Help me get an asymmetrical haircut that doesn't look awful
October 26, 2013 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm a guy with fairly long hair (between chin and shoulder length) who wants to try something a little daring and, yes, possibly very stupid. I've been thinking about getting one side buzzed short- not shaved- while leaving the rest long. How should I request this? What is that even called? Details and stuff inside.

A few things I've already considered:

1. Thankfully, I have a good hairline, without any visible recession. I do, however, have a kind of tall, narrow head, and wonder how high I should get it shaved.
2. I'm aware this style usually works better (or indeed usually at all) for women. Assuming I can pull it off, I'm okay with that.
3. I am also prepared for people to make Skrillex jokes. I will bear this indignity with quiet stoicism and good humor and maybe some rude gestures.
4. The employment situation. Right now I'm a full-time student, and while I'll be looking for part-time work soon as my savings from full-time employment can't last indefinitely, I don't think this will be a major obstacle. The way I look at it, it's really only going to be an immediate disqualifier for jobs that I'm not at all qualified for, and I live in a big city where people have been pretty tolerant of whatever minor presentation quirks I already have.

My main worries right now are purely technical. I'll leave a lot of this up to the hairdresser, but I feel like I should go in with a more defined idea of what I'm looking for. Aside from how high up it should go, I'm also not entirely sure how this should look from the back- it's going to have to come up a bit, but I'm wondering if I should extend the buzz-cut area a little further around the back of my head?

And of course, I'd love to know if I've missed any potential problems, or if anyone has experiences with getting a similarly ill-advised haircut, care/styling recommendations, pictorial references (I've been having a hell of a time finding examples of this on guys with long hair), etc.
posted by Merzbau to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Lots of pictures here that you could take to your stylist, rather than trying to explain what you want.
posted by jabes at 12:41 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

It sounds like an 80s New Wave haircut. Two out of three of The Thompson Twins, or Adam Ant (on occasion), or 80s Bono, or Howard Jones might be masculine references for you.
posted by macadamiaranch at 1:08 PM on October 26, 2013

Cyndi Lauper.

I have had the more ridiculous, shorter version of this haircut. (Google Tony Hawk '80s for a rough approximation.) I did it myself with kitchen scissors. It was not difficult. I would highly recommend not paying someone else to do it, because, seriously, with clippers it'd take all of three seconds.

To see how it'll look beforehand, just sidepart your hair and hold the part to be chopped off behind your head so it's flat. Like it? Chop that hunk off.

If it doesn't work out, go '90s and shave it all the way around (this you may want help with). If that sucks, try the Miley Cyrus/Justin Bieber. Hate that? Sinéad O'Connor it is!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:18 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just want to say that I live with a fellow with a high narrow head and an asymmetrical haircut, and it looks very nice. He cuts his himself, but his life situation is such that a home haircut is acceptable. I mean, it's a nice home haircut, but yours will look even snazzier because it will be professional.
posted by Frowner at 2:04 PM on October 26, 2013

the keyword you want is probably 'undercut'
posted by corvine at 2:53 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

Me, my sister and my daughter have the partly shaved asymmetrical look. I DIY mine and my daughter's at home with my partner's beard trimmer/hair clippers. It's a high upkeep cut, so it's much more efficient to be able to DIY every two or three weeks (my sister has hers done at the hairdressers and they do free trims in between cuts). My long hair is almost waist length and curly, my sister's is shoulder blade length and wavy and my daughter's is just past her ears and dead straight.

Both my sister and I got the cropped section just beneath our natural part on that side, and just past the shell of our ears so we can cover it without heavy styling if necessary. My daughter has both sides and the back done (so kind of mohawk/fauxhawk/topknot), but her hair is thick enough that when it's down you can't tell either. Once it grows out (so I had about a 2mm cut, it's about 7mm now) it's even harder to see and notice. Most people don't notice it unless it's very short and I style it specifically. At the moment I have my hair in a bun, with a bandanna done retro style, and you can't see the cropped section at all. When it's super short I notice it's sort of like velcro for the rest of my hair though.

All three of us are cherubic of face, but it's a pretty broadly applicable cut I think.

(pics of the styles)
posted by geek anachronism at 4:24 PM on October 26, 2013

Undercut is definitely what I think of when I think of the professional version of this haircut. They might take it in a more trendy style if you describe it that way, so I'd try to find as accurate a picture as possible. (Unless that's what you want-- I love it when my stylist jazzes up my cut based on my simple requests.)
posted by stoneandstar at 4:55 PM on October 26, 2013

I feel like I should go in with a more defined idea of what I'm looking for.

Why not just bring in photos? (Or find e-photographs on google or whatever people do these days.) You can't get more defined than that.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:22 PM on October 26, 2013

The most modern reference is a "Skrillex haircut."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:39 AM on October 27, 2013

Response by poster: Haircut accomplished. It turned out pretty well, I think! Thanks for the input, everybody; I kind of overthought this, but I like to plan ahead.
posted by Merzbau at 9:02 PM on November 1, 2013

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