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Styles of Japanese origin, with fringe and blunt side locks. This style is popular because we spend more time on screens.

Lockdown has changed the way we look at our hair. The versatility of multi-purpose haircuts that work well on Zoom has increased in popularity.

Haim wore the style with bluntly cut straight side-locks, a fringe and front fringe to the Grammys. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez wore more feathered versions. The Prada autumn/winter 2021 collection also featured this style. The hashtag #himecut gets about 4m views on TikTok while the hashtag #hime receives more than 126m.

Rachael Gibson, who runs Instagram account The Hair Historian, said that “the popularity of the cut [is] due to lockdown.” Irene Shelley added: “Seventies style layers suit the low-maintenance styles of grown-out locksdown hair.”

This style is increasingly used online, as more people live their lives online. “It combines elements of anime and a fantastical, futuristic style which taps into the ongoing e-girl trend,” said Gibson. The style, which is similar to the mullet, is bold in its use of contrast lengths and provokes strong reactions.”

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Shelley said that the hime haircut is a style statement. It’s like the mullet, which is two haircuts in one. You can put the longer layers in a ponytail, but you will still have a fringe and sides that frame your face.

This may also be Cher’s nod. Cher wore the cut in the 1960s. (and has proved to be an aesthetic muse recently), but the origin of the style is centuries older than that. Named after the Japanese “princess cut”, the name is derived from the noblewomen who wore this style during the Heian period in Japanese history (794-1185). Gibson said that the shorter front lengths would have been done during Binsogi’s ceremony, which celebrates growing up with a haircut.

Is the cultural appropriation of the cut cut knowing its origin? Shelley said, “I don’t believe that it [is].” She says that unless the hime is renamed to something similar to the “step cut”, most people will be able to identify it as having originated in Japan from the nature of its name.

“I believe people object to cultural theft where credit is not given to the originators, and the trend is passed off to be new because it was seen on a celebrity.”