The 'butterfly haircut' is the long hair lover's secret to an instant faux bob

It’s the best of both (hair) worlds

Digital Beauty Editor / February 25 2022

The decision between being a long hair or a short hair person is a tricky one. Both ends of the length spectrum have their own set of pros. Nothing looks cooler than a cropped above-the-shoulder chop (which also means less styling time), and yet waist-length mermaid manes truly never go out of style (and happen to offer zillions of styling options).

But while the question itself may be layered, it turns out that there’s an equally layered haircut that actually eliminates the need to decide altogether.

Yes indeed, the ‘butterfly haircut’ has just flown into our lives, offering a chic and versatile solution for anyone who’s struggling to choose a length to settle down with.

"This is a very layered haircut on hair below the shoulders that's cut in a way that the top layer can be separated from the bottom and easily pinned under to look like a short haircut," Sunnie Brook (the celeb hair stylist behind the OG butterfly cut) explained to POPSUGAR. "The shortest top layer falls about two to three inches below your chin."

“It’s a short haircut in a long haircut,” hair stylist Luke Hersheson echoed in a chat to British Vogue. “[The butterfly cut] is a style that allows you the ability to wear your hair up at the back, but look like you’ve got shorter hair from the front. It’s called a butterfly because the idea is that the hairstyle offers two completely different looks.”




How exactly? Well, the ‘butterfly’ aesthetic is created with the help of what's basically a super grown out set of curtain bangs, allowing the cut to be made up of two layers of significantly different lengths.

Your upper layer should frame the face and fall above the shoulder as a shorter style would, giving the effect of a cut without the commitment. This way, whenever you whip your hair into a pony or throw on a chic turtleneck, you get the full effect of a chic, short chop, and yet can also embrace your hair in its full down-do glory whenever an occasion calls for longer locks. It’s practically a faux bob that allows you the best of both hair worlds.

As for the longer layer, it's there to be either tied up or left loose, depending on your desired aesthetic. Unlike many longer hairstyles, however, the butterfly cut will never leave your lengthier sections void of body or movement. Even if you're mostly looking for a way to stop long hair falling flat, it’s a great way to keep length but add volume and shape.

So if it’s Farrah Fawcett volume you’ve been searching for in your long hair game, (as well as the ability to style it ‘short’ whenever you want), this super flattering ‘70s style is for you.


Main image credit: @biancacolour

After more haircut inspo? Give the boy bob a go...