There’s no denying the wolf cut is one of biggest hair trends as TikToks about the style have over 4.1 billion views. And while this cut might sound new, you’ll likely remember rockers like Joan Jett and Debbie Harry sporting it in the 70’s. It really is true that everything old is new again, but while the wolf cut was edgy and punk-rock then, today’s version, a modernized mash-up of the ‘70s shag and the ’80s mullet, is much softer and less severe and looks surprisingly fresh and chic on women over 50. Read on to learn more about the trendy hairstyle and how it can flatter you!
What is a wolf cut and what hair does it work best with?
“The wolf cut is named as a nod to its wild, shaggy or wavy disconnected layers,” says Ghanima Abdullah, hairstylist and beauty consultant for TheRightHairstyles.com, a website devoted to hair cut, color and style inspiration. “The slight mullet shape is shorter around the crown to create volume, with longer, face-slimming layers in the back.” If you’re having a hard time picturing the wolf cut, you can check out this quick how-to from TikToker and hairstylist Janelle Eyre.
Best hair length for a wolf cut
The true beauty of this cut, according to Jon Carlos De La Cruz, hairstylist and style transformations expert for Cosmo Prof, is that you can customize it depending on how short or soft you decide to go with the layers. “There’s lots of room to experiment and find what suits the wearer best.” And when done right, he says “the wolf cut gives off a fun rocker vibe with a youthful, playful attitude without looking outdated.”
Though the cut works best with medium length locks, De La Cruz explains that, “wolf cuts can bring a lot of volume to shorter hair,” says De La Cruz. “However, it’s easiest to show off layers on longer lengths where the graduation can be seen most clearly.” (Click through to see more haircuts for medium length hair.)
If you’re curious about the 360 degree view of the layers that make up a wolf cut, check out the below TikTok video from hairstylist @culturedmane.
Best hair type for a wolf cut
When it comes to texture, the wolf cut can be worn on all hair types from curly to straight.
If hair is straight: The cut’s layers add instant oomph and volume.
If hair is curly: “The wolf cut can be styled with soft curls or waves so that it flatters the face without overwhelming it,” says hairstylist Clyde Haygood, who has worked with Shakira and Katy Perry. Adds De La Cuz, when it comes to curly hair, choosing a bang style carefully is key to ensuring the fringe doesn’t poof up.
One caveat, says Haygood: thanks to the layers on top, this cut can take a while to grow out, so if you don’t love it, you’re stuck with it for some time. On the flipside, those layers also give months of amazing volume to thinner tresses.
How a wolf cut flatters women over 50
It makes hair look thicker
The anti-aging hero of this cut is the illusion of thickness it’s shaggy layers create making it ultra flattering for women over 50. Yet, hair pros assure us that the wolf cut flatters in other ways as well.
It frames the face, minimizing wrinkles
“This same layers that make your hair appear thicker, also beautifully frame the face,” says Abdullah. “And all the angles of face-framing haircuts like the wolf cut disguise fine lines and wrinkles by drawing attention away from them.” (Click through to see more flattering layered haircuts for women over 50).
It hides a crepey neck
The long layers of the cut can also help camouflage a crepey neck. In fact, we love how TikToker Ramona Samuels @ramisami365 asked followers if 51 was too old to try on the wolf cut and after getting a resounding no, she tested out the style.
See her gorgeous new ‘do in the video below!
It flatters every face shape
More good news: The wolf cut also works on every face shape and gives it a lift because the layers are designed to fall forward onto the face. “Since layers are dependent on the various lengths of the hair, stylists can easily customize the wolf cut to match each individual,” says De La Cruz. “For example, a round face usually needs the shortest layer to hit below the cheekbone, so that the face is contoured well, while those with oblong faces might want to have the layers of cut fall above the jaw, so the cut won’t make the face appear longer.”
What to ask your stylist for when getting a wolf cut
“The wolf cut is popular enough these days that you can ask for it by name,” says De La Cruz. “But it’s good to bring several pictures with you of the length and exact style that you’re looking for, since there are many different ways to achieve the style.”
And finding inspiration should be a breeze since celebrities from Shania Twain and Halle Berry to Mary Steenburgenand Valerie Bertinelli (who gave herself the cut at home) are all sporting the fresh look (all shown below).
Feeling brave enough to give yourself the cut at home? Take cues from beauty influencers who have taken matters, and the scissors, into their own hands. See below for TikTokers Sharon Smith @sharonsmithbeauty and Chele @chelespell, who both DIY’d the cuts and they turned out great.
Celebrity wolf cut inspiration photos
These over-50 A-listers are proof that the trendy wolf cut can help turn back the clock.
Wispy fringe directs focus upward, giving facial features a youthful lifted look.
Pairing the style with full, blunt bangs cleverly conceals forehead furrows and any thinning along the hairline or at the temples.
The movement created from bangs and layers optically bulks up finer strands.
Longer face-framing layers draw attention vertically, which “stretches” the face so it appears longer and leaner.
How to style the trendy hair cut
Though the wolf cut looks like it might be high maintenance, it’s actually super easy to style. “This is a total low maintenance cut, you really can just wash and go,” says Haygood. His favorite way to style the wolf cut is by spraying on a leave-in conditioner and letting it air dry. “A leave-in conditioner will help smooth hair and tame frizz without weighing hair down.”
To do: While freshly washed hair is still damp, spritz a leave-in spray like Pura D’Or Argan Oil Heat Shield (Buy on Amazon, $14) all over tresses, hen work it in with fingers of a comb. “I like how it boosts shine but also keeps hair healthy by providing protection from pollutants, toxins and the sun,” says Haygood.
Now that you’re armed with all the info you need, there’s no need to wait until the next full moon to let out your inner she wolf. Simply head to the salon anytime you’re ready to take on the wolf cut and take a walk on the wild side.
For more haircut inspiration, click through these stories:
Lorraine Sullivan has always been curious, and once she realized being a journalist meant she could ask all the questions she wanted AND get answers, she was hooked! As a freelance writer she loves contributing to FIRST for Women magazine, regularly writing features about beauty and fashion fixes, ways to save cash while shopping and tips on how to take the best care of furry pals. After 21 years in New York City, she currently lives in the Heartland, in a house with her three children, spoiled cat Zuzu,and a big backyard where she’s always hanging up birdhouses and trying to cultivate the perfect pollinator garden. She also loves traveling with her family—they’ve visited places like Mexico, China, Australia and plenty of other places in between.Follow her adventures at https://www.instagram.com/rainbowdops