The air cut: what you need to know
04th Dec 2022
The air cut is gaining attention on TikTok, but HJ wanted to find out what makes it unique to the other layered styles we've seen recently, and how best to achieve it. Layers returned in a big way this past year, as the 90s Rachel Green cut resurfaced, and more clients were experimenting with bangs
and wolf cuts
(and medium wolf cuts
…). However, when we see a new trend like the air cut we’re bound to speculate if it’s simply a new label on a classic cut. So, the air cut – what is it and why is it different?
What is the air cut?
The air cut was established in Korea and involves cutting in layers very close together, packing them in around the face to create a framing effect and give new life to flat, fine hair. “The air cut is a TikTok trending style that is taking over. This viral style is a lot of fluffy layering around the front of the hair with wispy bangs making it wearable even when not styled,” Michelle Brace, owner of The Blonde Lane, told us. The general goal is to create a feathery, airy appearance on the ends of the hair, and unlike its cousins (the shag and the mullet), this style lends more glamour and delicacy than edge.
Tips for creating movement
“For a while we have been pulling layering sections out at 90 degrees, to leave the weight on the top, but things have changed. We’re now also pulling these sections up towards the ceiling to create movement all the way down the length of the hair. This is great for both very thick hair to remove weight and cut down on drying time, and also for creating volume in flat, fine hair too,” Adele Clarke, OSMO ambassador and owner of Spectrum Hair, offered. “Personalising the cut at the end to compliment the face shape is important, with deeper swept bangs on higher foreheads or soft slither cut sides for a smaller face shape. These finishing touches are what brings them back to you, and only you.”
“For me, creating movement is all about making sure the texture and layers are correct. You need to make sure what you do is best for each client. I try to keep layers long, as you can easily make them invisible if need be. Clients shouldn’t be limited to one hairstyle just because they’ve opted for layers. When cutting short hair, I always make sure to really point-cut the top to make sure we get that bit of added texture throughout the look,” said Fudge Professional global brand ambassador Jonathan Andrew.
“I think the key to this is visualising the structure of the face. Take the time to really consider individual features such as jawlines, cheekbones, foreheads and eyelines. Pick a focal point and bring it to life. For example, if you want to enhance a jawline, that’s where you need to put your layers.”
Styling the air cut
“For clients at home, naturally letting this style dry will create a fab, fluffy effect. But in a salon setting, this may not be the best way, so I always use a diffuser for this. This will really distribute the airflow and spread the heat out, I like to scrunch the hair whilst drying for that really soft, airy finish,” Jonathan added. “I also opt for the Fudge Professional XXL Hair Thickener when styling flat hair. When you blow-dry your client’s hair, the heat activates a polymer in the product that swells and thickens the hair by 100%.” While Adele likes to use the OSMO Extreme Volume Root Lifter Spray.
“The lines between barbering and hairdressing are being blurred in a refreshing, forward-thinking way. Texture-cutting stylists from both sides of the industry are in their element,” Adele finished. The air cut may not be an entirely new style, but we're constantly seeing classic looks progress and mutate. For those clients looking for lots of layers, movement and shape, but without the edge and rebellion of shags, mullets and wolf cuts, enter: the air cut.