Byrdie August 11, 2022



The Jellyfish Haircut Is The Controversial Layered Cut Dividing TikTok


Consider it the latest take on the mullet.

Experimental beauty is having a moment, and the jellyfish haircut is just the latest iteration. The boldly-layered cut is making waves on TikTok. It's funky, fresh, and definitely a statement. So if that sounds like you, jellyfish away. But for those less willing to dive headfirst into a daring new look, there are also subtler, softer takes on this mullet-style trend that might just be worth showing your hairstylist.

As far as haircuts go, the jellyfish might be one of the most accurately named. The chop mimics the shape of a literal jellyfish, featuring two sharply-cut layers. The first, outer layer is cut evenly around the head, right around the middle of the ear. The second, inner layer can be as long or as short as you want. Think: a bowl cut, but with another longer layer beneath it.

Sounds... interesting, no? Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Maxine Salon, explains, "This cut is trending because it’s a neutral style and it works for people who are creative and adventurous, and also works if you’re not ready to chop off your length but want a different look."

The bold chop might not be for everyone, but there's no harm in taking some inspo from this TikTok-trending haircut. One tip: Add some extra angles and an in-between layer to soften things, while still keeping the edgy vibe intact.

Ahead, all the details on this style—and tips on how to ask for the jellyfish cut at a salon.


Sarah Cunningham is a hairstylist and owner of Uplift Haus Hair Studio.
Raven Hurtado is a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.


What Is A Jellyfish Haircut?

"The jellyfish haircut is an avant-garde, high-fashion look that is meant to grab your attention," Sarah Cunningham, owner and stylist at  Uplift Haus Hair Studio, tells Byrdie. The look blends two haircuts—a bob and a longer style—into one, not-quite seamless style.

Hurtado explains, "The jellyfish haircut is a half-short, half-long mullet style. There’s two sections of disconnected layers. The top portion has shorter layers while bottom layer is long and textured."

There are plenty of ways to try out this jellyfish cut. Whether you go for an all-out jellyfish cut or blend out the layers into more of a mullet style, this look can be a great option for anyone who wants to experiment with a more playful, edgy chop.

If you prefer an eye-catching haircut, the jellyfish haircut can be a great option. As Cunningham explains, this look is "meant to grab your attention and get you talking." There's no questioning that.

However, people on TikTok are still conflicted about the look. "Nah this is how my hair looks when I grow out a mullet," one user commented on a jellyfish cut video. On another haircut video, a TikToker commented, "Wait... why do I want this..."

If you're feeling the same way, we collected expert-approved tips for the best ways to ask for this haircut and get a jellyfish look you'll love.

How To Style A Jellyfish Haircut

Before asking for a jellyfish cut at the salon, it's important to give your stylist some context. Hurtado suggests, "For this cut, you’d want to ask that you want to maintain the length but texturized. You’ll also want to ask for short rounded layers on top to add lots of movement."

Cunningham recommends bringing plenty of inspo photos. Really, bringing some photographic inspiration is always a solid idea, but especially when it comes to a more daring cut like the jellyfish. Cunningham says, "Pictures always say a thousand words. Bring your stylist a handful of picture that show the effect of your desired hair goal."

Considering there are so many different ways to do this cut (do you want two distinctive layers or a more blended 'do?), having plenty of reference pictures (or videos!) is a smart plan.

Another tip? Make sure to visit a hairstylist who has experience with edgier styles. If they have no idea what you mean by "jellyfish cut," it might be a good idea to tap someone who knows what you're looking for. With such a bold cut, you want to make sure you're getting exactly what you asked for.

The good news? Once you take the plunge, it's a pretty low-maintenance cut. "To style, I think it’d look best rough dried then going in with a texturizing spray to make the layers pop," Hurtado explains.

And that's not the only silver lining. If you're not quite ready to commit to the jellyfish look yet (or you're still searching for the right hairstylist), you can start by trying out this hairstyle with extensions. "This look can be achieved with a classic bob and some added in extensions for a semi-permanent eye-grabbing effect," Cunningham explains.