The Newest Take On The Shag Hairstyle Trend Reaches Back To The '90s For Inspiration

From the modern, 2022 revival of "The Rachel" to the wolf cut, layered haircuts have been all the rage as of late. It's really no surprise that choppy, layered locks are currently reigning supreme considering the influx of '90s and early aughts trends. There are quite a few '90s hairstyles we think will make a comeback In 2023, so we aren't anticipating an end to looks that are a blast from the past anytime soon.

Now, though, a brand new take on the ultra-layered haircut has arrived on the scene, and this fresh and unique twist on the classic shag is sure to make a major splash in the beauty world. And, when we say "splash," we really mean it, as this style takes its inspiration from a certain creature who lives under the sea. The new twist on the shag hairstyle is called the octopus haircut. 

While this funky style is just beginning to take off, the #octopushaircut hashtag has snagged over 31 million views and counting on TikTok, and per The Zoe Report, It-girls like Kaia Gerber and Billie Eilish have already given their own locks the chop to try this updated mullet on for size. 

What makes the octopus haircut different?

Even amidst a sea of layered cuts, the octopus hairstyle stands out. As the renowned hairstylist and founder of Fekkai, Frédéric Fekkai, told Allure, "The shape of this cut resembles a classic shag and exemplifies the fine line where grunge meets glamour." Further, hairstylist to the stars Michael Duenas clarified that it requires "very short layers on top with a longer length towards the bottom" (via The Zoe Report).

Per PopSugar, this cut is actually yet another revamp of Jennifer Aniston's beloved "Rachel" haircut, which was all the rage in the '90s thanks to the "Friends" star's unparalleled trendsetting. However, what sets the octopus cut apart from "The Rachel" is precisely what gave it its name. Fekkai explained that for octopus hair, you need to "keep the ends long, much like the legs of an octopus!" so it's almost intentionally uneven. 

And, according to Duenas, "The Rachel can be cut with short round layers, [while] the octopus cut is typically done with concave layers on the top." As a result, the crown area is lighter, with shorter layers spilling out. Thus, "It is much lighter in terms of weight. The Rachel is somewhat heavy and bulky." Basically, octopus hair is a modern twist on an old favorite, and there's really nothing trendier at the moment than that. 

How to rock octopus hair while making it your own

One of the best parts of the octopus haircut is that you can easily modify it to fit your unique look and style. From super long to shoulder length, with straight-across bangs or long curtains, if you're looking for a heavily layered, trendy new haircut, the octopus is a great way to try something new. As Frédéric Fekkai advised Allure, though, when you're at the salon there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you and your stylist are on the same page. 

Start by requesting some wispy bangs with heavy layers concentrated on the top part of your head. Then, they can be blended smoothly into the rest of your hair accordingly. Hairstylist Linh Phan warned The Zoe Report that the most important thing to note about the octopus haircut is that it's "more disconnected," so you need to be aware that "The top layers have an extreme disconnect from the length."

Since layered hairstyles are popular for all different hair types, if octopus hair appeals to you, we'd definitely recommend giving this trendy trim a try. That said, for a low-maintenance cut that doesn't require much styling, Fekkai especially recommends the octopus cut for folks with naturally straight or wavy locks.