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How to Wear the Trendy Butterfly Haircut for All Hair Types and Textures

Inspired by a butterfly’s delicate wings, this cut is all about volume and body.
  • Sajae Elder
March 11, 2024

Between ‘70s shag haircuts, ‘90s-inspired blowouts, and the controversially chic octopus cut, layered haircuts are this season’s top hairstyle. The latest variation combines all three styles to create a fresh, modern look. The end result is reminiscent of a famous ‘90s hairstyle from our favorite friendship-focused sitcom. You know, the one that’s still romanticized and replicated to this day.

Dubbed the “butterfly haircut” on social media, this feathered ‘do features wispy, cascading layers. Said layers give your strands gorgeous movement, rivaling that of a butterfly fluttering its wings. It works for all hair types, textures, and lengths, so if you’re ready to commit, read on for everything you need to know about this season’s hottest hairdo, butterfly haircut ideas, and three ways to style your butterfly cut 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. The longer layers, on the other hand, fall below the shoulders to maintain the appearance of a long hairstyle. From the back, the look can resemble a butterfly’s wings—hence the name.

Because of the variance in the layers, a long 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.

What is the difference between a butterfly haircut and a layered cut?

There are many different types of layered haircuts, and a butterfly cut is just one. Often, layered cuts are more graduated throughout your hair, whereas a butterfly cut focuses the layers around your chin and the ends of the hair. Butterfly cuts tend to be primarily about the shape, and less about adding texture and dimension through varied lengths of layers.

What is the difference between a wolf cut and a butterfly cut?

Like a butterfly cut, a wolf cut is a type of layered hairstyle. It features layers that are choppy and heavily textured, often with shorter layers framing the face and longer layers creating volume and movement. The big difference between the two cuts is that a butterfly style is more rounded, while the wolf cut leans towards a more tousled and edgy look.

Is a Butterfly Haircut Good for All Hair Types?

A butterfly haircut is going to be a flattering style for most, but there are a few things 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. That said, if you want to adjust the style to a shorter length, it’s totally possible—just consider adding face-framing layers or bangs to your chin-length hairstyle to keep things light and bouncy.

Beyond working for different lengths, butterfly styles are also suitable for a variety of hair textures— they’re far more versatile than you might think. This layered ‘do is an especially great haircut for wavy hair and those with thick strands as the layers help to remove bulk. It can even work for curly hair types, removing bulk while enhancing shape, bounce, definition, and movement.

Butterfly haircuts are typically not considered the most flattering pick for thin hair because the wispy, feathery layers can make the hair look even more sparse. If you have thin hair and you want to try a similar style, ask your stylist for face-framing layers like chin bangs and style the rest of your length with a blunt cut to fake the appearance of thicker hair.

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 to achieve a long butterfly haircut.

4 Butterfly Haircut Ideas

If you think that a butterfly haircut is reserved for long hair and long hair only, think again. This buzzy haircut can be achieved on all hair types, textures, and lengths when the right adjustments are made. Here are some butterfly haircut ideas for your next salon visit.

Short Butterfly Haircut

If you have short hair without a lot of body, a butterfly haircut is a great way to fake volume. You can also add some choppy bangs for a shaggy, textured butterfly haircut with bangs.

Mid-Length Butterfly Haircut

If the upkeep of face-framing layers isn’t for you, this butterfly haircut is defined by longer, face-framing pieces that make for easy styling and air-drying.

Butterfly Haircut With Side Bangs

A butterfly cut doesn’t have to be styled with a middle part, so if you prefer a side-swept bang, relay this to your stylist. Side-swept bangs are great for softening an angular face shape, and they pair nicely with fluffy, butterfly layers.

Curly Butterfly Haircut

It’s easy to assume butterfly layers are only suited for straight hair, but with the right styling, it’s a cut that can work on any texture of hair. If you have curly hair, a long butterfly haircut is a great way to make your mane more manageable while giving it plenty of shape. Ask your stylist for long, internal layers—this will help to remove weight and allow your curls to still appear as if they’re all the same length.

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. Below, we’re breaking down three different ways to style a butterfly layered 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 L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free. This system with hyaluronic acid helps replump dry, dehydrated strands and creates noticeable bounce and volume. The butterfly haircut is all about body and movement, so this wash day duo is just right for the job.

Once your hair is clean, brushed, and towel-dried, you can prepare for your blowout. 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, apply a volumizing mousse like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse, focusing the product on the crown to add volume.

With 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 butterfly layers some bounce. If you have velcro rollers, wrap your hair in the rollers, 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 give your butterfly layers more volume. When you flip your head over, smooth your hair into place and apply a few spritzes of hairspray 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 short or long butterfly haircut and using a curling iron is a great option for hacking a “blowout” look with tons of volume.

To start, we recommend washing your hair with the aforementioned shampoo and conditioner. After towel drying your strands, brush through any tangles and let them 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 and help control frizz. A curling iron with a larger barrel (one-inch or one-and-a-half-inch is ideal). Use the iron to curl your face-framing butterfly 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 butterfly layered haircut. 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 time is up, take the rollers out and flip your hair over to shake out the curls and add more volume. Finally, apply a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray - Unscented to set your style.

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. Start by washing 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. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and castor oil, this duo will enrich your curls with moisture, helping you to achieve bouncy, soft, and hydrated coils.

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.

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