Home » Undercut Vs. Combover: Differences & Similarities [Photos]

Undercut Vs. Combover: Differences & Similarities [Photos]

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If you are thinking of getting a new modern haircut, you may wonder if you should go for an undercut or a combover. But in order to make an informed choice, you have to know all the differences and similarities between these haircuts. 

Because the combover and the undercut are very similar, it’s easy to get confused and ask for one when you really want the other.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about getting the undercut and combover mixed up because, in this article, we will explain their similarities and differences so you know exactly what to ask for the next time you’re at the barbershop. 

What is an Undercut?

blonde undercut
Source: @undercut.koszalin via Instagram

An undercut is a hairstyle that has the hair on the back and sides of the head closely cut or buzzed and the top hair longer. It first became popular in the 1920’s when it was worn by everyone from jazz performers to businessmen alike. It has been popular ever since due to its ability to look edgy and professional at the same time. 

Undercuts are ideal because you can style the hair on the top of the head any way you wish. You can spike it or slick it back, grow it quite long on the top, and let the longer hair fall over the shaved sides. The options are endless! 

You can also combine your undercut with a fade. For this style, the hair on the sides and back of the head will get slightly longer as you go up on the head. But there will still be a clear distinction between the shorter hair on the sides and the longer hair on top. 

Related Article: Undercut on Thin Hair: How To Do It [With Photos]

What is a Combover?

Source: @mick_shatter via Instagram

When many of us hear the word combover, we think of the style worn by guys with receding hairlines who are desperately trying to create the illusion of having hair by growing what they have long and slicking it over their heads. But today’s combover has a whole new meaning. 

The combover has short hair at the sides and back of the head and longer hair on top. But what differentiates it from other haircuts is that the hair must be combed over with a sharp side part. The look is edgy but can also be worn in professional or formal settings. 

There’s plenty of versatility with the combover hairstyle. You can wear your hair long, short, curly, or straight. You can wear all sorts of fades on the side of your head. You can even do a combover with a lineup to achieve a symmetrical look. 

Related Article: Two Block Haircut Vs. Undercut: Differences & Similarities

What are the Differences and Similarities Between an Undercut and a Combover?

undercut vs combover

When you compare undercut vs. combover, there are a variety of differences and similarities. Here are some to consider. 


  • Overall Style: Both styles are very short on the sides and back of the head, with a longer section on the top of the head. 
  • Both Can Be Worn with Fades: Unlike other haircuts, like the high and tight, where the hair on the sides must be all one length, you can do a fade with undercuts and combovers. 
  • Good for a Variety of Occasions: Because, as mentioned, both cuts are short on the bottom and long on the top, they are conservative enough for office looks. But you can play around with the hair on the top to make them look edgy, too, if you want. 


  • The Part: The combover must have a side part. A side part is not required for the undercut. 
  • Good for Different Face Shapes and Hair Types: The undercut and combover are suited to different face shapes and hair types. We will go into that in more detail in the following section. 

Related Article: High and Tight Haircut vs. Undercut: All The Differences & Similarities

Should You Go for an Undercut or a Combover?

hard combover
Source: @isisblackandgold1 via Instagram

When trying to decide if you should get an undercut vs. a combover, there are a few factors to consider.

Face Shape

If you have a round face, you should probably opt for a combover because the side part will add angles that will detract from the roundness. A side part is also a good way to minimize the look of a longer face or a square face. 

However, if you have a heart-shaped or oval-shaped face, you should experiment with the different looks that are possible with an undercut, such as slicked back, parted in the middle, and more. 

Hair Texture

If your hair is thin, a combover is your best choice because parting your hair in the middle will help give it texture. 

If your hair is thick, you can make the most of the undercut haircut by wearing your hair high on top, slicking it back, wearing it long, and so on. 


Your lifestyle is another consideration. If you have an active lifestyle, you probably don’t want your hair parted to the side because it will fall over your face when you are moving around. An undercut may be more your speed. 

Personal Style

You must also consider your own personal taste. Think of both cuts and how you would want to style them. If you find a style you like that’s more doable with an undercut, go for the undercut. If your styling preferences go better with a side part, it’s combover all the way. 


Now that you know the difference between undercut vs. combover, you can decide which one is right for you. Which will you be asking for the next time you visit your hairdresser? Let us know in the comments section!

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