The cub cut is the coolest way to upgrade your bob right now
17th February 2023

Written by Ellen Scott

Ready to give your bob a shake-up? The cub cut is the trend for you.

Ah, the bob. A forever classic that always delivers on the understated style stakes. But once you’ve made the big chop, it can be hard for any future snip to feel like a proper transformation. After all, a bob is a bob is a bob, right?

Not so. A few strategic snips can take your short or midi haircut to the next level and scratch that ‘I need a change’ itch in the process. 

Enter: the cub cut. It’s the new trend that brings a cool girl edge to your style. 

The key to the cub cut lies in embracing your hair’s natural texture.

What is the cub cut?

Remember the wolf cut? Think of the cub cut as its little sister. Both styles are riffs on the mullet and the shag, meaning lots of choppy layers for movement and texture. Where they differ is in length: the wolf cut is for longer hair, while the cub cut is a take on the bob, from shoulder to chin length and above.

Sally Brooks, founder of Brooks & Brooks tells Stylist: “The cub cut is a merge of two of last season’s styles, the bob and the wolf cut. It’s this season’s trend with a blunter exterior but soft seamless layers, making it one of the most versatile looks.

“With a lot of people growing out their wolf cuts and opting for shorter lengths, it’s the perfect hybrid. It has a really versatile feel so can be worked differently each day but with a slightly more understated vibe.”

“As much as I’m sad about it, the mullet and wolf cut are dying out after being leading trends for a long while,” says Sophia Hilton, founder of Not Another Salon. “We’re increasingly influenced by trends coming over from Asia; these influences are pushing us out of our comfort zone. This new look, however, is slightly more commercial, which means you are going to see more people with it than any of the trends before.”

Adapt the fringe to work for you.

Who can get the cub cut?

Good news: the wolf cut is pretty much suited to all textures. It may just need some tweaking to suit you and your lifestyle best – like adding in some curtain bangs to frame your face or ensuring your hair stylist trims your layers to work with your natural curl pattern, rather than against it. 

It’s an ideal style to go for if you prefer that undone, lazy girl, lived-in feeling to the perfect bouncy blow-dry. “The cub cut is perfect for that ‘wash and go’ lifestyle,” says Hilton. 

How to ask your hairdresser for a cub cut

Be warned: not all hairdressers will know what you mean by a ‘cub cut’, so don’t expect to march in, say those two words and be satisfied with the result. Photos of cub cuts you love the look of will be key. 

“Personally I’d avoid words and just bring pictures,” notes Hilton. “The new words and trend phrases might confuse your stylist. Pictures are more accurate and speak a thousand words.”

Brooks advises asking for “soft internal layers that are seamless and invisible with a stronger shape and bespoke fringe – or a hybrid bob”. 

Make sure to discuss your hair’s natural texture and your approach to styling before your stylist gets snipping. They’ll need to know how to customise your cub cut to suit both. 

Ask for choppy layers.

How to style the cub cut at home

The cub cut is all about movement and undone texture, so don’t go too hard with the heated tools and perfect brush movements. 

Hilton is a fan of diffusing, noting that “most people think they can’t diffuse their hair, but they actually can, they just need their stylist to teach them how” – so it’s worth asking your hairdresser for a quick demo if you’re not confident.

“It’s a bit ‘the less you do the better’ as the natural movement in the hair is what gives it its magic,” suggests Brooks. “Blow-drying the fringe and air-drying the rest of the hair will get the result simply and easily. Products will help you control the volume in the hair to keep it modern from silky liquid leave-in conditioners to soft airless finishing products – it’s a lived-in yet luxurious style that is simple to maintain.”

Cub cut inspiration

Images: Getty

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