My "Manta Ray" Haircut Looks Good With Zero Effort
I'm not usually one to try bold haircuts. Four years ago, I cut my hair into a bob and was semitraumatized by the short length, so now I try to keep my trims as minimal as possible. While I got a '90s-style haircut a few months ago, my layers have since grown out and my ends were looking dry. I knew it was time to visit the salon, so I started searching for a hairstyle that would best suit me and my lazy-girl lifestyle. I knew I wanted something stylish but not over the top that didn't require too much time with hot tools to look good.
After sifting through different options, one thing became abundantly clear: sea-creature-inspired hairstyles are definitely in. There's the "jellyfish" haircut, which is entirely too daring for me; the "octopus" haircut, which kind of looked like my hair a few months ago; and then there was the "manta ray" haircut, which seemed like it might be just right.
Although I never thought I'd be someone who opted for a haircut in the shape of an ocean animal, the manta-ray haircut isn't as out there as it sounds. The look actually just involves face-framing layers that start near the chin, although Nine Zero One hairstylist Sierra Kener told me when I went in for my appointment that it is modeled after the manta ray's shape. "The head is your part with face-framing layers or curtain bangs, which open up and shape the face. The width of the body is the layers focusing outwards to give your hair volume, and the length of your hair is the tail," she said.
I was ready to give it a try, so Kener dry-cut my hair — paying special attention to the layers at the front of my face, which would be the focal point. Instead of short curtain bangs, she cut face-framing layers that blended a little deeper into my hair to give the cut some movement, while making sure the layers were still long enough to pull back into a ponytail. She then trimmed the dead ends off the rest of my hair but made sure to keep the length as much as possible.
When it came time to style my new front pieces, Kener washed my hair and spritzed it with the InCommon Magic Myst ($35) when it was damp before heat-styling. She gave me a blowout using a round brush and styled my hair away from my face to enhance the texture and layers. She also added a bit of the Milbon Refreshing Dry Shampoo ($20) to my roots to add a little texture and volume, as well as the Oribe Super Fine Hair Spray ($42) to help hold the style. The final result was a perfectly bouncy cut that looked fresh and shiny.
I've had my hair cut for a little over a week now, and the best part about it (besides how good it looks) is how easy it is to style. Getting manta-ray layers means I don't have to focus too much on the bottom layers; instead, all I have to do is blow-dry my face-framing layers and put them in a velcro roller for 10 minutes, then walk right out the front door.
Another plus? Kener says this haircut is low-maintenance on the upkeep. "You'll want to get your hair trimmed every eight to 10 weeks. When the haircut starts to fall heavy and not feel as effortless, or when the front pieces fall past the chin, it's a good indicator that it's time for a refresh."