Glamour July 30, 2022



The Butterfly Haircut Is the Chicest Way to Add Volume and Texture to Long Hair


Time to spread your wings. 

The butterfly haircut is the long hairstyle of the summer, and it’s not hard to see why. A combination of the ’70s shag and ’90s-era “Rachel” with the va-va-voom of contemporary bombshell blowouts, the viral style embodies the best of bygone hair trends in one chic look. 

Considering this, it’s no wonder it took off on TikTok the way that it did: “Butterfly haircut” has already amassed a massive 4.6 billion views on the app, which has since spurred IRL butterfly fever too. According to consumer-trend data-aggregation platform Spate, web searches for the butterfly cut increased by nearly 1000% in just the past year. Clearly, the butterfly cut fluttered its way into hearts—and fast.

As for what the chop actually looks like? Maxine Salon hairstylist Jenna Spino describes the butterfly cut as heavily layered and feathered, featuring shorter layers on top of the head and through the crown. These shorter layers slightly resemble butterfly wings, hence the cut's cute name. 

“The short layers on top are blended through to longer layers on the bottom, and the shorter layers fall at or below the chin and the longer layers fall just past the shoulders,” Spino says of the chop. As a result, this adds tons of texture, movement, and volume to the hair. If you're more of a visual learner, see Jennifer Lopez's layered locks as a prime butterfly example.

Another benefit to the butterfly cut is its versatility, adds Serina Battaglini, hairstylist and owner of Serina Styles Studio and Salon at Sola Salons. “The butterfly cut can be worn blown out and swept away from the face, or, when pushed forward, create wispy, soft face-framing layers,” she says, so no, you won't get stuck with a super-voluminous look 24/7 (unless you want). In fact, she and Spino both note that this cut is an especially fun way to experiment with shorter lengths, as the layers allow one to “fake” short hair without sacrificing any of their actual length. 

If you're wondering why the ultra-layered look is having such a moment now, Michael Van Clarke, hairstylist and founder of 3"More Inches Haircare, has a theory. Post-lockdown, beauty buffs have become bored of one-length styles and are looking to add more excitement and movement to their hair.  

Battaglini echoes this, saying that, before the pandemic, minimal layers, long lengths, and taking off as little as possible were trending. “Then, when the pandemic hit, people couldn’t get haircuts as often or at all, so people had grown-out lengths and no layers,” she says, explaining that her clients felt very “weighed down.” Fortunately, the butterfly cut provides the perfect solution for that.

Before you run off to your butterfly-cut salon appointment, experts universally assert you should come prepared. Decide exactly where you want the shortest layer to fall on your face—the cheekbone and/or jawline are usually good places to start—and share this with your stylist ahead of time, says Spino. 

Battaglini agrees, and also recommends bringing pictures of butterfly cuts you like as a reference. This way, you and your stylist can clearly communicate about how to achieve your desired look.

When it comes to styling the butterfly, you can either let your hair air-dry or blow it out, says Spino. If opting for the former, however, she suggests lifting the hair up and finishing with texturizing spray to show off the layers. If you prefer to accentuate your layers with bombshell blowout, Battaglini advises styling with volumizing mousse and a hot brush, and topping it off with smoothing serum or oil for a gorgeous, glossy finish.

Ready to let your hair out of its cocoon to transform into a butterfly? Shop your butterfly-cut styling essentials below.