair, which in turn weighs the hair down and removes any hold or build up previously created with any hair product.
This step is crucial to attaining the style you want. Without this step you will be trying to force hair to go in a different direction than it wants to be in. We do not want to fight out own hair.
Step 2: Adding A Pre-styler
A pre-styler is exactly what it sounds like, something you apply to your hair before finishing the style to add hold and increase volume. These come in many forms such as mousses and gels. For this style we will be using a gel, specifically this one Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Gel. I love this product because it has a very natural feel and does not make your hair too sticky. It also is amazing at creating volume and the bottle lasts me a really long time (2-3 months of use everyday)! I would never recommend you a product that I do not love or one that I have not tested thoroughly.
Trust me this is a great pre-styler that I have been using for years. I also really like the product str8 by Rusk because it is very similar to Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Gel, but it has a little more hold and helps tame curly hair. I will usually alternate between these two pre-stylers, a mousse, or using a finishing product as a pre-styler (never use Hanz de Fuko Claymation as a pre-styler the hold is way to strong for what we need in this step).
Now that our hair some hold to it, it is time for one of the most important steps…
…we need to apply a heat protectant.
Step 3: Adding Heat Protection
My first experience using a heat protectant was a fairly skeptical one. I figured maybe it helped a little but overall it was probably just a scam to get you to buy another product. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot so I went out and bought some cheap bottle by Tresemme.
Flash forward about two months later, I finally end up running out of the bottle.
It was strange because it had become part of my routine, but I figured it would not be a huge deal since I did not even think it did anything.
I was completely wrong.
After blow-drying my hair the next day it felt horrible. Dry. Rough. Damaged.
I never realized how much of a difference the heat protectant made, especially since my hair grown out/fairly long for my undercut.
Since that day the amount I have learned so much about how to maintain healthy hair (I will do a whole post about it in the future if your interested, let me know in the comments) and part of that is using a heat protectant. I truly believe it helps prevent damage on my hair and have seen similar results with many other people.
So our next step is to apply the heat protectant. I still use the same one I bought back then by Tresemme which is called TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray and it still works great!
I apply it very liberally and the bottle still lasts me a few months so spread it out and then comb through your wet hair to distribute the product to each strand of hair.
Step 4: Blow-drying and Adding Volume to Your Hair
Begin by blow-drying your hair as shown below. I generally use high heat and full power (Don’t be too worried about the heat, if you keep your the heat about 6 inches away from your head and keep the blow-dryer moving it severely reduces the chances of damage), but you can always use medium heat if you prefer it may just take more time.
Scrunching and rubbing the hair in every direction in order to get it generally more dry. Focus on moving the hair around a lot. Do not hold the blow-dryer in one place so you do not burn your scalp.
There are a few more things we need to do in order to style our hair.
We need to direct our hair in the direction we want our final style to be in. In this style that means having your hair pushed back with a lot of volume in the front.
Normally to add more volume we would use a round brush like this…
…but because our hair is so short in this style we can just use our fingers and pinch and pull the hair to add volume. Mimic the movements of the brush and pull your hair out away from your forehead to add lift. Sometimes for this step I will have my head facing the ground as it helps build volume through gravity.
Another technique I use for volume utilizes what most people think of when they talk about “hair brush”. I can almost guarantee you have a brush similar to this, so this technique might be more for you if you are not looking to buy another brush.
For this technique you will use the blow-dryer to follow the brush. Pressing directly against the hair, while pulling it straight up.
Make sure the brush is rotated the opposite direction as seem above in the video. This along with the heat will give your hair a very voluminous look.
The blow-drying process will only take a few minutes which is one of the great things about men’s short hairstyles such as the undercut! With longer hair blow-drying and styling can take an upwards of 20 minutes. But with this style we can go from bed head to out the door in around 7 minutes.
Step 5: Styling by Adding Product
Now that we have done all of the prep work, it’s time to nail the styling.
In order to achieve the perfect quiff hairstyle with amazing volume, a matte finish, and tons of texture we need a very special product…
(another amazing alternative that is available on Amazon Prime is Mister Pompadour Natural Beeswax Paste)
This is one of my favorite products even though it is a little more expensive. When you first use this it really feels like a premium product. You are getting what you pay for with Claymation. Many people use products such as American Crew Fiber, which is a good entry level product but nothing like this.
While you can use any product you like this is by far my favorite and always works perfectly with my thick hair.
Now that we have our product we can move into styling.
First scoop a finger sized amount of product into your index finger. You do not want too much product because we are using a very high hold product on very short hair. Be very modest with how much product you apply.
Spread the product into the palm of your opposite hand then vigorously rub your hands together spreading the product around evenly. Keep rubbing until the product warms up a little because this will help us avoid clumping the product.
Next we need to start applying the product to our hair. Do this by starting in the back, and slowly moving forwards. At this stage of styling you really just want the product applied everywhere, so don’t worry about your hair looking crazy.
Now we can begin styling and pushing our hair back. A great demonstration of this can be seen below. Just use your fingers as combs and push the hair back gently. Scrunching the front of your hair and pulling it out first, before pushing it back, to create more volume.
Be sure to tame any flyaway hairs and the hairstyle is complete. With this short haircut we do not need any hairspray or anything like that. Since we used such a high hold product our hairstyle will last all day long. The great thing about not needing hairspray is you can comb your fingers through your hair at anytime during the day.
That’s its gentlemen: the essentials for you to create your own perfect men’s short hairstyles. I know this was a long post, but I really wanted it to include everything you could possible need. If I missed anything or you need any additional personal help feel free to contact me or post below. Let me know in the comments what you think after you try out the techniques and any products you try, I always love hearing your feedback and interactive with everyone.
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How to Add Volume to Your Hair: Here
My Favorite Hair Products: Here
Hanz De Fuko’s Claymation Review: Here
GREAT point about trends vs. classics, I couldn’t agree more!
Nice post i think I will get my boyfriend to do this! Thank you!
Mayank Agrawal says
I appreciate you for producing such valuable content on this topic. Literally, you won’t believe that I have been browsing for 2 to 3 hrs!
Living in denmark and want this haircut real bad. Any possibility to get the meassurements in mm?