Take the weight out. Remove some bulk. Add invisible layers. There are countless ways to request a haircut that's easy to style and has natural volume — but they’re not all created equal. Especially when your stylist pulls out a razor to "thin it out a bit" and you end up with look that's a bit more mullet-y than you pictured.
For those with long, thick, or straight hair that won’t hold a curl — or takes forever to dry and style — this one’s for you. L.A.’s most in-demand hairstylist is sharing a tried-and-true technique to deliver all this — and you can expect a much easier morning routine to match. Enter: the parallel undercut.
What Is The Parallel Undercut?
“It's a replicable and consistent way of removing weight and giving movement to thick hair,” hairstylist Anh Co Tran told Refinery29. “It's great for all lengths of wavy, straight, and thick hair, but not great for curly or fine hair.”
Like Tran's "Wave Formation" approach to styling, the trick calls upon two different techniques, blending the best of both worlds into a style that has bounce, texture, and movement. This creates the foundation for any cut you desire, but it's especially great for this season's on-trend blunt cut, since it allows for the hair to lay flatter, yet maintain body and volume, all with far less styling.
How, exactly, is this done? In simple terms, the cut is done dry and in horizontal, even sections that then blend together for a soft look. The bottom is done in a short, choppy, point-cut fashion (and even looks a little jagged to the naked eye, but don't stress just yet). Next, the top sections get much deeper point-cutting for a layered finish. Then, like magic, the two fall together for a blunt, bouncy finish. "It's a great way to add movement to any cut," he says.
Ready to see the technique in action?
Before & After
Convinced? Here's The Breakdown For Your Stylist
Tran first sections the top of the hair up (from the ear down is cut), then, instead of cutting a horizontal line to nail the length, point-cuts the entire perimeter.
"It usually takes three sections of undercuts," Tran explains. "The first section is taken underneath the occipital bone, then the recession hairline, and the last one is on top. This way the weight is removed in 2 to 3 sections."
Then, once the base is done (feel free to take a break here and toss your hair around in all its bouncy, light-as-air glory), your stylist can layer the cut as you like — or leave it blunt. "The layers are done depending on the length of the hair and individual texture," Tran says.
Here's how Anh uses this technique when creating this season's popular sci-fi bob, complete with a breakdown for all you stylists out there.
What do you think of the technique? Would you give it a try? Tell us in the comments below! But first, a couple more of Tran's cuts that utilized the technique.