Octopus Haircut

Searches for the ‘octopus haircut’ are set to double in 2022 according to Pinterest data

It’s characterised by disconnected layers and lots of texture.

Move over wolf cut, there’s a new anthropomorphic hairstyle set to take off: enter, the octopus cut. Characterised by distinct, disconnected layers and subtle 2006 MySpace energy, the octopus cut is picking up speed with forecasts pointing to boom in 2022. 

“While 2021 was the year of more modest trims and shades, our data indicates that people are going to be adopting a much more rebellious and fun approach in 2022, as creativity and escapism become more important in every aspect of our lives, including our hair,” says Tom Spratt, head of beauty at Pinterest. “Get ready to see unusual cuts, ranging from ‘mullet hairstyles’, to even ‘octopus haircut’ amongst the hard-to-miss styles most requested at the salons, with searches for each increasing by 190% and 2x respectively.”

So, if your interest has been piqued and your hairstyle senses are tingling, let’s get into the octopus haircut. 

What is the octopus haircut?

“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,” explains Joe Sirry, cofounder and colour specialist at SHAG! London.

“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.”

Is the octopus cut a form of mullet?

“It’s not a mullet because a mullet is very short on the sides around the ears and the octopus doesn’t have that. The hair is long around the ears,” explains celebrity and editorial hairstylist Neil Moodie.

How to ask your hairdresser for the octopus haircut

“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,” explains Moodie.

“The top is cut into a bowl-shaped cut or longer (but no longer than bob length), with the outer edges not cut bluntly. They should be soft, possibly razored off and not cut with scissors unless it is point cut with texture. 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.”

You may also like

“Wolf haircuts” are trending: how to ask your hairdresser for the laid-back style that’s all over your feed

How does hair texture effect this cut?

“When deciding if your hair texture is right for the octopus cut, think about how it would sit with bulky layers. Personally, I would recommend this hairstyle for hair that is straight to wavy – curly to coily hair could end up with a bit of a wedge or a step midway through as the cut is based around the layers being more disconnected than blended through,” says Sirry. 

What you should know before getting the octopus haircut

“To get the photo-ready flicked under layers and flicked out ends of this cut, you’ll probably want to spend a fair amount of time styling with a round brush to make it all sit perfectly, and also using a smoothing product (oils) with something else for hold (mousse and/or hairspray). This will be a huge help to achieving the full octopus vibe. It’s not a cut I’d recommend for the low-maintenance types, who may be more suited to the 70s shag or a cute, cropped mullet style,” says Sirry.

“In terms of upkeep, this won’t be a cut you need to re-do have every six weeks (unless you choose more of a fringe, which we always recommend seeing a stylist every four weeks for a tidy-up). It will grow out nicely but because the ends are so tapered, keep an eye on the condition so they don’t go too thin.”

Octopus haircut inspiration

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Main image: Getty