I Tried TikTok’s Favorite Jellyfish Haircut – And Here’s How It Turned Out

It seems that every new season brings with it a new favorite hairstyle on the Internet and ICYMI, the one that has recently gained popularity is the “jellyfish haircut”. Also known as “step mullet” or “step bangs,” the jellyfish haircut is a hybrid of a long mullet and bowl cut. It features chin-length blunt bangs around the face and longer hair in the back, which together resemble the distinctive wispy rows of a jellyfish. As a trend, the #Jellyfishhaircut has amassed over 10 million views on TikTok alone. Although it’s only just starting to rise on our trending radar in the US, the look has been a staple in East Asia for years. With its origins dating back to the Japanese Heian period, the haircut was originally called the “hime” (or princess) cut for being a style worn primarily by noble women. In the modern era, many Japanese and Korean celebrities have donned the blunt cut over the years, like Twice’s Momo and BLACKPINK’s Lisa, among others. More recently, he was seen on the catwalk at Prada‘s Spring 2021 show. Now, this year alone, stars and influencers have opted for the new cut, including Nicole Kidman who was absolutely stunned and shocked by the unusual style on her recent Perfect magazine cover.

Twice Momo, 2019The Chosunilbo JNS/ImaZinS/Getty Images
Prada, 2021

As someone who lives vicariously through Pinterest, I’ve had my eye on this haircut for a few years – even before the jellyfish haircut was invented – but I’ve always been hesitant to go for it. throw. This year I finally experimented with a shaggy haircut and found that it didn’t meet my need for a big change. Once my shag grew out, I knew it was time to go for the jellyfish cut. I was particularly inspired after watching creative development editor Mi-Anne Chan rock her mullet in a gradient-style step on Instagram.

Still, I had my concerns. Hairstylist Dhiran Mistry, who cut Mi-Anne’s hair, told me that when it comes to getting a big cut, it’s important that you and your stylist consider both the shape of your face and the texture of your hair. “Some bangs can widen or narrow your face,” he explains, which is why you might need some guidance on whether you want your step layers to fall on your cheek or your chin. “The length should also suit your hair texture,” he adds, “the texture can add more volume and create a totally different effect.” Something to consider if you want a more subtle look compared to the full jellyfish bob.

I was initially worried that the cut wouldn’t work for me because I have a longer face and a wider forehead. I also have naturally curly, 3A hair, so I was worried that this blunt cut wouldn’t suit my natural hair style if I wore it that way. (However, I figured for this look I could commit to wearing it mostly straight.) So, I entrusted my favorite stylist Lillian at Hairrari in Bushwick to make my vision a reality. I had my hair washed first, then Lillian first cut my bangs into a fuller, thicker shape. She then proceeded to cut out the “steps”. She cut my thick, face-framing hair in small increments to see how I felt, but once we saw how cute it was, I told her to cut it short for a more drastic change. Although some people get the 360˚ cut all around, I chose to stop cutting layers to my ear. She ended up cutting off the longer layers of my hair to get rid of the split ends and blow-drying it.

After: straight, chopped, and even cuter!Courtesy of India Roby
Front: short, curly and cute!Courtesy of India Roby

I wanted this haircut for so long and spent years worried about not being able to remove it. Now I feel extremely empowered to have finally made the cut and it has given me newfound confidence.

As for maintenance, I knew it would be a bit more difficult because of my curls. I will say that when it is very humid outside I feel bothered by frizz and sweat causing my hair to curl up so this is not the best haircut for me in the summer – luckily the fall fast approaching. I think many hair types can pull off the jellyfish cut, with the understanding that more textured hair can disguise her beloved sea creature shape. If I were to wear my hair completely curly, it would probably look like a typical shag, although I can’t confirm as I’ve never styled it that way.

Knowing that I would like to wear my hair mostly straight, I prepped my hair before getting a cut with a Gussi at-home keratin treatment kit to help keep my hair silky and frizz-free without damaging it and it worked like a charm. The treatment is supposed to last six weeks and I plan to reapply it as needed. Out of the shower, it takes me 30-45 minutes to dry and straighten my hair, but only 10 minutes to touch it up the following days. I set my style with Tresemmé Hairspray and use Amika Perk-Up Dry Shampoo when it gets a little oily.

Inspired by my TikTok feed, I’ve also tried braiding my hair on days when I’m too lazy to flatter my whole head and even adding ribbons to the ends for a nice contrast. Since I got this haircut, I got so many compliments on the street that it boosted my self-esteem. The jellyfish haircut definitely encouraged me to go for more experimental looks, so ever since I got the cut, I’ve tried bleaching my eyebrows and wearing edgier outfits. I feel like a badass. I know when he grows up he will still look cute, but I’m keeping the hime hairstyle for a while, which means I’ll be back in the salon chair every few months or so to keep the cut fresh.

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