3 Totally Easy (& Cool) Ways To Style An Undercut

So you finally took the plunge and got the undercut that's been haunting your beauty dreams for months — or maybe you just broke out the clippers on a whim when you were feeling bored. However you got here, well done. You look amazing! You've got an awesome 'do that shows off the edgy side of your personality — and those cheekbones, too.

But even though this bold style sets you apart from the basics, it doesn’t mean you won't still find yourself in a style rut. Fortunately, John Frieda International creative consultant and styling-tool master Harry Josh has some help for that: Despite its short length and shaved sides, there are actually more ways than one to rock an undercut.

“This is a super-modern way to go shorter, but still have enough hair to have versatility,” says Josh. (He knows a thing or two about versatility; check out this trio of looks for curly girls he created for us.) Ahead, Josh lays out three easy styles that will transform your undercut in three steps or less.

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The Cut
“This look is for people who are brazen and bold and willing to stand apart from the crowd, and do something cool and modern," says Josh. "It's really beautiful, it evokes a masculinity, yet has strong feminine qualities about it. That is what I love about it — it’s got the androgyny, but the softness."

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Look 1: The Pomp
Even though you love your moody, asymmetrical style, if you're looking to switch things up, i.e., get your hair off your face for a bit, we suggest this brushed-back 'do. The pompadour is a clever nod to the past, yet it's still decidedly modern — and simple to create. Your look can go from edgy to uber-chic in one fell swoop. Meaning: three easy steps.

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Step 1: Divide your hair into small sections (the smaller the better), and hairspray the sections at the roots.
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Step 2: Next, take a section and back-comb. Repeat hairspraying and back-combing each section until you've done your whole head — the more back-combing the better. "You want to get it nice and big so it is dramatic," says Josh. "Knowing [the look] will collapse on you a little bit, it's better to overdo it then under."

Detangling Tip: To get your hair out of a tangly back-comb, do the same as you would for any knot. "Start at the bottom and work your way up," says Josh. "Do not start at the root. A lot of people are in a rush and just rip it up from the root. You’d be surprised how easy it comes out if you work from the bottom up."
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Step 3: After you've finished back-combing, you should have some major volume. Mist hairspray over your head, and with a Mason Pearson-like brush, just skim the top just of the hair, bushing it from your forehead back while doing your best James Dean impression.
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The pomp not only elevates your hair's actual height, but it takes your lewk up a notch, too. It's high fashion without being too haughty. Perfect for a night out, no?
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Look 2: The Illusory Bun
Have a black tie wedding coming up? Meeting the 'rents? Even with shaved sides, you can still style your hair into something sleek and sophisticated.

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Step 3: Spread out the ponytail and pull it up to create a sort of plume. Playful and surprisingly feminine, this is a simple way to make this dramatic cut look look cute (especially on days when you want to avoid coming across as overly emo).
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Step 1: Flat iron your hair small section by section — this will not only get it super straight, but also add shine. “You can prime the hair with serum if you want,” says Josh. “But the flat iron is really doing the shining — the flat iron can create a lot of shine where there usually isn't."
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Step 2: Part down the middle of your hair with a comb and slick down the sides — flat ironing more if needed.
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Step 3: Pull the hair that you can back to the nape of the neck, and secure with pins or an elastic in the teeniest ponytail you ever did see. Spritz with hairspray to smooth any flyways and keep everything in place.
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Not that you should ever feel the need to hide your style, but it's nice to know you have options. Showing up at a party with this sleek middle part will turn heads in a whole new way.
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Look 3: The Man Pony
For this style, Josh looked to all the hipster guys in Brooklyn. No, actually, he was inspired by a story from Vogue in 2001 (!) called "Boy Meets Girl," in which model Erin Wasson introduced the undercut ponytail to the fashion world. Jaws drop.

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Step 1: Add serum to the hair and brush it back as tightly as you possibly can. Secure with an elastic at the back top of your head.
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Step 2: Spray some texturizer, like John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray, directly into the ponytail to rough it up a bit and give it "bend and kick."

"You should embrace the strangeness of it; it's not about hiding it," says Josh. "It's obviously not designed to be like a long ponytail look."
Step 3: Spread out the ponytail and pull it up to create a sort of plume. Playful and surprisingly feminine, this is a simple way to make this dramatic cut look look cute (especially on days when you want to avoid coming across as overly emo).
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRIANNE WILLS
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