Here’s the big question: what will be your first cut when you’re reunited with your hair stylist? As chops go (and they’re a big deal anyway), this one is really momentous. We’ve had months to think about it, we’re limbering up for something fresh, but what are we in the mood for?
“People are coming back from lockdown and they’ve almost been pushed into a position they never wanted with their hair,” muses Luke Hersheson, Kérastase Consultant and CEO of Hershesons salon. “Since they haven’t been able to get to a salon, they’ve got longer hair, or their fringe has grown out, or their colour’s grown out. It’s made lots of people a bit uncomfortable.”
In general the hair pros have noticed two styles pushing through: embracing our new-found length and relaxing into this new style, or rebelling against it. “Some have got past that outgrown point and thought ‘you know what, I’m kind of into this’ which they would never have done before,” says Luke. “Others are in a situation where they want to take back control.”
Either way, there’s this desire to experiment more now than before. “And why not?” asks Luke. “I think we’ll see lots more change and experimentation, so the pressure is on stylists to deliver and really create looks, rather than trims.”
As for which shapes and lengths will be big for spring? We’ve rounded up our pro predictions below. Note: there’s some ultra adventurous options in the mix and some deliciously choppy textures. “I think it’s going to be weirdly therapeutic,” reckons Luke… We can’t argue with that.
Spring 2021 will see a lot more drastic cuts than previous seasons since so many of us are itching for something new. According to Google search data “short hair styles” is the most Googled beauty trend around the world right now… And the UK searches for this term most. Specifically, searches around “short back and sides haircuts” are up 250%.
The key is to ensure you get a shape and style tailored to you. “With the pixie chop it might be that you leave a bit of length at the back because that will suit your jawline better,” explains celeb hair stylists and Redken ambassador, Larry King. “Then on somebody else, you might want to take it slightly shorter. It’s adapting each look and tailoring that haircut to suit that individual face shape.”
“2021 will see lots of ‘big chops’, tapered cuts and pixie cuts,” agrees Sharley Butcher, afro & textured hair educator at London salon Blue Tit. “Especially since the strong movement towards transitioning to natural hair is here to stay.”
You’ll have seen the shag before around here. We wrote about its ascension last year and the style has continued to take off. The short, choppy shape is all about creating and celebrating texture with shorter pieces sliced in. “You can have fringes on this, or longer curtain bangs that sit around the chin. The most important thing is that the inside of the haircut, around the crown, is really layered. It’s quite short which gives you this slightly more bubble shape,” explains Luke.
Rather than dead-straight strands; curls and waves can really help to give this style a beautifully soft appeal. “This is about bringing your natural movement or curls out,” says Luke. “If you wear this style with curly hair, or a wave, you don’t really see that steppy mullet-ness. Incorporating curls gives this softness and makes it more glamorous, but the shape being so extreme makes it much more of a look. Models like Gigi Ringel and Mica Arganaz are a great example, they’ve got this glam shag.”
Lots of layers
Think of layers as the hair equivalent to tailoring. They’re what will ensure your haircut flatters your features beautifully. “You wear your hair everyday, so research a good hair stylist,” advises Larry. “They should work with your face shape to tailor the layers to suit you.” So why should we love ’em? Layers can boost volume and create sexy movement.
If you’ve got one-length hair, you may find it all feels a bit flat and heavy, so trimming in some shorter pieces will create lift, drawing your eye up towards cheekbones and across waves, curls and coils in hair. “It’s about working with the texture that you’ve got,” explains Larry. “If you have curly hair, for instance, creating layers through will enhance the curls. If you’ve got coils, layers will create a really beautiful shape to your hair. So it’s about having layers that will then bring out the best in that haircut.”
When we spoke to LA’s coolest hair stylist, Sal Salcedo at the start of the year, he predicted curtain bangs would continue to be huge, which we’re very much on board with. “These are the easiest bangs that require the lowest maintenance, since they slowly turn into a nice frame that looks good through any stage,” he explained. Plus, “they can be swept to ether side with a bit more hair going off to the sides and highlighting the cheekbones,” Sal told us.
Chris Merrick co-owner of the Crouch Hill Blue Tit Salon agrees. “The style is versatile when it comes to length, since it can be worn short with tapered sides, or as an all-over long style. The simplicity, versatility and freedom with this style means there is no doubt this cut is going to be a big hit,” he says.
Fancy something a little more risqué? The mullet is the biggest badass hair trend of 2021. It’s gained momentum since Miley‘s mullet raised eyebrows last year. Since then, everyone from Irina Shayk to Leigh-Anne Pinnock have taken the style for a spin.
Sal’s favourite way to keep it modern, it is incorporate a pixie chop. “I love pixies with a mullet air – a hybrid of both,” he says. The blend of the two is delicate (thanks to the pretty pixie structure at the front), but also confident and adventurous.
Styling-wise, Jemima, from the Blue Tit Portobello says, “mullets can take a lot of upkeep, but styling it is easy. As a get up and go hair style, sea salt is a great product for everyday styling, it can help show off any texture if it feels a little flat. Or if you have lots of natural texture already and you want it to settle down, creams are the best products to reach for.” Redken’s Dry Shampoo Paste is perfect for giving that second-day messy texture that works so well with mullets.
The bob remains big news, but according to Luke, no one style reigns supreme. “There’s lots of different bobs. I think they’re all great, it’s just about whether you want something a bit more polished, or if you want something a bit grittier. There’s no right or wrong.” One of his favourite styles, though, is the Brit bob.
“The Brit bob is much more chopped up,” says Luke. “They’re just a bit more raw. I love when they’re wet, you can slick them back – a bit like Princess Di, at Pavarotti in the park. You can comb them back and get this really nice baseline with a bit of a flick. It feels really cool and simple.”
But the Frenchie bob is a very chic contender, too. “This has the classic French bob feel,” says Luke. “It’s much shorter, hitting between the jawbone and the cheekbone and it’s paired with a little fringe. It has this French, Parisian, nonchalance.” For some sleek shine, try Kerastase’s Ultime Hair Oil.