The Cub Cut: Introducing the Wolf Cut’s Cuter Sibling

The Cub Cut: Introducing the Wolf Cut’s Cuter Sibling featured image
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It seems like every celebrity and their mother had a round with the wolf cut‘s edgy look. But with summer’s arrival, we’re turning to the shorter, cuter version: the cub cut. A bob with something to say, a shag with some updating, the cub cut is exploding in popularity. The latest take on the wolf cut is made to deliver the attitude and movement of 2024’s hottest style. But the cub cut takes it short and face-framing, focusing on layers that compliment your face shape.

Loved by experts, this style is your key to a new summer look that will stay as light and airy as you are.

  • Steven Picciano is a national artist for Goldwell
  • Dave Stanwell is a stylist for House of Frieda
  • Jennifer Nast a senior stylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon

What Is a Cub Cut?

As the summer heat rolls in, the iconic wolf cut is getting a much needed update. According to national artist for Goldwell, Steven Picciano, this is another case of a trend coming right from style history books. “If you were born pre Y2K, the cub cut/wolf cut are known as the shag,” Picciano says. “If your birthday falls after those times, you may know this very popular look as a wolf or cub cut, but what is the difference between the two?”

A wolf cut and a cub cut are definitely related, Picciano explains, but they’re not the same haircut.

“The wolf cut generally has a curtain fringe and layers that blend from the fringe to the length, encouraging movement and texture through the shape of the haircut,” Picciano says. “The cub cut is the same interior shape, but with a shorter length. Think shoulder-length bob but with movement and texture.”

The cub cut’s popularity has skyrocketed as the weather warms, and according to House of Frieda Stylist, Dave Stanwell, it’s also very flattering. “These types of cuts work on many hair types since they are easy to wash and go with few products needed,” Stanwell says. “This makes styling effortless.”

The Popularity of the Wolf Cut and Cub Cut

Of course, this cut has gained popularity because of the iconic wolf cut, which has dominated the last year. “The wolf cut started in South Korea,” explains Jennifer Nast, a senior stylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon in New York City. “A few K-Pop stars rocked the look for the first time in the mid-2000’s.”

Just like the cub cut, this style is basically an updated shag. With stars from Jenna Ortega and Miley Cyrus rocking it, the wolf cut has been named “the hottest style of 2024” by Rodney Cutler, the owner of Cutler Salons in New York and California and Redken Ambassador. And confirming this, recent data from Fresha shows wolf cuts are far ahead of the pack with over half a million monthly searches and seven billion views on TikTok.

But as the weather warms up, we’re looking for shorter, lighter ways to wear it. That’s the secret ingredient of the cub cut. It also gets bonus points for being easy to maintain, making it a great first choice for someone going short for the first time.

“This haircut is popular because it is easy to wear and to style,” Picciano says. “Anyone who is courageous enough to ask for shorter shape should start their journey with this very manageable, fun-to-style haircut. Personally, I love this shape as it is a gateway into new shapes for most clients. The wolf or cub cut can take your basic long-layer haircut to new horizons and open new doors. It can also show that giving up length for shape is something we should all try at least once.”

How to Get the Cub Cut

Not every salon is going to know the latest trendy word for the haircuts dominating social media. “When asking for this cut, I would show reference images as sometimes just giving the ‘name’ of a style can get confusing,” Stanwell says. “If you know exactly what you want, it’s best to show your stylist exactly what you are envisioning!”

Alongside a good photo of your intended style, you can also use some key terms. “If you find yourself in a situation where your stylist doesn’t know what a wolf or cub cut is, simply ask for a modern shag,” Picciano says. “If that still doesn’t resonate, ask for a curtain fringe and shorter layers that are connected from front to back.”

How to Care for Your Cub Cut

Because this cut comes with minimal maintenance and styling, the time between salon appointments is a relaxing one. Experts recommend putting a focus on hydration while keeping styling products to a minimum.

“The styling for this cut is effortless,” Stanwell says. “You can simply use a leave in like John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioner ($11) to keep the hair healthy and hydrated.” Made to repair damaged strands, this leave-in will help keep your cub cut looking sharp and clean. The formula reduces frizz and preventing split ends.

john frieda frizz ease



“Imagine the ease and simplicity of having a haircut you can style by scrunching in a product like Goldwell’s Style Sign Surf Oil ($18), which is a salt and oil spray, and diffuse or just let air dry,” Picciano says. “Hello hot girl summer!”

Add texture and body to your cub cut for that extra punch of punk with this bamboo-protein powered salt oil.

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