What Is the Butterfly Haircut? (Celebs Like Sydney Sweeney Are Already on Board)

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Fact: Short haircuts are in. From blunt bobs to mixies, cropped styles are everywhere these days. Even so, some of us aren’t ready to make a dramatic change and chop off all our long locks just yet, which makes the butterfly cut all the more enticing. The beauty of this trending style is that it lets you rock a short ‘do without actually cutting all your hair off. Confused? We get it, which is why we tapped two hairstylists to give us the lowdown on the new kid hairstyle in town and how to get the look at home.

​​The Biggest Hair Trend of 2022 Has Major Edgy Retro Vibes

What Is The Butterfly Haircut?

Simply put, the butterfly haircut gives you the best of both worlds, which is why Sunnie Brook, celebrity hairstylist and Biolage global ambassador, coined the name in the first place. “​​The butterfly haircut is two haircuts in one that gives you the option to play with short hair without having to commit to cutting all your hair off,” she tells us. “It’s a fun, almost optical illusion to change up your style and give the appearance of a big change.”

To get the cut, it’s all about snipping short layers on the top of the crown and blending them into the longer layers on the bottom. Brook explains the short strands are often two to three inches below the chin, while the longer locks fall just past the shoulders. This intentional flow creates a soft movement and texture.

OK, but how is it both a short and a long haircut? Well, when you leave your hair out, you have a nice layered blowout. But, the minute you pin the bottom back into a low ponytail or bun, it looks just like a short hairstyle (almost like a faux bob) as the top layers are in full display.

Why is it so popular?

The butterfly cut is next in a long line of mixed-length styles that everyone is experimenting with this year. Think: mullets, shag, etc. The butterfly haircut is popular because it’s so versatile, low-maintenance and super ‘70s. “It’s an update of the classic long layers,” explains Danielle Priano, celebrity stylist and Sexy Hair brand ambassador. “When doing regular layers you don’t have a gap between layers, every section is going to be a continuation of the layer before. The twist with this cut is that you separate the below chin layer from the rest (layers below the shoulder) to give you some space to create the short hair illusion when desired.”

Does The Haircut Work On Everyone?

The butterfly haircut can be tailored to all hair types, hair textures and even face shapes. However, Brook points out that this cut works best for curly and wavy hair, since adding layers to your locks can complement your natural pattern. As mentioned before, it provides even more shape, bounce and texture all around without relying too heavily on products to define your curls.

How do I style the butterfly cut?

In great news for those of us who can be a little, um, lazy when it comes to styling our hair, the butterfly cut requires little to no products. Still, if you’re looking to enhance your own natural texture, consider a texturizing spray to add more definition and shine, or, if you’re more on the curlier side, reach for a curl-enhancing product. Priano also suggests a round brush and blow dryer combo to add volume for a ‘70s blowout (or a styling tool for a defined, polished finish).

So, it’s time to flap your wings, get this trendy haircut-slash-magic-trick and have your friends asking, “Wait wasn’t your hair just long a second ago?”

Stylists' Recommendations: Biolage Complete Control Hairspray ($19); Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hairspray & Play Volumizing Hairspray ($20); Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus Humidity Resistant Volumizing Spray Mousse ($20); Biolage All-In-One Intense Dry Shampoo ($24)

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...