Stylists Say the U-Shaped Cut Is the Secret to Faking Thicker Hair

The U-shape will have U-sold.

<p><a href="">CoffeeAndMilk</a>/Getty Images</p>

CoffeeAndMilk/Getty Images

Fine hair can be, well, not so fine to style sometimes. It’s especially tricky when you’re thinking about implementing layers into your hair—should you go for more movement or less? Choppy layers or one length? The latest layered haircut trend making the social media rounds—dubbed the U-shaped haircut—is ideal for faking the appearance of maximum volume.

What is the U-shaped haircut?

For a long time, the trends seemed to lean toward sharp edges, i.e. one-length cut or modern mullets, but we’re recently starting to see a return to softer silhouettes and natural textures. Enter: the U-shape cut, which is exactly what the name implies. ”The back and sides are cut in a U-shape which is more rounded and softer, versus a V-cut that has more extreme angles and points,” explains Gina Rivera, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Phenix Salon Suites. “Though the haircut is subtle, it can have a big impact as far as making hair look fuller.”

When you go to a stylist, ask for lightly cut layers into the sides so that they are slightly curved and face-framing. The key is to have the layers blend seamlessly into the rest of the hair, so that they're not chunky and obvious.


Stylists don't recommend giving yourself this haircut at home, as it’s probably one of the most challenging to pull (despite how simple it appears). “Always go to a professional stylist when you are wanting a U-cut style,” Rivera says. “Even if it appears to be easy, it’s a very technical cut and the technique is imperative to achieve the right details.”

Who should get the U-shaped haircut?

Although the U-shape haircut has the most volumizing effect for fine hair, it can work well on all hair types and lengths, including curly hair textures. “The U-shape has shorter sides that are face-framing, which is flattering on most face shapes and can add a lot of movement,” Rivera says. “Any time there is more movement, which is created by texture and soft layers in the U-cut, the hair will appear fuller but weigh less (a win-win).” In other words, the haircut also works if you have thicker hair, since layering throughout the lengths can help reduce weight.

And don’t worry if you have shorter hair—in fact, shorter lengths with a U-shape will end up bringing more attention to the jawline, so it can look great paired with a bob or pixie cut. If you’re looking for additional face-framing, stylists recommend adding curtain bangs or bottleneck bangs to the mix.

How do you style it?

To maintain the U-shape, you may need to get a trim more frequently than you’re used to. “Everyone's hair is different, but I recommend getting a haircut every three months to keep the shape intact and snip off dead ends,” says Stephanie Angelone, master stylist at RPZL, a hair extension and blowout bar in New York. 

“If you are styling a U-cut at home, use a round brush and blow-dryer while ensuring that you are paying attention to the face-framing angles in the front for a full look. Use a round brush to create extra volume and some mousse to give it hold to last longer.”

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