Looking for inspiration ahead of your next haircut? We’ve enlisted the help of 12 experts to help you decide which trending haircut is right for you…
If you feel like your hair has been in lockdown for the past 18 months, you’re not alone. While hairdressing salons have been re-opened for a while, up until recently we’ve been a little bit cautious about our post-lockdown hair plans – just in case our favourite stylist gets taken away from us at short notice. But now, we feel like the time is right. Blame the new upcoming ‘back-to-school’ season but we’re more than ready to let our hairdresser loose on our locks and have been scrolling social media for hair inspiration.
So if you’re feeling a new season haircut, we’re here to help. We spoke to 12 of the best hairstylists out there, to get the low-down on what’s big right now. From bobs to bangs, here are the biggest haircut trends for autumn/winter 2021…
Biggest haircut trends for autumn/winter
60s Italian bob
Want to update your bob for autumn? “Do it the Italian way,” suggest Nick Latham and Sean Paul Nother, founders of The Hair Bros and ambassadors of Aveeno haircare. “Chunky ended and neck grazing, the 60s Italian bob is long enough to tie up yet short enough to turn heads. It can be thrown into any parting with equal effect and to gain the second day volume we all love.”
Nick and Sean suggest that this haircut will work on anyone – no matter your age or hair type. “For extra glossiness, wash with a moisturising shampoo such as Aveeno Daily Moisture+ Oat Milk Blend and blow dry with a round brush.”
There were a couple of haircut trends that came up again and again when we quizzed our hair stylists on the biggest trends for autumn/winter. The shag was one of them. “Suki Waterhouse wears a modern-day shag cut very well,” says George Northwood. “Her layers are very chic and understated and her grown out fringe takes centre stage.”
Syd Hayes agrees. “The shag is in. Create body, fullness and bounce when styling using the new BaByliss Cordless Hot Brush. It’s got a unique bristle configuration that uses two lengths of bristle, which enables it to effortlessly pick up hair and smooth it while simultaneously releasing hair as soon as it is styled to ensure maximum results and minimum styling time.”
Another recurrent trend that almost every hairstylist we asked mentioned was the mullet. “This grown out looking layered shape is a low maintenance and effortless style that almost looks after itself,” says Jonny Eagland, stylist at Nicola Clarke at John Freida. “All you need to style is scrunch some mousse in and/or some sea salt spray and away you go. This shape is especially great if you have a natural texture to your hair already. Think of Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus as your references.”
But the mullet can be hard to pull off in real life, which is why Paul Percival, founder and owner of Percy & Reed Salon for Redken, suggests you try it out first with a pixie cut if you’re unsure. “What you can do is get your hair cut into a pixie and then add in clip-in extensions so that you can try out a mullet, without having to fully commit. You only need two or three hair pieces adding in, but it means you’re not always stuck with the one haircut. It’s nice if you can change it up.”
Low-maintenance haircuts will remain big according to Lee Radley, stylist at Nicky Clarke. “There will be a continuation of hair trends we saw coming out of lockdown including a huge return to the late 60s, early 70s. This includes a slightly boho hippie look with relaxed wavy hair with longer bangs. I like to call this peek-a-boo or boho bangs for the slightly sexy vibe where the eyes are peeking out through the hair – very Jane Birkin-esque.”
The lip length chunk
Looking for an edgier update but don’t want to commit to a mullet? Try what The Hair Bros are calling the lip length chunk.
“This is not the typical face framing shape we have seen so much of over the last few years. Instead it looks like you have cut your hair in lockdown and let it grow out – this is what gives it the edge. It’s incredibly chic, yet still has a rocky feel.”
Teeny weeny afros (TWAs)
“With more and more women up and down the country wanting to go for a big chop in order to start their hair growth journey again or explore their natural texture, TWAs (teeny weeny afros) are huge at the moment,” reveals textured hair specialist and creative director of Imbue, Michelle Sultan.
“This particular trend of going for a big chop is something that I am doing more and more within the salon – especially in the last few months.”
“Whatever your cut this season, embracing texture is key to give the hair natural movement,” says UK editorial ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel, Adam Reed. “Whether it’s the French-girl bob through to the latest take on the shag, your hairdresser will be able to perfectly personalise the cut to work with your natural hair texture so as to minimise on styling time at home. This could be anything from rough layers to face framing layers for that perfectly lived-in look.”
“Raw texture is a look I love to style. A product such as L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Super Dust is perfect to scrunch into the roots and ends to add dimension to your look.”
“After a monotonous year of lockdowns, so many people are looking for a dramatic change for their hair, and the 70s hair trend is offering just that,” says George Northwood.
“I’m really enjoying seeing how this trend has continued to evolve in 2021. The 70s was such an iconic era for hair. From Farrah Fawcett with her flicked out layers, Jane Birkin with her statement bangs and Debbie Harry with her rockstar layered bob. It was only a matter of time for these looks to be celebrated again. At the salon, we have seen a slight uptick in clients referencing more 70s styles.”
The modern Brigitte
Is there ever a season where Brigitte Bardot’s iconic hair isn’t referenced? “Brigitte Bardot inspired bangs aren’t going anywhere,” says Syd Hayes.
The Hair Bros agree. “It’s the fringe without the maintenance. A beautiful, subtle shape that softly frames the cheekbones, adding volume to fine hair without the need of excessive layers and hundreds of volts on heat tools. Unlike your standard fringe, it complements any face shape.”
The wolf cut
A combination of the shag and the mullet, say hello to the wolf cut.
“The wolf cut is a mashup of the shag and the mullet,” explains Andrew Fitz Simmons, hair ambassador for NatureLab Tokyo. “It’s fierce and has lots of volume at the top that tapers towards the bottom and pairs well with bangs. Androgynous hairstyles have been on the uptick for a while now and these gender fluid style are looks anyone can rock. It’s the perfect season to try something different and bold.”
“Flicked out blow dries, shaggy fringes and tassel-like layers are huge right now,” says Lisa Farrall, Cloud Nine Creative Ambassador. “The Cloud Nine Waving Wand is great to create instant flicks and wolf vibes.”
“Curtain bangs are huge for fall,” says hairstylist Fédéric Fekkai. “Shorter in the middle and longer at the sides, this haircut trend is so versatile and easy to wear. Because curtains are typically cut longer than other fringe styles, they’re also easy to grow out (which can be a major plus).”
Parisian chin level cuts
Ondine Cowley, hairstylist at Nicky Clarke, predicts that people will decide to “take the plunge and swap their long lengths for chic, Parisian Coco Chanel-inspired chin level cuts.”
“As we move towards the colder months, we can say goodbye to straggly ends and say hello to considerably shorter Cleopatra-style haircuts in dark, rich colours that still have levels of depth.”
“Blunt fringes whether round or square in shape can be super flattering,” says Jonny Eagland. “They’re a great way of having a change, without losing any length. Think Claudia Winkleman’s iconic fringe shape.”
90s supermodel vibes
“The 90s are definitely influencing hair trends for autumn/winter 2021,” says Christel Barron-Hough, founder of STIL. “The 90s supermodel big bouncy hair look – as typified by Cindy Crawford – is very much on-trend right now. It gives you movement as well as a feminine, undone texture. This is great for longer hair lengths and can suit any face shape, as it can be tailor made by shaping layers and the length either shorter or longer.”
Main image: Getty