There’s nothing like getting a new haircut, whether you’re in the mood for a full-blown transformation or just wanting a small trim. If you’re someone who prefers to keep up with the latest hair trends, you’re probably well-versed in all the latest and greatest styles, like our most recent favorite: “mermaid” haircuts.
One look at the cut, and you’ll immediately be hit with a wave of nostalgia. “This style has never truly gone out of style and is very popular for people with long hair but still want lots of movement,” hairstylist and Verb ambassador Juli Akaneya tells POPSUGAR. “I’d say it mostly gained traction in the ’60s and ’70s during the hippie era when people were growing out their hair, and then again in the ’90s during the grunge era.”
That’s right: as with most things in fashion and beauty right now, mermaid haircuts have been popular before. However, with the premiere of the highly anticipated “The Little Mermaid” movie, it seems everyone is trying to get their mermaidcore fix. If you’re also capturing every aquatic-themed beauty trend like they’re Poké Balls, read ahead for everything you should know about mermaid haircuts.
What Is a Mermaid Haircut?
“A mermaid haircut is long layers that are overdirected forward to frame the face,” Akaneya says. “The cut focuses on minimal loss of length to give a soft, flowy finish to the hair.” Remember the micro-braids era of the late ’90s and early ’00s when stars like Brandy and Beyoncé had those incredibly defined, piecey ends? Yeah, those were the braided version of mermaid cuts.
Like the name suggests, this cut is meant to resemble that of a mermaid’s because – thanks to the extra texture from the flowy layers – there’s a lot of movement to the long hair in a way that looks like you could almost be floating underwater.
The difference between mermaid cuts and the “octopus” haircut or “waterfall” layers all has to do with the finish of the hair. “Because mermaid cuts overdirect the layers, a softer shape to the hair is achieved and the layers are more subtle, so they won’t appear to be too harsh or chunky,” Akaneya says. “This makes the hair look extremely lived-in.”
How to Get a Mermaid Haircut
“To get this look, your stylist will create a guide in the front of your head and then overdirect all hair forward,” Akaneya says. This means they will be cutting your hair as it’s held in a more forward-facing direction. “By doing this, you get a more diffused and blended line for the layers,” she adds.
To style your mermaid cut, you can work in some of your favorite leave-in products and air-dry for a great way to enhance your natural hair texture. “I love using Verb’s Ghost Air Dry Whip ($20) for a natural, noncrunchy finish,” Akaneya says. Still, if you want to blow it out for a more polished look, Akaneya recommends using a volumizing spray on damp hair before blow-drying. We also love the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($24) for a soft, textured finish.
Mermaid Haircut Inspiration
Now that you know everything you need to about mermaid haircuts, get some inspiration for your own version ahead.