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 is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.