Has Nicole Kidman made jellyfish hair cool for the over fifties?

Has Nicole Kidman made jellyfish hair cool for the over 50s? | Soho House

The 55-year-old actress may have just closed the age gap on the TikTok-born beauty trend spreading like a rash across Gen Z

Wednesday 7 September     By Tilly Pearman

When the pictures of Nicole Kidman’s Portuguese man o’ war-inspired haircut first started circulating on the internet, we were unsure. For anyone struggling to picture it, the hybrid style takes inspiration from the marine creature’s starkly contrasting shape: a bulbous 360-degree bob sat atop longer ‘tentacle’ layers that flow loosely past the shoulders. The end result lands somewhere between a mullet, a shag and a Japanese hime cut. 
‘I honestly didn’t even know it was called the jellyfish,’ revealed Evanie Frausto, the hairstylist responsible for Kidman’s fiery new mane, which debuted on the cover of Perfect magazine. Frausto added that it was in fact celebrated stylist, Vidal Sassoon and his 1960s fringe haircuts (specifically, Cher’s) that inspired the style he created for the 55-year-old star.
It’s also similar to Gen Z’s latest social media-born beauty trend, which has already racked up 1.6 billion views on TikTok, and hints to a radical style shift for over-fifties who have long played it safe with classy bobs, cute pixies and easy-to-manage feathered cuts.
American hairstylist and Soho House member Cherin Choi says that although she believes all hairstyles are ageless, it’s likely that the Nine Perfect Strangers star will inspire more people to try the standout look. ‘I hate the idea of things being categorised for the young or old,’ she says. ‘Anyone who is playful and still enjoying their hair, I love, and Nicole Kidman is doing just that.’
If you’re feeling brave enough to try this autumn’s most controversial new style, Choi suggests bringing a clear photo reference to your salon to avoid any confusion. Unlike the styles of fellow animal-cult fame (the wolf; the octopus) the jellyfish favours a more contemporary and cleaner aesthetic. It replaces the layered, textured looks of late (bye for now, shullet) with a non-blended, distinct layer of hair that leaves an intentional shelf-like appearance.
It’s versatile too, as early adopter and current propagator, 23-year-old Mari Trombley, demonstrates regularly on TikTok. The Portland, Oregon-based artist encourages everyone to get creative with their hair, styling her own ‘over-the-sink, kitchen-scissors haircut’ to flit between short hair, curled lengths and even braided stars shapes. ‘You might not see other people doing it, but why not break those boundaries the same way that you can change your avatar in a video game?’ she says. ‘You can change what you look like tomorrow if you wanted to, and it’s entirely up to you.’
Embracing a fun, bold ’do like the jellyfish will not be everyone’s cup of tea – even Trombley admits to frequently receiving strange looks when she’s out and about. What is clear, is that despite a 32-year age difference between Trombley and Kidman the sentiment of creative expression embodied by this growing trend is what bridges a generational gap. 
Is it bold? Certainly. Weird? You bet. But as 55-year-old Kidman’s ‘I don’t care what you think’ punk-esque new style proves, you’re never too old to experiment.
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