Monday, July 22, 2024

I Got a Mermaid Cut: See Photos

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Despite working in beauty, I am slightly haircut-averse. I may still be hanging on to the trauma of accidentally getting micro bangs when I was 14, and I’ve just generally gotten too many bad haircuts over the years when all I wanted was a trim. All that is to say: if I’m going to get a cut, it needs to be worth it.

For the last few months, I’ve been letting my hair grow out as much as it could, without any layers or face-framing pieces. I just wanted to let it do its thing. After a while, though, it was starting to look lifeless; no matter how I styled it, it read as flat and boring. I came to the conclusion that having it all one layer wasn’t doing anything for my fine hair. So I decided to brave the salon chair and try out the latest hair trend: the mermaid haircut.

I made my way to Benjamin Salon for an appointment with its titular owner, Benjamin Mohapi. Keep reading for his take on the mermaid cut and to see how it transformed my lifeless hair into a ‘do worthy of Ariel herself.

Experts Featured in This Article

Benjamin Mohapi is a celebrity hairstylist and owner of Benjamin Salon in Los Angeles.

What Is a Mermaid Cut?

The mermaid haircut is a version of long layers, with an emphasis on creating lots of movement through the hair. “The goal of the mermaid cut is to maximize flow,” says Mohapi. “You want it to feel full and maintain volume but you want to move and hold a feeling of seamlessness as it does so. Just like the waves of the ocean, this is a style that should never be static. It should always be in motion, swelling and crashing with every step.”

The mermaid cut differs from something like the butterfly cut because it needs a bit of length to work. Mohapi says anything past the shoulders will do, but the ideal length for the mermaid cut is mid-back.

If you want the mermaid cut, it’s important that your stylist understands how it differs from a classic long layer haircut — the layers should flow back from the face rather than being face-framing. “The classic long layer would maintain weight in the baseline at the front but this is not the case with the mermaid cut,” says Mohapi. “The perimeter flows continuously from front to back and contains no horizontal shape. It’s all flow.” He says that if your stylist isn’t familiar with the cut (and doesn’t want to Google the trend), just ask them for “a beautiful flowing long layer without weight at the front.”

My Mermaid Cut Results

I couldn’t be happier with my mermaid cut — I finally feel like I have a “real” haircut rather than just a lifeless pile on my head. I love that Mohapi was able to keep so much of my length while still making those flowy layers come across. I’m in my sea creature era and I’m not mad about it.

How to Style the Mermaid Cut

For a haircut like this, Mohapi says nothing beats a great blowout. “I do mean blowout, too, not just hitting it with the curling iron,” he says. “You need to get that bounce in there.” He also says that products like dry texture sprays or dry shampoos are not good for this style. “We need the hair to look supple healthy and full of life. It’s not about fluff, it’s all about bounce.”

Mohapi’s go-to products are Sachajuan Volume Cream ($32) and the Milbon Wave Enhancing Mousse ($49).

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When I’m styling at home, I tend to fluctuate between heat styling and air drying. When I heat style, I’ve been loving the Djerf Avenue Breezy Styling Mist ($27) paired with the new T3 Aire 360 Ceramic Styler Blowout Kit ($300) for a bunch of bounce. When I air style, I find that the Crown Affair Texturizing Air Dry Hair Mousse ($38) keeps the movement in my air-dried curls rather than weighing them down.

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Aviel Kanter is the director of branded content for Vox Media, and oversees lifestyle content across the portfolio of brands. She manages a team of editors that writes articles in the wellness, fitness, beauty, fashion, health, entertaining, pets, and finance categories.

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