A Peaky Look As Seen on TV

If there’s one programme that has made haircuts a really important part of the characters being portrayed it’s Peaky Blinders.  At first look they are crazy and over the top but as you get engrossed in the story and the lives of these men you start to realise how much their haircut signifies who they are.

Although the haircuts do seem to have quite a modern edge to them, they are actually based on styles from the 1920s.  The style sported by the main characters is the undercut which, up to the 1920s, was seen as a style for those in poverty as they could not afford a barber who could blend the hair as more skilled and expensive barbers could.  In the 1920s, when Peaky Blinders is set, the undercut had really become popular with young lads particularly those involved in street gangs.

Unlike ‘the fade’ the undercut has a deliberate disconnection in the length change, which makes it a very strong look.  The fade can be introduced if need be – it’s your hair afterall! – but for the true look take the plunge and go for it.

With the individuality and prominence the undercut gives, it’s no real surprise that the desire for the cut has grown with the popularity of the show.  But how do you go about getting the look at home?  We’ve picked a few of the styles for you to have a look at and try.

Tommy Shelby

Probably the most conservative of the hairstyles in the show and therefore one of the most popular.  Whilst still an undercut, this is not as severe as the others for 2 reasons.  Firstly, the undercut is short but not down to the skin – try a 2 or 3mm guard.  Secondly, the textured length is not too long and is styled to add texture.  You’ll need your longest guards for this and, if you’re feeling brave, even some scissors to really cut in some texture.  This style can be quite versatile too, with the top being swept to the side (Tommy Shelby style) or pulled forward into a fringe.

Arthur Shelby

This is definitely one of the most distinctive styles on the show and will need some ‘homework’ as it requires real length in the top.  The sides are very short – 1mm or 2mm if you’re wanting to be a bit more conservative.  Unlike a lot of undercut styles, it is shaped to leave a thin section of longer length on top.  The top is then kept very long and swept back with gel  – really highlighting that deliberate length change.  As you have the length on top you do have some versatility – partings on either the side or middle, straight back or even tied back if you have enough length.

John Shelby

Depending on the series you watch will depend how brave you are with this cut!  In the first series, this cut was really severe with the sides shaved down to the skin and being brought up very close to the top of the head with only a very small amount of the longer length on top.  Later series’ saw the top being brought further down and given a little more length.  The styling was also mixed up the top being gelled into a side parting or given real texture to show a much thicker finish.  This style really goes to show that whilst the undercut is a very defined style, it can still be very versatile.