The 'Rachel' Haircut Just Got a Major Update—and It's Called the "Octopus"

Consider this the "it" haircut.

model Kaia Gerber with octopus hair
Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

Remember the famous "Rachel" haircut that everyone and their mother asked their stylist for during the '90s? Well, it's back with a modern twist. And it's now called the "octopus."

The trendy style (which has taken social media by storm) has been dubbed as such because of its plethora of choppy layers, said to resemble octopus tentacles. And while it's currently all the rage, it's not entirely unlike other cuts that have been popular as of late, namely the shag and mullet.

"It's a more modern take on the shag, with shorter layers throughout the front and concave, short to long layers throughout the back," explains Jarrod Shinn, a pro colorist and stylist. The finishing element? Bangs, either curtain style that hit above the brow, or longer, cheek-grazing fringe, he adds.

Shinn describes the octopus cut as, "edgy, shaggy, and effortless, with cool-girl vibes," although you definitely don't have to be a rockstar to rock this look. It can be tailored to each individual, so it can flatter most face shapes. Plus, with plenty of styling versatility, you can easily tweak it to fit your personal look. The only major caveat to consider? Your hair texture. Ideally, this cut will work best on those with naturally smooth or slightly wavy hair, notes Shinn.

As with any haircut (or hair color, for that matter), always start by bringing some inspo for you and your stylist to look at and discuss together. The big decision to be made is how long you want your bangs to be, notes Shinn, who adds that they can hit either above the brow, at the cheek, or even at the chin.

"Ask your stylist to connect your shorter fringe layers with face-framing layers, as well as your desired all-over length," he suggests. The face-framing pieces should be shaggier, with longer round layers through the rest of the cut, and shorter layers in the back. Finally, keeping the ends textured will add to the overall piece-y effect and keep the cut from looking too blunt.

As far as styling goes, feel free to stash away your hot tools; air-drying complements the overall edgy, effortless vibe perfectly. Simply apply a leave-in product to help smooth down any errant frizzies and enhance your natural texture, Shinn suggests. Our favorite: Odele Air Dry Styler ($12;

On the flip side, if you want to add polish and elegance to this cut, blow-drying is the move. Prep hair by spritzing on a volumizer at the roots, like Kenra Root Lifting Spray ($18;, for a little lift. Roughly dry hair until it's 90 percent dry, then section it into three big pieces and blow-dry each with a round brush, Shinn suggests. Hit it with a finishing spray to add shine, and tame flyaways, and you're good to go. Try Shinn's favorite, UNITE 7Seconds Glossing Spray ($30;

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