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Androgynous haircuts blur the line between classic feminine and masculine styles. Here, discover styling tips to help you master this aesthetic.

Beauty School: An Androgynous Haircut Is the Versatile Style That Defies Labels

Androgynous haircuts blur the line between classic feminine and masculine styles. Here, discover styling tips to help you master this aesthetic.

Forget the notion of “his” or “hers” haircuts—the androgynous haircut is the latest gender-neutral style we can’t get enough of. This popular look transcends gender norms, combining elements from traditional masculine and feminine haircuts to create an effortless, versatile hairstyle. No matter how you identify, the androgynous haircut is the perfect canvas for self-expression. You can wear this haircut with lots of messy texture, soft layers, or an edgy pompadour—there are so many ways to incorporate your own signature style and embrace your authentic self.

Ahead, pro barber and educator John Mosley gives us the lowdown on the androgynous haircut—including advice on what to ask for at the salon, styling ideas, and tips for maintaining the look.

What Is An Androgynous Haircut?

Technically speaking, there isn’t just one androgynous haircut. Any haircut can be considered androgynous, depending on who’s wearing it and how you style it. The general goal of the androgynous haircut is to challenge stereotypes and embrace individuality. With that said, most androgynous cuts share similar features: They tend to focus on short styles and are usually characterized by sharp contrasts between long and short (often buzzed) sections of hair.

“This type of haircut is going to give you versatility,” says Mosley. There are so many variations of androgynous cuts to choose from—including pixie undercuts, shaved mohawks, and taper fades (we’ll dive into the latter in a moment).

Before and after androgynous haircut

How Do You Ask Your Stylist for an Androgynous Haircut?

First things first, it’s important to communicate with your stylist about your vision. “When you come sit in the chair as a guest, you need to know the type of hairstyle you're looking for, and what kind of shape,” explains Mosley. We recommend showing your stylist a few pictures that resonate with you during your consultation—this can help ensure you’re both on the same page. It will also allow them to nail down the best approach for your androgynous haircut.

If you’re having trouble deciding where to start, consider a messy taper fade. This androgynous style is a great way to ease into a shorter cut without losing all of your length. To replicate the look, Mosley says to ask your stylist for a soft taper with messy texture at the top that can be pulled forward. According to Mosley, a taper will give you a soft shadow fade around the temple area and the nape, maintaining some softness without too many harsh lines.

How Do You Style an Androgynous Haircut?

As far as styling goes, this genderless style has no shortage of options. The versatility and adaptability of this haircut make it ideal for anyone looking for total freedom of expression.

Messy Taper Fade

The beauty of the androgynous taper fade is that you can easily style the longer part of the hair to the front, side, or back, depending on your preference. But before styling, you’ll need to choose the right products to help you ace this look. For a relaxed vibe, we recommend using a texturizing mousse or spray—like Pureology Style + Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray followed by Redken Dry Texture Spray. Or, if you’re going for an edgier aesthetic, you can try Redken Texture Paste, which creates a more ragged, high-texture look with movable separation.

You can begin styling this haircut by combing the longer part of your hair to the side with the help of a fine-tooth comb. Then, apply your styling product and gently comb the product through your strands. Next, for extra volume and lift, Mosley says it can be helpful to work some styling product through your hair using your fingertips. Gently tousle the long portion of your hair with your fingers to help bring the style to life and add even more separation and texture.

For inspiration on how to style other androgynous haircuts, check out these 35 hairstyles that defy labels.

How Much Maintenance Does an Androgynous Haircut Require?

There’s another reason to love the androgynous haircut: It’s fairly low-maintenance and requires minimal styling time. However, this can vary depending on the exact cut you and your stylist decide on. Very short, tapered styles and buzz cuts will require some upkeep if you want to keep those shaved sides looking fresh.

Typically, tapered cuts will require you to visit the salon approximately every three to four weeks. For other androgynous hairstyles, like a choppy bob or shaggy pixie, you can typically wait longer between salon visits (unless you’re also rocking a bold rainbow-colored hue that requires frequent touch-ups). Your stylist can help advise you on the right androgynous style for your preferred level of upkeep, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice before taking the plunge into a new gender-neutral look.

Next Up: 35 Short Fluffy Haircuts That Are Trending Right Now

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