Learn The Octopus Haircut

Mandy McCullough, Sam Villa Ambassador and owner of Fix Salon @FancyFinish, was recently highlighted in Allure magazine for her trending octopus haircut technique. “People are ready for the next trend . . . this is a shag on steroids and works well on both straight and textured hair,” McCullough says. 
The profile view of a model featuring her octopus bangs and layering.

The octopus haircut is a heavily layered cut. The interior is an extreme shag while the ends are left long. The silhouette rounds with the head shape, similar to an octopus body, and the base length mimics the vibe of octopus legs. 

This cut is good for anyone who

  • Loves a shag but wants a more trend-forward version.
  • Has a lot of hair and wants to reduce weight while maintaining an edge.
  • Has a great natural texture and wants an air-dried, organic finish.
  • Wants versatility in a haircut that offers multiple looks.

It’s not ideal for anyone with

  • Fine/low-density hair.
  • High volume curl texture.
  • Wants low-maintenance, perfectly polished hair.

Octopus Haircut Step-by-Step

Put all hair below the parietal ridge in a ponytail. Leave hair above the parietal ridge in its natural falling position over the secured hair. Take vertical sections, elevate hair straight out, and use a Sam Villa Signature Series Razor to cut a straight line from top to bottom. The base length should fall just below the top of the nape. Repeat in radial sections around the head, but do not cut the fringe area.

Profile view of a client with the back of their hair pulled into a ponytail to start an octopus haircut.

Blow-dry hair with a Sam Villa Light Professional Ionic Blow Dryer . Working in compressed sections, elevate hair straight up. Use the top hair as a guide to point cut and create layers that connect the top to the perimeter length.

Isolate a triangle fringe area and cut a curtain fringe to desired length.

A hair client has her fringe bangs isolated in a triangle as one step in the octopus haircut process.

Using two guides, one from the top of the crown and one from the center top of the fringe, elevate hair straight up in sections and point cut lengths to connect between the two guides.

A hairstylist point cuts on her client to finish up an octopus haircut.

Personalize by removing bulk and weight by point cutting or using Sam Villa Signature Series InvisiBlend Shears.

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