Awoo. Did you hear that? It’s the sound of the wolf cut being eclipsed on the trending haircut scene. Now, the wolf cut's baby sister, the cub cut, is the top dog, and you're about to see it everywhere. “The cub cut is an alternative punk hairstyle that is sexy, fun, and playful,” says celebrity hairstylist Chad Wood. “The hairstyle is versatile and can be cut in different ways. You can add in pieces, make it texturized, and you can have it on long or short hair. The style has no definitive lines and is great for [those] in transition who want a change from long to shorter hair.” Ahead, everything you need to know about the cut.
We’re starting to lose track of how many beauty trends the hit Netflix show Wednesday has sparked, from soft goth makeup to slick side bangs. “The cub cut started trending when Jenna Ortega wore the hairstyle to the 2023 Golden Globe Awards.” Wood says. “Jenna starred in the Netflix spinoff series of the Addams Family, Wednesday, where her character was portrayed as a cool girl with an ‘I don’t care attitude.’ The cub cut is wolfy, sexy, texturized, and messy. It is a playful and trending style that anyone can make their own.”
Everything that goes around comes around, according to Harry Josh, celebrity hairstylist and creator of Harry Josh Pro Tools. “Everything that has happened in the past has a new spin on it. Let's first address the elephant in the room—this is the updated shag. This is basically a redo of a '70s shag, and the '70s shag was revisited in the '90s into a wave shag. Now, we're editing it into a bob shag.”
But, like every trend that has made a comeback, there are a few updates and changes. “We are seeing a more solid perimeter,” Josh says. “So, the bottom is a little blunter versus before it was really feathered out on the ends. That allows for an update to make it feel fresh, modern, and youthful. It also lends itself to being more versatile, since the layers are slightly longer.”
As for the main difference between a wolf cut and a cub cut? It's all in the length. The wolf cut is a cross between a shag and a soft mullet that can be any length, while the cub cut is a shaggy bob, falling between the chin and shoulders.
Who the Cub Cut Works Best On
The cub cut is extra flattering for those with oval and inverted-triangle shaped faces, according to Wood. “For those with more square-shaped or round faces, there is a possibility that the cub cut might make the face look wider,” he adds. “Typically, these face shapes are better suited for cuts such as the bubble bob.”
One of the best perks of the cub cut is the hairstyle isn’t a full commitment if you want to give your hair a shorter cut. “You can add in layers and create a choppy look to make the hair look longer than it is,” Wood says. “It is a great way to spice up mid-length hair if you want a more playful look. If you have mid-length hair, you can add more dimension by cutting layers into the base of the length.”
If you’re considering a cub cut, Josh notes that having the right attitude is crucial to pulling it off—that’s more important than the right face shape. “I don't see any corporate people with this hair that would work so easily because it's hard to make this look 'professional' all the time. It always looks a little downtown playful. This is designed for someone who is not looking for a polished look. This is a girl who's looking to stand out and look different than everyone else, and most likely is somewhat edgy.”
How to Style a Cub Cut
Start by taking a triangle section of fringe in the front of your hair and putting it into a clip so that the fringe stays in place. “This cut is great for those who typically let their hair air-dry, as any natural waves or bounciness will be enhanced by doing so,” Wood says. “To support with air-drying, I would recommend taking a dime-sized amount of the Verb Ghost Air Dry Whip ($20) and work it through the hair, from the mid-shaft to the ends. If you have fine hair, the Air Dry Whip can be buildable as needed. Once you have worked the product through the hair, apply a towel to the hair to absorb any excess product and moisture from the hair.”
If you prefer to blow dry, Wood recommends taking a two-inch round brush and bringing the edges back towards the ears for a chic fringe. “To create this fringed texture around the edges, use a dime-sized amount of the Air Dry Whip and apply to the end of your hair, and crunch them up to create that separated fringe look,” he says. “This helps create more texture and grit on the ends of the hair and avoid any fuzzy bits at the ends.”
No matter how you style a cub cut, “products are going to be your friends, whether it be finishing creams or serums,” Josh says. If you blow it out, he recommends using the Harry Josh Hair Tools Premium Oval Brush ($50) to manipulate hair texture and keep the shape. Finish it off with the Kerasilk Texturizing Finishing Spray ($32) for touchable texture, movement and body.