Karen Haircut: What It Is and How You Can Avoid It

karen haircut

“Can I speak to your manager?” If you’ve been on the internet for the past few years or you’re a fan of memes, you’ll have already identified this meme. Yes, this is known as the Karen meme or Karen haircut meme, which is widely famous on the internet.

So who’s this Karen? Why is this name so popular among people? And most importantly, why do people make fun of this particular name ‘Karen’?

The answer to all these questions, which may be probably coming to your mind now is explained in this blog. It is a bit complicated to explain in one sentence, but it all started with a haircut! So to know more in-depth what a Karen haircut is or why everybody wants to avoid her, keep on reading.       

What is a Karen Haircut?

The Karen haircut is an inverted bob or lob and is also known as an A-line cut. It also features short, blonde hair with thick lowlights and long side-swept bangs. 

This hairstyle is always longer in the left front and short in the back. Due to this, it creates a sharp angle when seen from the side. 

A typical Karen haircut can be parted in the center or sometimes feature an asymmetric fringe. It is commonly paired with chunky highlights and also styled with spikes at the backside of the head. This hairstyle has now become the ultimate symbol of the Karen haircut meme! 

The ultimate Karen Haircut has the following unique features:

  • An A-line cut or inverted bob haircut.
  • Shorter in the back and comparatively longer in the front.
  • It has a sharp angle towards the front.
  • The back part of the haircut looks similar to the spikes. 
  • Though the classic Karen cut is blonde, now it can be of any color combination. 

Original Karen Haircut

Original Karen Haircut

The original Karen haircut was worn by reality TV star Kate Gosselin of Jon & Kate Plus 8. The Kate Gosselin Karen haircut was simple and featured an asymmetric blonde bob with a long, side-swept fringe contrasted with a spiky cut at the back. That’s the Karen haircut origin, and ever since that, it has become extremely famous worldwide. 

The most iconic part of this hairstyle is the Hairline in the center of the head, which is also known as ‘Tiger Stripe‘ and chunky unblended highlights. This style is also known as “The Gosselin.” Thanks to Kate Gosselin and her controversial TV show, the Karen hairdo came into the limelight. 

However, over the years, this hairstyle has evolved into more than just a haircut. Now it has become known as the attitude, persona, or caricature. If you ask us how to describe it, we’ll say: loud, entitled, unhinged, petty, or any similar kind of adjectives that come to mind. In short, Karen is a long and frustrating rant from a random lady you don’t know. 

What Does the Karen Haircut Look Like?

Over time, the Karen cut has changed. We’ve already told you about the original Karen hairstyle, also known as the Gosselin, which was made famous by Kate Gosselin. She styles her hair in this Mom Cut in 2008, which has this asymmetric pixie look with long bangs in the front and straight spiky layers in the back.

These days it’s not only limited to these features; you can see Karen haircuts in a variety of haircuts. So if you’re wondering what the Karen haircut looks like today, scroll down. Here we’ve compiled the top 5 hair looks that look pretty similar to Karen cut or will make you look exactly like Karen: : 

1. Ribbon-Like Curls

Ribbon Like Curls

This hairdo is known as ribbon-like curls, and it was worn by Jenny McCarthy in 2009. This hairstyle features a heavily teased crown and hair-sprayed ringlets. Usually, curls are coiled into spirals, but here they were loosened into waves.

The most bizarre thing is that they were so frozen into place with the hair spray that no matter how hard McCarthy moved her head, the curls wouldn’t move a little. They’re stuck and locked into the same place like a helmet. So, if you don’t want to look like her, avoid doing these things.

2. Karen Haircut Short

Karen Haircut Short

Not all Karen-looking haircuts are edgy and spiky; some are short and polished. Here’s an excellent example of this. This hairdo features a neat, feathery haircut, and it is mostly worn by upper-class Karens of the country club.   

It has the same chunky highlights and a short length, just like the original one but with fewer exaggerated elements. These types of polished looks are relatively less eye-catching than the classic Karen cut, but if you wear this, there are still  some chances that you’ll be considered as “Karen.” 

3. Brassy Orange Hues

Brassy Orange Hues

Never ask for this Brassy Blonde hue hairstyle in any hair salon or hairstylist. You very well know the reason. People end up with this style only because of two reasons: either their hairdresser is new and messes up the bleaching process or when your dye faded and instead of gorgeous blonde you got these brassy hues. 

Either way, always try to avoid this look, or never post your picture on social media. It is also not suitable for many skin complexions. But what to do if you ended up with this hair color somehow, or how to fix a Karen haircut at home? You can easily correct the brassiness with the help of at-home toning products.

4. Overly Styled Layers

Overly Styled Layers

Layers have always been a great way to add instant volume and movement to the hair. However, don’t overdo it or over-style your layers, or you’ll end up looking like the above picture. 

Just add some volume when you’re flipping them. Never go extreme as they can make you look old-fashioned or just like your granny. Try to use less hairspray, so the style looks more natural and less stiff. But still, we recommend avoiding this voluminous, blown-out hairstyle because you may look like “Karens.”

5. Bubble Karen Haircut

Bubble Karen Haircut

Another outdated style that is a big NO is the “bubble haircut.” Thanks to its over-teased crown and exaggerated layers, this haircut looks like a helmet. Look at the above picture of Kelly Osbourne. She styled this hairdo for the American Music Awards, and you can see how weird and old-fashioned it is looking.

The layers are always blended gracefully, but here her’s were blunt and noticeable. On top of that, her crown and temples were also rigorously teased, making her look like she is wearing a voluminous wig. 

Other celebrities with the well-known Karen haircut are Oprah Winfrey, Jennie Garth, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway. 

How to Avoid Being a Karen? Top 5 Alternatives to Karen Haircut in current year! 

After reading up to here, you surely don’t want to look like Karen. So, what should you do? How to avoid this hairstyle? Are there any alternatives? The answer is Yes! Thankfully there are plenty of options where you can style your hair short without people calling you a Karen!

Let’s take a look at the five best Short Haircuts for Women, or Karen cut alternatives:    

1. Blunt Bob

Blunt Bob

The blunt Karen bob is a classic and timeless hairstyle and looks good on most of face shapes. It is on-trend these days and will always remain as a style statement cut. So style your hair in this incredibly chic hairdo and avoid the Karen cut.

2. Micro-Bob

Micro Bob

Micro bob is another sophisticated cut that you can try. It’s a french girl’s hairstyle, and no one would ever dare to say Karen to a french girl, right? So if you love french hairstyles, go for a micro bob and live your French girl fantasy. 

3. Vintage Bob With Pops of Color

Vintage Bob With Pops of Color

Classic Karen cut is all about the blonde with some spiky highlights. You can break the Karen look with some pops of color. Look at the above picture, the bob cut is looking stunning with the red color. 

4. Modern Mullet

Modern Mullet

Modern mullet has recently become popular in the year 2020, and it’s a great alternative to Karen manager haircut as it looks totally opposite to it. It has a length in the back, whereas Karen cut has a length in the front sideways. 

5. Collarbone-Grazing Waves

Collarbone Grazing Waves

Karen’s hairdo has an angled cut with side-swept bangs. So if you want to avoid looking like Karen, go for the soft, sweet collarbone-grazing waves. This haircut is short, but still, you’ll get enough length to style.        

karen haircut


The most important thing that you should know is that a Karen haircut or any hairstyle doesn’t make you Karen. Your personality, attitude, and how you treat other people make you Karen, and that does not depend on the haircut at all!

So, this is all about Karen’s haircut. After reading this blog, now you know what it is and how it exactly looks. You can also try other alternatives that we’ve provided in the list.

I hope you liked this blog, so share it with your family and friends, tell them about this unique haircut, and make sure that nobody gets this manager cut or hairstyle.   

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