Picture this: It’s summer 2021, you’re on TikTok like the rest of the world when a new viral sensation takes the platform by storm. It’s none other than the sleek, low-maintenance wolf cut hair style.
When celebs like Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, and Keke Palmer hopped on the bandwagon, it became apparent that the wolf cut hairstyle was more than just a trend.
Fast forward to 2023 and we’re still talking about it.
How does this look beat the odds? Well, it combines three things we all love: retro nostalgia, punk rock, and a fresh, no-nonsense DIY attitude. It’s a trendy take on the edgier, more unrefined styles we’ve seen this past few years, with an added bonus of versatility and straightforward upkeep.
To add, since its debut on TikTok, the wolf cut has spawned several low-maintenance looks, making it suitable for all hair types and face shapes.
Short hair, long hair, side-swept or curtain bangs—anyone can make the edgy wolf cut and its choppy layers look good given a little guidance and some product.
If you’re interested in a lowkey, rockstar vibe then you’re in luck: we’ll be going into detail about this hairstyle, plus some tips on how to style a wolf cut and 20 variants to consider.
Table of Contents
What Is a Wolf Cut?
The wolf cut references two legends in hair history: the shag haircut of the ‘70s and the layered mullet of the ‘80s.
Taking a page out of each era, the classic wolf hairstyle emulates the mullet haircut with shorter layers at the top but thinner ends at the bottom. This kind of trim enhances the vintage shag’s volume with little to no blend between the layers.
It’s a choppy yet modern punk look, ideal for anyone who likes hair with attitude—and we mean a lot of attitude.
Although it’s not quite wash-and-go (though, what style is?), wolf haircuts are fairly uncomplicated in the hair care department. To add, it’s easy to pull off even if you don’t have the wavy hair often seen with this trend.
Hair Trends and Nostalgia
Before wolf haircuts began trending stateside, they first took off in South Korea.
Also known as the Korean mullet, the wolf cut gained traction in the late 2010s but was present in the mainstream media as early as the 2000s. In fact, the many variations we see today take inspiration from the Korean pop stars and actors who continue to headline the look.
However, before the wolf cut could run, the OG mullet and shag walked.
The mullet harkens all the way back to historical Native American tribes. It existed in relative obscurity until the debut of David Bowie’s 1970’s flaming red Ziggy Stardust hair and the fashion craze of the ‘80s when we became hyper-aware of the term “business in the front, party in the back.”
Meanwhile, the shag cut had a more humble beginning. Created by the late Paul McGregor for actress Jane Fonda, the original shag was a testament to the ‘70s unisex style. Like the mullet, it emphasized longer layers and worked best for medium hair lengths.
Riding the coattails of ‘90s nostalgia, both the mullet and shag reentered the US mainstream in the 2010s. The two would soon come together to create the chic but edgy wolf hairdo of today, resurrecting the respective styles in a bigger, better way.
Does a Wolf Haircut Work for All Hair Types?
While the layered cut and wild bangs are certainly fashion-forward, the wolf cut is a little intimidating at first glance.
Fortunately, that’s just part of the facade.
Anyone can pull off this look, regardless of their hair texture or length. The wolf cut is also gender-neutral; men and women alike are sporting this ‘do in a range of hair types and hair colors.
So if fitting in is an issue—don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a few styles to try out down below.
The wolf cut is perfect for anyone who wants more volume, such as those with pin-straight or fine hair. That said, people with naturally voluminous curly or thick hair will have an easier time maintaining lift than those without.
(Note: If you have short hair, expect a choppier, deeper cut!)
If you’d like, you can DIY the wolf hairstyle at home. For a more refined look, however, see a skilled hairstylist. They’ll be able to customize layers to your liking with texturizing shears and get you those baby soft, Billie Eilish-esque ends.
In either case, you will need to style a wolf cut daily which brings us to our next section.
How to Style a Wolf Cut
Although fairly low maintenance, the wolf cut does require some TLC.
If it’s trimmed right and if you’ve got thicker hair, you can get away with a wash-and-go now and again. But if you want that TikTok glamour 24/7, you can’t rely on your natural texture alone.
Thankfully, styling a wolf hairdo isn’t hard to do. All it takes is 3 to 5 minutes in front of the mirror to achieve a gorgeous, voluminous wolf haircut.
- Regularly wash your hair. (If you happen to have fine hair, be aware that natural oils and too much product will bog down your hair texture. )
- Comb your hair and style it while damp.
- If you have curly or wavy hair, apply a leave-in conditioner, then use a texturizing spray or cream and a lightweight moose. Rake both products through your roots.
- If you have straight hair, you can try applying moose and then a hair curl cream from mid-length to the ends of your hair for added volume. If your hair is looking a little flat, try using a flat iron instead and then a texturizing spray to promote lift.
- To get the face-framing effect, style the shorter layers away from your face rather than inward.
- If you have them, don’t forget to style your layered bangs. Use a flat iron to even them out.
- To finish out the look, either leave it be and allow it to air dry or use a blow dryer and comb out your ends with a round brush.
And voilà! A voluminous wolf haircut.
20 Wolf Cut Hair Ideas
Now, let’s take a look at some hair ideas to get the most out of the wolf haircut:
1. Classic Wolf Cut
The classic wolf cut features gentle waves and subtle yet elegant curtain bangs. Few things are as good as the original, so consider this wolf hairstyle if you want something on the trendier side.
2. Korean Wolf Cut
The Korean wolf haircut is a more direct callback to the original mullet and therefore works best on thick hair. Its soft top layers are also reminiscent of a shaggy haircut, so you’ll need to see a professional hairstylist if you want to achieve a seamless blend.
3. Deep Cut
In a similar rendition of the Korean wolf cut, the deep-cut wolf hairdo is styled much closer to an actual mullet, only with less volume. This look is suitable for anyone with short hair and a slight curl.
4. Light Layers
Mixing in a more traditional fringe, airy texture, and gentle layers, this take on the wolf haircut can do wonders for those with thin hair.
5. Wolf Cut for Curly Hair
Take advantage of your hair’s volume for this fun and spunky style! Coupled with either long or short bangs, a curly wolf haircut will compliment your face shape without weighing down your natural hair.
6. Extreme & Choppy Layers
A more heavily layered, this wild cut screams glam rock and David Bowie with its emphasis on attitude and shorter top trim.
7. Short Wolf Cut
Paired with shaggy bangs, the short wolf cut is great for any hair type. Young women in particular love this look for everyday wear as it’s neither too edgy nor too relaxed.
8. Super Short Wolf
Maybe you’re interested in taking off more than one or two inches this season. If so, the wolf haircut pairs great with pixie-length hair without sacrificing too much volume in the process.
9. Long Wolf Cut
For those of us still rocking our quarantine hair, here’s a fun way to spice it up without taking too much off. Similar to the classic cut, the long wolf echoes Farrah Fawcett sans the blow dryer and the ridiculous amount of hairspray.
10. Super Sleek Wolf Cut
Although wolf cuts tend to emphasize volume, people with pin-straight hair can still rock this look with a few modifications. By experimenting with color and keeping your layers uniform, you too can achieve this aloof, futuristic look.
11. Wolf Cut with Side-swept Bangs
If you’re not a fan of a layered fringe, consider a side-swept bang instead. A relaxed and soft shaggy cut, this style nails the low-maintenance vibe wolf cuts are famous for.
12. Two-Tone Wolf Cut
A variant of the long wolf, a two-tone dye will help your layers blend in more if you would like a hairstyle more appropriate for everyday wear. Just keep in mind that dye jobs like this require a little extra upkeep!
13. The Lob Wolf
The so-called “Lob wolf” is neither a mullet nor a shag. This cut echoes back to the days of ‘70s rock music and Joan Jett for the rocker inside you.
14. Voluminous Wolf
People with curly hair can go all out with this look! Both classy and alternative, the voluminous wolf haircut is great if you don’t mind spending a few extra minutes in front of the mirror every morning.
15. Elegant Wolf
The elegant wolf takes the classic for a spin by keeping the choppy layers to a minimum. The end result is a graceful hairstyle great for formal or informal events.
16. Wolf with Highlights
Less pronounced than the two-tone dye job, a wolf cut always pairs well with highlights. For a similar look, consider a “money piece.”
17. Laid Back Wolf Cut for Men
Although popular with young women, wolf cuts are gender-neutral. A messy wolf haircut is ideal for any man who is a rockstar at heart.
18. Long & Dramatic
Take the elegant wolf, amplify it by ten and you’ve achieved a long, dramatic version of the wolf cut. You’ll be sure to turn heads with that kind of length!
19. Half Dye
The reverse of the two-tone look, the half dye is far more dramatic. Whether you’re one to follow trends or not, this hair idea might be the thing you need to freshen up your personal style.
20. Rainbow Wolf
While this look isn’t for the faint of heart, given proper care, a long or short wolf haircut will pair well with even the most extreme rainbow dye jobs.
And there you have it: Your style guide for the iconic wolf cut.
Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or just a little punk, the wolf cut is the go-to style of the season—and it looks like it’s here to stay.
If you happen to start crying wolf too, let us know how you’re rocking the cut by dropping a comment down below.