If you’ve been paying attention to the latest trends or are a regular follower of #hairtok, chances are you’ve come across the butterfly haircut. But what is it, and most importantly: should you get it? It’s time your questions were answered. In this blog, Laura Elliott, Head of Education at Neäl & Wølf shares everything you need to know about the cut.

So, what is a butterfly haircut?

This 90’s throwback trend has already gone viral, with almost 25k hashtags on TikTok, it’s no surprise this cut is set to rule as one of the most popular hairstyles.

The butterfly haircut takes inspiration from 90's glam and is layers galore! The name comes from celebrity hairstylist Sunnie Brook who has an endless list of glamorous clients, including Jenna Ortega and Elisabeth Moss.

The name comes from the wisps of layered hair, which fan out like fluttering butterfly wings. The butterfly cut creates volume and dimension while removing damage and split ends. It has been linked to the ‘Rachel’ cut, which Jennifer Aniston sported again at the 2024 Golden Globes. Learn more: Jennifer Aniston’s Iconic ‘Rachel Green’ Haircut

If you like to rock shorter face-framing layers and curtain bangs, the butterfly cut is for you. The butterfly cut is characterised by lots of layers and often a curtain fringe. The layers are a combination of long and short cuts; the shorter layers stay around the face, whereas longer strands stay at the back of the hair. This layered look is great for anyone who wants to create the illusion of fuller, healthier hair without sacrificing length.

The butterfly cut is characterised by lots of longer layers and often a curtain fringe.

How to do the butterfly haircut

The style can be achieved by chopping layers of hair both long and short, which can be a complicated process and difficult to get right. When creating this look, we’d always recommend visiting a salon and seeking a stylist’s professional advice. This shouldn’t be tried at home unless by a professional stylist.

Will the butterfly haircut suit my face shape?

The chances are, yes! This look is so versatile your face shape doesn’t matter, whether it’s square, heart-shaped, round, oval, diamond, or triangle; your stylists will add slight variations to the butterfly haircut to compliment your face structure. The butterfly cut also suits different hair types, adding volume and body to thin hair, and making thick locks more buoyant.

Hailey Steinfeld/Instagram

The butterfly cut goes so well with Hailey Steinfeld’s long wavy brunette hair! Hailey Steinfeld/Instagram

Which is better? Butterfly cut vs wolf cut

The butterfly cut and the wolf cut are similar, but one is more dramatic than the other. The wolf cut merges shag and mullet cuts to create a bold, rebellious look. In contrast, the butterfly cut is light and glamorous.

The butterfly haircut is similar to the popular wolf cut in that they both use long and short layers. The difference is that the wolf cut is styled in a heavy and blunt fashion, whereas the butterfly cut has much more flow and movement. The wolf cut also has more of a 70’s vibe, whereas the butterfly cut is very 90’s.

Which haircut is better depends on which part of your personality you’d like to portray. If you’re looking for a fierce, untamed look, the wolf cut is for you. The butterfly cut is much lighter and more whimsical.

What is the difference between layers and the butterfly cut?

The butterfly cut uses layers, so the two style aspects work together in harmony. There is however some difference between traditional layers and the butterfly cut. Traditional layers are styled so that they shape inwards towards the face, to frame your features. However, the butterfly cut has layers directing and fanning away from the face.

Is the butterfly cut high maintenance?

The butterfly cut is very easy to look after, using as much or as little styling as you please. We’d recommend having regular trips to the salon for maintenance, as well as following a hair care routine to get the best out of your look. Read on to find out our key tips for styling.

How do you style a butterfly cut at home?

Lean into the feathery characteristics of the butterfly cut to create a show-stopping look. Below, we’ve compiled our top tips for perfectly styling the look from the comfort of your home.

Washing

The butterfly cut will naturally add volume to the hair, but it can’t harm to give your hair an extra boost! We’d recommend choosing a shampoo and conditioner that add body and bounce to the hair, like our AMPLIFY range. This adds volume and lift to your hair, making it the perfect foundation for your hair care routine. Find out more: AMPLIFY Shampoo and Conditioner

Drying and finishing

When it comes to styling the butterfly cut, you can either let your hair air dry or blow dry it out (a big 90’s blow out will make this cut look incredible!). Our HERØ Ionic Hairdryer is the perfect hair care companion, with a diffuser attachment for setting curly or wavy locks, as well as two different sized nozzle attachments for all hair types. Try a spray before drying, such as our Uplift Volumising Mist. Spritz on to damp hair and then lift the hair up while blow drying, and finish with a texturising spray. For all day hold, complete the look with Neal & Wolf Control Hairspray.

Butterfly haircut ideas

There is a common misconception that butterfly cuts are only suitable for people with long hair. However, one of the main benefits of the butterfly haircut is that it can actually look great for a variety of hair types, lengths and styles.

Butterfly haircut for long hair

With long hair, length is often the focus of the style. However, the butterfly cut adds another dimension - volume. By using shorter cuts to add height to tresses, the top of the hair can become as important as the bottom.

Butterfly haircut for short hair

Butterfly cuts can work on short hair too! The classic version of this look keeps length at the back resulting in a super chic faux butterfly bob. Open to learning about other short haircuts? Read our blog: The French Bob

Butterfly haircut for straight hair

The butterfly bob can add personality and bounce to straight hair, with wispy bangs injecting a shot of volume. Here are some more hairstyles you may consider if using hair straighteners: 5 Hairstyles You Can Do With Straightening Irons

Curly hair butterfly haircut

Curly hair has a natural lift which the butterfly haircut can propel further. This look highlights the depth within the hair, creating layers of gorgeous ringlets. We have a range of products tailored to curly hair which nourish your locks and prevent frizz. Learn more: Curly Hair Products

Wavy butterfly cut

Wavy hair works well with the butterfly cut as it emphasises the wisps created by the style. This look causes hair to flow freely, emphasising your natural look.

Butterfly haircut with curtain bangs


Curtain bangs are the icing on top of a butterfly haircut. They encourage the flow of your locks and frame the face further, working with the shorter layers at the front of the hair.

Blonde butterfly cut

Although this style looks iconic with assorted colours, the butterfly cut can emphasise the different tones of blonde hair. Looking to explore other hair colours? Check out our blog: What Hair Colour Suits Me

Are you ready to try the butterfly haircut? Compliment your look with a brilliant hair care routine. Shop the Neäl & Wølf volumising styling range today: Volumising Hair Products

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