Hime Cut: What To Know About This Japanese Haircut | CoolJapan

The hime cut continues to grow in popularity on TikTok with over 6.5 billion videos as of writing. Its name references the Japanese word for ‘princess’ and the look typically features long straight black hair layered with a jawdrop cut for sidelocks. It’s completed with blunt bangs trimmed just around the upper eyelids and is often seen sported by female characters in Japanese pop culture. One of the most popular examples is Kakegurui’s Yumeko Jabami.

It is worth noting that having long hair and blunt bangs doesn’t immediately count as a hime cut. The hime cut is distinguished by its sidelocks, which gives it another level of edginess than the usual fringed look.

The hime cut in Japanese history

While most people think the hime cut simply originated from Japanese anime and manga, this hairstyle actually traces back its roots from Japanese history itself. It is associated with tradition and is believed to be the court style among noblewomen during the Heian period (795 to 1185). This period is older than Japanese feudalism and is known to be one of the peak eras of traditional poetry, literature, and art.

The hime cut in Japanese history

Kai-awase painting from circa 1915 (Photo from: Ikeda Shōen via Wikimedia Commons)

In pop culture, this hairstyle often signifies elegance and modesty with a hint of boldness and mystery

Portrayals of the hime cut in period pieces during the Heian period hold very little significance since these were a reflection of the time. However, given the cut’s association with traditional practices, pop culture often reserves this hairstyle for characters that exude elegance, modesty, and dignity, laced with a certain level of mystery and boldness.

Going by our first example, Yumeko Jabami from Kakegurui is someone who respects the ‘art of gambling’ and treats every game with utmost elegance. Very little is also revealed about her background and obsession with gambling despite being the main character of the show.

xxxHOLIC’s Yuko Ichihara also shares similar traits. Yuko is known for her eccentric wisdom influenced by her mysterious background. On the fashion front, she’s often seen wearing traditional kimonos that perfectly complement her hime cut.

Hime cut in 2022

As expected of social media, the trend has slightly evolved over the years. Modern iterations now feature varying fringe lengths and experimental hair colours, with the look’s signature straight-cut front layer intact.

Would you try this look?

(Cover photo from: Medy Siregar via Unsplash)