If Farrah Fawcett were to spark a hair trend in 2022, it would probably look like the air cut. It’s essentially the modern spin on the OG Charlie’s Angels star’s feathery, fabulous signature look—think loads of volume with a contemporary cool vibe.
“The air cut is the current trending term on Tiktok and social media for the layered haircut of yesteryear,” says Harry Josh, celebrity stylist and creator of Harry Josh Pro Tools. “The cut is all about creating volume and movement by using face framing layers and wispy bangs. The cut should look airy and a little messy, like you just ran your fingers through it.”
Read on for everything you need to know about the air cut, plus how to ask for it at the salon.
What Is an Air Cut Haircut?
This trend has evolved by combining a few popular hairstyles of the moment, according to Joseph Maine, Color Wow Artistic Director and celebrity hairstylist. “The bombshell blowout is back and people are enjoying using Velcro and hot rollers to create bounce and volume,” he says. “Throughout Covid, people started cutting in curtain bangs which typically look best with a more layered face frame. Then ‘The Rachel’ haircut emerged again. If you combine all of these trending styles, you’re left with a bouncy, heavily layered air cut.”
Offering plenty of perks, it’s no wonder the air cut is trending. “The layers in the hair create a feathery texture and a lot of added volume and movement, without being too harsh, giving an undone, glamorous look,” Josh says. “The cut is really versatile so it can be adapted to frame many different face shapes.”
There’s even more to love about the cut: It creates loads of bounce, typically grows out pretty well, and gives a lot of shape around the face. No matter how much hair you have, it’ll work for you. “It takes out weight for those with a lot of hair and allows those with less hair to create more volume,” Maine says.
How to Ask for an Air Cut Haircut
When sitting in a stylist’s chair, Josh advises asking for lots of layers, including face framing layers and a wispy fringe in front, and make sure to specify the length you want your bangs.
“I believe in using image references,” Maine says. “Try to find someone who has a similar face shape and hair texture to your own. Work with your stylist to customize it based on your styling and maintenance plan.”
Though the air cut can work on practically everyone, the cut needs to be adapted for your texture and hair type. “For example, if you have curly hair, be careful not to make layers too short as they will shrink when your curls tighten,” Josh says.
However, Maine advises that those with particularly small faces should avoid the look as they may feel a bit lost behind their hair. “Really fine or stick straight hair will not get the same effect without a lot of help,” he says. “It typically looks best on medium to thick densities. It’s also best for people with a little texture in their hair as stick straight hair can look a bit choppy unless styled. Most face shapes can pull it off, but bang placement can really enhance or hinder this style based on face shape. Someone with a long face may want the fringe to hit more around their cheeks, while round or square faces may look best with a fringe that’s eye level.”
How to Style an Air Cut Haircut
“A classic blowout makes an air cut look gorgeous and extra ‘airy,’” Josh says. “Start by prepping the hair with Goldwell Stylesign Ultra Volume Naturally Full Blow-Dry & Finish Bodifying Spray ($18) to enhance grip, then use the Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 ($250) and Magnesium Thermal Brush ($60), to dry hair thoroughly, twisting the brush at the end to give the hair added volume.”
To pump up the volume, try Maine’s method. His go-to styling product for this look is Color Wow Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer ($26). Put a few pumps of this throughout wet hair and blow out with a round brush. “You can even pair it with Color Wow Raise The Root Thicken and Lift Spray ($24), for some added lift at the base,” Maine says. “I’d recommend rolling each section up with a Velcro roller and securing it in place until all of the hair cools. Roll each of the rollers away from the face. Pop them out and shake the hair out for a bombshell lifted look. The key is to use large rollers or brush to create lift and bounce without curls.”