Last year wasn't exactly a banner year for hair. Salons closed, events were cancelled and video calls became the norm. We lived in sweat suits — skipping trims and doing root touch-ups at-home. We embraced our grays and natural texture. Low-maintenance hair styles ruled and our product needs consisted of hair essentials only. We’ve all been in lockdown for a while, but it’s a new year and there’s hope for a return to normal on the horizon. Many salons have safely re-opened and this is the perfect excuse for a glow-up. It’s time to start thinking about spring and getting out of our funks. We've rounded up some of the hottest hair looks for the new year. These are the hair trends you’ll love in 2021.
These are the hair styles, hair colors and hair accessories trending for 2021.
Rocking a pixie takes guts, but if you’re coming out of lockdown with a new year, new you attitude, this haircut is your trend for 2021.The pixie is a classically cool hairstyle that works well with every hair texture and hair color. And in addition to being forever chic, a pixie is low maintenance and easy to style (for those of us who want to bring that vibe into 2021). Just be sure to discuss your vision with your hairstylist before the big chop. There are lots of variations of the pixie cut. Your face shape and how much length you want on top need to be considered. For more on this hair trend see our previous post Three Ways to Wear a Pixie Cut.
If you’re not into cutting your hair but still want to update your look after lockdown, the deep side part is trending hard core for 2021. A parting can make all the difference in your look, especially if you’ve had the same one for years. It’s an instant glow-up, without the commitment of a new cut. You can part your hair to the side one day and flip it back the next. And this hair trend is super easy to pull off. Use the long end of a teasing comb to create a sharp side part just above the arch of your eyebrow. If it stays, voila, you’re good to go! If it needs a little coaxing to stay in place, spray a brush with a brushable hairspray and brush it down on both sides.
photo by @goldandglowco
People are coming out of a long winter in quarantine in search of brighter days. And the bubble gum hair trend is proof! Pink has long been a favorite hair color trend and 2021 is no different. Bubble gum is a happy and bright shade that’s flattering on just about every skin tone. If you’re looking for more light-heartedness and fun in your daily routine, try the bubble gum hair trend. Just be sure to maintain your pink strands with a shampoo for colored treated hair and a sulfate free conditioner.
Another trend we’re taking with us into 2021 is the natural hair movement. "Naturalistas" (a term coined by the internet) swapped out chemical relaxers and heat tools in lockdown in favor of deep conditioning masks and curl-defining products. And this low-maintenance hair look is still trending, coming out of lockdown. Curly and naturally textured hair tends to grow in a rounded shape. So ask your hairstylist to cut or trim your curls into the shape they would naturally grow. It should be a simple, easy to maintain shape that works around your lifestyle.
Curtain bangs are another hair trend perfect for people wanting a change but not ready to chop off all their length. These wispy, face-framing fringe with roots in the '60s and '70s are in high demand coming out of quarantine. Curtain bangs are extremely versatile. They flatter any face shape and look good on straight, wavy, and curly hair. They also require much less maintenance than other bang styles, in terms of daily styling and growing out. Adding a face framing fringe is an easy way to update long hair styles. Rub a hair serum through your curtain bangs and use a round brush and blow dryer to coax them down ward.
There is no cooler haircut for 2021 than the mullet. The retro cut that defined the '80s have been given a modern makeover. Instead of the short bangs, shorter sides and longer, wispier length at the back, today’s mullet is more relaxed and gradient. The choppy fringe remains, but the sides are shaggier and less dramatic, making it much more wearable than the old school version. And today’s mullet is so layered that it doesn’t need much styling to look done. Use a dry wax on random sections of hair for perfectly piecey strands.
Root clash is another hair look trending out of lockdown (probably because we’ve been stuck in the house watching cool girl Billie Eilish videos for a year). Root clash, also known as root smudge is a technique used by colorists to refresh your roots. A root clash can be done by fading a color from your roots into your existing strands or, using two contrasting colors for your roots and your lengths. To get the full effect of a root clash, the bolder the better (ahem, Billie Eilish). To maintain this trend, swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for color-friendly versions and load up on conditioning hair treatments.
Long hair is a hot trend for 2021 quite possibly by accident. People went without trims or cuts for almost a year in lockdown. So they focused on stronger, healthier looking hair. People are coming out of lockdown with ultra long, super healthy strands and we are here for it. To maintain your down-to-there-hair, load up on the hair shine products and use a nourishing leave-in hair milk regularly.
Maybe the most iconic of all the 70s hairstyles, the shag continues to trend in 2021. And it’s the perfect tweak to bring a grown out haircut back to life. And who isn’t coming out of quarantine with grown out locks? The shag is adaptable and works on most hair types, textures and lengths. And it’s low maintenance (remember we’re bringing this out of lockdown with us), it looks as good air-dried, as it does blown out with a hair dryer. Spray a beach hair spray into your hands and run it through your damp layers for a look that’s carelessly cool and trending.
If there’s a hair accessory that has come out of lockdown as a new staple, it's the headscarf. Perfect for hiding grown out roots on Zoom calls, headscarves are a fun way to cover bad hair days and protect your strands in the outside world too. They’re your absolute must have hair accessory for 2021. To wear a headscarf, you’ll need a square silk scarf. Fold it in half and lay over the top of your head. Tie it under your hair at the base of the neck, and you’re rocking a hot trend!
If you’re coming out of quarantine ready to chop it all off, but not quite ready for a pixie, the blunt bob is another hot hair trend for 2021. It can hit at the jaw or mid-neck depending on the texture and density of your hair. make sure there is a heavy weight line around the perimeter of the cut. Ask your hairstylist to keep the ends blunt with just a bit of softness by chipping into the ends. Use a volumizing powder for a lift at the roots.
A no-fuss air dry cut will be the top hair trend for 2021. This type of haircut uses invisible layers in varying lengths, to enhance your natural texture as it dries, without tools or heat. Air dried cuts bring out the best hair on everyone, and works with every individual texture. Let your hair air-dry almost fully. When it’s just a little bit damp, spritz your strands with a texturizing spray and throw it in a messy braid or a bun. When you take it down, you'll have perfectly air dried waves by hardly doing a thing.
Most of us have been in lockdown since last year, and the changes we made to our daily routines will influence our behavior for a while. Take advantage of it and bring your low-maintenance hair care routine into the new year. Now that salons are open again, it’s time to replace those grown out roots and DIY dye jobs with a fresh new look. 2021 is the perfect time for an effortless new ‘do and these hair trends will give you the glow-up you need after lockdown.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor