Explaining the trending ‘broccoli haircut’ that’s everywhere on TikTok

The broccoli haircut: What is the men's hair style and why is it so popular with Gen Z?

Short at the sides, but with loads of body on top – that’s the way of the broccoli (Picture: Getty)

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A few years back, the ‘iced gem’ haircut was a point of ridicule, marking the wearer out as a certain type of person, one who takes gym selfies and wears shoes without socks.

Recently, a new controversial style has swept Gen Z men, garnering the same mockery while also growing in popularity… only it’s not really new.

The broccoli haircut, also known as the zoomer perm or bird’s nest cut, is similar to the indie-inspired looks of the 00s, featuring shaved or faded sides and a whole lot of volume and length on top.

The silhouette of this cut is slim around the neck and ears, with curls and backcombed portions used to create height when styling – similar to the stem and florets of the vegetable.

You’re most likely to spot a broccoli on TikTok, where creators – and unofficial poster boys for the ‘do – Sebastian Bails and Trey Lander post videos of themselves and their massive barnets.

It definitely makes them stand out, and the fact it’s a moveable, touchable style makes it work well in videos.

That, or perhaps they’re following Dolly Parton’s mantra: ‘The higher the hair, the closer to God.’

But don’t let TikTok e-boys’ lip biting and awkward scripted pranking put you off, this cruciferous cut can be flattering and grown-up when done right.

Ricky Walters, founder of SALON64, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘The Broccoli cut consists of maximum contrast to create an eye-catching shape.  

‘Super tight faded sides from a “0” or even skin, tightly faded up into a mid- long length on top. The shorter the sides and the longer the top the stronger the look.’

2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival And Daytime Stage

The look is popular with teen social media stars like Jacob Sartorius (Picture: JB Lacroix/WireImage)

You don’t need to have naturally curly hair to work this look, although those with straight strands will need to put in a little extra work.

Ricky recommends using a moisturising shampoo and conditioner with ingredients like sugar beet and ginger (like SALON64’s Vive La Moisture) to nourish and define those coils.

He adds: ‘A little curl creme on the ends then helps to keep the curls looking great for longer. I always recommend applying on wet hair and drying in using a diffuser on a hot heat and slow speed.’

If your hair is straight, Ricky says ‘a soft or loose perm, keeping it as natural as possible,’ can give you the volume you’re after.   

Try volumising hair dust, dry shampoo, and texturising spray to add some hold, which will help add height (especially if you backcomb the roots) and keep the ‘do in place.

According to Ricky, one benefit of the broccoli haircut is how easy it is to maintain.

He says: ‘Once the top is in place it’s just a matter of keeping those sides as tight and tidy as possible.

‘As the look grows out it simply softens and becomes more subtle. A fresh fade every few weeks keeps it lasting longer.’

For those who want to really make a statement, Ricky’s advice is to give colour a go. A full scalp bleach or some beachy highlights add even more drama and movement to your gravity-defying style.

Although, the broccoli cut may be nicknamed the zoomer perm, but that doesn’t mean it’s reserved for the young.

‘Age is nothing but a number,’ says Ricky. ‘This look is all about hair type. If you have medium to thick hair and find your hair needs a little extra attitude, this is the look for you.

‘Seventeen or seventy, it doesn’t matter. Own it!’

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