Move over shag, everyone is talking about the ‘octopus haircut’

But what the heck is it exactly?

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / February 07 2022

As far as hair trends go, we had no idea that in 2022 we’d be requesting an ‘octopus haircut’ from our hairdresser.

Predicted to be popular with Gen Z by Pinterest back in December of 2021, the ‘octopus haircut’ has been spearheaded by the likes of Kaia Gerber (who’s also dabbled with cousin hair trend the ‘wolf cut’).

Defined by short and long layers that resemble the tentacles of the haircut’s namesake, the style bridges the gap between a ‘70s blowout and a classic shag. 

“The octopus cut is a new take on the shag/mullet style we’ve been seeing recently. It’s a less textured version and still manages to keep length with short layers while maintaining the weight at the top,” explained Joe Sirry (co-founder and colour specialist at SHAG! London) to Stylist UK.

“It originated from a Japanese style that has become popular on Pinterest recently and is named after an octopus or jellyfish, as it has a heavy top section with thinner, more tendril type lengths coming through underneath,” he went on to say.



In the same interview with Stylist UK, celebrity and editorial hair stylist Neil Moodie explained the specifics of the haircut, starting with the fact that “the top of this haircut is disconnected from the underneath”. 

“Even though the length is shorter on the top, ideally you still need shoulder-length hair or longer to begin with, in order to create the style,” he said to the publication.

Alarmingly, “the top is cut into a bowl-shaped cut or longer” – um, what? 

Moodie assured those concerned that it’s “no longer than bob length, with the outer edges not cut bluntly.” 

Think: “Soft, possibly razored off and not cut with scissors unless it is point cut with texture,” Moodie explained.  

“The length around the sides and back should be left long and then thinned or razored out. The front will resemble a side-swept fringe once cut.”




The ‘octopus haircut’ isn’t the only same-same-but-different trend in hair at the moment.  Are ‘bottleneck bangs’ the new curtain fringe?

Main image credit: @kaiagerber

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).