The C-Cut Is the Trending Hack to Make Hair Look Longer Than It Is

Short for curve cut, the haircutting hack creates layers of C's around your face.


Another day, another trendy haircut we’re all desperate to try. The latest viral ‘do is all about making hair look fuller and longer—enter: the C-cut.

Formed by actually cutting a C-shape into the hair, this style is all about length, fullness, and movement. The cut originally stems from the famous Rachel from Friends style of the 90s and early aughts, so it's technically not new, but it is making a serious comeback in 2023 with over 13.4B views and countless videos on TikTok.

If you’re looking to hop on the trend and want to learn more, we spoke to top hairstylists to get their input on the trend and how to style it in a way that looks the most modern.

What is the C-cut?

The C-cut, or curve cut, is all about the layers. The shortest layers frame the face and the rest of the layers become longer as they reach the bottom of the hair which creates a gentle curve resembling the letter C, explains Jamie Wiley, hairstylist and Pureology Artistic Director. “This curved shape gives the impression of longer hair because the hair appears to flow smoothly and seamlessly, without any harsh lines or choppy layers that can make the hair look shorter.”

The C-shaped layers create a more natural, flowy look that gives the illusion of longer and fuller hair, even if the length of the hair hasn’t changed (the dream, right?). These exaggerated layers also help to accentuate your bone structure to bring emphasis to the jawline, making it ultra-flattering for everyone since it “frames any face to take on the shape,” says Darrius Peace, master hairstylist and natural hair expert. 

The C-cut also works well for all hair types and textures, according to Peace, including straight hair, curly hair, wavy hair, coily hair, and most uniquely, locs. 

How is this different from the V-shape or U-shape haircut?

Alphabet haircuts have been all-the-rage recently, with the U-shaped cut and the V-shaped cut surging in recent popularity. Although they’re similar, each cut creates a distinct shape in the hair that creates a completely different style. The main difference is in the way the hair is cut, explains celebrity hairstylist Cody Renegar. “V- and U-shaped haircuts have to do with the shape of the link in the back, whereas the C-cut has to do with the shape of the layers around your face.”

Since the V- and U-haircuts are linked in the back, they often have a strong line and prominent shape, with the V-shape creating sharp V layers in the back of the hair and the U-shape creating a rounded, fuller look. The C-shaped cut has softer lines for a more natural softer look, explains Los Angeles-based hairstylist Glenn Ellis.

How to Style the C-Cut

The good news is, the C-cut is super easy to maintain and style. If you have a heavier face frame or prefer your layers to remain on the shorter side, do take note that you’ll likely have to go into the salon more frequently to maintain that length. Otherwise, a regular trim is more than enough to keep the shape and layers sharp.

Since the C-cut is all about framing the face, leaning into those curved layers is essential when styling. “A good way to style this to really show off the cut and length would be a blowout with a slight bevel at the ends—really get those layers to curve in and hug around the face,” says Ellis. Pro tip: Always use a heat protectant like Pureology’s Style + Protect Instant Levitation Mist before styling to ensure your hair stays bouncy, shiny, and volumized. 

To really extenuate the length of your hair, Renegar says to keep the layers around your face curled inwards and bouncy while leaving the back, mid-length layers relaxed.

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