Whether it’s a wolf cut, a shag, a butterfly cut or the Rachel Green, 2022 has been the year of feathery, layered hairstyles. TikTok has become the go-to platform for all things trending, and—as an avid TikTok user myself—I cannot remember the last time I went a full day without seeing at least one viral hair transformation video on my For You Page.
As it turns out, the hair makeover videos aren’t just blowing up my explore page; Spate NYC revealed that searches for “butterfly haircut” are up 368.9 percent since last year, proving that the demand for information on these trending ‘dos is at an all-time high. For those less familiar, “the ‘Butterfly Cut’ is all about elevation,” says master hair stylist, colorist and creative director of Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, Paul Labrecque. “The cut lifts the hair high to maintain length and while letting all of its weight get lost in the internal layers, and looks great when it utilizes a diagonal cut and works off of a curtain bang.”
As someone who is always looking for a style change and is not afraid of trying new hairstyles, it didn’t take long for me to book an appointment with my hairdresser to get the viral ‘butterfly cut.’ But, after struggling to get my thick hair to cooperate with the feathery style and returning more than once for some touch ups and trims, I realized that getting a viral hair do may not be as easy as showing my stylist a TikTok, and hair stylist for the stars, Johnny Lavoy, can confirm. “As a hairstylist, I love when a client wants to make a change,” he says. “It’s fun for them and fun for us as a stylist. But before you dive into a big cut, there are a few things to consider to help guide you to making a decision.”
“I think it’s very important for you to have a detailed conversation with your stylist. Communication is key for both of you,” says Lavoy. “This conversation should include your ideas and listening to your stylist recommendations. Some things your stylist should also take note of during the consultation are the texture of your hair, cowlicks, hair density, your hairline growth pattern and previous chemical treatments you might have had.” Lavoy also recommends bringing in specific reference photos that show the cut, shape, texture and color of the look you want to achieve.
Consider Your Face Shape
“When choosing your new cut it’s important to know if the style will work for your face shape,” Lavoy explains. If you don’t know where your face falls on the face shape gradient, there’s no need to worry, that’s what the professionals are for, Lavoy assures. “A seasoned hairdresser will not only be able to identify your face shape but also give you suggestions on what will work best for it.”
“It’s very important to consider your hair texture when choosing a style,” Lavoy asserts. “For example if you want a new cut that has lots of movement and volume but you have fine thin hair you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The same goes for someone with thick curly hair that wants something sleek and smooth.”
Labrecque agrees. “Hair type, texture and most importantly your hair thickness is what matters when thinking about a trendy cut or any cut,” Labrecque says. “For example, for the ‘Butterfly Haircut’ to be done well on curly hair, I would first blow the hair out straight and then do a dry cut,” he explains, “I would tell this client that this look is best for those with straighter hair, so they would really need to blow dry their hair after each wash to truly wear this look. If left curly, the top shorter layers would become too round. Similarly, those with very fine hair would have a hard time pulling off this cut as it would likely look stringy. I would talk this client into a more modern bob shape that keeps its weight.”
Maintenance and Style Support
“Some people don’t consider maintenance when choosing a new style,” says Lavoy. “A new trendy hairstyle might require more work for some, whether it’s via blow drying, introducing hot tools to your routine, or using styling products that might be new to you.” Lavoy also explains that if a client is really interested in trying a new look, like the butterfly cut, but doesn’t think it will work on their hair, there are other options for achieving the look they want. “Ask your stylist if there is a chemical treatment that would make your dream hair more obtainable,” he says. “For example, if you have curly hair but want something with a smoother look, a chemical smoothing treatment might be the way to go. You can also get a texture wave for more movement in straighter hair.”
If you’re often impulsive and excited to try something new, like myself, it can be easy to throw yourself at an idea without weighing all the pros and cons. When it comes to hair, we often have to remind ourselves that no two people are exactly alike, so what works for one person may not work the same for another. Like Lavoy said, making a big change is fun and exciting, but next time you’re looking to change up your do, don’t forget to do your research.
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