Men’s Wolf Cut: What It Is & The Best Versions For 2023
Get on board the coolest men's hair trend with its roots in Korean K-Pop.
Fashion is all about recycling and rejigging the past – being inspired by the old and embracing the new to create an alternative take on the look or style. It’s the same for men’s hair trends – quiffs, buzz cuts, the shag – they’re all an adaption of what went before.
But hold the phone because there’s a new haircut in town – the wolf cut – that’s causing a stir in salons and barbershops across the country, nay, world.
The aftermath of a society in lockdown, it’s neither a shag nor a mullet but sits somewhere in between. Intrigued? We thought you might be. Here’s everything you need to know about the lone ranger hairstyle.
What is a wolf cut?
Essentially, it’s a hybrid haircut that bridges the gap between mullet and shag. “Like a mullet the length on the neck is kept on the longer side but it differs in that the sides are not super short or shaved. It also has more texture and a choppy, relaxed, lived-in finish which it takes from the shag,” explains Andrea Dorata, artistic director at Dorata Hairdressing.
What’s especially unusual is that rather than being born out of celebrity hair trends, fashion looks or barbers and hairdressers in the industry, the wolf cut is ‘by the people for the people’. Celebrated for being low-maintenance and convenient, it also gives off an air of confidence for the wearer.
“The men’s wolf cut is basically a medium-to-long hairstyle that emerged from the recent pandemic when people got used to growing their hair out. Allowing them to enjoy longer hair without it getting messy, it’s what we’re referring to as a modern mullet,” says Fadi Rachdi, barber at Neville Bvlgari.
What kind of hair does a wolf cut suit?
“As long as you’ve got an abundance of hair you can work this look,” says Jim Williams (@thebarberenvy). “Even if you’ve got a cow lick.”
Men with straight, wavy or curly hair aren’t exempt and if you have thick hair, the texture can be used to remove weight, while for those with fine hair, the wolf cut can be used to fake fullness and volume.
“If it’s tailored for the individual face shape and neck it can accommodate most hair textures,” adds Andrea.
Which men should avoid the wolf cut?
If you’re thinning on top or have very silky or fine hair it could be trickier to style or get the look you want to achieve.
It’s also a strong statement style so if you like to blend into the background, the wolf cut isn’t for you.
How to style a wolf cut
You want something that will bring out, enhance and hold the texture when styling a wolf cut, which is why the experts all recommend a sea salt spray to help create that rugged finish.
“You need volumising products that are light as wax can be too heavy and stop the hair from sitting right. Dusts are great for this as they’re dry and lightweight,” recommends Jim.
“Apply a salt spray to damp hair if you like to let it dry naturally or if prefer blow dry your hair, use a dust afterwards to create definition,” says Andrea.
Otherwise, simply use your fingers to roughly position the hair into place and create that all-important separation and definition.
15 cool wolf cuts for men
Long men’s wolf cut
There’s almost something tribal about this shaggy long-haired style. Creating waves by adding in layers from the mid sections, the texture and piecey fringe give it a softness that makes it look less ‘shag’, more ‘wolf’.
Feathering around the front of the face also works to frame the features and will help to show off a strong bone structure.
Men’s straight hair wolf cut
If you have straight hair but still want to try the wolf cut, this is one way to do it.
Razoring the ends so they appear blunt rather than messy like the shag, the top sections are left longer and give a nod to the mullet inspiration behind the style.
Men’s wet-look wolf cut
You can’t deny there’s a nod to the mullet here with short clippered sides and longer top sections, however the blunt fringe and sharp scissored edges through the back section means it leans more towards the modern-day wolf cut.
An edgier way to wear the style, it proves you don’t need lots of length to make it work for you.
Coloured tips wolf cut
Proving that there is no right or wrong way to style, cut or colour your hair these days, the point of difference here is the coloured tips that have been added to this wolf cut to make it even more unique.
Leaving the texture rugged and the majority of hair brushed forward to frame the ear, it’s not a hairstyle that will see you blend into the background.
Men’s wolf cut with fringe
Keeping the hair close to the head, this is an option for those with straight hair that sits flat.
The face framing fringe is razored to create an uneven, messy finish and layers have been added to mimic the ‘shaggy’ effect you get with a wolf cut.
Pulling the hair forward in front of the ears also gives it a more relaxed look.
Men’s short hair wolf cut
A good way to ease yourself into the wolf cut, this style a soft texture to it that allows the hair to fall over the ears and brush the eyebrows.
Less choppy or messy than a longer wolf cut, it’s also more versatile and could be worn neater if you required.
This is where a salt spray or volumising dust will come in handy.
Men’s curly hair wolf cut
Wolf cuts are perfect for curly locks as the messy, nonchalant vibes mean that the hair demands little to no structure.
Keeping the curls graduated through the lengths and adding layers takes the width out to prevent it looking too triangular or ‘mushroom’ like, ensuring it fits within the wolf cut brief.
Middle parting wolf cut
Those with thin or very fine hair aren’t exempt from the wolf cut but it will look different. Adding a centre parting and feathered layers around the front sections give the style the ‘shag’ effect, as does keeping the hair long around the neck and combed in front of the ears.
Adding a wet-look gel gives the style a somewhat bohemian feel too.
Men’s short curly wolf cut
For those that have tight curls, the thought of a long messy wolf cut might be a bit much but this short blunt fringe will keep them in check.
The curls around the temples and the nape of the neck is what nods at the wolf cut as it creates an unstructured shape in contrast to the fringe.
Men’s short blonde wolf cut
From the side this looks like it could be the start of a mullet with the volume at the top and flicked out ends at the nape of the neck. But it’s the layers around the sides and finger feathered fringe that allows it to veer into wolf cut category.
Classic men’s wolf cut
The length, layers and shape shows how the shag and mullet combine to make the wolf cut.
Unless you have a natural texture to your hair the flicked out waves might be hard to create without a well-considered blow-dry, but it’s not impossible.
The heavy fringe and longer layers through the front section and crown also help to create the ‘fullness’ across the top section.
Bleach blonde wolf cut
Layers are always more obvious on blonde hair and this bleached colour amplifies the rock ‘n’ roll status of the wolf cut.
The centre parting allows for the layers to be left longer, starting at eye level and the ends are kept to one length which makes the style appear neater, despite it being a messy look.
It also means it’s versatile enough to be worn in several different ways.
Messy, textured wolf cut
The quintessential shaping, the strawberry blonde shade and messy texture shows off exactly what the wolf cut is all about.
If you like the thought of a longer fringe but are worried about annoyance factor, follow this example and sweep it to the side in a casual side part.
The hair around the temples is long enough to touch the cheekbones, but not too long that it requires a tuck behind the ears. The length around the nape of the neck meanwhile is kept contained and layered so it won’t feel too heavy or look bulky.
Short textured wolf cut
Beginning the layers at the crown and keeping the volume of hair on top of the head means this is where the interest lies.
Flicked out sideburns give this wolf cut a ‘mod’ feel while the back sections remain neat and shorter in length.
Easy wolf cut
The texture here is created via longer layers that fall flat and while that means less of a ‘shag’ look, it does embody the wolf cut.
The volume at the crown and fringe makes up for the lack of curls or waves so this style doesn’t feel ‘lacking’ in any way.
Super cool, a lightweight wax or paste warmed through your fingers is all you need to add some definition through the layers.