Asian beauty's affinity for subtle, often non-committal fringes is not a one size fits all. Those looking for a bolder chop play around with a different set of options, the internet-famous "hime cut" being one of them. You've probably already seen it somewhere—it's reminiscent of an ear-length bob and side bangs, except it looks like you gave up cutting halfway. It's this deceiving incompleteness that makes it chic, and putting Janine Gutierrez in the style at this month's cover shoot is (hopefully) proof enough.
But what exactly is the hime cut and why is everyone smitten with it? Scroll ahead for a complete guide!
What is the "hime cut" haircut?
The hime cut has its origins in the Japanese Heian period between 794 and 1185. It was worn and popularized by noblewomen of the era, hence its name which literally translates to "princess cut" in Japanese.
The haircut is characterized by short blunt sections cut above the chin (think curtain bangs, but thicker and less subtle), while the rest of the hair is left long. Hair historian Rachael Gibson tells W Magazine that Heian noblewomen would get this high-contrast style for a coming-of-age event called the Binsogi.
Rachael adds that one of the earliest Asian pop culture appearances of the hime cut could be traced back to the '70s, specifically to Japanese popstar Megumi Asaoka. She had numerous hits on the Oricon charts, her most popular song My Boyfriend Is a Lefty landing number one on the Oricon charts and selling half a million copies.
Since then, the hime cut has become a staple statement look in J-beauty. It eventually made its way into K-beauty, where it's often referred to as the "block cut." Coincidentally, one of the stars who helped put it back on everyone's radar is a Japanese K-pop idol: Twice's Momo Hirai.
The eye-catching look has also been spotted through the years on the likes of Red Velvet's Irene, Hyeri, and BLACKPINK's Rosé, just to name a few! And here's another cool coincidence: Like Janine, Girls' Generation's Taeyeon also wore the hime style for a Louis Vuitton shoot for Vogue Korea!
Hyeri (previously of Girls Day)
In the Western world, Prada gave a nod to the trendy Japanese look during its Spring/Summer 2021 season. "Something about it has a very light and rebellious feeling," says hairstylist Guido Palau, who brought life to the cut at the show.
The trend didn't fail to make waves on Tiktok either. Much like the "wolf cut," the hime cut's experimental vibe had users DIY-ing the chop at home. Tutorials are everywhere on its hashtag, alongside videos showing off its versatility with different styles and colors. It'll be a miracle not to be convinced to get the cut after a long scroll.
Need more hime haircut inspo? Scroll ahead for more ideas you can try!
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