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Last updated: January 16, 2023

4 Styling Secrets For Butterfly Layers

the viral butterfly cut butterfly layers how to cut and style ahappyjustin
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How To Style The Viral Trend: The Butterfly Cut

You’ve heard the trend everywhere: Butterfly layers, the butterfly cut—but what is it? You asked us to break down this trendy look, so we called in the pros! Justin Toves-Vincilione (@ahappyjustin) has gone viral dozens of times on IG for his cutting and styling tutorials: He taught you how to cut the trend, so we asked him to stop by the BTC House to show us how he styles the butterfly cut to bring it to life. 


Keep reading to learn what products you need, how to create lasting styles and more. Plus—become a BTC-U Member to receive unlimited access to Justin’s 90-minute course where he teaches you to cut AND style this viral look.


Check out the before & after below! 


1. The perfect prep step: 

Remember: Products aren’t just for the post-cut! Keep hair hydrated while you cut with a lightweight leave-in conditioner. Justin’s favorite? Authentic Beauty Concept’s HYDRATE Spray Conditioner. “I can’t stress enough: There’s never a bad time to add moisture to the hair, especially when we’re doing a haircut that’s semi-precision,” Justin says.


Insider Scoop: Justin’s go-to scissor to nail the butterfly cut is ARC™ Scissors Paragon II 7″. The 7-inch blade may seem daunting, but a longer blade actually creates super symmetrical lines.



2. THIS is what brings butterfly layers to life…

“I will always, always, always use a mousse,” Justin told us, explaining that it’s essential for creating a foundation of volume and shape. Justin’s go-to is Authentic Beauty Concept’s Amplify Mousse.


Justin adds: “Longer hair doesn’t respond as well to our round brushing as short hair does, so sometimes adding a little extra product to the ends on longer hair gives you the same type of finished result.”


Pro Tip: You MUST section the hair as you apply for even distribution. Working in two-inch sections, Justin starts applying mousse to the roots and drags it down to the ends. This technique will help you avoid applying too much product.

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Related: 8 Of Our Favorite Cutting Tips


3. Be sure to balance your products.

Next, pick a lightweight oil to balance out the mousse. Justin loves Authentic Beauty Concept’s Nourishing Hair Oil because the consistency is fluid-like, “almost like water,” he says. 


Pro Tip: The last product Justin applies before styling is Authentic Beauty Concept’s Blow-Dry Primer to add grip from root to end. To apply, spray in sections while lifting the hair. “The three products is more than enough to create this look,” Justin advises. 

breaking down the viral butterfly cut layers explained how to style justin toves vincilione
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Related: How To Cut & Style Long Curtain Bangs By @ahappyjustin


4. The must-have tools for this style… 

Justin keeps a variety of brushes on hand when blow-drying. He customizes the style by alternating between extra small, small, medium and large round brushes for each client—here’s why:


“I just created multiple different lengths in the hair,” Justin explains, “so I may need a small brush for the fringe, a medium-sized brush for the temple area and if I’m trying to create the illusion of length, I’ll use a really large brush in the back.”


Pro Tip: Velcro rollers are crucial to styling the butterfly cut, especially if your clients hair refuses to hold a curl. This will help set the style, add extra hold and longevity! 

breaking down the viral butterfly cut layers explained how to style butterfly cut justin toves vincilione
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BONUS—How to help clients style at home: 

“I will tell my client: This haircut is not low-maintenance, it’s something that if you want it to come to life, you have to commit to a certain level of styling,” Justin says.


To gauge his client’s technical knowledge, Justin will ask them if they have the following: a blow dryer, a round brush, a set of rollers and what products they own. This helps him know how much he has to explain.


“I will also be transparent: This haircut may not look the way it looks in the inspo pic if you are not going to commit to a few styling techniques,” Justin explains. In the end, whether his client prefers to style or air-dry, Justin says they will find a technique that’s comfortable and works for their lifestyle.


Learn How To Create Butterfly Layers In Justin’s 90-Minute Class On BTC-U & MORE…

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