Similar to how shaggy mullets and curtain bangs have recently seen a huge resurgence in popularity, the hime cut – once worn by stars like Cher in the ’60s and ’70s – is quickly becoming a Gen Z favourite across the world.
While at one time the eye-catching look was largely confined to the elegant Gothic Lolita subculture, the doll-like Japanese style has lately been seen on a slew of celebrities, on the Prada runway, and at the Grammy’s in 2021, with DIY tutorials on how to achieve the blunt cut now trending wildly all over TikTok!
What is the hime cut?
The hime katto style dates back centuries to Japan’s Heian Period. Young Japanese noblewomen had their hair length chopped short in the front during the Binsogi ritual, a traditional coming-of-age ceremony. The style later earned the “princess cut” moniker, since it was only available to the noble classes.
The sharp cut features full bangs and chunky, face-framing lengths that give an exotic, edgy look, and is definitely an eye-catcher.
In an interview with W Magazine, hair historian Rachael Gibson explained that “We often see interesting haircuts happen after key moments in history — daringly short hair for women in the 1920s after the First World War, punk cuts in the 1970s.”
Haircuts often symbolise a new beginning or rite of passage, and plenty of people are excited for a fresh look in 2022 after more than a year spent in lockdown.
If you’re interested in trying this daring look, we’ve compiled a list of the many variations out there. Which one catches your fancy?
Types of hime cuts to try
1. Traditional hime cut
This is for those with thick, voluminous hair, for a striking look reminiscent of Hinamatsuri dolls. Those with thinner or finer hair may want to avoid this particular variation, as it may appear too flat and sparse.
2. Long lob hime cut
This wispy, airy version gives off a fresh and youthful vibe. Stopping right at the lips, this delicate version brings attention to your best features without looking too heavy.
3. Highlighted chin-length hime cut
As seen on Park Sora in the above pic, the early 2000’s-style highlights spliced with the laidback styling of her chunky front lengths gives an effortless, laidback vibe.
The same haircut can be styled with a straightener and clipped up, or worn in loose waves for two different looks.
4. Wolf cut hybrid
This interesting take on the hime cut pairs it with the wispy, shaggy layers of the super trendy wolf cut, for an enviable anime-style look that any gender can pull off.
Each layer is clearly separated, with a subtle ombre at the ends that lends dimension.
5. Two-step colour hime cut
Another incredibly dramatic look, the stark contrast of white blonde and black, mixed with the graphic pattern, transforms hair into a one-of-a-kind work of art.
6. Peekaboo contrasting colour hime cut
We absolutely love this super chic rendition that has black peeking out subtly from under matte beige, and razor-sharp front lengths that graze the cheekbones.
7. Natural waves hime cut
The hime cut is not restricted to pin-straight hair. It looks amazing on wavy hair as well! Those with more texture to their hair will achieve a more tousled, natural look when the hair is worn unstraightened.
8. Feathered dip-dyed hime cut
This feathery version has the slightest touch of mossy green at the ends for a striking pop of colour. There’s also some texture to the layers instead of a straight cut, making the look even more interesting.
What colour would you pick for this look?
9. Curtain bangs hime cut
The combination of soft curtain-style bangs in front and the blocky portions of the hime cut creates a wearable, flattering look that adds interest to dull, shapeless long hair. This works for those with thick hair that’s naturally straight.
It does require a bit of styling with a hairdryer and round brush to curl in the ends and give the hair a bouncy, healthy look.
10. Short hime cut
Those with short hair aren’t left out either! This variation of the “princess cut” can be worn by princes too. With similar peekaboo layers as #7 on our list and bangs that fall at the cheekbones, this cut accentuates the ears and jawline perfectly.
11. Split dye hime cut
Another cool iteration that brings out your inner Harley Quinn, the split dye is definitely a showstopper.
This look is achieved by dyeing half the hair a very light blonde before applying the pastel shades. Once the pastel colour on top fades, you can retouch the colour or replace it with another!
Where to get the hime cut in Singapore
As you can see, the hime cut can be interpreted in a huge variety of ways! You’re definitely not limited to this list too – you can get creative and come up with your own customised version.
And while there are currently tons of DIY tutorials up on TikTok right now, you might want to leave this technical and precise cut to the professionals. Their skills affect the longevity of your cut and they’re trained to shape your hair with specialised techniques to suit your particular hair texture.
Also, those blunt scissors you’re probably using will cause a ton of split ends. Hairdressing shears are kept super sharp, so they cut your strands in a clean and smooth stroke, leaving minimal damage!
If you’d like to try out a version of the modern hime katto, here are some authentic Japanese salons in Singapore to give it a whirl.
1. Hair Studio Flamingo
Hair Studio Flamingo is committed to providing professional hairstyles that are easy to maintain in Singapore’s hot and humid climate. They even have a wide range of Japanese hair products like shampoos and treatments to choose from to customise your experience.
You can get a Ladies Cut done by a Top Stylist for S$85 (U.P. S$90) when you purchase on Salon Finder.
Tanjong Pagar Outlet
Address: 7 Neil Road, Singapore 088807
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon to Sun)
Contact: 8726 2116
2. Aube Beauty Salon
The Aube hair group operates two hundred beauty hair salons in Japan, with twelve outlets overseas. It currently has three outlets in Singapore. Aube salons pride themselves on their excellent hospitality that transcends language barriers.
Aside from luxurious, trendy furniture and comfortable lie-flat shampoo stations, they ensure that the treatments they use are made in Japan and suitable for those with sensitive scalps.
You can get a haircut for S$70.
Wheelock Place Outlet
Address: 501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place, #05-09A, Singapore 238880
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon to Sun)
Contact: 6235 3845 or SMS 8838-2418
Marina Square Outlet
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, B1-13/14, Singapore 039594
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon to Sun)
Contact: 6252 8186 or SMS 8823 7918
3. Art-Noise Japanese Beauty Hair Salon
Many of us have probably experienced hairstylists who don’t really listen to what we ask for. It’s frustrating when you end up getting something totally different from the look you asked for.
The experienced stylists at Art-Noise will patiently consult with you to find out your desired look, taking into account your facial structure and hair texture. They also provide after-care support, so you can contact them with any questions or concerns after your appointment.
You can get a haircut here for S$86, with a 20% discount for new customers or if you bring a friend.
4. Naoki Hair Dressing
With the closure of Liang Court, Naoki moved to its new location at Orchard in 2019. All their stylists boast more than ten years of experience in Japan, which has the most rigorous requirements and standards for hairdressers.
You can experience true Japanese quality here, where they focus on improving hair and scalp health through organic products. Try out their mildly acidic soda water treatment, which makes your hair colour more vibrant by removing residue with 6000ppm of carbonic acid!
You can get a Ladies Cut here for S$70.
5. Ruler Japanese Style Hair Salon
The salon manager Teppei is hugely popular, with a whopping 23 years of experience in hairdressing. He trained under Vidal Sassoon in London for three years and has styled hair for customers in Harajuku, so you can be sure you’re in good hands.
Teppei is also cosplayer Kiyo’s hairstylist and recently gave her this bold hime cut that reminds us of Jennie from BLACKPINK’s two-toned look.
You can get a Ladies cut here for S$100.