Time for a hair refresh? The five colour, cut and style trends you need for 2016

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Amy Swales
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Time for a hair refresh?

Whether you're after a subtle update, a change of shade or a complete overhaul, we've taken inspiration from Spring/Summer 2016 catwalks, stylish A-listers and top-notch hair experts to bring you the style, cut and colour trends to see you through the year.

We're fond of both the bold and the convenient here at, which is why our pick of 2016's new looks includes ideas for the fashion-forward and for those looking for something ready to go five minutes after falling out of bed in the morning.

See below for five 2016 hair trends to suit all hair types.

Bottle Blonde

Whether going for extreme white or a more natural hue, dyed blondes are usually at pains to avoid anything remotely brassy. But 2016 could be the year to embrace those “trashy" fake shades.

Claire Bonney, senior colourist at Radio Hair London, says: “As seen at Moschino, bleach blondes this season had an eighties peroxide quality, which is a trashy and fun element to play with."

To avoid too much of a DIY look, Bonney recommends asking your colourist for “a slightly more lemon hue or a touch of pearl to soften" – think Lady Gaga's ‘obviously not natural but classy’ blonde at the Golden Globes. Not the ‘I dyed my hair brown and tried to bleach it back in my own bathroom’ orange some of us have traumatic personal experience of.

The Twist Cut

Texture is big (hair) news this year and taps into previous glunge (glam-grunge) and lived-in trends moving away from super-polished looks. It can be incorporated into cuts as well as style by chopping in an undone kind of vibe.

Aveda global creative director Antoinette Beenders' take is the Twist Cut, a carefree, natural feel created by the stylist twisting the hair while cutting to leave ends looking ‘raw’. A chunky fringe, as seen on the Aveda model above, adds sultry appeal while the shoulder-skimming length gives it a bit of weight and movement.

Beenders says it suits almost every face shape, commenting: “Natural hair is making a comeback, and I think we’re ready for it, Twisting sections before slide-cutting downward enhances the hair’s natural texture and keeps it from looking overly polished.”

High Hives

Style from previous decades will always swing back around in various forms, and Claire Bonney says this year's incarnation takes the height of beehives and adds a modern aesthetic.

“The seventies were still a strong influence on the Spring/Summer 2016 catwalks, but there was also a nod to the fifties and sixties with incredible height,” she explains. “There were swinging sixties beehives at Jeremy Scott and a slightly more futuristic take on the look at Maison Margiela.

“John Galliano called it ‘lo-fi sci-fi’.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Lupita Nyong'o showcased several examples while on the promo trail for the film, including a more classic look for a TV appearance (above), while singer Katy Perry went old-school beehive for the Golden Globes.

The look translates right from super-styled, sci-fi shapes to soft wearable curls – as long as there's height, you're heading in the right direction (up).


Strobing is similar to the balayage, dip-dye and ombre trends that have been so popular in recent years – low maintenance while still updating colour and a great way to style out roots.

It's not quite as blended as balayage – colours a couple of shades lighter and darker than your base shade contour, lifting parts of the hair that would usually pick up light around the face. It's designed to give the illusion of depth to thinner hair and create a naturally shimmery quality as well as enhance facial features.

Marianne Seymour, Advanced Master Creative Director at the Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa in Covent Garden, says: “Hair contouring is a huge trend for the season.

“Incorporating lighter layers underneath help to remove the shadow from around the lower face area or chin and lighter hues around the face help to create a more natural, youthful-looking lift for spring/summer."

The precise technique is also known as “hair mapping” and Bonney says it's an extension of the previous trends. “Ombre and bronde have moved into a new direction by using a much bolder placement of colour that melts and merges together. Colour is strategically placed, close together in depth and tonal value, to suit your skin and eyes. The placement will highlight, exaggerate and add a lot of shine.”

Strong Fringes

Radio Hair London's Claire Bonney says fringes are 100 per cent in and adaptable for whoever wants to take the plunge, given key looks on the catwalks were “either shorter with shattered edges, as seen at Lanvin and Saint Laurent, or full and strong with contrasting colour.”

“If you don't want a huge commitment colour-wise, using a bold placement on your fringe is a really fun way of making your hair looking really striking – this was seen on the  Giorgio Armani and Acne Studios catwalks.”

Fringes also work well with the texture trend (as seen on The Twist Cut).

Images: Rex Features / Thinkstock / Aveda


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.