The iconic “short on the sides, long on top” men's hairstyle is a classic look that's not going anywhere, at least not anytime soon.
The contemporary version of this hairstyle – the undercut – has been all the rage for the past few years. If you've been rocking a short undercut for a while and are thinking about growing your hair out, this post is for you.
Here's the thing: I love the undercut. The disconnect between the top and back and the extra length on top make it a really cool haircut that flatters most men.
It's also a very easy haircut to achieve since most barbers can do an undercut in their sleep.
But the undercut does have its downsides…
It requires regular haircuts (at least once a month), and it looks really bad if you don't style it with product. Plus, it gets a little wild when you run, swim or workout.
So you might be thinking about growing out your hair a little bit or looking for a lower maintenance hairstyle. Or maybe you just want to try something new.
And why not? Many men look great with longer hair. It can even be easier to manage than the disconnected undercut (less haircuts, less shampoo, fewer showers and less product).
But growing out your hair from an undercut – or any super short haircut – is a long, awkward process. The sides and back will be way shorter than the top – especially the front – so you'll need to go at least a couple of months without a haircut before you get it cleaned up and evened out.
Once you grow it out a little and get it cleaned up, you'll have a versatile, medium length hairstyle that's connected at the sides and back and has plenty of room to grow.
This hairstyle is super easy to style with a classic side part. The great thing is, when it's this long, you can actually brush it straight back instead of trying to get that perfect swirl around the crown of your head.
The result is a classy, mature side part that makes you look like you're heading to an exclusive party at Jay Gatsby's mansion.
Here are two ways to style medium length hair:
The Medium Length Side Part
Start with damp hair. You can towel dry or blow dry your hair after a shower, or just wet your hair under the faucet and towel dry to remove the excess water.
Comb or brush your hair straight back, away from your face, on the top and sides.
If you have thick hair, make sure you get all of the knots out.
Push it all straight back, including the hair on both sides of your head.
Grab your favorite pomade, crack it open and take a nice long whiff of the masculine fragrance. In this case, I'm using Old Spice Pomade, which has a pleasant, mild scent.
Scoop a healthy serving of pomade from your jar, and spread it evenly across the palms of your hands.
Coat your hair with the pomade, making sure to push it in all directions so each side of every strand has product on it.
Now, choose your part line, stopping 1-2 inches short of the crown of your head. When your hair is this length, you can actually comb the rest straight back, rather than trying to navigate the natural swirl of your crown.
It should look something like this:
It might look a little too slick and shiny at this point, but it's going to look awesome when it dries, especially if you're using a matte pomade like I'm using here.
Notice that I've parted my hair to the right. I've always parted it that way, as long as I can remember (well, at least since middle school when I parted it right down the middle…WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT ANYMORE).
With medium length or longer hair, you can actually part it both ways, and you'll get a slightly different look.
Parting Your Hair the Other Way
If you've always parted your hair to the right, try parting it to the left. You might be pleasantly surprised!
For most guys, parting your hair the other way will lead to a slightly different (and maybe fuller) shape.
It might take a little extra product the first few times, but eventually your hair will become trained to part that way.
The process is pretty much the same.
The result is just a little different, and I actually really like how my hair looks when I part it to the left.
It has a nice shape to it, and I think it makes me look a little more mature and even older (in a good way).
Will you grow your hair out?
If you've been thinking about growing your hair out, I encourage you to give it a shot. Worst case scenario: you hate it and get it cut.
But remember, it's going to take a little while, so be patient! And if you're in the market for some new (very affordable) pomade, check out Old Spice on Amazon.
Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below!