This look goes by many different names including comb over, undercut, low pompadour, greaser, foil fade, etc. I’ve never been a huge fan of giving haircuts names because each person’s head and hair texture are drastically different. For example, the way an “undercut” looks on Jake Gyllenhaal will be totally different from the way it looks on someone with thick, straight, blonde hair.
(Let’s be honest, trying to look like JG is simply wishful thinking in the first place)
This haircut, though we’ve established it has many names, is most commonly called a classic side part, so that’s what we will call it for now.
Is this the right look for you?
Andrew (@rooftoptales) works in a professional environment that calls for a sharp appearance most of the time. The company he works for is fairly progressive, especially in our area, so that allows him to get away with an edgier, more casual look than in a traditional office. The clean, polished top mixed with the high-contrast skin fade makes for a classic look that stands out when wearing a button up shirt or blazer.
He has very dark, thick, straight hair, as is common with most people of Asian descent. This is an advantage when you’re going for a look that has hard corners and sharp contrast because the thick, straight hair works much better with angled shapes than with round shapes. The density and texture of the hair help it stack up in the right places to create smooth lines.
This also makes the hair more difficult to cut because generally, thick hair is less forgiving and shows the slightest differences. You don’t have to have thick hair to pull off this haircut by any means, but it does help to solidify some of the structural elements of the haircut.
This might be the right look for you if you aren’t afraid of a bit of maintenance and you want a haircut that is equal parts nostalgic and progressive. This is a timeless style so it will sharpen up your look no matter what color the collar is you wear to work.
How to ask your barber for this haircut:
Visit your barber when your hair is at least 3 or 4 inches long on top and at least ½ to 1 inch long on the sides. As always, it’s best to go with zero product in your hair.
Tell them that you are going to be parting your hair on the side and pulling the top back for a bit of volume. Then, tell them you want to fade the sides to skin. It’s always a good idea to show them a picture if you’ve seen the haircut you want on someone on the internet or in the wild on an actual human.
You can Book an Appointment here to see one of our barbers to try this look out.
How to style the classic side part:
In these photos, Andrew is using the Nolde Forest Pomade because it is a medium hold and has a bit of shine. This lets his hair remain somewhat soft and natural while being held firmly in place. (Nolde Forest is still one of our favorite scents in the Backhouse where its made by our team of Pomade superheroes!)
When you’re styling it yourself, start with a blow dryer, directing the hair in the front up and back while directing the hair on top to the side and back. Then, scoop your favorite pomade and spread it evenly. Use a comb to form the part, then comb all of the hair on top away from the part. Comb the front up and back and you’re good to go!
Fighting against your crown or cowlicks, especially if you have very thick hair, will most likely be futile. The hair will stick straight up or spread all over the place and it seems like it has a mind of its own.
No amount of product seems to work and so what a ton of people do is cut it short to keep from having to deal with it. Don't do that. Do this instead: