We have nothing against Karens. Or, at this point, we probably do…
Social media, on the other hand, is a different story. It’s been mocking Karens for eons now, particularly for their haircut. The classic Karen is an entitled, middle-aged white woman who’s always asking for the retail store manager, has a penchant for calling 911 on you, and most probably has a MAGA hat (not the mask, though) in her Karen arsenal.
But there’s one thing that Karens are known for that’s even more recognizable than their appalling behavior – their Karen haircut. If you don’t want to be labeled a Karen, these are specific haircuts you should avoid.
The Classic Karen Cut/The Gosselin
Also known as the classic Karen pixie cut/Gosselin, the original Karen haircut is an asymmetrical blonde bob. From the short, spiky cut at the back to the chunky highlights (hey, it was 2005 – anything went) and long, side-swept fringe, this style is classic in a bad way.
The Karen haircut is popular among older women, and it’s easy to see why. It’s disjointed, unflattering, and doesn’t require much effort to look great. If there’s a Karen hairstyle that screams, “can I speak to the manager,” it’s this one.
Inverted Bob Haircut
Among all Karen haircuts, this inverted bob is possibly the most elegant of Karen hairstyles. It is characterized by shorter strands at the back transitioning to longer hair at the front to form long side-swept bangs that frame your face. This one, for instance, has an unflattering fringe at the front, which makes the hairstyle a little too busy.
However, with the right stylist, this Karen haircut can turn out not Karen-ey.
This thinly disguised cut is proof that Karens are becoming more tactical. They realized they were catching too much heat with too many layers, spiky, short back, intense blonde strands, and deep side parts, and adopted this haircut as an attempt to fly under the radar.
The Karen haircut has blended long layers (not choppy) and sleekness rather than too much volume in a crisp A-line cut.
Tiger Stripe Hair Color
Tiger-striped hair is another classic Karen haircut. It is the Karen version of the balayage but features brown hair with obnoxious harsh highlights (in red or blonde). The light and dark colors compete with each other and give effects of tiger stripes, which makes you stand out in all the wrong ways.
Top Tip: To avoid this Karen haircut, make sure your stylist understands that you want your highlights done with an ombre or soft gradient feel.
Millennial Karen Haircut
Karens are mostly middle-aged women, but even millennials and Gen Zs can end up with a Karen haircut. Typical Karen haircuts feature blonde hair, but the younger ones are all about self-expression. So you can expect multi-colored strands and other edgy variations of the classic Karen haircut.
Tousled/The Mom Karen Haircut
Instead of lazy, tousled waves in the back like the classic Karen pixie cut, this Karen haircut consists of aggressive spikes that send a subtle to extremely real threat. And rather than a side-swept bang, this hairstyle features “I don’t care about my hair, anyway” layers.
It screams, “I’ll have y’all fired if my sweet Jack finds a pickle in his cheeseburger.”
Brown Highlights On Brown Hair? Yap! Karen
We aren’t saying you shouldn’t highlight your brown strands – just that you don’t need to overdo it. A sexy contrast of brown shades (dark, light, and everything in between) is perfect, but when you’re all over the place, you’re just rocking another Karen hairstyle.
The only time you’re allowed (heavy on the allowed) to rock this insanely textured wig is on Halloween.
Male Karen (Ken) Haircut
Women aren’t the only ones who’d like to speak to your manager – there are male versions too! And while they mostly go by the name Ken, these Karen male doubles also go by Greg or Terry.
So, how do you avoid being falsely labeled a Ken?
By avoiding this very easy-to-spot haircut. Everything is shaved apart from the topmost part of the head. Then that part looks like recently-mowed grass.
Boy Karen Haircut
Disclaimer: We love the Biebs. We are Beliebers. So, we mean no disrespect here. However, lately, we’ve seen more and more youngins donning this longer-in-front version of the Karen haircut. The back is shorter but not cut to the proper crop length. They don’t have spiky ends, but the side part and long front are very much in play.
This version of the classic Karen haircut is just styled for swinging around wildly on TikTok, criticizing everyone with a different opinion and making fun of everything (and everyone) they find amusing.
Mega “Karening” Over Here
You know this one. See those voluminous wigs people love to rock? Well, it turns out that most of them are just bubble haircuts, which is basically a blown-out hairstyle.
Bubble haircuts are mega Karen haircuts since they’re eye-catching (not in a good way) and just in-your-face BIG! There’s just too much volume, and it isn’t flattering on anyone. So, avoid it.
Karen Haircut On Black Hair
Although Karen memes contain women with blonde strands, Karen haircuts can also be seen in Black hair. However, most of the time, you’ll see them with some streaky, unblinded highlights.
Vintage But Not Worth Recreating Hairstyles
This 70s signature look was nothing short of stunning – in the 70s. But if you’re still rocking the look today, you might want to update your hairstyles board. What’s more, rocking old-fashioned hair from decades past is one of the most basic telltale “Karen” indicators.
If you’re looking to pay homage to the past, try picking a classic cut that oozes timelessness – like a bob or a lob. These two still give contemporary vibes but also give you the stability you crave.
Don’t Be A Karen
In as much as your hairstyle matters, it doesn’t have as much bearing on the Karen status as your behavior. And whether you’d like to admit it or not (because who wants to be labeled a Karen, anyway), we all have some Karen-ish tendencies.
So, to avoid turning into a full-blown Karen, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Mind Your Own Damn Business: Karens tend to stick their nose into other people’s business. So, please do yourself a favor, tend to your issues, and let others sort theirs out.
Mind Your Temper: Anger can land you in trouble. So, when you feel it welling up inside, channel your inner yogi or walk away from the situation. It’s better than going off on innocent peeps.
Be Kind. It Doesn’t Cost You A Thing: Karens think the world revolves around them and that people owe them for just existing. But hunnay, no one owes you anything – not an apology, not respect, not that Louis Vuitton bag, and certainly not a parking space. So, if you have nothing nice to say, fall silent.