The undercut hairstyle has been a hair trend for quite some time and actress Halle Berry recently jumped on the train and the crowd went wild. She recently posted an Instagram picture of her new summer style; an edgy nape undercut with a lotus etched in and her style choice highlights just how versatile the style can be.
It’s almost commonplace to see a man or woman with some version of the style and as with any fashion or hairstyle trend, undercuts are nothing new. The asymmetrical cut was a predominately male hairstyle that goes all the way back to the Edwardian era. It was popular from 1920 through 1940 and re-emerged in the 1990s.
Skater subculture and hipsters are credited with bringing it back in 2010, and women quickly clamped onto the style. Soon creative interpretations of the cut emerged such as engraving designs or symbols (known as “hair tattoos”) into the hair, and even glittering it up.
Halle Berry isn’t the only high-profile person to submit; Scarlett Johansson, Cassie, Rihanna, Tilda Swinton, and Natalie Dormer have or are currently wearing this trend. My favorite looks are interpretations created by everyday people who are their own stylist.
Berry’s version (the nape undercut) is a great summer style and highly versatile — she can pull it up into a ponytail or a bun to add some edge or contrast to an otherwise conservative outfit, or cover it up with her longer tresses when she has to be a professional.
Dormer’s look (the side undercut) is a little more in your face and requires more maintenance, although she can always sweep her hair to the side to cover the shaven part. In other words; it’s a commitment. Celebrity hairstylist and Mizani global artistic director Cesar Ramirez told PeopleStyle that achieving the desired result requires a professional.
“This technique takes a lot of skill and talent. After buzzing the area a straight razor is used to etch out the pattern. A stencil can be used or the pattern can be drawn on the scalp with a eyeliner pencil to get a really clean outcome.”
Until recently, elaborate nail designs and lengths were a favorite way to accessorize, but less flamboyant nails are trending and non-traditional hair color choices and varying versions of the undercut are huge. It’s what I would consider punk inspired (but what isn’t lately?) and an attention magnet, so if you aren’t into calling attention to yourself, this style isn’t for you.