Planning on getting a haircut soon? Let this be your guide—especially if you have wavy hair. For effortless waves that last after a wash, we've compiled this list of various cuts that bring out your natural texture. Whether you’re ready for a big chop like the pixie shag or you're looking to spruce up your long mane with some well-placed layers, eight top hairstylists shared their recommendations for the 35 best haircuts for wavy hair.
The 35 Best Haircuts for Wavy Hair
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How to Choose a Haircut for Wavy Hair
"Wavy hair is very versatile and there are many different types of wavy hair. You can have thick, frizzy wavy hair or you can have very fine hair with a subtle loose wave. Haircuts can also suit different hair textures, densities and hair type. It should also suit your face shape, which can require specific haircuts too," explains Juli Akaneya, a NYC-based hairstylist and brand partner for Verb.
Meet the Experts
- Sally Hershberger is a celebrity hairstylist and founder of Sally Hershberger 24K Haircare. She has over 40 years of experience working with celebrities, fashion brands and salons. She manages multiple salon locations in New York and Los Angeles, and is known for creating new and trending haircuts. Her previous clients include Cindy Crawford, Lisa Rinna, Miley Cyrus and Jane Fonda.
- Sunnie Brook is a celebrity hairstylist and a global ambassador for Biolage. She has over 20 years of experience as a hairdresser, salon owner and educator. Her work has been featured on numerous publications including Vogue, Allure and Harper's Bazaar. Her previous clients include Ashley Park, Elisabeth Moss and Jenna Ortega.
- Matt Swinney is a professional hairstylist and global creative director for RUSK Haircare. He is also co-owner of Evolution Salon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Swinney has over a decade of experience in styling and cutting hair, as well as, educating aspiring stylists.
- Annagjid "Kee" Taylor is a hairstylist and salon owner of Deeper Than Hair in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Taylor specializes in styling, cutting and treating natural hair. She's also the author of All Hair Is Good Hair, a children's book that celebrates natural hair and teaches kids that all hair types is good.
- Jon Carlos De La Cruz is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist, who is also a color, cutting and style transformation expert for Cosmo Prof, a beauty supply distributor that collaborates with salons and beauty professionals.
- Dereq Clark is a hairstylist and a brand ambassador for Wella Professionals. He has more than 12 years of experience in the industry, specializing in cutting and coloring services in the Atlanta area.
- Chris Jones is a hairstylist and brand ambassador for Virtue. He is also co-founder of Salon Bugatti in The Woodlands, Texas. He has over 26 years of experience, specializing in cutting and styling hair.
- Juli Akaneya is a NYC-based hairstylist and a brand partner with Verb, a haircare brand that caters to all hair types and needs since 2011. Her work has been featured on numerous media outlets such as The Cut, Vogue Mexico and Refinery 29.
1. Pixie Shag
What do you get when you mix a classic cut with the latest trend? A wavy style worth trying out. The cut features long layers on top and short, soft bangs to create a stylish low-maintenance ‘do. “The pixie shag is a take on the classic shag and is best suited for shorter hair and gives a retro ‘70s vibe,” says Hershberger. “This short hairstyle is both easily manageable and super stylish.” To rock the look like Lisa Rinna, invest in a texturizing paste that defines the layers and creates body for a shorter shape.
3. Cheeky Flip
With a name like “cheeky flip,” expect this cut to have an edge. Of course, the cut opens up at the cheeks (and ends just above the chin) but it’s the deep side part that brings out the volume. “People want to experience change without commitment right now and simply changing your part is one of the easiest ways to look and feel like you have a new ‘do,” says Brook. She also recommends getting a trim every eight weeks to keep the look fresh and applying a dry shampoo (or a leave-in conditioner) to maintain volume, shine and softness.
4. Angled Bob
This wavy look is all about, well, the angles. The sharp cut makes for a bold, clean finish. Whether you have a long, oval or square face, the stylist will focus on angling the cut to match your jawline. With a distinct cut like this one, you’ll want to keep a texturizing spray handy for refreshing and amplifying your waves.
If you are into the idea of a bob but don’t want to sacrifice too much length, try a lob instead. As the name suggests, it has all the characteristics of a classic bob, but is meant for medium to long hair. “The lob haircut has a fair amount of internal texture, which allows wavy hair to maintain its lightness while moving freely,” says Swinney. “The lob remains popular due to the fact you can have a bob haircut without committing to the length loss associated with that cut. It provides a lot of freedom to style, while still giving you the ability to put hair in a ponytail!”
6. Choppy Lob
While the lob is a bit more precise, this choppy alternative leaves room for some chaos (in a good way). The shoulder-length look has intentionally uneven ends that work especially well with wavy hair. To style this cut, simply add a spritz of a volumizing spray and you’re ready to hit the town.
This ‘90s trend blends features of a classic bob and a pixie for a freshly layered look. “The cut leaves the hair just long enough to tuck behind the ear with a fresh take on the curtain fringe trend,” Brook adds. The key to getting this look right is to have your stylist cut the ends so they end just above the jaw, while maintaining monthly trims to keep its distinct shape on the sides.
8. Blunt Cut
One of the most popular cuts for any hair type is the blunt cut with stars like Hailey Bieber, Mila Kunis and Olivia Munn sporting the look. “This universally flattering haircut is the same length all around and will keep the focus on your waves,” explains Taylor. “This simple and modest haircut serves as a low maintenance style that’s perfect for those who love a minimalistic look.”
9. Modern Shag
Speaking of shag cuts, this style has been everywhere and will continue to be a staple for years to come. From Billie Eilish to Meg Ryan, this look is great for all hair lengths. “The modern classic shag features choppy ends, layers around the crown of the head and lots of texture,” explains Hershberger. “The key to this style is the fringe, which highlights the cheekbones and makes you look more youthful by softening your features.” To style this cut at home, reach for a dry shampoo to add texture and volume throughout.
10. Side-Swept Pixie Cut
11. Deep Layers
You can never go wrong with layers, especially when they enhance your wavy texture. “If going short is more change than you want, you may feel more comfortable with this longer version of the flip. This look has lots of layers with a defined finish to keep the lengths bouncy,” explains Brook. The stylist suggests applying a mousse to damp roots before drying the area in the opposite direction of your part. Then, to get the desired bounce and definition, flip your hair over and scrunch more mousse onto the ends.
12. Beachy Waves
Who wouldn’t want cascading waves? This cut maintains the long mane’s natural movement with minimal trimming required. Simply use a round brush and a blow dryer to get those deep dips and swirls ready for any occasion.
13. Wolf Cut
It’s no surprise that this popular cut has been seen on celebs like Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish and Debby Ryan in recent years. “This haircut gained popularity because of its free-flowing, cool style. With the right texture, this is a great wash-and-go style that encourages maximum movement of the hair,” said Swinney. To really bring out the texture, consider separating your locks by scrunching a bit of mousse onto the ends. FYI, the more tousled, the better.
14. Straight Bangs
For the easiest change, add some bangs and you've got yourself a spankin’ new look. You can go for short and blunt bangs or mimic Rashida Jones’ longer, wispier fringe that's easier to grow out. Tip: A flat iron can help smooth out the ends.
15. Pixie Cut
You can never go wrong with a classic. For this cut, ask your stylist to crop the back and sides, while leaving about three inches of wavy length on top. “This cut is easily customizable since you can determine how short you want it to be and what works best for your face shape,” says Taylor. “It has become a popular haircut for those who reject long waves, and hair becoming a symbol of nonconformity and empowerment.”
17. Asymmetrical Bob
This cut quickly elevates a blunt bob. While the traditional way features even ends, this look plays with the length for an edgier finish. “An asymmetrical wavy bob is a perfect way to refresh your look,” says Hershberger. “This style is defined by its uneven cut with one side longer than the other, but not past the shoulder for ideal proportions.” Just look at celebs like Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Mara for reference.
18. Let’s Dance
A fun name fit for a fun cut. This medium-length style has all the bounce you’re looking for—and then some. “This cut sits just below the collar bone and feels as though your hair is dancing on your shoulders,” explains Brook. “You’ll feel like you still have the length for your ponytail or bun but so many more styling options.” Celebs like Kiera Knightley and Julia Roberts have been showing off this wavy cut for years and we’re still into it. Brook recommends applying a lightweight leave-in conditioner for soft, bouncy waves.
The wixie was the haircut of the summer and we can definitely see why it's specifically great for wavy hair. The pixie-shag hybrid keeps some wispier pieces around your face and flipped layers on the sides, while keeping length around the nape of the neck. As one stylist explained in a previous PureWow story, the haircut adds shape and definition to an otherwise tousled style.
20. French Bob
This chin-length cut is just the refresh you need for wavy locks. “Often cut to the hairline with a slight graduation at the nape of the neck, the French bob is great with a wavy pattern,” expresses Swinney. “The texture will create just the right amount of movement and volume to the French bob for an effortlessly chic style.” If you really want the perfect swoop, grab a round brush and a blow dryer to elevate your locks.
21. Layered Bob
From Margot Robbie to Kerry Washington, the layered bob is a go-to for shorter lengths. “This [particular] bob involves cutting the hair into different lengths of layers to create texture, movement, and more volume,” says Taylor. She adds that it’s a great cut for all hair textures and face shapes, but it's an especially great option for people with thin hair.
22. Long And Undone
This cut maintains your length, while showing off your winding waves. “Long, undone hair is a carefree and fun style for those with long, wavy hair,” explains Hershberger. “It’s typically worn with minimal layers and a middle part for those signature beachy vibes. This is a style that requires zero maintenance as you can let your hair grow out to your desired length.”
23. Her Crown
Here's another ‘90s favorite that’s making its way back into the beauty scene. “This look is layered up, leaving the lengths and waves on the crown for a halo of glorious waves,” explains Brook. Whether you’re already rocking short hair or finally ready for a big chop, the cut screams nostalgia (with a modern twist). Brooke recommends using a foam styler to define the layers and add shine.
24. Long Layers
Don't want to sacrifice length? Just add layers. "I typically start the layers under the chin to make sure there's not too much volume, but enough to keep the weight on top and the body at the bottom," says De La Cruz. According to the expert, slide cutting and feathering are two techniques a stylist would use to create layers in wavy tresses. "Slide cutting is used to blends and light feathering adds definition and dimension to your natural texture," he adds. To show off your layers, De La Cruz suggests applying lightweight styling products (ie., mousse, foams or pomades) to your locks.
25. Preppy Bob
Fact: A bob haircut will always be a great choice and we're predicting this version is going to be huge this season. According to Hershberger, this bob is all about straight lines and sharp angles that lightly graze the jawline. To help shape the ends, the stylist recommends applying a mousse to get the job done.
26. Long Shag
We've already highlighted the pixie shag and modern shag (see #1 and #9), so it's no surprise this classic haircut is on the list, too. "This is a popular haircut for wavy hair because of the free natural flow of the cut. The interior layers help remove a lot of heaviness and weight that lives in wavy hair, especially if you have a lot of density," says Clark. If you want to enhance your natural pattern, apply a styling cream before diffusing your locks.
27. The Butterfly Cut
The butterfly cut continues to be a must-try haircut for wavy hair. This '70s-inspired style combines two cuts in one: short layers on top (ending a few inches beneath the chin) and longer layers on the bottom (just past the shoulders). It's easy to maintain and it offers the soft movement your long tresses are craving.
28. Textured Bob
"This cut has a blunt perimeter with a small amount of weight taken out of the bottom to avoid the dreaded bell-shape bob. There is also light texture on top to add fullness and movement," says Jones. "This haircut gets its shape from soft texture versus layering, which makes it an attractive style that's easy to blow out when you want to wear it straight." Once you add a styler to your fresh cut, you can either diffuse your hair or let it air dry to bring out your natural wave pattern. For more definition, the stylist recommends using a styling paste or a texturizing spray.
29. Birkin Bangs
Birkin bangs are a great option if you're looking for some chic, face-framing pieces to complement your waves. Popularized by Jane Birkin, this trendy fringe adds softness, texture and dimension around the face. Whether you go for a half-up half down moment like Jenna Ortega or rock your bands with a chic ponytail, you can't go wrong. Just don't forget to add some texturizing spray for a subtle lift at the roots.
30. Face-Framing Lob
This style, sported by Madelyn Cline, feature long layers on top and shorter layers around the face. "This mid-length lob is a great way to dip your toes into shorter hair without committing to a full bob. The soft layering around the face gives shape and movement to the cut without wiping out volume," says Jones. Whether you diffuse or air dry, the stylist suggests applying a small amount of styling cream and a few drops of hair oil to tame any frizz and add shine.
31. The Fawcett Flip
Farrah Fawcett knew exactly what she was doing when she came on the scene with this iconic haircut, which features a voluminous blowout and curtain bangs. It's also super easy to recreate this '70s hairstyle right at home: Use hot rollers to create large curls away from the face before brushing them out for a feathery flip.
32. The Swag Shag
Also known as the "swingy-shag," celebs like Suki Waterhouse and Camilla Cabello love this edgy cut, which is especially great for those with finer locks. "It gets its name from its grown-out shag appearance. It has a rocker edge to it with a long bang that gives off a cool French girl vibe," says Akaneya. "It's great for fine, wavy hair because it adds swingy layers and texture to the waves, while also building natural volume in an effortless way." The stylist notes it's a low-maintenance cut that can be styled using just some air-dry styling creme and/or a texturizing spray.
33. Wispy Bangs
Wispy bangs will add a touch of softness to your strands without switching up your look too drastically. Just show your stylist this photo of Elizabeth Olsen and you'll be set.
34. Mermaid Cut
Mermaidcore was huge this year and this mermaid-inspired haircut was seen on everyone from Shakira to Rihanna. "It's perfect for thick, wavy hair because the length helps to weigh it down and keep it from becoming too wide," says Akaneya. "The long layers also help to create shape and movement, while avoiding the unwanted triangular shape that can occur when layers are cut too short or too uniformly." For a bit more moisture, Akaneya suggests applying a hair oil to the mid-shaft and ends after drying your locks.
35. Octopus Cut
The octopus cut came on the scene in 2022, offering a modern take on the classic shag. Its name comes from its unique shape, which is round and voluminous on top with abundant bottom layers that splay out (much like octopus tentacles).
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