The Modern Undercut Haircut

The Undercut was a popular hairstyle that originated in the Prohibition Era of the 1920’s. The haircut worn by actor Michael Pitt from the TV show Boardwalk Empire is a great example. For this haircut you will need to be proficient with your clipper cutting techniques and layering hair with your scissors. You also need to have an understanding of the term disconnected. This means a haircut that is basically two different haircuts in one and do not blend together.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • To gain an understanding of a disconnected haircut.
  • To be able to create a symmetrically even undercut
  • To be comfortable using three different clippers
  • To create a tapered or natural hairline
  • To understand how to layer the top properly while leaving the appearance of the same length
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
  1. Freshly shampoo the hair for better control.
  2. Section the top off just above the round of the head and just below the pivot in the back.
  3. Use the blade on skin technique with a 3/8th blade or plastic attachment. Comb the top out of the way and use the base of the comb to protect the hair on top.
  4. Work your way around the head making sure your line of disconnection is even.
  5. Begin the taper around the outline of the haircut using a 1/8th blade or plastic attachment. Use a scooping motion with the clipper.
  6. Repeat step 5 using the adjustable clipper with lever in the open position.
  7. Repeat step 6 with the lever in the middle position.
  8. Repeat step 7 with the lever in the fully closed position.
  9. Create the outline around the ears with the trimmer.
  10. Clean up the back of the neck using an upward shaving motion making sure not to cut into the taper.
  11. Remove any dead ends from the top so the hair grows out healthy.
  12. Pull all of the hair to the center and use the scissor over fingers technique.
  13. When you get to the front of the ear over direct the bangs to your guide to make sure to leave the front longer.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What needs to be done to the hair before cutting to ensure more control?
  2. What needs to be done before shaving the sides with the clippers?
  3. What is the name of the technique used on the sides and back?
  4. What length clipper blade/attachment do you start the taper or natural hairline with?
  5. How many different lengths are used for the taper with the adjustable clipper?
  6. What is the main purpose of cutting the top for the undercut style?
AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

To achieve an even cut make sure the top is sectioned off evenly. Even though the underneath area will not be visible when the hair is styled it will affect the top if this is not done precisely. Find out from your customer how thick they would like the hair on top. For the thickest or heaviest look section the hair just below the round of the head. If the customer has extremely thick hair already you can section the top just above the round of the head.

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