Not to be confused with the shag or a modern mullet, the octopus haircut is one of 2023’s most notable hair trends—and it’s undeniably cool. Even better, it’s super versatile both in terms of who it flatters and how you can style it. There are octopus haircuts for curly hair and straight hair, octopus cuts for short hair and long hair, and everything in between. Keep reading to learn more about one of the trendiest hairstyles for 2023—including octopus haircut ideas you can bring straight to the salon. (Or should we say, keep swimming!)
What Is An Octopus Haircut?
The octopus haircut gets its name because of the way it is sort-of, kind-of reminiscent of the fabulous sea creature’s silhouette. Similar to a mullet, the style features more body and volume at the crown of the head (the head of the octopus) and then longer, thinner, shag-like layers from the mid-shaft to ends (the tentacles).
Though the octopus haircut is inspired by both the mullet and shag, it is neither. It definitely has a softer look and feel compared to mullets, shags, and even the wolf cut. This approach nixes the severity of a mullet (which also tends to have a short “top” section) while also not feeling quite as retro or voluminously textured as a true shag.
What Is The Difference Between An Octopus And A Wolf Cut?
If you’re in the know about trending hairstyles, then you’re probably wondering how the octopus haircut differs from the ultra-popular wolf cut we saw everywhere in 2021.
While the two are quite similar, the biggest difference is that the wolf cut has more all-over volume while the octopus haircut’s volume is focused at the crown of your head. The octopus haircut also has a distinct disconnect from the top section to the bottom, which is what gives it the octopus-like silhouette.
Octopus Haircuts To Inspire Your Next Chop
Are you sold on the octopus haircut? Let these styles inspire your next salon visit!
Classic Octopus Haircut
You can’t go wrong with a classic octopus haircut. The layers at the top are soft, blended, and long, while the remaining length is tighter and more tentacle-like. To keep your hair shiny and soft, make sure to use a heat protectant whenever styling. Kérastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer not only preps your strands, but also protects hair from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent hair damage.
Octopus Haircut with Longer Top
If you’re not sure about the big disconnect between the top and bottom sections, ask your stylist to keep the length a bit longer, so both sections are more blended. This allows you to have the octopus silhouette without committing completely to the trendy look.
Octopus Cut for Short Hair
Though the octopus haircut tends to work best on shoulder-length hair and longer, you can still pull this style off if you’ve got shorter strands. Again, the key is to create a rounded, voluminous shape at the top while keeping the base length shorter. For more of the octopus silhouette, you could even thin out the base length more than you see here. To get a bit more volume at the top, spritz L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Anti-Gravity Effect Volume Spray.
Octopus Haircut for Curly Hair
You can have your curly hair and octopus cut, too! Again, have your stylist focus the volume at the crown of your head while thinning out the base. To create shine and definition in your curls, apply Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel throughout your mane. This moisturizing gel nixes frizz, amplifies shine, and defines your tendrils—all without flaking or crunchiness.
Colorful Octopus Cut
Who says you have to stick to a traditional hue when going with an octopus haircut? Go even bigger by experimenting with fashion colors. You could go all one hue—maybe electric blue or sunshine yellow!—or try a mix of colors like this. To keep that color vibrant, use a hair care system that protects against fading, like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner.
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