6 fresh ways to wear hair accessories this summer

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Harriet Davey
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Street style hair accessories

Statement hair accessories are the style craze that’s taken over Instagram. The best thing about the trend? It translates perfectly into your IRL wardrobe, too. We’ve found the best slides, scrunchies and headbands to give your look a 2021 update.

Here at Stylist, we’re always happy to welcome a new trend into our lives, especially one that needs minimal effort. This is why hair accessories are the ultimate hero buy this season. On days where a slightly average outfit needs an uplift, or a statement look needs a finishing touch – it’s all about accessorising your locks. 

If you haven’t considered hair accessories since pocket money-powered trips to Claire’s, then may we have the pleasure of reintroducing you to the outfit-changing powers of the hairband, clip and scrunchie. Thanks to the attention of directional designers Gucci, Versace and Miu Miu, the classic hair accessories of our childhoods are back – in grown-up form.

If you’re looking to shake up your style with a new look this spring, hair accessories are the perfect way to do so without investing in an entire wardrobe overhaul. A classic going-out top feels extra special with a line-up of pearl-embellished clips in your hair, while a beaded hairband makes a statement when paired with a frilly collared shirt.

From editors to influencers, fashion insiders everywhere have been embracing the trend, and we’ve made an edit of our favourite styles. Scroll down to see how to style must-have hair accessories of 2021.

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1) Layered barrettes

The barrette clip has previously been associated with something you may find at the depths of your grandmother’s jewellery box, but they’re back. 

The retro hair accessory is cool again, and it’s all about multiple clips – the more the better, in fact. It’s the 2021 way to wear them, and we approve. 

  • Afroani

    Afroani Shop Hair bundle
    The Drop: Afroani Hair bundle

    Founded by natural hair expert Anita Lusuardi in 2020, these hair accessories are made using cellulose acetate, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Simply pull your hair back into a 90s-style twist with the large claw, or frame your face with the rectangular crocodile clips for an instant outfit upgrade.

    Shop Afroani rainbow crocodile clips and claw set at The Drop by Stylist, £14.98

  • Shrimps

    Shrimps Fortuna floral-print oversized bow hair clip
    Shrimps Fortuna floral-print oversized bow hair clip

    Playful pieces from Shrimps always put us in the mood to experiment with our style, and this green floral barrette is no exception. It will bring a touch of summer to even the greyest of mornings, and when the sun finally does come out to play it adds extra dazzle to your every outfit.

    Shop Shrimps Fortuna floral-print oversized bow hair clip at MatchesFashion, £65

  • Gucci

    Image of Gucci tortoiseshell hair clip

    When it comes to iconic accessories, no one does it quite like Gucci. Add a touch of the Italian fashion powerhouses’s signature maximalist style to your look with an attention-grabbing embellished hair clip. Although this tortoiseshell beauty has been doing the rounds for a while now, we’re still big fans of the logo style.

    Shop crystal single hair barrette at Gucci, £315 

  • Zoe Sherwood

    Zoe Sherwood clip
    Zoe Sherwood clip

    Add some fun into your outfit, with minimal effort, thanks to this ‘love’ clip. Share the happy vibes and we guarantee your spring/summer 2021 outfits will reach their peak. Try this red clip with a dusty pink dress and layered gold necklaces. 

    Shop Zoe Sherwood love clip at The Drop by Stylist, £32

2) The luxe scrunchie

When Jason Momoa stepped onto the Oscars 2019 red carpet wearing a custom Fendi scrunchie to match his blush suit, we knew we were witnessing the rebirth of an iconic hair accessory. 

Two years on, and our love for the 90s-style essential has never been stronger. This statement hair tie brings personality to even the most pared-back outfits, so do as Jason did and pair yours with office-ready outfits or co-ordinate yours with a printed midi dress for an Instagram-worthy take on the trend. 

  • Golden Hour

    Golden Hour scrunchie and mask
    Golden Hour scrunchie and mask

    New brand Golden Hour is here to deliver the goods when it comes to satin scrunchies. Match your face mask to your hair accessories with the sets available in an array of luxurious hues. You can also get sets of the scrunchies on their own, too. 

    Shop nude silk mask and scrunchie set at Golden Hour, £16

  • Ganni

    Ganni scrunchie
    Ganni scrunchie

    Join the #GanniGirls and get your hands (and hair) on this sleek, silky scrunchie for a Scandi touch. From jeans and a vest top to a floral midi dress, you can wear this any day of the week. 

    Shop silk stretch satin scrunchie at Ganni, £20

  • Flo London

    Flo London scrunchie
    Flo London

    Bored of doing nothing with your hair? You will have no problems in the future if you opt for this colourful, printed scrunchie by Flo London. Whether you use it to tie your hair out of the way while you’re working from home, or use it to uplift a simple outfit, it’ll make any look instantly more interesting. 

    Shop Flo London scrunchie at The Drop by Stylist, £20

3) The chunky headband

Stylist’s fashion features editor Billie Bhatia is a fan of the padded headband, so much so she wrote a story all about her love for the Blair Waldorf-inspired headwear. Billie has gone for the logo Prada style and we’ve found a few other styles that will bring big energy to your spring/summer 2021 ensembles. 

4) Add big bows

Take the schoolgirl preppy look away from bow hair accessories by adding them to a more tailored outfit. Fanny Ekstrand makes them work by opting for chic black style with a statement blazer

Note: wearing them at the back of your hair rather than the front is also a way to keep them looking grown-up.

  • Na-kd

    Na-kd bow
    Na-kd bow

    This neutral shade of brown makes for a grown-up interpretation of the bow that won’t feel too fussy to wear for any occasion – from work to weekend. Keep it chic by teaming with neutral shades of beige, cream and tan. 

    Shop satin bow hairclip at Na-kd, £6

  • Shrimps

    Shrimps Fortuna cotton-blend gingham hair bow
    Shrimps Fortuna cotton-blend gingham hair bow

    Looking for something that makes a statement? This gingham bow feels like something straight out of one of our favourite period dramas, in a great way. A preppy bow paired with a puff-sleeved top? Don’t mind if we do.

    Shop Shrimps Fortuna bow hair clip at Matches, £65

  • Anthropologie

    Anthropologie Pack of Three Bow Scrunchies
    Anthropologie Pack of Three Bow Scrunchies

    If you want to give the multi bow hair style a go, this is the easy way to do it. Anthropologie’s hair accessory section is overflowing with dreamy pieces that’ll suit any hair length. Add these tonal scrunchie bows to a ponytail for instant ‘wow’ factor. 

    Shop set of three bow satin scrunchies at Anthropologie, £18

5. The 90s claw clip

If you’re already sporting a velvet headband and have an entire drawer dedicated to your scrunchie collection, you’ll want to move straight to the nostalgic 90s accessory: the claw clip. 

Go for a half up and half down hair style or twist your locks into a full up-do secured with the clip, either way, you’ll appreciate once again how versatile these clips are. Give a full nod to the decade with a white T-shirt and oversized blazer combination with baguette shoulder bag and chunky trainers.

  • Tortware

    Tortware Joan clip
    Tortware Joan clip

    Jewelled hair clips are a staple in their own right. This azure-toned style is an easy way to tick off one of this season’s key trends. 

    Shop Joan clip in jewelled azure at Tortware, £26

  • Urban Outfitters

    Urban Outfitters cloud claw clip
    Urban Outfitters cloud claw clip

    Urban Outfitters is a go-to for fabulous hair accessories. Need further proof? This punchy pink beauty will back us up. Try wearing it with a pastel outfit for top-to-toe sorbet perfection. 

    Shop Cloud claw clip at Urban Outfitters, £12

  • Valet

    Valet Laura hair clip
    Valet Laura hair clip

    If you want a style that’ll blend into lighter hair, this is the one. Have darker locks? This will be the contrasting claw clip for you, too. Try it out with a linen dress and tan sandals in the spring for the ultimate hot weather look. 

    Shop Valet Laura hair clip at Liberty London, £40

Images courtesy of Getty & brands