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The hime cut (Japanese: 姫カット, Hepburn: hime katto, IPA: [çime katːo]; lit. 'princess cut') is a hairstyle consisting of straight, usually cheek-length sidelocks and frontal fringe. The rest of the hair is usually worn long and straightened. As the name suggests, the style is thought to have originated, or at least become common, in the Imperial court during the Heian Period of Japanese history, when noble women would sometimes grow out their hair for their entire lives.
The hime cut appears to date back to the "amasogi" shoulder-length hairstyle of the Heian period. When a woman turned 20, the hair around her ears was cut in a ceremony called "binsogi". The combination of amasogi and binsogi produced the hime cut.
Care and maintenance
The hime cut is high maintenance for those without naturally straight hair, and requires frequent touch-ups on the sidelocks and front bangs in order to maintain its shape. Hair straightening is sometimes used to help with these problems as well as straightening irons and specially formulated shampoos for straight hair. Humidity is also cited as a problem with certain hair types, as the curling caused by excess humidity can change the shape of the hair. Occasionally, hair extensions and weaves are used for the side locks in order to prevent this.
The hairstyle is frequently seen in gothic lolita subculture, especially the classification of elegant gothic lolita (EGL). Within the EGL community, the hime is considered a more elegant alternative to other styles that may require frequent curling and crimping that can permanently damage the hair.
Variants of the sidelocks have also been seen, such as longer sidelocks sometimes pulled in front of the ears and lack of frontal fringe with only the sidelocks present. The sidelocks may also appear shorter (as is the case with Ai Enma from Hell Girl, whose bangs cover her eyebrows and sidelocks are cut level with her mouth). Another example is the Vocaloid Megurine Luka in which her sidelocks appear to be layered from the mouth level down to the neck. The hair is also sometimes worn short in a variant of a pageboy, or cropped short in the back such as the personification of Japan in Hetalia: Axis Powers. The style is sometimes paired with odango, as worn by Fushigi Yūgi character Miaka Yuki, or worn one-sided, such as the character of Miyu from Vampire Princess Miyu. In the late 1970's, a variation of the style was worn by actress Louise Lasser as the title character on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
- YKMK (8 August 2015). "What Is the Cuteness of it? Be a True Japanese Princess with Legendary Hime-Cut!". Tokyo Girls Update. ALL BLUE inc. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- "Sanspo". Retrieved 2019-03-25.
- "Sponichi article on Megumi Asaoka". Retrieved 2019-03-25.
- Yooj (6 September 2017). "The Hime Cut – A Japanese Look Trending in Korea". kpopstuff.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- The dictionary definition of hime cut at Wiktionary