Sheer, sensual edge. If that’s the vibe you’re looking to channel, then the hime haircut just might be your potential partner-in-crime. Especially if you were already planning to undergo the snip, why not try the one reigning hairstyle that has had its hold on the zeitgeist for the longest time now? Who’s to blame, when every time a familiar face stepped out sporting the Japanese-inspired look, it feels as though tectonic plates could have shifted beneath—a marker of the cultural impact it has. Case in point? Bae Suzy’s portrayal of the ever-elusive Doona in the South Korean drama.
With her quintessential hime look, Doona was cast like the stuff of dreams: her face-framing tresses perfectly cascading down or effortlessly styled up, whilst she went about her day. And she’s not the only one who’s wielded the bewitching mane to her advantage. Earlier in the year, Song Hye-kyo equally mesmerised the fashion set at the Met Gala with a rendition that was paired with an over-the-shoulder braid while Hanni of NewJeans surely looked transformed when she made her appearance at the Gucci Ancora show in Milan. And whilst professional hairstylist Yuhi Kim characterises the hairstyle by “a straight cut from the side of the bangs to the front of the ears”, she also highlights that the look no longer demands a set of bangs to work, as evidenced by the latter two.
By now, the hime has evolved to incorporate and meld to a multitude of hair shapes and lengths for anyone to try it. Yet of course, we won’t be leaving you without all the necessary details before you embark on the audacious snip. Below, Kim gives us a rundown of everything you should know about the hime haircut pre-appointment—from how it can be adapted for a look without bangs to how to maintain the look post-snip.
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What are the different types of hime hairstyles?
The hime cut is a hairstyle with Japanese origins, characterised by a straight cut from the side of the bangs to the front of the ears. Over time, it has evolved, resulting in two main variations: one with bangs and one without. You can definitely customise your hime cut by making the bangs thinner or adding layers to the sides. The length of the sides and your overall hair length will also influence the look. The choice of your ‘base’ hairstyle can set the tone, and you can even combine it with other styles, such as a mullet. Interestingly, “hime” means “princess” in Japanese, making it a fashionable style for princesses in the past.
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What hairstyles are recommended to go with the hime cut?
The hime cut can be adapted for individuals with straight to wavy hair textures. If you have wavy hair, styling it with curls in front of your ears can enhance the look. Layered hair can also be combined with a hime cut for a unique appearance. It’s also achievable if you have a short bob-length hairstyle. The key to acing this is to have a clear distinction in length between the hair in front of the ears and the hair behind the ears.
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Can it be worn without bangs?
Those who appreciate gothic looks or the Lolita fashion style may find that bangs complement the hime cut best, making it look even more charming. If you’re opting for a hime with bangs, longer bangs might be preferable in such cases, so that it fills the face and gives a stronger, punchier appearance. On the other hand, not having bangs can create a more alluring appearance for those who prefer a cooler, edgier style, according to Kim. Case in point? Hanni’s look at the Gucci show.
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Are there certain face shapes that the hime cut doesn’t work with?
The hime cut can suit anyone, regardless of their face shape. The hime cut can create the illusion of a smaller face, so for individuals with a longer countenance, bangs can help to improve the balance, while those with a rounder face may appear more mature without bangs. If you’re concerned about certain facial features, you can address them by adjusting the length around the sides of your mouth or adding layers around your face.
When cutting a hime cut, Kim’s most essential tip is to create a contrast in length between the hair behind the ears and the hair in front of the ears. The area in front of the ears typically extends from the height of the cheekbone, down to the chin.
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How do you maintain and style the haircut after?
If you have straight hair, comb it neatly to maintain clean lines. If necessary, you can blow-dry it using a brush or lightly run a straightening iron through it. For textured or wavy hair, focus on reducing volume. Styling the hair in front of the ears could involve curling the ends with a straightening iron or using a round brush for a blowout. You can try applying hair oil or serum to style your locks and arrange them into place.
If your hair is thick or tends to get thick, using a heavier oil or cream can help. Make sure to apply the product primarily to the ends of your hair, and any remaining product on your hands can be applied to the roots.