Glamour June 15, 2023



The Mermaid Haircut Is Equal Parts Sexy and Low-Maintenance 


Lengthy face-framing layers? Yes, please.

This summer more is more when it comes to hair, and the rise in disco curls and ultra-layered looks like the mermaid haircut prove it. If you haven't yet heard of the half-human, half-fish-inspired do, you've likely already seen it: Everyone from Gigi Hadid—with her bombshell blowout at Cannes—to Khloé Kardashian and Blake Lively is sporting the low-maintenance yet luxurious summer haircut.

“The mermaid haircut is a long layered haircut done on long hair,” Jenna Spino, a hairstylist at Chicago's at Maxine Salon, tells Glamour. “It got the name because, when done on wavy hair, it looks like what we all picture mermaid hair to look like.” 

As for why this look is so popular right now now—aside from The Little Mermaid mania? That's likely because of its easy upkeep and how high-temp-friendly it is. “For those with medium to thick hair, especially those with a wave or curl pattern, having more length with longer layers is a great summer cut,” says Derek Williams, hairstylist at Material Tampa Salon. “Having the length will make it easy to style when you want, and help get it up and away when the day gets too hot.”

Celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Korab agrees, explaining that this look is ideal for those looking to change up their look without sacrificing too much length. “To keep your hair long for summer, try adding a curtain bang and layers for added texture, volume and movement,” she says. 

Williams also notes that face-framing pieces make this style stand out even more—a feature that's not just trendy but practical. “Those pieces around the face will give you a built-in style that you can pull out when your hair is up in a pony, bun, or claw clip,” he says. “It's important to make sure that your face-framing pieces are cut long enough to get behind your ear for when you want them completely out of your face.” 

Hadid recently showed off how to wear this cut several ways in one night, going from lengthy mermaid-inspired waves to a claw-clipped updo at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Want to try the mermaid haircut for yourself? “Ask for long, face-framing layers at the salon,” Spino says of how to get the look, clarifying that you should always show your stylist exactly where you want your length to be and where you want the shortest face-framing layer to fall. 

If you're not sure, Spino reiterates that bringing reference photos is always helpful. (If you're in need of some visual inspo, feel free to screenshot those in this story.) 

As for maintenance? “This is one of lowest-maintenance haircuts you can have,” Spino asserts. “Go for regular trims just to keep it healthy and in shape.” And yes, styling is super simple too.

“If you have wavy hair, you’re in luck because air-drying is all you have to do,” says Spino. Simply spritz your favorite sea salt spray or apply curl cream after shampooing, and you're good to go. If you don't yet have one, Spino swears by Oribe Matte Waves Texture Hair Lotion to achieve mermaid waves.

If you don't have wavy hair and want that classic “mermaid” look, you can sleep with your hair in braids, or DIY with a waver like Trademark Beauty Babe Waves X. 

“The Babe Waves makes beach waves a cinch,” Spino says. “Start at the top, hold each section, work your way down the section, repeating the process.” Once you've styled, finish with texturizing spray, and you're basically Queen of Atlantis.