The Butterfly Haircut Is Flying Into 2024 (& We’re Obsessed)

By Charlie Colville

5 months ago

A softer take on the shag is the next big cut

You’ve had the wolf, the cub and the kitty – but now a different animal cut is taking over the world of hair. Get to know more about the latest beauty fad, the butterfly haircut, with our guide below.

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What Is The Butterfly Haircut?

‘A butterfly haircut is a style characterized by long layers throughout the hair length and shorter face-framing layers, creating a light and airy appearance,’ explains Neil Moodie, editorial stylist and founder of Neil Moodie Studio.

‘Layers are gracefully swept back, framing the face like the delicate wings of a butterfly,’ adds Cyd Charisse, a contributor at Hairstory. ‘The butterfly cut has soared in popularity recently as it masterfully combines the desire for dynamic movement and volume with a practical, wearable style that evolves gracefully with the wearer. This cut offers the perfect frame for the face, making it a versatile choice for those seeking both flair and functionality in their hairstyle.’

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Neil also chalks up the style’s renaissance with our growing love for nostalgic references, citing the likes of Pamela Anderson, Matilda Djerf, Sydney Sweeney and Sabrina Carpenter as recent wearers of the butterfly haircut. ‘Its recent popularity can be attributed to trends influenced by the 90s,’ he confirms. ‘As well as its versatility for various hair types and textures, making it appealing to a wide audience.’

The trend has also made a splash on TikTok, with the search term ‘butterfly cut’ racking up over 1.9 billion views on the platform. So it’s officially Gen Z approved.

How Does It Differ From A Shag Or 90s Blowout?

While the butterfly’s use of layers and emphasis on volume may sound familiar, our stylists point out that this is a much softer haircut than the likes of a shag or a 90s blowout. ‘Unlike the intense layering of the 90s blowout or the tousled look of the shag, the butterfly cut offers a more refined and polished appearance while still maintaining a distinctive style that stands out,’ says Cyd. ‘It has a much more unique blend of movement and grace.’

‘A 90s blowout is all about voluminous looks, and a shag is known for favouring a heavier fringe and drastically shorter layers,’ adds Neil.

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Who Suits This Haircut?

In short, everyone – although its recommended you get a proper plan in place with your stylist so you can get the exact look you’re after. ‘Although it can suit most hair types, discussions with your stylist about your preferences, lifestyle, and hair texture are crucial during consultations to achieve a personalized look,’ advises Neil.

Cyd also highlights that this is a look that works especially well for those with straight hair (or those who style their hair straight). ‘Though the butterfly cut can indeed complement curly hair, its signature style really shines when styled straight, boasting volume and movement,’ she explains. ‘This iconic look is defined by its effortlessly voluminous straight layers.’

How To Ask For A Butterfly Haircut At The Salon

When heading to the salon, there are a few things you can prepare in advance to help you get your vision across to your stylist – the top one being photo references. ‘To prepare for the haircut, bring inspiration photos, share your likes and dislikes from those images, and discuss your daily hair routine and lifestyle with your stylist,’ suggests Neil.

Cyd also recommends growing your hair out as much as you can before your appointment: ‘When you go for a butterfly cut, it’s best to have longer hair. This cut has a lot of short layers inside that give it volume and movement. So, having more hair lets your stylist shape it around your face better. Like a new canvas.’

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Tips For Maintaining A Butterfly Haircut

One of the main draws of a butterfly haircut is that it’s low maintenance, and easy to grow out into a nice style – but if you want to keep your butterfly looking like it’s just emerged from its cocoon, then our stylists recommend booking in for clean-up appointments. ‘Maintaining the butterfly cut requires regular appointments, ideally every six to eight weeks, but it can be extended up to eight to 12 weeks,’ says Neil. ‘Trimming layers within the six to eight week period can help maintain the haircut’s shape for longer.’

Hair Inspiration: How To Style A Butterfly Haircut


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Featured image: Anika Huizinga, Unsplash