Short undercut hairstyles for women are perfect for a show-stopping, edgy look that can also be pretty and feminine when styled appropriately. It is the chameleon hairstyle of the moment, and it isn’t going anywhere fast! Undercuts for women allow you to demonstrate your passion for style and your unique sensibility while also being adaptable enough to be appropriate in more formal situations.
Today, we are going to provide you with some insider details and tips on the short undercut hairstyle trend to help you decide if it is the right look for you! We have also added in a healthy dose of inspiration for you in the form of real life examples of short undercut hairstyles for women from Instagram beauty gurus and regular women alike!
Short Undercuts for Women: Contents
- What Is the Undercut Hairstyle?
- Where Did the Undercut Hairstyle Originate?
- How to Choose the Best Undercut Hairstyle for You
- How to Grow out an Undercut Hairstyle
- Short Undercut Hairstyle Ideas for Women
What exactly is a women’s undercut hairstyle? The name is certainly telling: an undercut hairstyle entails a portion of your hair being shaved off, typically the under-layer near the nape of your neck or on the sides of the scalp.
Undercut hairstyles for women differ from traditional buzz cuts because the top layer of the hair is maintained. The combination of the shaved portion and the long portion lends the undercut hairstyle its versatility and wow factor. You can tie it up to expose the shaved portions or straighten the top layer over the shaved sections, concealing it.
Women’s undercut hairstyles have become popular recently because they allow a woman to be experimental and edgy one day, and more conservative the next. The undercut hairstyle is like a canvas for creativity, drawing in women who want both freedom and practicality from their hairstyle.
It is the perfect hairstyle for women who lead dynamic lives and who love experimenting with different fashion and beauty trends. It is less dramatic than dyeing your hair a bright color but it has the same bold impact.
An added bonus? Undercut hairstyles are easy to maintain because quite simply there is less hair to take care of! Short undercut hairstyles eliminate the oily tendency that the under portions of your hair can be prone to. They also promote breathability of the scalp and minimize concerns with excessive dandruff.
David Bowie is one of the originators of the undercut hairstyle, with his eccentric alter-ego Ziggy Stardust donning the look in a provocative and creative way. The look also has roots in the underground punk and rock scenes, where gender-bending androgynous styles have long been popular style statements for women.
For a long time short undercut hairstyles were almost exclusively the domain of women with more alternative style preferences. But recently, undercut hairstyles have become popular for women on all sides of the style spectrum, from gothic to glamorous.
Undercuts have been making it into the mainstream with celebrities like Cassie Ventura, Miley Cyrus, Malin Akerman, and Zoe Kravitz adopting the style. Shaving one side of the temple, or the scalp can allow you to rock a more dramatic, eye-catching look for special events or a night out. Many women have incorporated hair tattoos into their undercut hairstyle trend by shearing their remaining hair into beautiful patterns.
How can you choose the best undercut hairstyle for yourself? Like any new hairstyle, we must take into consideration a few different factors! If an undercut hairstyle sounds like a fascinating idea to you, ensure that you have thought it through.
But remember: the best thing about hairstyles is that they are temporary! They can be one of the best ways to express your individuality without making any permanent decisions. If you try an undercut hairstyle and it isn’t for you? Grow it back (we’ll show you how!).
Be Honest with Yourself About What You Want to Achieve with Your Look
While we absolutely encourage curiosity in this exciting trend, be wary that it is not a style that is suited to every woman’s needs and lifestyles. Short undercut hairstyles for women can be too aggressive or unconventional for a corporate job, conservative environment or for involvement in more traditional or conformist institutions and extracurricular activities.
A subtle undercut can certainly be adopted effectively if any of the above describes you. But be mindful that a clean shear of a large portion of your hair, or an entire side, may garner negative reactions. However, subtle undercut styles do exist and they are a wonderful introduction to the trend for women who want to try something unique without making a full commitment.
An undercut makes a strong aesthetic statement. It can absolutely be helpful to consider your personal style. Do you like edgy, daring clothes? Would you describe your clothing style as being industrial and ultra-hip? Feminine? These honest considerations can ensure that you select a hairstyle that is suitable for your day-to-day outfit choices and personal image.
Think about what your motivations are for choosing the undercut look. Do you want a low maintenance style? Do you like standing out? Are you tired of the hairstyle you’ve had for more years than you can count on both hands?
All of these are valid reasons to adopt an undercut hairstyle, but it is important to be mindful of your own goals with the style. This will ensure that your expectations are realistic, and you don’t end up disappointed.
Consider Your Hair Type
While undercut hairstyles are suitable for any woman who wants to try the trend, they do certainly work better with some hair textures and thicknesses. Hair type must be considered when deciding if an undercut hairstyle is the best look for you.
Thicker hair will generally be more versatile, and women with thicker hair will have more leeway when it comes to choosing how dramatic they want their undercut to be. Undercuts can be ideal for hair that borders on fuzzy and poufy because the undercut relieves some of the volume that produces excess frizziness or unwanted bulkiness.
When you have thick hair, shaving off portions of it will be less noticeable but will reduce the weight and body of your hair. If you have thinner hair, it is important to be mindful that if you shave a large swath off, you will have less room to try new styles or to cover up the shaven sections should you need to.
Placement of the Sheared Hair
For a bolder aesthetic, shaving the sides would be a good way to approach the undercut hairstyle trend. This look demands attention and is suitable for women interested in an edgier style.
When the side of the hair is shaved, you can show it off by pinning the top layer of hair back or by making a dramatic far right or far left part. This is also a good canvas for a hair tattoo, or for patterned shaving. This is the more daring of the two styles that fall under the broader trend of women’s undercut hairstyles.
For the least drastic style, you may cut the layer of hair near the nape of the neck to about 10 mm to ease into the style. Under the nape of the neck is a less assertive introduction to the undercut style. This look allows for flexibility in how eccentric you want to look.
If you smooth the top layer of your hair over, it can be virtually unnoticeable throughout the day. But when you feel like showing it off, you can tie your hair up into a high ponytail. This produces a fashionable, unexpected look. For the most dramatic look, you can shave the underside of your entire scalp; leaving only the top layer remaining.
Depth of the Undercut Hairstyle
The length of your current hair should dictate how short or long your undercut should be. If you have long hair, it may be a good choice to keep it over 15 mm to ease into it.
An undercut hairstyle of 6-10 mm creates a more dramatic and contrasting look. For your first undercut hairstyle you may want to do a longer undercut to produce a less bold style. Again, it is a preference-driven hairstyle but these guiding points will make the transition easier and more natural.
The depth of the cut is another element to consider. You can get an asymmetrical bob style look or a clean shave – the choice is yours. Unless you’re certain that a bold shave is what you are looking for you can trim away slowly until you reach the desired length.
The best part about an undercut hairstyle is that due to its versatility, growing it out need not entail any growing pains!
• For nape undercuts, you can let the hair grow out naturally; paying mind to trim the longer portion of uncut hair to eventually re-achieve an even length. If you have enough hair to cover the undercut section you can just have your hair down naturally to cover the section where the hair is growing back.
• For side undercut hairstyles that are more dramatic and noticeable, you can change the parting of your hair to provide more coverage over the undercut section. You can also incorporate bobby pins and clips to hold back hair until it is at least a few inches long.
• Tying your hair in a low, loose ponytail that caresses your back will also provide coverage for a short undercut located around the nape of your neck.
• Hair extensions are a great option too if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to use them. Keep in mind that a full set of extensions comes with six-eight sections, so we suggest seeing if you can buy individual strips if you do not plan on incorporating extensions into your beauty routine on a regular level.
• For a more time-intensive but stunning look, you can curl your hair and part it far to one side so the majority sits on one shoulder. You can clip the hair back on this side. You can do light pin curls on the side that is growing out or clip it back so it looks intentional that all your hair is gathered on one side.
• A more drastic option of growing out undercut hairstyles? Cut the rest of your hair to match the undercut hairstyle! This is a perfect option if you have been intrigued by the idea of a bob or a short hairstyle but haven’t yet taken the plunge!
• Make the process a statement! Dye it a bright, stand-out color to accentuate it, rather than shying away from it! As you will see in the looks below, you can dye your whole hair either one cohesive bold color or dye it a variety of shades to produce an eye-catching and original style even as you grow your undercut out.
Versatility and freedom of expression are essential to the modern woman. Whether it be through her makeup, hair, style or aesthetic, she wants her individuality to shine through. Some women prefer a softer, subtler look, while others want to dazzle and stand out from the crowd.
One of the biggest hair trends of the moment leaves room for both. After browsing through these gorgeous, innovative short undercuts for women, you will have no shortage of ideas for your next trip to the hair salon!
1. Deep Blue with Purple Wisps Undercut
This is a more daring short undercut hairstyle for women looking for a deep, rich color and an edgy cut all in one! The longer sections can be clipped back to show off the gorgeous blue undercut or they can be spread over the undercut for a stunning blue and lilac bob. The varying shades add an enchanting dimension to the look.
2. Silver Blue Mermaid Braid Undercut
This is both a daring and ethereal short undercut hairstyle. It will take some extra time but it is a surefire way for you to be the most original girl in the room! The silvery blue and black tones are edgy and sexy and can be incorporated into an everyday look, as well.
For this look, you need to bring all of your hair over to one part and produce volume using spray and a teasing comb. The hair along the border will be incorporated into a braid, which you can pin at the back. Scotch tape can be used while shearing hair to produce the dramatic, clean lines that add an additional layer of flair and drama to this short undercut hairstyle.
3. Baby Pink Side Bang Undercut
This subtle, feminine shade of rose gold hair is a trend in its own right! Combine the two, and you have a flawless, style-forward short undercut hairstyle that friends and strangers alike will covet.
The pink highlights can be incorporated into the long, uncut section of your hair. You can then part it to show off your side undercut and to create a dramatic side bang. When you want a less bold look, you can pin your hair back to cover up the undercut and keep the focus on the prismatic rose gold shade.
4. Understated Cool Undercut
This short undercut haircut is the best of both worlds! It allows you to show off the hint of shorn hair under your longer locks. It involves producing a dramatic side part from your temple to the mid-section of your hair to expose the undercut.
The back portion of your head will have the hair parted the opposite way, to offer some coverage of your undercut. This is a sassy, cute and edgy way to incorporate the undercut style into your everyday look.
5. Subtle Front Shear
This is a simple and less assertive foray into the short undercut hairstyle trend! Shearing just a few inches near the ear and temple allows for experimentation without any of the risk! You can pin back hair to show off your undercut or you can simply style your hair like normal, covering the shorn section. A light brown and blonde mixture adds an understated sophistication to the look.
6. Messy Beachy Short Undercut Hair
This playful, breezy undercut hairstyle looks amazing combed back sleekly or mussed up for a beachy, carefree look. The light blonde hair shade adds a surfer girl appeal, but this style will look beautiful with any hair color. This look can transform from a short bob into an effortless undercut with the use of one or two pins!
7. Pink and Blonde Rock Star Undercut
This look is not for the faint of heart! Gorgeous pink and bleach blonde tones create a bold but feminine canvas for a daring short undercut hairstyle for women! With a dramatic far left parting you can create wavy, bedroom hair that is stunning for a night out or for a hip and casual day in the city!
8. Kool-Aid Short Undercut
This look takes some shades out of the crayon box to create a pretty and eye-popping effect! The light purple and aquamarine colors combine beautifully to incorporate color in a bold, but not flashy way. This short undercut hairstyle is perfect for women who want to take the plunge and shave off the entire under layer of their hair and create a dazzling, rainbow silhouette while at it!
9. White Blonde Pixie Short Undercut Hair
This bold short undercut hairstyle for women is stunning with its complex combination of graphic and delicate. This is perfect for women with an edgier style sensibility who want to maintain an aura of femininity. It is shorter than a bob but still retains an irreverent, pixie-like aesthetic.
This is another example of how a side undercut can be subtlee, and less daring with the strategic placement and parting of the top layer of hair. Showing a simple few inches of your undercut is alluring and understated and proves how wearable this look really is.
10. Curly Hollywood Deep Part Undercut
This undercut is dazzling and glamorous. All you need is a comb to create a deep part to show off your side undercut and a curling wand to create loose, party-ready waves. Sweep the curls over your forehead for an intriguing, mysterious look for your next night out!
11. Barbie Pink Short Undercut
This girly look proves that you can try a subtler undercut and combine it with a stand out color for a head-turning look. This image is an example of a lower nape undercut where the hair near the nape of the neck is shorn as opposed to the sides of the scalp. The combination of lengths is a playful way of embracing the undercut hairstyle trend and also allows for a more natural look during the process of growing the undercut out.
12. Blonde Blossom Style Short Undercut
This gorgeous short undercut hairstyle radiates from the center of her scalp and produces a blossom style effect. Parting is extremely important in order to nail this look. But with a bit of patience and some hair wax, this is totally achievable for a crisp day-to-day look.
13. Peacock Purple Short Undercut
Ready to take a walk on the wild side? This eye-catching short undercut for women embraces bold colors and a stark cut for maximum originality. The top layer of hair is cut to varying lengths to produce a cascade effect and allow for a theatrical side bang. This look requires a short (under 10 mm) section of shorn hair to produce the distinct contrast and play up the striking styling of the hair.
14. White Blonde Razor Streak Undercut
While the undercut segment of this look is smaller than some of the other short undercut hairstyles we’ve seen, it is still an innovative way of approaching the undercut trend. The sheer lines add an eccentric and bold touch to the look and are easy to achieve with a thin blade razor and a steady hand. The varying lengths of her hair on the left side parting create a more natural look and make blending her undercut easier to achieve.
15. White Blonde Lilac Soufflé Undercut
Volume is the key to this sexy and daring look. This short undercut hairstyle demonstrates that you do not need to shave off a large swath of hair to make a statement or achieve an impactful undercut. By creating a far left parting and layering the hair with gel to create smooth, touchable volume, you can make the most of a subtler undercut. The lavender hair tones add a delicate dose of color.
16. Mermaid Braid Short Undercut
This cascaded braid look is feminine and risqué all at once. On one side we have a tight, neat braid with finely shorn hair and on the other we have a bob style look. The beauty of this short undercut haircut is its duality. Who doesn’t want two multifaceted hairstyles in one?
17. Hyper Modern Metallic Undercut Hair
Looking for an ultra-hip and sleek way to incorporate the undercut hairstyle trend into your everyday look? This style is beautifully industrial and asymmetrical. It would look beautiful with Helmut Lang inspired clothing and dark lip powder. The black and blonde contrast is an alluring way to embrace the edgier, romantically gothic side of the undercut trend.
18. Wispy Baby Pink Short Undercut
This is an effortless take on both the short undercut hairstyle and the rose gold hair color trend. The light pink color is feminine with a dose of rock n’ roll. Keeping the shorn section of your hair its natural color highlights the pink and allows for a more casual short undercut that is dynamically wearable.
19. Natural and Hidden Undercut
Sure, the undercuts for women we’ve seen so far are stunning but they definitely do veer toward the edgier side of the undercut spectrum! This is the perfect look for a newcomer to the style. It is easy to hide and when styled correctly is more like a conventional bob. Clip it back or change the parting of your hair, and it becomes a natural take on a daring trend.
20. Purple Peacock Short Undercut
This gorgeous and richly consistent look allows you to try a deep shade of purple hair, a unique and mysterious shade that will surely turn some heads. The added volume creates a dramatic peacock look. This short undercut hairstyle for women is experimental without being overpowering.
21. Triangular Ice Blonde Undercut
This stylish look entails creating triangular sectionals to create a stark and angular look. The icy white blonde hair is trendy and perfect for creating an understated look. An added bonus? The soft parting and tones illuminate and brighten the face and complement various face shapes and eye colors.
22. Tempest Blue Wave Short Undercut
This wild and unruly take on the short undercut trend looks like the perfect storm atop your head! Messy ice blue hair strategically styled at varying angles creates a stunning artistic aesthetic. The longer undercut hairstyle emphasizes the natural hair color; making this a beautiful take on contrasts.
23. Strawberry Shortcake Short Undercut
This delightful take on the short undercut style relies on a vibrant shade of magenta and a slightly longer buzz to achieve its playful one-two punch. Gathering the hair at the bottom creates a smooth, glamorous aesthetic with a touch of unexpected sophistication. Pair it with a hot pink lipstick for maximum effect.
24. Rainbow Explosion Undercut
This look may be challenging to achieve but it is beyond worth it! This standout short undercut hairstyle for women is original and show stopping. Light touches of pink and green add vibrancy without being too obvious. The varying lengths of the cut make this look highly flexible to wear. Just cover the undercut with layers of hair for a piecey, textured look.
25. Cotton Candy Cloud Undercut Hair
This sassy mushroom cloud style is volume driven but messy enough that it doesn’t look too try-hard. It has a punk edge to it but the pink shade keeps the look feminine and fun loving. Try it with a fun pink lipstick or dramatic black eyeliner for a statement look.
26. Silver Icicle Short Undercut
Silver hair is having a moment right now. This look incorporates this stylish shade into an angular, wavy undercut in a sexy, mod way. This short undercut hairstyle is so effective because the hair is parted at the front and back, but leaves the middle section of the undercut exposed. This look is unexpected and ice hot.
27. Wine and Roses Undercut
Embrace the winter with this alluring and sexy burgundy hair color and this whipped undercut style. Teasing the hair into a soufflé exposes the side and nape undercut in an elegant fashion. Pair it with a cozy knitted sweater dress, and you have the perfect cold weather look.
28. Sky Blue Buzz Undercut
This short undercut hair for women proves that even a daring cut and color can be sophisticated when styled appropriately. This look complements various face shapes and can be incorporated into your personal style whether it’s more punk rock or young professional. The wavy texture looks touchable and gentle – what else could you want for your day-to-day look?
29. Dark Sky Crimped Short Undercut Hair
This moody and alluring look owes it all to the sumptuous combination of blue and black and the sleek dark buzz. This short undercut hairstyle is luminous and multifaceted. It’s like a gorgeous take on midnight with a dazzling full moon.
30. Auburn Autumn Undercut Hair
This gorgeous, natural auburn color is the perfect shade for colder weather. The upper layer of hair is long enough to cover up the undercut and turn the look into an asymmetrical bob. The light tonal variations in both the shorn and the long sections create a beautifully dimensional look.
31. Flamboyant Purple Fauxhawk Undercut
This is a gorgeous and glamorously flamboyant way to experiment with short undercut hairstyles for women. If you love to make a statement, this is the look for you. Stunning wispy curls gain volume and momentum from hair gel, and the wavy hair tattoo art adds an additional element of surprise to an already fabulous look.
32. Blonde Pixie Undercut Hair
This is an approachable and feminine take on the short undercut hairstyle. The hair is not quite bob-length but is long enough that a newcomer to the trend can feel comfortable referencing this look for their introduction to undercut hairstyles. The asymmetrical lengths make the look playful and fashion forward.
33. Skin Fade Black Undercut
This stark, graphic look owes its power to the deep black shade and the progressive shearing of the hair. Creating a subtly longer cut as the hair approaches the top of the scalp creates a more natural and easily maintained look. It has a relaxed understated energy that is perfect for gallery hopping and coffee shop chills.
34. Blue Hawaii Short Undercut
This faux hawk undercut hairstyle proves that you can mix and match different styles with the undercut. Using some gel and a thin comb you can tease your hair into a fabulous faux hawk. The triangular shaping of the undercut sideburn adds a confident severity to the look.
35. Wavy White and Faded Blue Undercut
This fruit punch blue and faded white short undercut hair creates a pretty unicorn style look. The fun wavy shorn pattern is a creative touch to the look. This look is graphic without being too assertive.
36. Icey Wispy Undercut Hair
A shorn nape and sides place the focus firmly on the wispy, icy blue hair. Gather the hair at the back and bring it forward to create a full-bodied look. The light tones of grey, white and silver are emphasized when they are all combed together at the base of the temple.
37. Sexy Blood Red Short Undercut
This rich red hair color adds intriguing appeal to this half bob/ half undercut look. The light side bang is easy to wear and lets the short undercut and the color steal the show.
38. Triangular Cotton Candy Undercut
This short undercut hairstyle for women is whimsical and so delicious it looks edible! Triangular sections of hair dyed in fun, arcade-appropriate colors create a mesmerizing and playful look. Wear it with a matching pink lipstick or light blue eyeshadow for a tongue-in-cheek take on the undercut trend.
39. Short and Shaggy Blonde Undercut
This is a shorter undercut hairstyle for women who want to try a more distinct cut. The asymmetrical blonde shag lends an Andy Warhol factory girl aesthetic to this dagger-cool look.
40. Black Magic Short Undercut
Gothic yet understated, this short undercut haircut is studied and sophisticated for the cool girl amongst us. This look is completed with thick mascara and a red or nude lip. You will look pensive, thoughtful and trendy all at the same time. How many of us can say that?
41. Deep Orange Side Bang
This look entails shearing half your scalp and leaving it a natural color. A triangular sideburn adds flair and attitude to this short undercut hairstyle. The long swath of hair can be brushed over for an energetic side bang or combed back for a sleeker day-to-day look.
42. Magenta Pop Rock Short Undercut
This shorter undercut hairstyle for women involves shaving the underside of your entire scalp and leaving a bright patch of magenta infused hair as the focal point. This is the perfect look for fearless girls who love color and a more androgynous style.
43. Angelic White Deep Buzz Undercut
This look is closer to a traditional buzz than one of the more versatile short undercuts for women we have showcased, but it is an edgy way of approaching the style for women comfortable with a shorter haired look. The contrast in this look is all founded on the different lengths of the shear. The shorter cut blends almost seamlessly into the scalp, while the slightly longer cut highlights the deep white dye.
44. Natural Tight Curled Undercut
This curly pixie-like look highlights the natural texture of the hair while subtly approaching the undercut trend. Leaving the undercut a few millimeters longer is a beautiful and organic way of incorporating the trend. This short undercut is perfect for lower maintenance women who want to experiment with the trend without committing to a bold color or drastic styling.
45. Steel Grey Modernistic Short Undercut
This short undercut hairstyle is hyper modern and almost futuristic in its sensibilities. It would look stunning with a sleek black or metallic outfit, and a shimmery eyeshadow or a glitter lipstick. The asymmetrical wisps are art-house cool and add a rock star edge to the undercut look.
46. Shorn and Tightly Packed Undercut Hair
This is a tightly packed take on short undercut hairstyles for women. While less flexible in terms of styling, this is a perfect option for women who want an easy-to-style and maintain look that will take them from day to night effortlessly. The shorn detailing on the sides adds an understated touch of originality to the look.
47. Touchable Blonde Short Undercut
This look is all about soft texture, and wispy, light looking waves. The light purple adds a pretty, multifaceted undertone to the buzzed sections of the undercut hair. This look can be edgy when styled with heavy gel or feminine and delicate when lightly mussed and blown out.
48. Sunset Short Undercut
The deep orange and tangerine tones of this short undercut add a vibrant pop of warmth to every season! This look emphasizes a more thickly textured hair and a less drastically shorn undercut. You can change the parting of the hair to show the buzzed nape or style the longer sections to create a bold bob-style look!
49. Lollipop Blue Nape Undercut
This beautiful neon aqua shade accentuates the natural length deviations of this sassy nape undercut. Different razors produce the alternating lengths. The effortless shaggy top layer looks positively pixie-esque from the front!
50. Caramel Comb-Over Undercut Hair
This delicate and decadent color makes this short undercut hairstyle wearable in more conservative or corporate settings, but is edgy enough that it takes full advantage of the edgy quality of an undercut hairstyle. The rich, light chocolate hair color keeps the emphasis on the nuanced undercut.
51. Wind-Swept Short Undercut
This beautiful bouffant-style undercut has a rock n’ roll quality and reminds us of the days of Elvis Presley Americana. But the delicate color, soft shearing, and smooth texture make the look feminine and approachable.
Photos via Instagram