woman with short dark hairWhether you get fashion advice from magazines, bloggers or social media, one trend has characterized 2023 so far: the U-shaped cut. An update to the 1990s “Rachel” from Friends, this haircut adds significant volume through softer, more gradual layers and rounded lines. Learn more about the U-shaped cut, its benefits and tips for long-term upkeep.

About the U-Shaped Haircut

Structurally, the back and middle hold most of the length and contrast against shorter, layered sides. This combination creates a rounded, gradual look from the back and sides, fanning out into a U-shape. Shorter pieces frame the face and chin from the front, while layering allows for more flowing movement, helps prevent flatness and increases volume.

Visually, the U-shape is not drastically different from 2022’s popular V-shaped cut. The two start from a similar concept, but the V-shape results in stronger lines and angles toward the middle. The U-shaped haircut has a softer appearance with selectively placed angles and lighter, more blended layers. Both represent a return to late 1990s and early 2000s styles that move away from the single-length, blunted ‘dos of the 2010s to create a fuller, more voluminous appearance.

How the U-Cut Boosts Volume

Regardless of your hair’s natural texture, you can achieve more volume with a U-shaped cut through multiple strategies:

  • The front has a less angular, more manageable appearance.
  • While layers are used all over, some are strategically placed to frame the face, accentuate the jawline, add more body and create a stronger sense of movement.
  • The layers better accommodate hot rollers and large-barrel curling irons, two ways to style hair for more volume.

Styling and Maintaining a U-Shaped Cut

Compared to other styles, the U-shape generally requires less maintenance and can look polished even on wash-and-air-dry days. Blow-drying and styling aren’t always needed to maintain its movement and volume. To make the most of your U-shaped cut:

  • Blow dry at home to give your hair the look of a professional blowout.
  • Go over layers with a smaller-barrel curling iron or round brush to add definition.
  • Straighten hair to help accentuate the fanned, curved shape and add sleekness.
  • Use a medium to large-barrel curling iron to achieve the appearance of loose curls.
  • Get a trim at least every three months to maintain the angles and volume.
  • For longer hair, add mousse and a de-frizzing product to maintain smoothness.

Interested in trying out a U-shaped haircut? Make an appointment with Catherine & Company today.