In many cultures, the length of hair carries a symbol of beauty and health. In diminishing or destroying this wealth, undercuts are often associated with rebellion and punk subculture. We’ll admit that not everybody can pull this look off – you’ll need adequate attitude, facial shape, style, as well as hair volume to keep it together. So before you take the plunge, read on.

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The Plunge: The first person I saw with an undercut was Laurieann Gibson on the reality show, ‘The Dance Scene’. Her fierce attitude and larger than life presence played a huge part in the wow factor of her look. Fast forward a couple of years and her look still lingered at the back of my mind. What do you do when you are done with high school, at the end of a bad break-up, or at any crossroad for that matter? It’s written in any Hollywood teen flick script – you re-invent yourself; you do something drastic with your hair. After consulting a bunch of friends a few months back, I woke up one morning and decided I was going to do it. I find that the best things happen in the spur of the moment, and this was one them.

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Laurieann might not be your inspiration, but what do you think of Alice Dellal or Avril Lavigne’s looks? These two were much more courageous, shaving a much larger section of their head. As you might have realised by now, girls with long hair can easily flip their mane over to hide their undercuts or flaunt it by flipping it the other side – whenever they see fit. For girls with a shorter crop such as Miley Cyrus and Agyness Deyn, undercuts make a much greater statement – perfect for shedding a good image. The choice is yours.

Before

Before

After 2 weeks

After 2 weeks

The Maintenance: This might be a hassle for those with hair that grows out really fast. After two weeks of getting my hair tattoo done at Joe’s Barbershop, it is now barely visible. Opt for a number 1 cut when shaving your head for a clean skin cut shave – it will last you a month until your next shave. A quick shave at your neighbourhood’s barbershop would knock you back about RM5, whereas a premium hair tattoo cut will cost you around RM20.

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The Growing Out: Ellie Goulding’s look is a prime example of the best situation when it comes to growing out. You want it to stay flat and not stick out. If your hair starts sticking out during the growing out stage, use gel, wax or coconut oil to smooth it down to keep it neat. With the help of a headband and your hair, you can easily cover it up. As your hair grows longer, you can cut your hair to even it out. Buzzfeed has a few great tricks and tips for growing out an undercut.

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Taken at The Return of Paramore Live 2013

An undercut could be so many things. It could be a statement that you will not conform to the norm, or even a tribute to your favourite band. With the choice of getting a hair tattoo, it can be so much more than a patch of stubble. If you have been hanging on to the idea of getting an undercut for months now, don’t over think and just do it. You can always start out with a small portion and hide it if you don’t like it.

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Image Credit: Zimbio, Rathika Sheila, Zoé Ng