Every year, there are a number of hair looks that tend to define the 12-month period. 2020 was perhaps a little different due to the slight interruption of a global pandemic, but in 2021 we’re finally starting to see salons open up again – which means it’s time to get our hair inspiration sorted so we can feel fresh for the rest of the year.
That isn’t to say you need to get in the chair for a new colour or cut. All you require for a number of these trends is a little intrepid spirit to try a new style, even if it’s as simple as adding in some micro plaits to your usual mane agenda. To help you revive your locks however it suits you, we’ve rounded up a few of the biggest hair trends for 2021, from of-the-moment cuts and styles to seriously covetable colours.
Heavy bangs are back
One of the most polarising hair trends is officially back. If you weren’t already convinced by Marianne of Normal People last year, the full fringe became a mainstay the moment Margot Robbie stepped onto the Oscars red carpet with her French girl-inspired heavy bangs. “It’s characterised by a thick fringe that’s all one length – it’s like the bob for long hair,” explains John Pulitano, Creative Director for Sydney’s Headcase Hair. “It’s a very classic look, yet it remains super fashionable. It acts like an accessory for your hair – it can be worn so many ways, and it instantly dresses up your hair.”
Playful styles are de rigueur
You can always count on Gigi Hadid for playful yet sophisticated style turns, and her latest hair look, with face-framing micro bubble braids, is no exception. We’ve also seen the likes of Hailey Bieber and Margot Robbie take to simple plaits on each side of their face, while Kim Kardashian and Millie Bobby Brown prefer Spice Girls-esque pigtails. Pulitano says these fun festival-inspired styles are big this year. “It is about playing with hairdos and braids to giving long hair a relaxed feel,” he says.
Embracing natural curls and texture
Okay so this one isn’t as much of a trend as it is an extremely important self-love movement. Celebrating our individuality, including our unique hair types and textures, is just about the most stylish move of all. If you have them, “own your curls!” says Pulitano. “It’s all about embracing your natural look, but using product can help to add a little definition.” There are a crop of new next-gen hair brands changing the market and specifically created with curls in mind, including the Melbourne-based, globally stocked Bread Beauty Supply.
Lived-in blonde shades are chic
Considering going blonde but worried your new hue will be a little too much? Try a softer, creamy vanilla shade, à la Hailey Bieber. “Blondes don’t need to be ashy or platinum,” says Vincent Nobile, Pulitano’s fellow Creative Director at Headcase Hair. “At the minute, adding a soft vanilla shade feels super cool and is always flattering to the complexion.”
The low ponytail returns
Not only did Queen Margot put the full fringe back on the agenda with her celebrated Oscars beauty look, she also reintroduced us to the effortless low ponytail. “This is a style that can be taken from the office to a bar,” says Pulitano, and it’s also insanely simple to achieve. If it looks a little messy, all the better – this is one look you don’t want to overthink.
70s shags are très cool again
“This look is inspired by the babes of the late 70s – think Farrah Fawcett,” describes Pulitano. “It’s perfect for naturally textured hair types that have a bit of movement.” Like Billie Eilish’s recent look, this cut has soft curtain bangs and shaggy layers with no blunt lines. It’s also perfect for those of us less inclined to spend time in front of the mirror. “It’s relaxed and easy to wear,” adds Pulitano.
Platinum locks remain a staple
“A bright, striking blonde still looks super modern in 2021 – especially on short hair,” Nobile notes. Take your cues from The Crown‘s Emma Corrin, or look to the likes of Selena Gomez on how to wear the classic hue with longer locks.
The pixie crop redux
“The pixie haircut is getting a revamp in 2021,” says Pulitano. “We saw a lot of these futuristic new short styles on this years’ runways.” Another adventurous hair chameleon, Dua Lipa, recently rocked such a bold cropped hairstyle in a recent shoot. “It has a bolder shape, with a combination of blunt lines and piece-y texture,” Pulitano explains. “It makes the traditional pixie haircut much more edgy.”
Strawberry blonde is here to stay
Can’t decide which hue is right for you this year? Why not try a strawberry blonde shade, like the one worn by girl of the moment, Anya Taylor-Joy. If you don’t want to go the whole way, you can also update your current colour with some warmer-toned highlights. “I love the fact that we can add warmth to blondes in a fresh way by creating a beautiful strawberry blonde,” adds Nobile.