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Step Aside, Wolf Cut

Step Aside, Wolf Cut

Octopus Haircut Ideas and Photos

While some hairstyles like curtain bangs and the shag have cemented themselves as two of the styles of the moment, there’s something new — albeit interestingly named — on the horizon. Meet the “octopus” haircut. In fact, it’s the latest animal-inspired cut to reach the masses, on it’s a little more wearable than the decidedly edgy “jellyfish” haircut and the “wolf cut” that dominated TikTok last year.

Here’s what to know about the haircut trend, including what the look entails, how to ask for it at the salon, and how to make it work no matter your hair length.

What Is the Octopus Haircut?

The octopus hairstyle isn’t as outlandish as it seems: you could even think of it as a reinvention of the iconic “Rachel” haircut from the ’90s that was made famous by Jennifer Aniston‘s character on Friends. “The cut is less sea-creature and more stylish shag, and is quickly making its way around the internet as the latest trend, being seen all over Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok,” Darren Bain, lead stylist at Taylor Taylor London, told POPSUGAR. “Popular in Japan and Korea, the style has recently arrived in the West as a modern alternative to traditional longer layered hair.”

Translation: the octopus haircut is yet another iteration of the shag, but with a modern twist. “The cut is a heavily textured look that uses shorter layers on the top of the head, critically maintaining length and volume, while thinner, longer lengths of hair are styled from underneath,” said Bain.

While those top-heavy layers may remind you of the mullet, it’s not quite the same. According to Bain, “With an octopus haircut, the two layered sections are much more blended than the mullet, which is more visibly disconnected.” The octopus cut incorporates long, face-framing curtain bangs that hit below the ears, whereas a mullet typically features shorter, eyebrow-grazing bangs.

Who Can Get the Octopus Haircut?

If you’re looking for a flattering haircut on short- to medium-length hair, the octopus hairstyle may be for you. “[It’s] perfect for someone that enjoys volume and unstructured hair, as heavy layers create lots of volume that make the hair look thicker internally, leaving the length quite soft,” said Bain. It can be styled with a blowout for a slightly sleeker finish or left rougher and more “undone” for a more casual look. “Generally speaking, however, the octopus cut does need daily styling using smoothing and styling products, and a round brush.”

As for hair textures, the octopus haircut is best suited for those with straight or wavy hair. “Most people with these types of cuts tend to wear their hair straight with flicks at the end of the hair to accentuate the shaping nature of the style,” said Bain. “Those with naturally voluminous curls can end up with an overly disconnected, almost wedge-type look.”

How to Ask Your Hairstylist For the Octopus Haircut

Don’t be shy: you won’t be looked at weirdly if you request this haircut trend at the salon. “Many stylists will be aware of the octopus haircut, especially as it rises in popularity,” said Bain. “However, regardless, it’s always a good idea to find some reference photos to show your hairdresser.” Keep scrolling for exactly that — no matter your hair length.

Octopus Haircut on Long Brunette Hair

The octopus cut can typically be seen more easily on longer hair. The differentiation between layers is much more apparent as seen in this version of the cut.

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Octopus Haircut on Short Blond Hair

If you have shorter hair but still want to try out the octopus cut, don’t let the length of your hair stop you. Octopus cuts can add loads of volume to shorter hair, making the “shag” element of the cut more apparent.

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Octopus Haircut on Short Curly Hair

Adding face-framing layers to curls like this octopus haircut can help add shape and movement.

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Octopus Haircut on Shoulder-Length Red Hair

If you want to try out an octopus cut but don’t want a drastic change in your look, keep the top layers of your hair subtle and curl them inward to frame your face for a softer transition between layers.

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Octopus Haircut on Shoulder-Length Blond Hair

The octopus haircut is perfect to accentuate the highlights in your hair. Curl your hair in different directions to not only add to the “shag” element of the cut, but to also show off the dimension in your hair.

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Octopus Haircut on Long Ombre Hair

Ombre may be one of the most complementary color styles for an octopus haircut, particularly if you have long hair. The color gradient is accentuated by the concentration of volume at the ends of your hair, making both the cut and the color hard to miss.

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Octopus Haircut on Mid-Length Hair

People with mid-length hair can also take part in the octopus-cut trend. Combine the cut with the quintessential ’60s hair flip for a retro spin on the hairstyle.

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