Good hair days begin with the right haircut. If you’re trying to create volume, all the hair products in the world won’t rescue your locks if your haircut is working against you. If you’re looking for a thicker mane, turn up the volume this summer with a U-shaped haircut.
The U-shaped haircut became popular after it debuted on TikTok. Haircare fanatic @nothangtw showed off her haircut and told followers how to get the same look. She asks for wispy bangs with face-framing pieces and a U-shaped cut with long layers in the back.
See the end result below:
But what exactly is a U-shaped haircut? As it might sound, it’s when your hairstylist cuts your layers in a U-shape. Most layers tend to be blunt or V-shaped, but for this haircut, you want your ends to be softly rounded.
“The sides of your hair compared to the back section are much thinner, so that U-shape will instantly take that ‘stringy’ look away while giving you a nice, blunt-looking cut,” hairstylist Rachel Selt tells Glamour.
If you struggle with thinning ends, the U-shaped haircut can help you fake volume and lightness without robbing you of too much length.
“You have more movement to the hair and can hold a style better because the hair isn’t so heavy,” Kimberly Gueldner, hairstylist and owner of Voel Hair Studio tells InStyle. “It tends to add volume as well.”
If your hairstylist hasn’t heard of the U-shaped haircut, it’s easy to explain what you want. Just ask your stylist to give you face-framing layers that are subtly rounded layers instead of sharp. You want the outer layers to slowly graduate into a round U-shape at the back.
Watch @virginia_ongkili debut the cut below on her TikTok:
Trending Oval Layer U-Shaped Haircut❤️
Not only will these layers give you more volume, but this cut is also great for wash-and-go styles. It’s a perfect summer haircut because you don’t have to sweat under a hair dryer after cooling off in the shower.
Although the U-shaped haircut is newly trending on TikTok, hair experts have been loving this look for a while. In October of last year, Mane Addicts predicted that the U-shape haircut would soon blow up — and they were right.
However, stylists warn that if you’re not accustomed to layers, this cut may take some getting used to. You won’t be as easily able to do a quick braid or ponytail style, as you’ll have to navigate different lengths.
“One [other] thing to keep in mind with this cut is that the sides will be a bit shorter than the back,” hairstylist Hannah Jean tells Mane Addicts. “If this is something you don’t want or wouldn’t like, then this cut is not for you.”
But if layers are your thing and you want to keep that length on the sides, consider asking for oval layers instead of a standard U-shaped haircut.
With oval layers, your layers will be one length at the back, instead of softly building to that rounded U shape.
Hairstylist and salon director Stephen Buller tells Refinery 29 how you can achieve this look:
“It’s a sharp, one length at the back,” explains Buller. “This particular trend is styled with the layering blow-dried underneath [rather than flicked outwards], so the hair points towards the face in oval shapes.”
If oval layers are giving you 90’s vibes, you’re right: This look mirrors Jennifer Aniston on “Friends” after her iconic Rachel haircut. Think season 6 Rachel Hair, not season 1.
If you don’t remember back to 1999, these oval layers do require some styling to look their best. Use a round brush and a hair dryer to gently round your ends, and make sure to use anti-frizz mousse or shine spray. You want your ends to look as smooth and shiny as possible.
What do you think? Are you loving the Y2K vibes or do you prefer more modern cuts?