Everyone remembers the first time they tried to cut their own hair, especially as a child — the uneven lengths of hair, the attempt at chunky bangs, the traumatic feeling afterward. And while most of us are trying to forget that harrowing time, one hairstylist saw it as inspiration, which leads us to the latest trending hairdo on Instagram, as spotted by The Cut.
"It's a combination of my love for the really bad haircuts little kids give themselves ... and a '20s or '30s length, which I like," said Dylan Chavles, a Los Angeles-based stylist who's been giving clients the haircut for the past few years. "I think there's something sweet about it, but something unnerving about it. It's pretty awkward, it goes pretty far back. It's not like a 'long bang.'"
Names for the cut vary — it's been described as a "step bang" and a "mullet bang" — but there's undeniably one star of the hairstyle: the chunky, sharp-edged pieces of hair that come about halfway down the face.
Instagram photos show it on women with long hair, curly hair and short bobs alike, but in each of them, the bangs tend to fall between the ear and the chin (far longer than your standard bangs) and feature a harsh and dramatic angular shape.
Unlike some other Instagram trends, the cut is actually popular in real life. Masami Hosono, stylist and creative director of the Vacancy Project, said that she's given the cut more than 100 times over the course of her career.
"It has always been popular at my salon," she explained. "(This year), people have ordered it often."
Lily O'Brien, who lives in Los Angeles, asked for a similar cut from Chavles in October 2016, before the style's new popularity. She shared the cut on her Instagram, under the handle @believablyjapanese.
"I was looking for something really different ... and I knew I wanted Dylan Chavles to do it," O'Brien said. "I saw the mullets and layering pieces on Dylan's Instagram, and I knew I wanted something harsh and blunt."
According to O'Brien, it's the best haircut she's ever had. For a look that's so dramatic and startling, it's surprisingly low-maintenance, which O'Brien says is a huge part of its appeal.
"I loved having it," she said. "It was so, so easy to maintain. It was literally a wake-up-and-go haircut, but it didn't look like that, which is why it was so compelling."
While O'Brien has changed up her hair since, she's thinking about giving the look a second try, especially since her current choppy cut (also from Chavles) is starting to grow back into a look that resembles the step-bangs.
"I can always tell when someone's ready for a cut like that, after talking to them," Chavles explained. "A lot of people that want something like that kind of have an idea, a little bit, and then just need to push it somewhere. I think a lot of people who wear those haircuts have a level of confidence with them."