The pompadour undercut is a gem. It’s immediately attention-grabbing while remaining subtle and understated at the same time.
Plus, it’s very accessible and pretty easy to achieve. Once your barber’s done the initial leg work, minimal styling chops are necessary to get the look you want.
It’s important to get to grips with what specific variation of the style you want before getting that hair clipped.
Your barber will then have a better idea of how to cut it in order to let you style it the way you want.
I’m about to give you a brief rundown of exactly what this style consists of.
After that, you’ll see some incredible examples of this style done right. Use this as a source of inspiration when figuring out what you want for yourself.
At the end, I’ll give you some tips on styling the pompadour undercut in the best way possible.
Let’s get to it.
What Is The Pompadour Undercut?
Pompadour undercuts are styles where the hair on top is styled into a pomp, while the back and sides are clipped much shorter.
A pomp is where the hair on top is swept upward and away from the face; this could be backward or to the side.
It’s similar to a quiff but is generally combed further back and has a neater, more pristine, and compact appearance.
It has roots tracing back to Madame de Pompadour of 18th century France, but the pompadour has seen a modern resurgence that’s taken men’s fashion by storm.
The “undercut” aspect of this style combination refers to the sides and back being trimmed a lot shorter.
The difference in length between the top, back, and sides is what gives the undercut its characteristic look.
There may be a very hard line at the borders, which is what’s referred to as a disconnected undercut.
There may also be a fade at the sides and back. This could be low, mid, or high, depending on where it starts.
Ultimately, there is plenty that can be done with this combination. The options really are endless.
But let’s get to the fun part – the pictures.
14 Great Pompadour Undercut Styles
Use this as a guide. A foundation of knowledge you can use to experiment with and forge out a style for yourself.
1. Classic Pompadour Undercut With Fade
Here, the pompadour is neatly combed and has almost certainly been blow-dried into position.
It has a slight tilt to the right although looks very balanced overall.
It may not be particularly tall but the pomp here stands out enough to be noticeable. As you can see, the fact that there’s an undercut makes it stand out even more.
The sides are clipped down to a skin fade. In other words, so short that it can reasonably be labeled “skin”.
The short boxed beard gives the lower jaw a lot of strength and prominence. With the pomp standing tall on top this produces an attractive oval shape overall.
This is one of the reasons beards go so well with pompadours.
2. Brushed Back Pompadour Undercut
You’ll eventually figure out just how you want to brush or comb your pompadour. There are several different ways of getting it done, and there’s no “right answer”.
Some choose to blow dry and comb, or brush, while others choose to finger-comb it to their desire.
Another way in which people differ is the direction in which they choose to style their pomp.
Some choose to slick it to the side, while others choose to slick it right back.
This is a great example of what slicking it straight back looks like. It’s clearly been done using a comb which gives it such a neat and even look.
Slicking it straight back adds a lot of balance and symmetry. While some men prefer a tilt to either side, pushing it back might be preferable to others.
You do need hair that’s relatively thick in order to achieve this, however. If it isn’t, you may find that it won’t stay in place and may naturally shift to one side or the other.
Some pomade should help keep things in place if you’re struggling.
If you don’t think your hair is long enough to slick straight back, try slicking it to the side instead.
The undercut here is very neatly done, with a fade that could safely be labeled a high fade, simply because it lies level with the temples.
3. Tall Pompadour Undercut
Sometimes, you might really want to bulk it up.
Of course, the thicker and longer the hair, the easier this will be.
But to add as much volume as this some pre-styling mousse before blow-drying it in place will definitely make things easier.
It may not be subtle, but it’s a great way to grab attention. A tall pompadour doesn’t go unnoticed.
But it’s the presence of the undercut that really makes it stand out.
As you’d expect, the shorter the hair on the sides, the bigger and taller the hair on top will seem in comparison. It’s all relative.
The mid fade here is a nice touch and pairs very well with the goatee and chinstrap facial hairstyle in the picture.
Overall, although larger pomps do come with increased maintenance requirements, the additional work may be worth it.
4. Curly Pompadour Undercut
Curls can be difficult to manage. But when styled properly, both the pompadour and undercut complement it so well.
The waves at the front produce a fantastic textured effect, before weaving and graduating backward in a typical pomp fashion.
Tousling the front with a comb while blow drying on medium heat is a good way to achieve this intricate, wavy effect.
The sides and back are neatly clipped short. It’s a disconnected undercut and there’s a visible hard line separating the top from the back and sides.
There’s no visible fade here. It just looks neat, even, and clean. It would definitely appeal to a lot of men.
Once again, a meticulous beard line up also helps give the look a very complete and structured finish.
5. Pompadour Undercut With Line Design
Sometimes, it can be tempting to throw subtlety out of the window and make more of an emphatic statement with that pompadour.
As you can see here, the undercut is pretty subtle. The sides and back are trimmed shorter than the top but not by a huge amount.
Sure, there’s a low skin fade, but this is pretty common.
As you’ve almost definitely figured out by now, it’s the line design that really makes this stand out from the rest.
It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you’re looking for something more attention-grabbing than what you’ve seen so far, this may be the one.
Any sort of line designs are always best left to the barber. It’s not something you want to risk messing up.
Pompadour Undercut Styling Tips
Although specific styling instructions depend quite a lot on the variation of pompadour undercut you’re looking to style, here are some universal tips:
- Start with clean hair. It’s so much easier to shape a pompadour with hair that’s just been washed and gently towel-dried. Oil, dirt, and grease make things a lot harder and will lead to worse outcomes.
- Combining some pre-styling spray before blow-drying will give the hair added protection. It’ll also add volume and fullness to the pomp.
- Although it can be tempting to pump up the heat, use your blow dryer on medium heat to protect your hair. A concentrator nozzle is usually helpful.
- Start by blow-drying backward, forwards, and from side-to-side to add volume and straighten out any knots. Once you’ve done this, you can use your comb, brush, or fingers to tousle and shape the pomp how you want it to end up.
- Finish off by applying some good-quality pomade. This will keep things in place, as well as add volume and texture.
Both pompadours and undercuts are popular these days. It makes sense that the combination is so effective.
By now, you should have a good idea of just how many variations are available to you.
With the help of your barber, experiment regularly and figure out what works best for you.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.