Why We’re Still Thinking About The Hime Cut In 2024
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Why We’re Still Thinking About The Hime Cut In 2024

Meet the predecessor to the jellyfish haircut

Looking for some hair inspiration? It might have experienced its high in 2021, but we’re still obsessed with the hime cut. And now, with jellyfish hair (aka, the elevated hime cut) now making a splash, we think its time to revisit this throwback trend. From history and celebrity appeal to expert styling suggestions, here’s everything you need to know.

More 2024 Hair Trends

What Is A Hime Cut?

‘The hime cut is a haircut that consists of a blunt fringe and face-framing side pieces with the remaining hair left long and usually styled straight,’ explains Sarah McKenna, founder The London Hair Lab. ‘The word “hime” translates to princess in Japanese, and has roots in the country’s tradition and royal history – although today it probably has more significance in describing pop culture references from Asia.’

@bleudreamiesnip snip pt.2 in my hime cut era♬ Free Room (feat. Appleby) – Ravyn Lenae

As Sarah highlighted, the hime cut is a staple of Japanese history. It’s thought that the style was made popular by noblewomen in Japan’s Heian period (794 to 1185), who wore the haircut within the imperial court. Many noblewomen would grow out their hair for their entire lives, but during this period the act of cutting the front lengths shorter became part of a coming-of-age ceremony known as ‘Binsogi’. It was this ceremony that is thought to have given birth to the hime cut.

Fast forward a few centuries and we arrive in the 21st century. These days, the focus for hair trends centres on nostalgic styles that have been updated for today’s audiences – think the shag, mullet, wolf cut and butterfly bob. Many of these styles look to the 1970s for inspiration, and, funnily enough, this is also where the hime cut experienced its own modern-day revival. It seems that the combination of nostalgic reference and experimental cut has become once again intriguing enough for younger generations to give it another go.

‘As with most trends we are seeing now, many are not new,’ highlights Sarah. ‘From the resurrection of mullets to the long layers of the 90’s, social media has a way of showcasing styles that have returned on the trend cycle. The hime haircut is no different.’

@tottola Hime tutorial 2016 #2016 #nana #nostalgia #layercut ♬ original sound – .

Back in the day, Japanese popstars like Magumi Asaoka gave the hairstyle its mainstream popularity – and it seems that that trend continues today. ‘I personally saw the hime haircut being worn by a lot of Japanese and Korean fashion bloggers a few years ago,’ says celebrity hair stylist Timothy David. ‘I loved this as it created a 3D anime character personality, while also delivering a very strong hair look.’

From Japanese manga and anime characters to South Korean celebrities like Song Hye Kyo, Blackpink and New Jeans, the hime cut has settled itself firmly back on the pop culture radar – so much so, that it’s even making a (quieter) splash here in the west. The likes of Haim, Grimes and even Taylor Swift have given the trend a go, with results varying from classic straight-haired, geometric cuts to softer versions that lightly play with the difference in hair lengths.

How Does It Differ From A Jellyfish Haircut?

While similar, the main difference between the hime and jellyfish haircut lies in the shape of these styles – it’s also worth noting that the jellyfish haircut was actually inspired by the hime. ‘Drawing inspiration from the timeless Japanese hime cut, the jellyfish haircut seamlessly blends two iconic styles – a chic blunt bob and a playful mullet,’ explains Jas Kadio, a senior stylist at whip Hackney. ‘The upper hair is trimmed short and blunt like a bob, while the lower layer remains long and textured, creating a jellyfish-like effect.’ In contrast with the hime, which keeps the shorter lengths in a fringe at the front, the jellyfish continues the shorter length on the outside layer of the hair around the whole head, with longer layers extending underneath the cut.

@assort.hair Location: New York, United States #hairtransformation #assortnewyork #assorthair #beforeandafter #hairconsultation #hairtrends #hairtok #himecut #newyork ♬ original sound – ASSORT INTL HAIR SALON

Who Suits This Haircut?

Hailing from Japan, the hime cut was traditionally worn with long, dark, straight hair that highlighted the different lengths in stark contrast – although today you’ll find it can be adapted to all kinds of hair types and textures. ‘The hime haircut does create quite a geometric shape but can be easily adjusted to suit all face shapes and hair textures,’ confirms Sarah. ‘It’s commonly seen with straight hair but can be modified to work with your hair’s natural texture.’

‘I love this haircut on thick straight hair, but it can be quite cool on curly and wavy hair,’ agrees Timothy. ‘Although it would need to be cut dry to really create those angular straight lines.

‘Also, this haircut suits strong colours, such as platinum, dark brown or black hair,’ he continues. ‘You can also then play with fun colours on the ends of each angular section or a light root and dark mids to ends, creating a more playful look that balances the more severe shape of the cut.’

How To Ask For A Hime Cut At The Salon (& What To Expect)

There are two things you’ll need to prepare before trailing this look at the salon: a clear reference and plenty of hair length. ‘At the salon, make sure you have great reference photos,’ advises Timothy. ‘You will need length and not too many short face-framing layers at the front, as the blunt straight lines are very important to create this look.’

‘Also be aware that this haircut does need a lot of styling and can require a lot of upkeep,’ warns Sarah. ‘Booking regular trims every six to eight weeks is ideal to maintain the shape and length of the cut.’

As for creating the look itself, Sarah breaks down the steps to creating the hime cut in the salon: ‘The hime haircut is created by trimming bangs straight below your eyebrow and cutting angled side pieces in the direction of your jawline. The key to perfecting this cut is to have a clear distinction in length between the hair in front of the ears and the hair behind the ears.’

@koreahair.yoosu 유니크하고 트랜드한 #히메컷 디자인 이번에 수지씨가 히메컷 보고 이쁜 디자인인것 같아 소개해 드릴려 만들어 봤습니다~ #블럭컷 #풀뱅 #수지히메컷 #수지풀뱅 #수지앞머리 #수지블럭컷 #뉴진스 #뉴진스머리 ♬ I’m not myself when I’m around you (Feat. 10CM) – 딘딘 (DINDIN)

How To Style A Hime Cut

If you’d like to lean into the traditional hime haircut, then try styling your hair straight with a shiny finish. ‘When styling your hime haircut it’s best to invest in salon-quality products,’ says Sarah. ‘I also recommend using a shine spray to give your hair extra gloss.’

The Future Of The Hime Cut

As mentioned, it’s thought that the hime cut has already given way to a new hairstyle, the jellyfish cut – but Sarah is convinced that we still have more to see from the trend. ‘I can see this haircut evolving into a softer look which is easily wearable,’ she says. ‘Think longer bangs and a layered effect, something that can be at home way more succinctly.’

Hair Inspiration


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Featured image: Min An, Pexels