For lesbians (and LGBTQ people in general), a haircut can hold a lot of meaning. More than just a style choice, a haircut – or rather, the right haircut – can help affirm one’s sexual orientation and gender identity. It can also be a convenient way to convey your queerness to other people, particularly other LGBTQ people, and help you find your community.
As writer Lim Mui wrote for Allure, “Our hairstyles allow us to converse with society, state who we are, what we like, and occasionally what we want.”.
But how do you know which haircut is right for you? In this guide, we help you choose by highlighting some of the most popular lesbian hairstyles today.
10 Popular Lesbian Hairstyles
Before we get to our list of popular lesbian hairstyles you can emulate, we want to get some things out of the way.
Sexual orientation (who you’re attracted to), gender identity (your personal conception of gender), and gender expression (how you express your gender through your mannerisms, clothing, hair, etc.) are all independent aspects of your identity.
As such, lesbians come in all degrees of masculine and feminine, in various shapes, sizes, and, yes, with all kinds of hairstyles. In short, there is no definitive answer for what a “lesbian hairstyle” looks like. Technically, any hairstyle can be a lesbian hairstyle!
Still, some haircuts are more popular among the lesbian community than others. For instance, short hair was the de facto “lesbian hair” for a long time. Back when men and women were expected to abide by strict heteropatriarchal gender roles and expectations, cutting your hair short was a way to defy those rigid standards and carve out a distinct identity.
In this list, we explore a mix of different hairstyles that have been or remain popular among the lesbian community, from clean, classic comb-overs to edgy undercuts.
The Pixie Cut
This short, lightweight, and low-maintenance is typically worn short in front and the back, with longer strands on top. There are dozens of ways to wear a pixie cut – with baby bangs, with a long, side-swept fringe, neat and sweet like Mia Farrow, shaggy, spiky, curly…the list goes on.
The 90s Heartthrob
Also known as the “curtains haircut”, this hairstyle is characterized by long and messy bangs that frame the face like a pair of curtains. More often than not, those sporting a curtain cut part their hair right down the center a la Brendan Fraser in The Mummy.
The curtains haircut was popularized by 90s heartthrobs like Fraser, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, Devon Sawa, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. It can be worn with long straight hair, flowing wavy hair, short curly hair, sweeping bangs, or even styled with hair product for a wet look.
The Bowl Cut
Bowl cuts used to be the bane of every ‘90s kid, but they’ve made a comeback in recent years thanks to the droves of male K-Pop idols who sport some iteration of this haircut.
There are many different ways to go about the bowl cut these days. Some people go for super straight, blunt bangs and an undercut, like pop singer and gay icon Robyn, who once admitted that she “gets mistaken for a lesbian all the time” for having “the most lesbian haircut of any of the girls in my field”.
Other lesbians and non-binary people who have rocked the bowl cut include Orange is the New Black’s Ruby Rose and pop star Miley Cyrus.
The undercut is an extremely popular haircut that has been around since the early 1920s. The style flew under the radar for several decades until it made a huge resurgence in the 2010s, when it seemed like every other guy sported the look.
The undercut is characterized by closely cut or buzzed hair on the back and sides of the head paired with longer hair on top. Most people leave the top part of their hair relatively short or up to neck length, but an undercut can go with virtually any hair length. Some people even keep their hair long and shave only one side of their head.
Musician Brittany Howard, dancer Jojo Siwa, and pop singer Hayley Kiyoko are among the lesbian celebrities who have been spotted with an undercut.
The Side Comb-Over
This dapper, masculine-leaning hairstyle involves combing short hair over to one side, creating a similar look to the side-part hairstyle. Comb-overs can be paired with a variety of different hair lengths and cuts. If you want a slightly edgy look, ask your barber for a high fade or taper.
Comb-overs are best styled to have some volume and can be kept tidy with wax or pomade.
Though Elvis is the modern-day inspiration for the pompadour hairstyle, this iconic look can be traced back to Madame de Pompadour – King Louis XV’s mistress and cultural advisor.
The pompadour is marked by tall, puffy hair that is slicked back and held in place with a ton of hair spray/gel. While masculine folks tend to just comb their hair up and back, feminine-leaning people with longer hair can also roll their hair up to create a distinctive curl.
The pompadour is a statement hairstyle that is equal parts classy and a little bit campy, depending on how you style your overall look. Some celebrities who have pulled off the pompadour look include singer and actress Janelle Monae and actress Sara Ramirez.
If you live in a state like Florida, the hot and humid summertime can be a great time to experiment with your hair and consider a bold but low-maintenance look like a buzz cut.
There are myriad ways to style a buzz cut, including a semi-short medium buzz, a faded buzz, a Caesar or French crop, and an ultra-masc military-style burr cut.
Shaving your head is a major change that not everyone is comfortable doing. But for some, the experience can be incredibly freeing. So if you’re looking to shake things up or are exploring new ways to express your identity, a buzz cut may be a good place to start.
Actress and screenwriter Lena Waithe, singer Jessica Betts, and actress Kristen Stewart have all been spotted with a buzz.
The (Two-Toned) Shag
One of Gen Z’s favorite hairstyles is the shag or the “wolf cut” – an uneven, layered cut that looks, well, shaggy. Think Billie Eilish or Timothee Chalamet that one time he let his luscious locks grow long.
More often than not, people get long and wispy curtain bangs to go with their shag cut. The strands are thinned out and made to fall just above the eyes so you can still peer through them or swish them off to the side.
If you want to take your shag further into Gen Z territory, you can go for a two-toned shag – a favorite among e-girls. Some girls either dye just the front strands of their hair or their bangs, while others go for an even two-color split down the middle a la Cruella de Vil.
Back in the 80s, mullets were popular among two very different groups of people – those who liked country music and lesbians. Mullets, like plaid flannel shirts, combat boots, and denim jackets, were like a Bat-Signal to other lesbians. They were queer-coded fashion statements that didn’t exclusively belong to lesbians, but were a convenient way to say, “I’m here, I’m queer, wanna date?”
Like bowl cuts and curtain bangs, mullets have made a comeback. The modern mullet is typically more textured and is sometimes paired with an undercut, temple fade, or even French crop-style bangs. In short, the modern mullet can be an amalgamation of different hairstyles. But, of course, every mullet has to be worn short in front and longer at the back.
For examples of modern mullets done right, look to actress Zendaya and singer Miley Cyrus.
The Bisexual Bob
The concept of the “bisexual bob” started when eagle-eyed TV-goers began to realize that, once a TV show character explores or expresses their bisexuality, they suddenly rock a bob – a short- to medium-length haircut that is cut off just at the jawline. Oftentimes, bobs are blunt and edgy, but they can be worn with beachy waves and even curls.
Some famous examples of the bisexual bob in media include Petra Solano from Jane the Virgin, Avatar Korra from Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place.
And, yes, while the style is called the bisexual bob, it’s popular among lesbians and non-binary folk as well!
The Bottom Line
There is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to lesbian hairstyles. From pixie cuts and bobs to undercuts and buzz cuts, you’re sure to find something that expresses your unique style and personality.
Playing around with different ways of styling – be it with your hair, clothing, or makeup – can be a fun, powerful, and affirming experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new. You might just discover something new about yourself along the way.
Don’t stop at the hair, check out the Ultimate Guide To Lesbian Fashion for tips on the fashion trends.
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