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What Are the Different Types of Asymmetrical Haircuts?

By Kay Paddock
Updated May 21, 2024
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Asymmetrical haircuts are cuts in which the hair is a different length on each side of the head. Some styles are subtle, with the hair only slightly longer one side, while other cuts can have a dramatic difference in length. Short, asymmetrical haircut styles may even have a third length in the back, or many different lengths throughout. Most cuts of this type can be classified as either bobs or layered cuts, with several variations possible in each general style.

Bobs are types of haircuts in which the hair is cut straight, usually to a length somewhere between the jaw and shoulder. When these are cut asymmetrically, they are generally known for the smooth line of hair at an angle from one side of the head to the other. The short side can be as high as above the ear or it can start at the jaw, or lower. The edge of the hair then moves gradually downward as it goes around the head to the longest point on the opposite side of the face.

A short bob hairstyle does not have to have a smooth edge, though many do. Layered bobs or modified bobs can be cut in a much looser style. The hair is cut in varying lengths or layers around the head, breaking up the edge. This haircut is often used to add more volume and the appearance of thicker hair. Wavy hair often does not hang properly in a bob, but layered asymmetrical haircuts in this style can work well with hair that is not straight and smooth.

Regardless of whether bob-style asymmetrical haircuts are blunt or layered, the ends can be styled in a variety of ways. A razor cut can give the tips more texture by providing wispy points that can be pushed forward or even spiked. Another popular asymmetrical haircut style, particularly with layered and razor-cut looks, is close-cropped hair on the back of the head. This haircut works well when one side of the hair is very short.

Pixie cuts, which are very short cuts, can also be asymmetrical with several variations in waves, ends, and styling to create different looks. Long hairstyles can be cut asymmetrically as well, in almost any length range. Another variation on these trendy hairstyles is asymmetrical bangs, which can be added to a standard cut or one that is uneven. Asymmetrical haircuts mostly are popular with women, but many men also wear uneven and dramatic looks.

Getting an asymmetrical haircut can take some planning to be sure to end up with the right style. This is a modern haircut most professionals should be familiar with, but the variety of looks may make it hard for a stylist to be sure. Photographs of similar hairstyles can help clear up any confusion. Some lengths and types of cuts tend to bring out certain parts of the face more than others. Looking through galleries and even asking an experienced hairstylist for recommendations can help most people find the right asymmetrical haircut for their features.

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Discussion Comments

By ZipLine — On May 20, 2014

Instead leaving one side of hair longer than the other, some people shave a small section of hair on one side for an asymmetrical haircut. I saw a singer with this hair style recently. It was very interesting. She has hair that reaches below her shoulder but a small section on one side of her head is shaved off. She also had a few highlights in her hair. It's definitely a very artistic hairstyle.I'm just curious about what she's going to do when she decides to grow out the shaved part. It will take at least a year to get the shaven part long enough to match the rest of her hair.

By turquoise — On May 20, 2014

@fBoyle-- You may be right, but ask a hair stylist anyway. He or she may be able to thin out your hair with cutting techniques. And blow drying hair straight and some hair spray should be enough for slightly wavy hair.

There are many different ways to achieve an asymmetrical hair style. It doesn't always have to be cut asymmetrically although this is the most common method. Coloring hair with different colors can also create an asymmetrical look. Or a regular short haircut could be styled with hair wax or hair gel to take on an asymmetrical look. So there are different ways to go about this type of look.

By fBoyle — On May 20, 2014

I love asymmetrical bob haircuts. They look so cool. They're also great for women with a round face because they make the face look oval. The only downside is that this hair type probably looks best on women with very straight hair. My hair is kind of wavy and it's thick and full too. So I suspect that an asymmetrical bob haircut won't look as good on me.

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