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The Butterfly Haircut Can Help You Fake Short Hair Without Commitment

Want to try shorter hair without commitment? Learn all about the butterfly haircut, the layered, length-saving chop from the pros stylists.

We’ve all thought about going short before, but committing to a long to short hair transformation is another story. While short hair is chic and on-trend, it’s also intimidating to snip all your inches off if you’re used to having a longer length. If you want to try short hair without committing to a full-on chop, you might want to ask your stylist for a butterfly haircut.

Wondering what a butterfly haircut is and if it might be right for you? We tapped Sunnie Brook, Biolage global ambassador and celebrity stylist, to share exactly how to make the super layered, length-saving cut work for you. But before you scroll, watch Philip Wolff, hair artist and Matrix Global Educator, show you how it’s done below.

What is a butterfly haircut?

The butterfly cut is a very layered, feathery haircut thats longest layers fall just below the shoulder. Shorter layers are cut around the crown of your head to create the illusion of having shorter strands.

“The shortest top layer falls about two to three inches below your chin,” Brook says.

The purpose of this, Brook says, is so that the top layer can be separated from the bottom and easily pinned under to look like a short haircut. And as Wolff demonstrates in his tutorial, layers are easily seen framing the face and highlighting facial features giving this cut it’s unique appeal.

Who is the butterfly haircut best for?

Brook suggests the butterfly cut if you’re obsessed with short haircuts like bobs and lobs but the idea of a major chop terrifies you. While the cut can be tailored to any hair type, Brook says it looks best on those with natural texture.

“Anyone can try this cut, but it’s best for wavy or curly hair,” Brook says.

Butterfly haircuts look best on waves and curls because the layers are blended to complement your natural hair pattern, making styling low-maintenance.

How much does a butterfly haircut cost?

As with all cuts, the cost of a butterfly haircut depends on your salon’s location, the length of your hair, and the skill level of your professional. A consultation with your stylist is the best way to determine how much you pay.

How to Style the Butterfly Haircut

Want to easily fake short hair with a butterfly haircut? Here’s how to do it: Start with dry, freshly washed hair, leaving your hair in its natural state. If you want to add a bit more texture to natural waves or amp up pin-straight hair, apply a few spritzes of texturizing spray like Matrix Miss Mess Texturizing Spray throughout your hair. For curly girls, prep your mane with a curl-enhancing formula like Mizani True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion.

Next, separate the top layer of your hair from the bottom and hold this section at the top of your head with a clip. Next, tuck and pin the hair from the bottom layer of hair underneath. Release the top layers from the clip to reveal a faux short haircut.

“Flip your hair to the side for added height or down the middle with an ear tuck,” Brook says.

Complete the look with a few spritzes of hairspray like Biolage Professional Complete Control Hairspray. If you prefer a stronger hold to keep strands in place, try Matrix
Vavoom Triple Freeze Extra Dry.

Good hair day by @andrewryanwalder

Butterfly Cut With Long Layers

Thick hair? The butterfly haircut is the perfect cut for taking weight off of heavy locks without losing length.

Good hair day by @Hannah_urbanrawwallsend

Butterfly Cut With Bangs

Add fringe to your butterfly cut for even more dimension.

Good hair day by @jenbuistyles

Silver Fox Butterfly Cut

Get in on the gray hair trend and try a fantasy color like this soft silver combined with your butterfly for double the fun. If you do go for gray, you’llneed to pick up a sulfate-free shampoo especially formulated to help color-treated hair maintain its vibrancy like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Sulfate-Free Shampoo.

Good hair day by @thehivesalonuk

Curly Butterfly Cut

Just because you have curly hair, doesn’t mean you can’t jump on the butterfly haircut bandwagon. Book a dry cut to get the most precise layers.

Good hair day by @pirania_ya

Butter Cream Butterfly Cut

A vibrant color like this creamy blonde will make your butterfly cut pop. Get this exact hue yourself using Redken Shades EQ Gloss in 010N Delicate Natural, 09NW Cream Soda, and 09GB Butter Cream.

Good hair day by

Butterfly Cut With Flipped Up Ends

Enhance your butterfly haircut further with super smooth strands with flippy ends that really show off each layer of this cascading style. Make sure each layer stays frizz-free by using Redken Spray Smooth on damp hair before you blow dry.

Interested in trying the butterfly haircut or other viral haircut? Stock up on professional styling favorites on

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