This Is NYC’s Hottest Haircut Right Now

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

Saltwater texture, loosely tousled waves, imperfect layers — the hallmarks of the quintessential L.A. haircut are easy to identify. Pinterest and every West Coast salon’s Instagram account are testament to that. But the East Coast haircut of choice is a little harder to nail down. What is their answer to L.A.’s beach-babe wave?

According to Michael Gordon, founder of Bumble and bumble and cool-kid hair collective Hairstory, the look that’s about to take over the streets of NYC is what we’re describing as architectural texture.

Okay, bear with us here. The concept might sound a bit abstract — would you expect anything less of New Yorkers? — but the cut itself is pretty straightforward. The architectural portion of it refers to a “structured perimeter,” i.e. blunt, scissor-cut ends, and the texture is mid-lengths that are shaped with a razor to create airy texture. “I think a lot of hairdressers have forgotten that a line is important [in a haircut]. As in architecture, you need a base and you build from there,” Gordon explains.

One of the main benefits here, besides looking rad AF, is, says Gordon, that the hair will naturally fall where it’s the longest and, in this case, heaviest. “By keeping the ends fuller and even, your hair has no other place to go.” This gives you more styling control and eliminates the dreaded fuzzy pieces that uneven, razored ends can create. And, because the mid-lengths are thinned out, it keeps the hair from being too heavy and hanging limp.

Gordon notes that using a razor in the mid-lengths will create a softness to the hair that is more flattering to a variety of textures and lengths. “Think of it as the difference between a charcoal pencil and a sharp ink pen,” he notes.

To the untrained eye, the subtleties are hard to detect — you can’t quite put your finger on what’s different, but you know it looks good. “[It’s a] subtle change in the way you cut your hair, but it overall does have a shape it will fall in to,” adds Gordon. “If it has a line to it, it’s more likely easier for you to do. If [the ends are] too shredded by a razor, it will be difficult to manage.”

This type of style needs to be performed by a very capable stylist, cautions Gordon, one proficient in both scissors and razor techniques — otherwise you may end up with a cut that looks like someone couldn’t decide what to do so they just tried it all. He also mentions that this is not a quick chop — expect to be in your stylist’s chair for a lengthy amount of time. We promise the results are worth it, though.

The only thing we don’t love about this cut? It won’t work for those with curls — the blunt ends in particular can cause the dreaded triangle look. Outside of that, we were pretty impressed when Gordon showed us all the different ways this type of cut can be applied and styled.

Click on to see the je ne sais quoi styles — cut by the insanely talented (and R29 Beauty Innovator Awards nominee!) Wes Anderson, with a hair color assist by our go-to dye diva Roxie Darling – that are cultivating a fan base on the East Coast.

If you’re more of a visual person, this is perhaps the most obvious version of the style. Check the ends — while still textured (Gordon describes this as almost a “serrated edge”) they are cut in a line, creating that subtle structure that’s the signature of this cut. Also, those bangs. Rounded in shape but uniform in cut, they balance out the airiness of the mid-lengths.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

Here’s a prime example of how this works on both short and thick hair. While that top layer has some razor work, the underlying hair has been cut in an angled-forward line.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

While this style may look like a beach-girl ‘do, it’s more like a close cousin. Maybe first cousin twice removed. It’s been styled to create volumized texture, but those ends help anchor this look so it doesn’t puff up into Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter territory.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

This lovely lilac cut shows that bobs aren’t the only short style the structured texture approach works for.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

Just because hair is razored, doesn’t mean it can’t look smooth. This cut — executed to perfection by Hairstory stylist Remy Moore — utilizes a little blowdryer action with a paddle brush for a sleeker, stronger, but still intriguing coif.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

We love the undone look of this short style — just add a little styling cream (Gordon suggests Hairstory’s Hair Balm, which is made for air-drying styles), scrunch,finger comb, and you are good to go.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

This bob is a bit longer and features less defined waves, but we love how the ends angle the hair forward to frame the face.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

Granted, this isn’t a style for everyone, but if you’re feeling bold and love that throwback Vidal Sassoon vibe, this choppy-meets-defined ‘do should be right up your alley.

Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

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