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Is the Jellyfish Haircut Right for You?

The Internet is divided, but we’ll give this daring cut points for creativity.
  • Jelani Addams Rosa
February 23, 2024

If this season’s hottest haircuts have one thing in common, it’s layers upon layers. The popularity of the butterfly haircut, the modern shag cut, and the octopus cut are proof that this trend has staying power. Joining the layered lineup is the jellyfish haircut, a combination of short and long layers—think, modern mullet meets stylish bob—making for a hybrid haircut with avant-garde flair.

The style has the Internet split (you either love it or you hate it), but as we see it, this controversially chic haircut helps to separate tastemakers from the status quo. If your curiosity is piqued, here’s the scoop on this season’s much-coveted jellyfish cut.

What Is the Jellyfish Haircut?

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The jellyfish haircut features short layers that resemble a short bob with longer layers underneath. If the name isn’t enough of a giveaway, the jellyfish cut is reminiscent of the sea creature from which it gets its name, with a round “body” (the short layers) and billowy “tentacles” (the longer layers). While we’ve seen a combination of short and long layers on styles like the aforementioned modern mullet haircut, the jellyfish cut is definitely the most dramatic take on the look to date.

This daring cut is a flattering pick for all hair types because the versatility of the layers allows your stylist to personalize your chop. If you have thick hair, the disconnected layers can help to maintain your mane’s full appearance while removing bulk. Meanwhile, those with thinner hair can incorporate blunt layers throughout the jellyfish haircut to give your ends a healthy and full appearance.

If you’re toying with the idea of making the chop but find yourself attached to your longer length, the long jellyfish haircut offers the best of both worlds because the longer layers still allow for updos like pigtails, braids, and space buns.

What is the difference between the jellyfish haircut and the octopus cut?

The jellyfish cut and octopus cut share similar features, but the jellyfish cut boasts starker, blunter layers. The octopus cut, by contrast, is more blended for a softer, shag-adjacent look. Both, however, can be tailored to complement your hair type, length, and goals.

Editor’s tip: Clear communication with your stylist can mean the difference between a bad or great haircut. Bring pictures of the jellyfish hair trend to inspire your stylist. How short you want to go is up to you, but the separation of the short and long layers is what really helps to achieve a dramatic and edgy jellyfish hairstyle.

What Face Shape Does a Jellyfish Cut Suit?

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The beauty of the jellyfish haircut is that it can be styled to flatter any face shape. The right stylist will consider your hair type, texture, density, and face shape when creating a bespoke haircut to flatter your face. Whether you’re hoping to rock a short jellyfish haircut or a long jellyfish haircut, there are endless ways to tailor the chop to your needs.

While suitable for anyone, the layered jellyfish cut is particularly flattering on people with round or square face shapes. We love the way the long layers help to elongate the appearance of round faces. With the proper technique, the same cut can help to soften the angles of a square-shaped face.

Is a Jellyfish Haircut Hard To Maintain?

The jellyfish haircut is excellent for anyone who wants a style with easy daily maintenance. The contrasting layers lend themselves to a tousled look that can be pulled together with minimal effort.

But while your daily styling routine will be low-maintenance, you won’t be able to get away with skipping salon appointments. The combination of short and long layers makes this style unique, and once your short layers begin to grow out, your cut may look less jellyfish—and more shaggy dog. Committing to a regular hair trim schedule every six to eight weeks will help maintain the contrasting layers that give the jellyfish hairstyle flair.

If you love the look of the jellyfish haircut but are hoping to spend less time in the salon, ask your stylist to blend the layers in the front and back of your hair for a seamless growout. While this rendition of a jellyfish cut is less dramatic, it doesn’t sacrifice style or volume.

How To Style a Jellyfish Haircut: 4 Essential Tips


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The jellyfish haircut may be easy to style, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your haircare routine. Keep your jellyfish cut looking its best, and check out our top tips for styling this bi-level haircut.

1. Always use a heat protectant

If you’re going for a smooth and bouncy look, prime your strands with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris Everpure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant before reaching for your blow dryer and round brush. It’s a great way to play up the shorter layers of your jellyfish haircut while protecting your mane from unnecessary damage.

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The jellyfish haircut may be easy to style, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your haircare routine. Keep your jellyfish cut looking its best, and check out our top tips for styling this bi-level haircut.

2. Try heatless styling

Regardless of how healthy your hair is, you’ll never regret giving your strands a break from hot tools, which is why we love heatless styling options. Plus, they really help to speed up your morning routine.

Before bed, apply one pump of the L’Oréal Paris Everpure Sulfate Free Simply Clean Midnight Color Care Serum to your damp hair and separate your longer layers into two equal parts, like you’re creating pigtails. Create two braids and secure them with a hair tie. Make four or five loose braids to style the shorter layers.

If you have a curly hair jellyfish cut, opt for a curl enhancer like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Leave-in Conditioner instead. This leave-in conditioner is formulated with hyaluronic acid and castor oil and helps to define and nourish your curls without weighing them down.

In the morning, remove the braids from both sections of layers and brush through your hair with your fingers to reveal a Y2K-inspired, crimped jellyfish hairstyle.

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3. Use products that add texture

A jellyfish hairstyle looks exceptional with texture, and it really helps to play up the edgy, creative look. An easy way to add texture is with a tinted dry shampoo. It can also help refresh your style by absorbing oil and camouflaging overgrown roots or gray hairs.

Another way to enhance texture is with a styling paste such as the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty, which helps to provide texture and hold without making your hair look greasy or feel sticky. Use your fingers to scrunch the product into your hair for a natural-looking, undone style.

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4. Play with temporary hair color

Due to the jellyfish haircut’s non-conforming nature, it’s the perfect hairstyle to pair with vibrant colors. For temporary hair color that lasts until your next shampoo, try the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray, which comes in nine vivid fantasy colors. For semi-permanent color that lasts through a few more washes, try the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color.

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