Ready To Try The Trendy Octopus Cut? Here's What To Ask For At The Salon

A good haircut can do wonders for you. From highlighting your best facial features to showing off all that's great about your tresses, a visit to the salon — with an end result you love — can be a real confidence booster. 

Even so, history has seen some of the best and worst hair trends come and go. Whether you've gotten on board some of them or not, it's easy to appreciate the beauty and functionality of a good hairstyle. One such trend that seems to be taking over salons is an evolution of a mullet and a shag. If you're thinking of Rachel from the hit '90s TV show "Friends" as a frame of reference, you're pretty close. Except this trend is called the octopus cut and it's a more stylish and modern take on that hairdo. 

It's highly possible that you've seen someone sporting this trend and admired it from a distance, while not really knowing what it's called. So, here's a breakdown of this cut. 

What exactly is the octopus cut?

Hair stylist Jarrod Shinn explained to Real Simple that the octopus hairstyle is a "more modern take on the shag, with shorter layers throughout the front and concave, short to long layers throughout the back." The look, which resembles the wispy tentacles of an octopus (and its voluminous top portion), is generally completed with bangs, for which the length is customizable. You can choose to keep your bangs framing your jawline, cheeks, or go really short too.  

We all know how growing out your hair to the long length you've always wanted can be a labor of love, and one of the downsides to visiting a stylist and opting for a completely different look is having to compromise on that length. But with the octopus cut, there's no need to worry about that. You can keep your length and still go for a style that's going to turn heads. 

The cut is perfect for most hair types, although according to London-based stylist April Christina Taylor (via Latest Hairstyles), people with straight to wavy hair can particularly benefit from this style that adds "lots of layers, texture and wispy ends, but no blunt lines." If you've got thick hair and want to thin down its appearance, especially at the bottom, this haircut is perfect for you too. So you've chosen the octopus cut. What next? 

Here's what you're going to ask your stylist

First things first. It's best to visit the salon with an image — of a celebrity or preferably a previous client — who's sporting the look you're after. You only have to look on YouTube and Instagram, however, to realize that different stylists have different takes on this trendy style. While some opt for simple yet effective cuts to get the look, others take a more elaborate route – like separating locks into eight sections before cutting (to go with the whole octopus theme). 

The beauty of this cut lies in the extent to which you can play with layers, length, and framing, close to your face. So, the length of your bangs invariably becomes a point of discussion. Shinn suggests asking your stylist to "connect your shorter fringe layers with face-framing layers, as well as your desired all-over length." 

Understanding your face shape and what would look good on you comes next. If your intention is to hide or accentuate certain facial features, speak with your stylist about that too. According to Christina Taylor, "small alterations will depend on any feature you want to expose or hide." The octopus style, which looks great with highlights, is also relatively easy to maintain. Perhaps this is why it's on the road to becoming a haircut people will be asking for in 2023.