The butterfly haircut is the long hairstyle of the summer, and it’s not hard to see why. A combination of the ’70s shag and ’90s-era “Rachel” with the va-va-voom of contemporary bombshell blowouts, the viral style embodies the best of bygone hair trends in one chic look.
Considering this, it’s no wonder it took off on TikTok the way that it did: “Butterfly haircut” has already amassed a massive 4.6 billion views on the app, which has since spurred IRL butterfly fever too. According to consumer-trend data-aggregation platform Spate, web searches for the butterfly cut increased by nearly 1000% in just the past year. Clearly, the butterfly cut fluttered its way into hearts—and fast.
As for what the chop actually looks like? Maxine Salon hairstylist Jenna Spino describes the butterfly cut as heavily layered and feathered, featuring shorter layers on top of the head and through the crown. These shorter layers slightly resemble butterfly wings, hence the cut’s cute name.
“The short layers on top are blended through to longer layers on the bottom, and the shorter layers fall at or below the chin and the longer layers fall just past the shoulders,” Spino says of the chop. As a result, this adds tons of texture, movement, and volume to the hair. If you’re more of a visual learner, see Jennifer Lopez‘s layered locks as a prime butterfly example.
Another benefit to the butterfly cut is its versatility, adds Serina Battaglini, hairstylist and owner of Serina Styles Studio and Salon at Sola Salons. “The butterfly cut can be worn blown out and swept away from the face, or, when pushed forward, create wispy, soft face-framing layers,” she says, so no, you won’t get stuck with a super-voluminous look 24/7 (unless you want). In fact, she and Spino both note that this cut is an especially fun way to experiment with shorter lengths, as the layers allow one to “fake” short hair without sacrificing any of their actual length.