How to Rock a "Wolf Cut," the Trendiest Hairstyle Celebs Love
You can get the look no matter your hair type, stylists say.
If you've spent any time on TikTok or Instagram recently, or have stepped foot in a high school homeroom, then you've likely seen or heard of the wolf cut trend. The layered haircut is a cross between a '70s shag and a mullet, often styled with perfectly disheveled waves or curls—and it's one of the top-trending haircuts of the year.
Open a tabloid and you'll spot it on celebs like Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, Jenna Ortega, and Halsey, but you needn't look far for great wolf-cut ideas. According to Google Trends, the wolf haircut first garnered attention in the winter of 2021; however, its popularity has only continued to grow, especially as it's moved from an edgier style to an everyday one. Keep reading to learn more about the haircut, including how to customize it for different hair lengths and textures, and how to style it to amp up the volume.
What Is a Wolf Cut?
At its essence, a wolf-cut hairstyle is an update to the shag haircut. "In this modern version, the top layers are left a bit longer and are tapered throughout the sides and length for a shape that follows the natural curve of your head and neck," says Lisa Abbey, hair stylist and founder of Flygirl Beauty Brands.
The cut works on any hair length or texture, though you may want to make slight modifications depending on your face shape and hair texture.
When you visit your stylist, you may notice the shaggy wolf cut requires a somewhat different technique than your run-of-the-mill chop. "For this type of cut, your stylist will typically use a razor or texturizing shear or use a point-cutting or tipping technique with regular shears to provide a messy texture and controlled chaos effect on the layers," says Abbey.
You can chat before your appointment to decide which method and alterations are best for your unique hair, as well as your haircare and styling routine.
How to Decide on Bangs for Your Wolf Cut
One of the top questions your stylist will likely have for you is how you'd like your bangs to look.
"The bangs or fringe of this cut really define the style," says Abbey. "You can go with a blunt heavy bang with textured tips for a more '70s look or a curtain-style long wispy fringe for a softer look."
Get your stylist's input here, since your hair type may come into play when deciding.
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How to Make a Wolf Cut Look More Voluminous
Before you even leave your stylist's chair, there are things you can do to ensure a flat cut isn't a problem.
"Shorter and more exaggerated layers at the top, as well as the crown of the head, will create a more voluminous wolf cut," says Darrius Peace, salon owner and master hairstylist and barber at Hayah Beauty. "Blow drying and styling will also contribute to a fuller showcase of the style."
A spritz of texturizing spray or dry shampoo after your blow dry can amp up the volume even more, especially if you're working with thin or fine hair.
Can You Do an Edgy Wolf Cut With Shaved Sides?
You can—and it's also a heavily trending look.
"Since the layers in this style are narrower and lay closer to the head, unlike typical layering which gives volume on the sides and around the face, it's a natural next step to take the sides in even tighter," says Abbey. "This will result in a super-edgy wolf look."
Before you commit, remember that the grow-out period on this cut can take a while.
Will a Wolf Cut Work for Thick Hair?
Wolf cuts aren't just reserved for thin hair, they're also a great choice for thick strands, though your stylist may switch up their technique.
"In addition to using the razor for textured ends, your stylist will also go in with a texturizing or thinning shear to remove additional bulk and free up the natural waves and texture," says Abbey. That way, the hair will fall into place easily once styled.
Will a Wolf Cut Work for Curly Hair?
This trendy haircut is also great for those with curly or wavy hair.
"For these clients, your stylist will skip the razor—it can make this hair texture even frizzier—and go in with lots of point cutting and tipping," says Abbey. "A smoothing treatment that leaves the hair with waves and movement, like a Korean K-Gloss, will also help avoid too much volume and soften the curls into waves."
You'll want to ask your stylist for their thoughts, to see if it's a good option for you.
What Are Some Wolf Cut Ideas for Straight Hair?
If you have naturally straight hair, you'll want to follow the volumizing tips outlined above.
"To add extra 'oomph' or zhuzh, you may want to consider a texturizing wave treatment, like Arrojo's American Wave," says Abbey. It'll ensure the choppy layers have life and movement.
How to Do a Short Wolf Haircut
A wolf cut for short hair is also a majorly trending look.
"For this style, we usually lean toward a wispy or fringy outline and the sides can be tucked behind the ear," says Abbey. "The tips of the wolf layers can be point cut or razored, but keep them close to the head and flicked out for subtle movement and shape."
What Is a Rainbow Wolf Cut?
Rainbow wolf cut hair is achieved with multiple colors woven throughout the hair. A professional colorist will be able to help you choose how much color to add and how light you can go.
"In this look, strands of desired pastel primary colors are placed strategically throughout the hair to accent the texture and lengths," says Abbey. "In place of foiling or balayage, for this look, we prefer to hand paint the lightener and color, which allows your colorist to follow and accent the curves and movement of the layers."
As you can imagine, this color and cut is a real show-stopper!
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