Woman With a Long Wavy Butterfly Haircut

The butterfly haircut refers to a hairstyle combining two layers, giving the hair more dimension and less weight.

It has a lot of variations, and at least one of them should suit you perfectly.

21 Top Butterfly Haircut Ideas

Original Butterfly

The original butterfly cut is a hairstyle that requires combining short and long layers to give the illusion of more dimension. Typically, short layers frame the face, making it ideal for those with round faces.

Long Flowy Layers

If you have long hair and want to remove a lot of weight while retaining the length, you will surely love the long flowy butterfly haircut. This will work well when you combine it with highlights.

Butterfly Cut Updo

Styling the classic butterfly cut into updo results in a hairstyle with lots of dimension and movement. The uneven layers allow the hair to look thinner the higher the hair goes. Pamela Anderson made this look popular back in the 90s, and it still looks chic by today’s standards.

With Highlights

As mentioned earlier, the butterfly haircut looks much better when combined with highlights. The highlights put a lot more emphasis on the different layers of hair.

The highlights will make it look more voluminous, even with thin hair. Also, adding highlights to black hair will make the curls pop out more.

Butterfly With Bangs

Adding bangs to the classic butterfly haircut will frame the face better. The bangs should be cut unevenly, though, so that they won’t seem out of place with the rest of the hair.

This cut looks beautiful regardless if you have long or medium-length hair. The layers work well with the bangs.

Woman With Long Red Hair And Bangs

Photo @gabrielleelisehair

Auburn Haircut

Adding an auburn ombre highlight to a butterfly cut gives the hair an entirely different feel. The way the hair color lightens as it nears the tips makes the longer layers look lighter. It also somewhat makes the eyes focus upward toward the face.

Natural Brown Hair

A soft butterfly haircut on naturally brown hair looks great even without highlights. The shorter layers should be longer than usual so that it drapes over the face softly. This is an excellent look for younger women who want something casual but elegant.

Long Dark Brown Butterfly Cut

Having waist-length hair can be uncomfortable, but when you butterfly it and add several layers at the back, the resulting waves will look like a beautiful cascading waterfall. This looks especially good with dark brown hair, as the shadows and highlights blend perfectly.

Short Butterfly

Although the layers are not as pronounced as longer hair lengths, a short butterfly haircut is still pretty. This style is reminiscent of the hairstyle that Farrah Fawcett used to wear during her stint in Charlie’s Angels.

It comes with big curls at the ends and the fringes around the face curl out slightly.

Shoulder Length

This is the most common butterfly haircut currently. It is mainly because not many women grow their hair long. In addition, the waves resting just on top of the shoulders look amazing.

Bright Purple

If you pair dark, shoulder-length butterfly cuts with a purple ombre dye job; the resulting alt hairstyles will look simply stunning. The transition between the dark hair going down to the purple curls is smooth and looks impressive.

Long Blonde Bleached Butterfly

Although this is quite high-maintenance, it is one of the most beautiful variations of the butterfly haircut. The light-bleached hair will look great with all the layers.

Orange Style

Orange hair is not a popular color when it comes to hair, but it looks fantastic when paired with a shoulder-length butterfly cut. It gets even better if you are a natural redhead.

Messy Wavy Butterfly

This variation of the butterfly cut looks similar to the classic, but the difference between the last layers is a bit more extreme. This means the longer fringes are thinner than usual. You will also have more pronounced waves.

Young Woman Wearing a Messy Wavy Butterfly Haircut

Photo @silviapalattella

Icy White

This hair color may be pretty high-maintenance, but it is one of the colors that go well with butterfly cuts. The contrast between the light color of the hair and the shadows created by the waves just makes this style quite beautiful and elegant.

Soft Black

The layering effect of this butterfly cut is not as pronounced, making it somewhat more sensual than the traditional style. The waves are also not as pronounced but are still noticeable.

Voluminous Butterfly

This style will give it more volume and movement if you have thin hair. The middle layers have more curls, giving the middle part more volume. Adding some highlights will make the volumizing effect even more noticeable.

Chopped Shape

Chopping the layers gives this version of the butterfly haircut a unique face-framing effect. The lower ends of this hairdo have beautiful cascading curls.

However, this is understandably one of the most high-maintenance hairstyles you can get, so do not expect to recreate this look easily out of the salon.

Haircut Featuring a Middle Part

Parting the hair before the butterfly cut treatment makes it even better at framing the face. However, keeping both sides of the head symmetrically cannot be easy. However, if you can get the curls laying just right, this style will look phenomenal.

Light Blonde Look

The butterfly haircut was initially meant for blonde hair. The light blonde color shows off the layers because the shadows contrast nicely. This is also great for dirty blonde hair.

Straight Butterfly

Can you get a butterfly cut without curling the ends? You certainly can. This is typically a layered cut, as the ends are not curling outward.

It is a great way to remove excess weight from your hair without sacrificing length. This style first went mainstream in the late 90s and early 2000s, but it became such a staple that it is still popular 20 years later.

Straight Butterfly Haircut

Photo @victoria_nkbeautysalon

Butterfly Hairstyles and Different Hair Types

One nice thing about the butterfly haircut is that it can work on almost any hair length and texture. However, it is most suitable for medium to long wavy/curly hair.

The multiple layers work well to blend the curls. Kinky hair is impossible to style using a butterfly cut. However, straight hair can be workable. You need to curl the ends a bit to pull off the look.

Things You Need for Styling

You want to get the luscious curls that are the signature of the butterfly haircut. For that, you will need a blow dryer and a round brush.

While drying your damp hair, use the roller brush to make the ends of your hair curl inward. If you are not confident with your roller brush skills, you can use Velcro rollers.

How to Style and Maintain

Step 1 – Consider your face shape and hair texture

Not all face shapes are suited for the butterfly haircut. This haircut is more suitable for people with round face shapes as the layers frame the face quite nicely. If you have a long face shape, the haircut might make your face look longer, so be careful when styling.

Step 2 – Style your butterfly haircut properly

The defining characteristic of the butterfly haircut includes the curled ends of the hair. You can achieve this by using Velcro rollers attached to the lower ends of your hair, making them curl inward. You do not need to use a curling iron as you only look for soft curls.

Step 3 – Maintain your butterfly haircut

You want to preserve the curls in your hair, so you have to dry and brush your hair regularly. This will train your hair to curl inwards.

Step 4 – Use the right products for your hair

Another defining trait of the butterfly haircut is the volume of the hair. A butterfly haircut will make it look thicker if you have relatively thin hair.

However, to help it further, use a volumizing shampoo and a mousse. The hair mousse will help keep your hair in place while adding more volume and dimension.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake you can make is giving yourself a butterfly haircut, even if you are unsure how to do it. There are hundreds of videos online of people who tried giving themselves a butterfly haircut by following another video they found online.

Most of the time, the results were disastrous. It would be better to visit a professional hairdresser and pay for their services. This will save you from all the stress and heartbreak of a botched haircut.

Another mistake is not being clear with your hairdresser. Simply assuming that your hairdresser knows what you meant when you said “butterfly cut” is not a good idea.

There are many different variations of the butterfly haircut, so there is a high chance that you may not get what you are expecting.


How to ask my stylist for a butterfly cut?

Because there are many variations of the butterfly haircut, it would be best if you show your hairdresser a picture of the style you want. This will give your hairdresser a better idea of what you want and provide you with advice, like what they could do to improve it.

Is a butterfly haircut good for all hair types?

The butterfly haircut is generally good for all hair types, except for kinky curly hair, of course (band hairstyles might be better for you). There are also some variants of the butterfly cut that are suitable for shorter hair.

Some of them look great with long hair. The butterfly haircut is one of the styles suitable for almost all types and lengths of hair.

What are some common butterfly haircut problems and how to fix them?

One of the most common problems with the butterfly haircut is maintaining the curls at the end of the hair. Most of the time, your hair would look great right after you leave the salon, but all the volume seems to have gone away the following morning.

Though it may be time-consuming, you can fix this just by using a blow dryer and a round brush.

How can I make sure my butterfly haircut looks its best?

The best way to ensure that you get the best butterfly cut is to choose the one that suits your face shape and hair type. Ask your hairdresser for advice on what they think would look good on you, as they are experts.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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