Your Guide To All The Animal-Inspired Haircuts (We Seriously Can't Keep Up)

From wolves to butterflies, doesn't it seem like every on-trend haircut right now is named after some animal? And, do we even actually know how to tell them apart? These days, there are way more haircut trends than we're used to seeing, and that makes it easy for folks to be fresh and fashionable without sacrificing personal preferences and needs. But, how can we choose the right trendy cut for us if we don't even know which style is which?

In many ways, spring 2023 is all about short hair, but it's also about choppy layers, plentiful playful fringe options, and retro looks reinvented. All of the animal-inspired haircuts that are making the rounds fit into these categories with different twists. Consequently, choosing which one is right for you is all about the length and vibe that you're looking for in your new cut. And, of course, you can always take your favorite animal into consideration when making your final choice, too. Luckily, we've got all the animal cuts in one place to make sure you've got the right one in mind before you're in front of your hairstylist.


The jellyfish haircut has a specific, unique shape, and yes — it looks a bit like a jellyfish. Hairstylist to the stars, Gregory Patterson, told POPSUGAR that the jellyfish cut is " essentially a version of a mullet that plays on shapes and contrasting lines." The shaggy cut has two separate sections: a bowl-cut-esque top portion and a longer, tentacle-like layer below. There are tons of options when it comes to length, types of layers, and how disconnected the different sections are, so feel free to search for inspo pics that work for you to take to your hairstylist. 

Wolf cut

The wolf cut is probably one of the best-known members of the haircut animal kingdom, and there's good reason for that. The wolf cut is basically a combination of the mullet and the shag, which are two haircuts that are having a major renaissance as of late. This cut is easy to style and versatile. Celeb hairstylist, Sally Hershberger recommended to POPSUGAR, "Ask your stylist for lots of shaggy, wavy layers. Depending on the look you want, you can also go for bangs or curtain bangs, which both look really cool with this cut."

Butterfly haircut

Personally, if we could choose one of the animal-inspired cuts of the season based on the name, the butterfly cut would be our pick. And, the actual details of this cut manage to make it even better. This look is the perfect reiteration of the super-layered, voluminous blowouts of yesteryear. It includes long layers and plenty of face-framing pieces that fall into a perfectly symmetrical, bouncy, high-volume style that's reminiscent of a pair of butterfly wings fresh out of the cocoon, just in time for springtime! What's better haircut inspiration than that?

Octopus cut

When you hear the term "octopus cut," you can already picture the exact shape this look takes. With choppy layers and plenty of messy, voluminous texture, this style is a modern, edgy update on the popular "Rachel" haircut that Jennifer Aniston put on the map back in the 1990s. The choppy part of this haircut up around the scalp is similar to that of a mullet, but the shorter and longer sections have a more gradual blend. Stylist, Darren Bain, calls it "a modern alternative to traditional longer layered hair" (via POPSUGAR.) 

Manta Ray

For another haircut fresh from the deep blue sea, we have the manta ray cut. This look focuses on face-framing layers resembling long curtain bangs with more long layers that are soft and gradual. This is a perfect pick for summer that will make your hair look updated without sacrificing long locks. As for the name, hairstylist, Jacob Habib Khan, told POPSUGAR, "When you curl [the layers] in toward the face, it wings out, resembling the shape of a manta ray. With all of the animal-themed haircut names, we couldn't resist calling it the manta just for fun." 

Cub cut

Last but not least of the animal-inspired on-trend cuts is the cub cut. This is a great choice if you're looking to lean into the cropped hair trends and also enjoy the benefits of plenty of choppiness and texture. This haircut is a bob with loads of layers cut with a razor. It's often paired with blunt or curtain bangs for even more face-framing goodness. If you're feeling particularly edgy, you could even give this style vintage flair with some micro-bangs. This cut is the perfect way to keep cool and maintain voluminous locks for the warmer months.