How to Ask for an "Angel Cut With Layers" and What Message It Gives Your Hairstylist

·3 min read

A couple of viral videos on TikTok have everyone discussing an "angel cut" or an "angel cut with layers"—which seems like casually asking for a specific hairdo when you're at a salon. While it might sound perfectly normal to anyone in a seat beside you, the angel cut with layers meaning would be a completely different message for your hairdresser.

Although this sounds like it could be a trendy hairstyle that you're pointing to from the pages of a magazine or a screenshot on your phone, asking for an angel cut with layers wouldn't actually be telling the hairstylist the look you're after. Instead, it would be giving them a coded message. So, what exactly is an angel cut with layers?

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What does an "angel cut with layers" mean?

According to this viral TikTok, which has nearly surpassed two million views, requesting an angel cut with layers at the hair salon is one way to let your hairdresser know that you are in an abusive relationship or experiencing domestic violence.

Related: What Is an "Angel Shot"?

Where did the angel cut with layers name originate?

TikTok creator Leda Fazal (@ledafazal) shared in one of her videos that after seeing all of the recent buzz about the secret meaning of ordering an angel shot at the bar, she wished there was something like that in her own workplace. "I've been doing hair 21 years, and there's been some crazy situations and I wish there was some sort of code word that y'all could tell us," she shares. "But now I'm thinking, okay, 'angel cut, angel shot, angel cut,' that lets us know that you need help some way. And I hope it spreads!"

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What happens after asking for an angel cut with layers at the salon?

Right now, this is one hairdresser's mission to get more hairstylists and communities informed on the need for a code word (like how bartenders are becoming more aware of the meaning of "angel shots"). In this stage of gaining awareness, it's likely that many hairstylists are not familiar with terms like this in their place of business. 

However, Fazal hopes that this idea will spread across salons. And she has some ideas on what to do when this code is used. "When someone says they'd like an 'angel cut' that lets the hairstylist know that you are not there willingly and we should call the police," she shared in a comment. "An 'angel cut with layers' [lets] us know that a partner or a parent etc is making you get this haircut without your consent." 

Related: What is a "Back-to-School Necklace"? All About This Disturbing Trend That Parents Need to Know About

What other ways can someone ask for help?

There is a National Domestic Violence Hotline that's available to call 24/7 at 800-799-7233. You can also reach them via text by texting "START" to 88788, or message them on a live chat at They offer confidential support, and their website allows you to search for local resources in your area for assistance close by as well. 

It's so important to get the support and resources you need to be able to create and implement a safety plan for leaving an abusive situation.

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