Move Over Jellyfish Cut – Octopus Hair Is Having A Moment

By Charlie Colville

4 weeks ago

The next internet hair trend making a splash in 2024

Just when you thought long hair had fallen out of fashion, think again. The octopus haircut is taking over salons this season with its summery layers and edgy aesthetic. Here’s how to get the look.

What Is Octopus Hair?

‘Octopus hair is a beauty look characterised by dramatic, choppy layers, similar to a wolf or jellyfish cut,’ explains Stéphane Ferreira, Operations Manager and Senior Stylist at Live True London. ‘The key element is having shorter, choppy layers around the face and longer ones that hang down like octopus tentacles.’

@archvlee11 Replying to @Ruii. alotta ppl been asking what my haircut is, issa disaster rlly 🔥🔥 #fyp #ganyu #hairstyle #idk ♬ Moonlight – Sped Up – Kali Uchis

And like its wolf and jellyfish predecessors, the octopus haircut is a quiet hit online – especially on TikTok, where you’ll find over 240 million posts tagged under #hairstyleoctopus. But what exactly gives the cut its appeal?

‘Think of it as a modern take on the Rachel hairstyle from the 90s,’ says Shu-Lan Cheun, Technical Educator at FFØR, who pins the success of the hairstyle on its nostalgic value. ‘There’s been a huge revival of all things 90s – the nostalgia is a big draw – and stylists are looking back and modernising these familiar haircuts for today’s audience. As for the name, it’s nicknamed the octopus haircut because it incorporates curtain bangs that go right below your ears giving the shape of an octopus.’

How Does It Differ From A Jellyfish Haircut?

While similar in style (and sharing an aquatic-themed name), our experts do highlight that the octopus and jellyfish hair trends are indeed different. ‘The jellyfish haircut is blunter than the octopus, with more dramatic shaping,’ explains Stéphane. ‘Whereas the octopus cut is a lot softer and closer to a shag or wolf cut.’

‘The octopus haircut visually is a blended layered result, whereas the jelly fish haircut has shorter, blunter layers in the shape of a bob with longer layers beneath,’ adds Shu-Lan.

Who Suits This Haircut?

‘For the traditional look, this trend works best on straight or slightly wavy hair as it will hang naturally in a way that imitates octopus tentacles, meaning it requires less styling,’ says Stéphane. ‘However, this layering technique can look great on all hair types, with different results.’

How To Ask For Octopus Hair In The Salon (& What To Expect)

As always, make sure you attend your hair appointment prepared to communicate what you want out of the haircut. Stéphane recommends bringing imagery with you to help illustrate what you’re after. ‘Always bring reference images so your stylist is on the same page,’ she says. ‘Simply ask for dramatic layers that are short around your face but with some length underneath. Be sure to discuss how you want your face framing layers to look and whether you want a fringe.’

@tobiasbellhair The viral octopus cut #fyp #viral #haircut #octopuscut #timelapse #hairtok #hairtutorials #hairconsultation #hairinspo #hairstyle #crazyhair #hairdresser ♬ The Great Gig in the Sky – Pink Floyd

And if you do want a fringe, Chu-Lan recommends you ‘ask your stylist to connect your shorter fringe with the front area of your hair to create face framing layers, with round layers following the head shape throughout the back area.

‘The look itself is essentially created in three sections,’ she continues. ‘First, there’s the front. Second, the top bit above the horseshoe sections. Third, under the horseshoe. The front area is cut first, and is guided by the fringe area and cutting and razoring down to the length. Creating a face frame, razoring will give more texture and an edgier feel. The next area will be under the horseshoe section and this will be cut 90 degrees from the head, keeping the length and removing the weight so the layers follow the head shape. The last area above the horseshoe; this top section will blend the underneath and the front area and will be cut in a round layer maintaining weight on top.’

How To Style Octopus Hair

Once cut, it’s just a matter of styling your hair to your preferences. ‘The key to creating the right shape is to get volume at the crown of the head and the top most layers to curl in,’ suggests Stéphane. ‘When styling, use either a round brush or a straightener to make sure the ends flip inwards. Use a volumising product to get some volume to the roots, or backcomb with a comb.’

‘Aim for the volume on the top and around the crown keeping the natural texture through the nape and lengths of the hair,’ adds Chu-Lan.

What Next?

As is the way with most 2024 hair trends, our experts see octopus hair getting the bob treatment going forward. ‘We see layered cuts either getting much longer or much shorter,’ muses Stéphane. ‘Think either waist length shags or dramatic pixie cuts, bobs and mullets.’

Hair Inspiration


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Featured image: SS24 Copenhagen Fashion Week Streetstyle @noorunisa