hairstyle trends Why the Butterfly Haircut Is Our New Favorite Layered Hairstyle

Inspired by the insect's wings, this cut is all about volume and body.

November 07, 2022
Butterfly Haircut


From the ‘70s shag cut to the ‘90s blowout to the controversially chic octopus cut, layered haircuts are this season’s top hairstyle of choice. The latest variation is a combination of all three styles and gives layers a fresh, modern look that reminds us of a certain haircut from our favorite ‘90s sitcom. You know, the one that started a following that has carried over into generations.


Coined as the butterfly haircut on social media, this feathered ‘do features wispy, cascading layers to give your strands movement that rivals a butterfly fluttering its wings. If you’re ready to commit, read on as we share everything you need to know about this season's hottest haircut and three ways to style it at home.

What is a Butterfly Haircut?

A butterfly haircut combines short layers with long layers to give your hair dimension, movement and body. The short, wispy layers hit around the chin to frame your face, highlight your features and even contour a round face shape. Whereas the longer layers fall below the shoulders to maintain the appearance of a long hairstyle. 


Because of the variance in the layers, the butterfly haircut gives the volume of a short haircut but doesn’t require you to sacrifice any length. Instead, the haircut removes weight and damaged ends, leaving you with a voluminous, bouncy style that’s able to hold its shape. 

Is a Butterfly Haircut Good for All Hair Types?

A butterfly haircut is going to be a flattering cut for most but there are a few exceptions to keep in mind. First, the butterfly haircut and its combination of short and long layers will look best on shoulder-length hair and longer. If you want to adjust the style to a shorter ‘do, add face-framing layers and curtain bangs to your chin-length hairstyle.  


A butterfly cut is not the most flattering pick for thin hair because the wispy, feathery layers can make thin hair look even more sparse. If you have thin hair and you’re wanting to try a similar style, ask your stylist for face-framing layers like chin bangs. Style the rest of your length with a blunt cut to fake the appearance of denser strands.


With all of that said, this layered ‘do is an especially great haircut for wavy hair and thick hair as the layers help to remove bulk. It can even work for curly hair types, also removing bulk while giving your curly tresses gorgeous shape and movement.


How Should I Ask My Stylist for a Butterfly Haircut?

Sharing a visual with your stylist is always a great way to illustrate your hair goals. The butterfly cut features shorter face-framing layers that cascade like wings with longer layers through the length of your hair. Since the goal is to remove weight, not length, ask your stylist for face-framing layers with wispy ends that begin at the chin and longer layers throughout the rest of your hair. 


How Do You Style a Butterfly Haircut?

A butterfly haircut can be styled in a few different ways. Some require heat, especially if you’re looking for sweeping layers and lots of volume, but there are also heatless options. Check out three different ways to style a butterfly haircut. 


How to Style a Butterfly Haircut with a Blow Dryer

Shampoo and condition your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free. This system contains hyaluronic acid to replump dry, dehydrated strands to create noticeable body, bounce and volume.


Once your hair is clean, brushed and towel-dried, you can prepare for your blow out. First, prime your wet strands with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant to smooth your hair and protect against heat damage. Then, reach for a volumizing mousse like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse and focus the product on the crown to add volume.


Taking a round brush, blow dry your hair upwards and away from the face to give your hair height. Use the round brush to curl the ends of your hair outwards to give your layers some bounce. If you have velcro rollers, wrap your hair in the roller, starting from the ends and rolling upwards after blow drying each section to set your style.


Once you’re finished blow-drying your hair, let the rollers set for at least ten minutes before removing them. Then, turn your head upside down and shake out your hair to create more volume. When you flip your head over, smooth your hair into place and apply a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented to set your style.


How to Style a Butterfly Haircut with a Curling Iron

Not all of us are going to be skilled with a blow dryer and round brush and that is totally okay. There is more than one way to style your butterfly haircut and using a curling iron is a great way to hack a blowout with tons of volume. 


To start, we recommend washing your hair with the aforementioned shampoo and conditioner. After towel drying your hair, brush through any tangles and let it air dry. 


Once your hair is dry, apply a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In to minimize the damage from your curling iron while controlling frizz. A curling iron with a larger barrel like a one-inch or a one-and-a-half-inch barrel is ideal. Use the iron to curl your face-framing layers away from your face. 


After curling each section, wrap a one-inch piece of hair in a velcro roller, starting at the ends of your hair and rolling upwards and away from your face. Continue this process until all of your face-framing layers are curled and contained in velcro rollers. 


The velcro rollers won’t create a tighter curl but will help to add volume and body to your face-framing layers. Once the front pieces of your hair are curled, proceed to the rest of your strands, focusing on the ends and curling away from your face.


Let the velcro rollers sit for at least 20 minutes before removing them (this is a great time to do your makeup). Once the time has passed, take the rollers out and flip your hair over to shake through the curls and add more volume. Finally, apply a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented to set your style.


Editor’s tip: For extra volume or to refresh your style, spray the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Blonde Hair or the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair at the roots of your hair. 


How to Style a Butterfly Haircut with a Leave-In Curl Enhancer

Those with curly hair can rely on heat-free styling to give their butterfly cut body, shape and definition. Wash your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner. This system includes hyaluronic acid and castor oil to enrich your curls with moisture, helping you to achieve bouncy, soft and hydrated coils sans weigh-down. 


Plop your curls with a t-shirt to remove the excess moisture, then apply the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner. This nourishing leave-in helps to banish frizz and smooth curls for a long-lasting style. Use the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Refresh & Reshape Leave-In Spray in-between washes to keep your curls bouncy, fresh and hydrated. 


Next: The Best Low-Maintenance Haircuts for Every Hair Type


Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo Credit: Haley [email protected]/hayleystyles_, Design by: Sarah Duvivier