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Hime cut (姫カット Hime katto?) (literally "princess cut" in Japanese) 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.
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 (see Kikyo from Inuyasha for an example of this style) and lack of frontal fringe with only the sidelocks present. The sidelocks may also sometimes 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). 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 1970s a variation of the style was worn by actress Louise Lasser as the title character on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.