How To Achieve The Trendy Wolf Cut

TikTok has given rise to a number of new beauty trends. In fact, from Y2K feather extensions to bubble braids, DIY beauty hacks have become the internet's latest obsession. Take a few minutes to scroll through social media and you'll see hundreds of videos recreating trendy haircuts and looks that have gone viral online. And no look has made a bigger splash than the wolf cut: a sassy new take on retro rock and roll styles. 


"The wolf cut is trending for a reason — it's an instant transformation if you want that cool-girl look," stylist Anabel Santos tells Bustle. As the name suggests, the wolf cut is a wild and messy–chic style that resembles the love child of a vintage '70s shag and an edgy '80s mullet. And it's become the hottest look of the summer thanks to its breathable and versatile layers. If you're interested in trying your hand at the wolf cut but aren't quite sure how to go about it, we've got you covered. Here's what you need to know about achieving the perfect wolf cut.

What is a wolf haircut?

The critical difference between the modern-day wolf cut and the retro styles it pulls inspiration from is where the layers sit. "[It's] a softer take on the mullet," celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger tells PopSugar. "It's a really cool, lived-in, sexy look that has lots of movement and layers." Rather than being heavy on the layers at the crown of the head, volume is spread throughout leaving an overall voluminous style and tapered bangs to frame your face gently. The look is equal parts disheveled, relaxed, and cool.


"Essentially, it's like taking two different periods and smashing them together into a modern-day look," celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa tells InStyle. However, it's essential to know that this isn't exactly a wash–and–go style. Yes, the wolf cut looks uncomplicated to manage, but unless you already have naturally voluminous or curly hair, you'll need to style it. Otherwise, it will lose its signature bounce.

Why is the wolf cut so popular?

The #wolfcut hashtag boasts more than 1.5 billion views on TikTok alone. Many of the users under this hashtag gush about how light the style feels, also mentioning how the versatility of the look gives them the freedom to wake up and go while still looking chic. The wolf cut saw its first real boom in popularity during the early lockdown stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when people couldn't get their hair done by professionals. The wolf cut was a fun, sassy, and easy-to-replicate look that anyone could do at home. However, the wolf cut really exploded into a mega-viral trend when singer Billie Elish dropped a surprise set of photos of herself on Instagram sporting a shocking blonde wolf cut.


Miami–based hairstylist Michelle O'Connor agrees that the combination of lockdowns and internet virility made this style an instant hit, adding that every generation has its own signature style — and that the fluid and androgynous vibes of the wolf-cut make it incredibly popular among the Gen Z crowd. "It's very nonbinary and gives a free, effortless hair vibe that can be worn on curly or straight hair," O'Connor tells Allure.

Does a wolf haircut work for all hair types?

What makes the wolf cut so popular is the style's light and effortless vibes, but does this haircut look good on everyone? The wolf cut gives you more volume at the crown and less at the sides, which is what gives this look its bouncy and voluminous look. "A wolf cut is a creative version of a mullet. It's inspired by the choppy texture of a mullet and follows a similar pattern and shape but has the softness and wearability of a shag cut," celebrity stylist Nicholas Alexander Willis tells Stylist.


The textured layers throughout the hair are what allow for movement and flow throughout that can be worn long or short. However, while the wolf cut works on most types and textures, it suits thick and naturally curly hair the best. "The cut relies heavily on layers and volume, so straight hair will likely require a bit more styling time to create movement or volume at home," hairstylist Brittany Johnson tells Oprah Daily. So, although this style works for most folks, you'll probably want to skip the wolf cut if you have ultra-fine or frizz-prone hair.

How to achieve a wolf haircut

Okay, so you're ready to grab the scissors––but what else do you need on hand to give yourself a wolf cut? Before you begin, you'll want a sharp pair of haircutting scissors, a claw clip or scrunchie, and a spray bottle full of water. From there, you can follow one of the dozens of trending TikTok tutorials that explain how to achieve the look at home. Or you can follow along with our favorite DIY tutorial from Short Hair Styles


You'll want to start this process with damp hair tied into a ponytail at the crown of your head. Start by trimming the first set of layers at the bottom of the strands and feathering the ends using a twisting and trimming technique. This allows you to keep your length without dead ends weighing your hair down. Next, take down your hair and create another ponytail at the crown of your head, leaving the bottom section of your hair out. Repeat the process, trimming and feathering the ends to create lengthy layers, and continue working your way up to the top of your head. Once you've finished, the final step is to add a romantic curtain bang or an edgy side-swept fringe to frame your face.

How to style a wolf haircut

Once you've achieved your desired cut, it's time to style it. Your new 'do doesn't have to be too high maintenance or fussy. For those of you with naturally curly hair, it just takes a few minutes a day to add some texture and achieve the perfect look. Make sure that you wash or rehydrate your curls before smoothing a pea-sized amount of gel to the top layer of hair. Flip your hair over and shake your curls before styling your bangs and setting the look with a finishing spray.


If you don't have naturally curly hair, here are the tools you'll need to add some curl to your look: heat protectant, a round brush, a blowdryer, texturizing spray, and your favorite all-day hold hair spray (via Mane Addicts). Start by adding the heat protectant to wet hair before sectioning off your layers. Use the round brush and blow dryer to curl the strands, switching up directions for some added volume. Finally, finish the look with some texturizing spray before setting it with hairspray. And voila! You're ready to turn heads wherever you go. Just don't forget to own your new look and embody your inner Joan Jett!