Keep The Slicked Back Undercut Classic, kiddo!

Ruining the slick back undercut with a bad haircut and hair

I’ve recently seen an increase in the number of men with the slicked back undercut. Now, this would not be a problem normally, but I am seeing how the hairstyle is being bastardized and blended with some “modern” touches that turn this timeless men’s hairstyle into one ugly monster style. Call me old-fashioned, but, as a barber, I just can’t stand the bastardizing of classic men’s hairstyles like the slick back undercut.

An excellent hairstyle picture depicting the perfect slicked back undercut hair style

The timeless slicked back undercut

Once upon a time, back when none of us were even future human projects, men would slick their hair back so as to look like men. You see, in the 1920s and 1930s, men would slick back their hair and sweep it to the side so as to complement the, what I call, “gentleman look“. A two-piece suit combined with spit-polished shoes and flat slicked back hair, all blended with a calm, noble, mannered and charismatic personality. Men like these were the so-called “alpha” males in society back in the 1920s, 1930s and all the way up to the 1960s, and women would flock to these gentlemen as if they (gentlemen) had that “milkshake” from that stupid song from some stupid artist who sings something stupid along the lines of:

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…

And yes, the above quoted line from that stupid song and from some stupid (non) artist shows more or less how lobotomized much of our younger generations have become in the 21st century, which is an unfortunate scenario for those of us who care about the future of our country. Anyway, back to the slicked back undercut.

After the 1960s, the slick back undercut lost its trendy appeal and this timeless male hairstyle only re-surfaced again some years ago in 2011 when Michael Pitt played Jimmy Darmody in the TV hit show Boardwalk Empire. In this show, Michael Pitt plays a wannabe gangster (Jimmy Darmody) who sports a great slicked back undercut. Such was the rise in popularity of the hairstyle in 2011 thanks to Boardwalk Empire, that the slicked back undercut was also known as the “Jimmy Darmody haircut” and we’d have many instances of barbershop customers asking us for that “hairstyle of Jimmy Darmody”.

A picture of Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody with his hair styled in a timeless and classic slicked back undercut

Based in the 1930s, you’d expect Jimmy Darmody’s slicked back undercut hairstyle to be a gentleman’s hairstyle on par with what men wore in the 1930s, and, indeed, such was the look that producers of the show gave to Jimmy Darmody (and to the rest of the male cast in Boardwalk Empire with different 1930s male hairstyles!). Here are is an example of the classic slicked back undercut of Jimmy Darmody, plus the many other examples of his hair that you’ve seen throughout this article. Just pay close attention to how the hair starts and completes this man’s elegance and savoir faire.

A picture of Jimmy Darmody with a dapper slicked back undercut hairstyle

Destroying the slick back undercut with bleached hair and a bad haircut

Most barbers will agree with me that we hate bad haircuts. But not bad haircuts caused by a lack of skill and being a rookie barber; no, we don’t hate those kind of haircuts. What we hate are those haircuts that are done on purpose so as to attract eyes (i.e. be the center of attention) on your haircut by ruining an otherwise-epic hairstyle.

All you need is hair bleach and a Mohawk haircut that doesn’t even blend the disconnected haircut line in the undercut. And, while you’re at it, just contour the back of the head too so that the disconnected undercut doesn’t follow a straight line…

A barbershop picture of a bad haircut for a slick back undercut style

It should not come to a surprise to you that the above haircut is insulting to see, at least for me. Mind you, a friend of mine who is also a fellow barber and owns his own barbershop in San Diego sent me the above picture of a haircut that was done at a new so-called barbershop specializing in hipster haircuts and “dapper” hairstyles (that’s what they insinuate with their slogan apparently).

I just have to laugh out loud at the “dapper” word; if only these barber kids would know what the word dapper meant, they would have closed down that barbershop and taken some work experience at a real old-school Black & White pomade smelling barbershop.

In other words, if good ol’ Jimmy Darmody saw the above badly-cut undercut with bleached slicked back hair, this would be his face:

A picture of Jimmy Darmody with his long undercut hairstyle slicked back while looking to the side

Anyway, this is just me thinking out loud and posting a bit of parody on my site since not everything in this site should be about side swept hairstyle guides and classic hairstyles inpiration articles! I just thought that posting this here at would give you folks an idea of what not to do so as to keep and maintain your mane classic, elegant and dapper. I’m talking real, old-fashioned dapper and not whatever those new kids on the block understand as dapper!


  1. Hi,

    I am looking to have this style done by myself at the hairdressers or barbers I am wondering how long i would need to let my hair grow to have this done?



  2. About 6 inches of hair length on the top of the head (ideally).


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