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The Jellyfish Haircut Is Fall's Hot New 'Do...And We Have Thoughts

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Last year was all about bangs, but this year we’re paying more attention to bolder haircuts (with some memorable names). We started 2022 strong with butterfly and octopus ‘dos, so of course, we had to add another eccentric cut to the list: the jellyfish haircut. Yes, it looks exactly how you’d picture the haircut to look like—a peculiar shape of fullness on the top and long tresses on the bottom—which has the internet divided.

We tapped an expert to break down the cut for us and offer some tips on how you can rock it for the season—if you dare. 

Meet the Expert:

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What is the jellyfish haircut?

Inspired by the traditional Japanese “hime cut” (or princess cut), the jellyfish combines two classic styles: a blunt bob and a mullet. To mimic the sea creature’s shape, the top layer is cut shorter and evenly all around the head like a bowl cut. Meanwhile, you keep the bottom layer long, so it resembles a jellyfish’s tentacles. “Literally imagine a jellyfish on top of a bald mannequin. Now, imagine turning that into a haircut,” says Gamba. “The distribution of length and weight play a major factor in the outcome. The shorter and rounder the shape of the crown, the more extreme the haircut will be,” she adds.

Why is it so popular?

Like many other hair trends these days, the style took off on TikTok. Similar to the mixie and shullet before it, the jellyfish haircut allows you to rock a short and long ‘do at the same time. It also lets you play with texture, shape and length to customize the cut to your liking. Most recently, Nicole Kidman was seen rocking the cut on the cover of Perfect Magazine, so more people are starting to take notice of the edgy look. 

Does the haircut work on everyone? 

Short answer: Yes. To achieve the jellyfish haircut, book an appointment with a stylist who can tailor the style based on your hair type, hair density and face shape. For example, if you have a rounder face shape, you want the top layer to lay right above or right below your chin. This will ensure the bob looks fuller and sharper. Meanwhile, those with a square face shape should consider keeping the top layers slightly below or at the jawline to really frame your features. 

As for the bottom layer, that comes down to your hair texture. You can rock them long or short, but movement is key to getting the “tentacles” to flow seamlessly. Whether you want to go subtle like Kidman or give your best Mai straight out of Avatar: The Last Airbender, it’s best to bring a few reference pictures to really get the top and bottom layers just right. 

How do I style the jellyfish haircut?

FYI, this trendy ‘do is super low maintenance. Once you get the chop, you don’t have to do much to turn heads. However, if you want to add more body to your locks, grab a few styling products that will accentuate the layers. Gamba recommends adding a dollop of paste to the top (focusing it on the mid-shaft and ends) before adding a wax powder to the “tentacles” for extra shine and bounce. 

You can also use heat tools (like a curling iron or blow dryer) to add volume and shape to your jellyfish cut. Some creators even go so far as braiding the longer lengths and adding contrasting colors to really highlight the hybrid cut. 

At the end of the day, the jellyfish haircut is popular because it can fit anyone’s aesthetic. “Making it your own statement style is what this look is all about and having the products you need will make your jellyfish haircut come alive,” adds Gamba. 

So, are you ready to make everyone jelly with your new cut?