What Is A Butterfly Haircut + 10 Butterfly Cut Ideas

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Your New Year’s resolutions might include a new look. And what better way to give you that than a fresh haircut?

One of the most popular hairdos you can try this year is the butterfly haircut.

A portrait of a woman with long dark brown hair on a black background

This is currently all the rage on TikTok these days with the hashtag #butterflyhaircut viewed over 376.5 million times on the platform.

It’s probably one of the best hairstyles to start your year with if you want to try something different.

And if “New Year, New Me” isn’t your mantra, the butterfly cut is still a perfect choice as this cut won’t give you a drastic change in your look.

So would you like to give it a try? We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the butterfly haircut here!

What’s more, we’ll give you style inspirations that you’ll absolutely love, you might get that haircut right away.

What Is a Butterfly Haircut?

This hairdo is inspired by the styles of the past, specifically the shag haircut from the ’70s and the ’90s blowout.

The butterfly haircut has lots of wispy, descending layers that are pulled away from the face instead of inward. This effect mimics a butterfly’s fluttering wings.

The haircut can also be considered a two-in-one look because the short layers give an illusion of a shorter style that frames the face. However, you still get to keep your long hair.

Whenever you need your hair to look short, you can just tie the back section and let the shorter layers in front loose.

Another goal of the butterfly haircut is to remove weight from your tresses. You’ll notice the change most when you put your hair up. The ponytail will feel so much lighter!

Moreover, this is a low-maintenance cut that won’t demand frequent visits to the salon.

Which Hair Types and Lengths Can Try the Butterfly Cut?

We know how getting a haircut can be terrifying at times. You may not want to let go of your long hair because it’s hard to grow it back out.

The butterfly cut is the best way to experiment with short hair without actually chopping most of your hair.

But long, thick, and wavy hair can also benefit from this cut. The longer the hair, the better the haircut would look. That’s because the length allows more space between the short and long layers.

If you have natural waves, you won’t need much effort in styling this hairdo because the strands will flow and move on their own.

The butterfly hairstyle is also good for those with coarse but flat and lifeless hair, as the layers will give the shape and movement that your locks need.

However, this haircut isn’t for everyone.

It’s not recommended for fine hair because the cut will only make the locks look thinner. It’s also not for type 4 hair.

As for face shapes, the butterfly cut will flatter round faces the most but will make rectangular faces longer.

DIY Butterfly Cut

Can you do a butterfly haircut at home? Yes, you can!

Thanks to Brad Mondo and his easy butterfly haircut guide, numerous people have tried giving themselves the butterfly hairstyle.

With the use of elastics, Brad made the trendy haircut easier to achieve. Let’s take a look at how he did it.

Do you also want to try it for yourself? Let’s follow Brad Mondo’s steps.

What You Need

  • Fine-tooth comb
  • Haircutting scissors
  • Two elastics

Sectioning Your Hair

  1. Start with damp hair.
  2. Comb your hair from the apex (the highest point of your head) all the way forward.
  3. Using the comb, comb the hair from the apex to just behind your ear and bring that forward. Do the same on the other side.
  4. Gather this entire front section forward, and hold it in the middle of your brows.
  5. Tie that bunch tightly with an elastic.
  6. Grab the remaining hair at the back and lift it up right near the apex.
  7. Tie the back section into a really high ponytail.

Cutting the Hair

  1. Comb the front ponytail and stretch it at a downward diagonal angle, continuing the line from your apex to your forehead. Do not stretch it upward.
  2. For the butterfly haircut to be noticeable, you need to cut a significant length of hair, preferably up to the level of your chin.
  3. Start small, cutting about an inch first and working your way up until you are satisfied with the length.
  4. Stretch the back ponytail up and angle it forward, continuing the line from the back of your head to your apex. Chop it off at about the same length you’ve cut from the front ponytail.

Smoothening the Cut 

  1. Remove the elastics.
  2. Part your hair down the middle or to the side (totally your call) and comb it.
  3. Look at the lengths of your layers and smoothen the transitions from one length to the next by cutting a few strands that you see are sticking out.

Once you’re done, style as desired! Don’t forget to put on heat protectants before using heat styling tools.

How To Ask Your Stylist for a Butterfly Haircut

The best way to have this haircut is by visiting your most trusted hairdresser. But if you’re not sure if your stylist is updated with the latest trends, that’s not a problem.

Before you head to the salon, look for photos of butterfly haircuts and find inspiration from them. Choose the style you’d like to have and show it to your hairdresser.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your stylist and tell them about your preferences, such as whether you want light or heavy layering.

In turn, your stylist will let you know if that’s possible for your hair and if it will look good on you.

10 Butterfly Haircut Inspirations

Whether you’re going down the DIY road or you want to take the safe route of letting the professional do their job, you still need a style inspiration ready.

You may look at different variations of this heavily layered haircut.

We’ve narrowed down the choices for you. Here are our favorite butterfly hairstyles.

1. Butterfly Haircut with Bangs

If you don’t like how the butterfly cut elongates your face, you can add full or wispy bangs to shorten the look and add more width.

2. Butterfly Cut on Curly Hair

We know how layers can make your curly hair look better. When the heavy bulk of your curls is removed, the strands can move more freely.

Give your curls body and bounce with this trendy hairstyle.

3. Butterfly Haircut with Big Waves

If your hair isn’t so thick, you can add more volume by making the waves of your layers bigger and bolder.

4. Butterfly Cut for Straight Hair

What if you don’t have wavy hair? That’s not a problem. There’s no need to curl the ends to make this straight butterfly cut look good.

5. Butterfly Haircut on Long Hair

Add shape to your super long black hair using lots of layers from the butterfly cut. This way, you can continue growing your hair without worrying about it getting flat and heavy.

6. Short Butterfly Haircut

What if your hair is only shoulder length and you still want to try the butterfly haircut? Is it still possible? Absolutely!

You can add curtain bangs and use them as the starting point of your layers.

7. Butterfly Haircut with Highlights

Make your brunette a bit brighter and emphasize your layers with soft highlights. Choose honey or caramel blonde if you have a warm skin undertone or go for ash blonde if you have a cool undertone.

8. Butterfly Hair with Money Piece

The money piece is a technique where the front hairline pieces of your hair are lightened to create a contrast from the rest of your hair.

Money piece highlights on the butterfly haircut can take your face-framing layers to the next level.

9. Balayage on Butterfly Haircut

Pair the easy-care butterfly hair with the equally low-maintenance balayage highlights.

This coloring technique is undemanding because the lighter color is painted softly to achieve a natural look without obvious hair regrowth. This way, you don’t need to worry too much about root touch-ups.

10. Ginger Butterfly Haircut

The soft haircut can look bold with any bright full color. Try this ginger-colored hair to give your skin an extra glow.

How to Style a Butterfly Haircut

We’ve already mentioned that this layered haircut is versatile and easy to maintain.

However, do take note that to make this haircut look its best, you need to put the effort into styling it.

Waves and curls go well with just curl-enhancing leave-in creams and gels after washing the hair.

But for some, especially those with straight hair, heat styling is the key.

Styling Using a Blow Dryer

  1. Apply a heat protectant like L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray to your damp hair.
  2. Next, put a volumizing mousse on the crown. We recommend Kenra Volume Mousse Extra.
  3. Take a round brush and use it with your blow dryer to curl the ends. Roll the brush away from the face.
  4. Turn your head upside down and shake your hair to add volume.
  5. Flip your head back and use your fingers to smooth your hair into place.

Styling Using a Curling or Flat Iron

  1. Apply a heat protectant to your dry hair.
  2. Use a curling iron with a large barrel or a flat iron to curl the face-framing layers away from your face.
  3. Once all the layers are curled, you can set them using velcro rollers if you have some.
  4. Proceed to curl the ends of your hair at the back.
  5. Spritz some hairspray to set your style. Try John Frieda Volume Lift Hairspray.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Butterfly Haircut Good for Thin Hair?

If you have thin hair, it’s best if you avoid this haircut. That’s because the butterfly haircut is not the most flattering choice for fine hair.

The wispy layers of this cut will just make your hair appear thinner.

What Is the Difference Between Wolf Cut and Butterfly Cut?

The butterfly cut is a softer version of a shag, while the wolf cut is a combination of shag and mullet. The wolf cut appears fuller at the top whereas the butterfly cut has more volume from the mids to ends.

Which Face Shape Looks Good on Butterfly Haircut?

The butterfly cut flatters round and square-shaped faces the most because the layers frame the face and make it look longer.

Try the Trendy Butterfly Cut Now

A portrait of a woman with her butterfly haircut on a black background

Just like butterfly wings, the layers of this viral haircut are ready to fly!

The butterfly haircut will give you the illusion of a short haircut in front while the longer layers cascade beautifully at the back.

Go for this layered look to make your hair bouncy and voluminous.

What Other Hairstyles Can You Try?

Check out these style suggestions:


  • Rachelle Velasco

    Rachelle, is a sought-after freelance hair and makeup artist, shines particularly in the world of hair color. From subtle ombres and balayages to vibrant hues and intricate root work, she crafts unique styles tailored to individual preferences. Beyond her artistic talents, Rachelle also holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, showcasing her diverse skill set and dedication to learning.

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  • Anna Mastenbrook

    Amanda Mastenbrook is an accomplished beauty professional and salon owner with a decade of experience in the industry. Educated at NDSU and licensed from Josef's School of Hair Design, she's a master of color and balayage. Amanda founded The Chair in 2015 after launching a successful mobile spray tanning service. Known for her award-winning avant-garde styling and expertise in toning, she continues to redefine beauty standards and client satisfaction through her work.

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