Trend Forecast: The jaw-dropping Japanese ‘Hime Cut’ is going to be everywhere this year


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Trend Forecast: The jaw-dropping Japanese ‘Hime Cut’ is going to be everywhere this year

If you’ve been paying attention to your Instagram feed, you may have noticed one particularly unusual trend hit your feeds—no, we’re not talking about mullets (though, those were a certified hit as far as alt-beauty trends go). We’re talking about the Hime (pronounced: he-may) haircut—where long, straight tresses are juxtaposed by blunt chunks of hair that frame the face (fringe optional).

Also known as the ‘jaw-drop haircut’, the cut has recently been popularised by K-pop idols like Lisa Manoban (who sported the look in Blackpink’s ‘How You Like That’ music video) and Twice’s Momo (who debuted her cut with a set of full bangs and layers), to name a few. Though it’s one of the more out-there hair trends we’ve seen, its appeal is clear—the face-framing ledge of hair works to slim the jawline and the face while adding an element of versatility to everyday styling.

Not to mention, the heritage of the cut probably has something to do with its allure. ‘Hime Cut’ literally means ‘Princess Cut’, named after the noblewomen who are widely thought to have popularised the style during the Heian Period of Japanese history. The ‘Hime cut’ as we know it is thought to be a hybrid of two hairstyles from the era. The first is “amasogi” is described to be shoulder-length hair; think of it as an ancient lob. Secondly, women would typically grow their hair out for their entire lives, only cutting the sections around their ears during a coming-of-age ceremony (when a lady turned 20) called “binsogi”. The two practises together resulted in the ‘hime cut’.

Image: Portrait of a Heian era woman with a Hime cut (Courtesy of The Met Museum)

The Hime cut’s appearance in pop culture doesn’t begin and end with K-pop, though. The cut was actually initially popularised in Japan back in the ’70s, when Japanese idol, singer, and actress Megumi Asaoka appropriated the princess cut as her trademark.

Megumi Asaoka with her Hime cut

In fact, the Hime cut even made its way across the pond as a hot moment in the ’70s—just check out the inimitable Cher wearing a pretty faithful adaptation of the look!

Further, if you’re an avid anime fan, chances are that you’ve probably seen the cut on some of your favourite leading ladies. Take Yumeko Jabami from Kakegurui or Boa Hancock from One Piece, for instance.

Boa Handcock in ‘One Piece’ (1997–present)

Finally, it should be acknowledged that there are many subcultures that have adopted the style, including a subset of the Harajuku culture called ‘Gothic Lolita’. Basically, the takeaway here is that the style has made its rounds in Asia, and now it’s going global.

Here are some of our favourite takes on the trend so far!

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