FYI: The mullet is back.
It may be the middle of winter right now, but that doesn't mean you can't get ready for the newness that spring brings. From wardrobe changes to fresh makeup looks, the seasonal transition serves as a perfect opportunity to try a more daring style on for size. For those who are looking to ditch their outgrown lengths or roots, Bustle tapped experts for intel on the spring 2021 hair trends to see which cuts and colors are worth considering this year.
To get details on the season's hottest hair looks, Bustle spoke with pros like Tresemmé global stylist Justine Marjan, Nine Zero One hairstylist Sarah Klein, Amika pro educators Amanda Elaine Killen and Ali Anger, and more for their predictions. The result? Expect to see fresh cuts inspired by celebrities (here's looking at you, Miley Cyrus), some new color trends taken from popular Netflix series (Queen's Gambit, anyone?), the perennially cool bang, plus some returning styles from the past few seasons.
Whether you're looking to make a quick, subtle change or are planning a salon appointment for a full-on transformation, these are the 19 spring 2021 hair trends that are sure to be everywhere once the seasons change. Get ready to add to your Pinterest board.
Low Maintenance Styles
Low maintenance hair colors and cuts were big in 2020 (for obvious reasons), and these are something that Klein sees remaining as a trend in 2021. "Because of people still working from home in 2021, haircuts that look good air-dried will continue to be popular along with hair color that is more natural," she tells Bustle. Sticking with colors that resemble your roots allows more time in-between appointments and less maintenance, she explains.
Killen believes a popular TikTok beauty trend will continue to hit in spring 2021. It's the face-framing highlights, which celebrities like Bella Hadid have already been spotted wearing.
Also inspired by the work from home lifestyle, Killen sees that people have become bolder with their hair color choices. "[People] have been experimenting in ways they may not have before and finding individualism in their hair," she tells Bustle. "The bold face frame popularized by social media platforms like TikTok are becoming increasingly embraced by people of all ages for its ability to enhance and draw attention to facial features and create bold movement in the hair."
Hair pro Anger also sees shadow roots as a color trend for the spring, which involves your roots creating a contrast against the rest of your strands. "When it comes to color, think bold contrast with the ability to fade out beautifully," she tells Bustle. One major perk of the look? It's incredibly low maintenance, since exposed roots are purposeful.
Master cosmetologist and Atlanta-based hairstylist Derricka Traylor sees a classic — and relatively low-maintenance — look coming back for the spring season: balayage. She tells Bustle that the highlighting style works on all hair colors, and is easily customizable since it uses varying amounts of blonde or brunette along with various undertones.
Another returning trend (and one that's beloved by celebrities) is sure to be big in the spring: curtain bangs. Klein believes it's indicative of a larger return to '70s-inspired designs in both beauty and fashion. The good thing about the hairstyle is, she explains, that it can be modified to each client depending on how much maintenance they're looking for and how they style it.
Traylor and Frederic Fekkai of Fekkai brands also predict that the fall favorite blunt-cut bob (which Kim Kardashian has recently worn) will return this spring. According to Traylor, the look is "super cute, flirty, and looks great on almost anyone," she tells Bustle. If you're looking to try this style, don't forget to bring photos to your stylist so they can know exactly what length you're seeking.
Amy Abramite, creative director and stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, predicts that shaggy styles will be huge this spring. She describes the look as a "haircut with lived-in bedhead movement and soft feathered ends." It features medium to long layers that are razor cut for a piece-y feeling with length past the shoulders. Her take? The style pairs perfectly with a curtain bang if you're looking for a total '70s throwback vibe.
The French bob will also be a must-try hair trend this spring, says Abramite. She describes the style as having length right above the chin that skims the lips, paired with added fringe. She recommends wearing the style air-dried for more texture. "This is for anyone who wants low-maintenance styling and a structured shape," she says.
Like many of the other hair experts, Abramite leans into low maintenance looks like the single-length cut. "The one length is a haircut with no layers for chic simplicity," she tells Bustle, noting that it works particularly well for fine, straighter textures. "It can be worn as short as the chin or as long as the middle of the back." She suggests wearing the style with a middle part for a sleek finish.
Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, sees sandy blonde as a color trend for spring 2021 — a hue she dubs "sand Tropez." She describes the shade as neither ash nor gold, but a "beautiful blend" of both. "Mixing highlights and mid-lights creates this multi-dimensional shade of warm sandy and cool beige tones that are perfect for someone who wants to keep a beach vibe year-round," she tells Bustle.
Another blonde that'll be trending? Schaudt also predicts more icy, ashy tones will be big. "The color keeps minimal dimension at the base with full saturation of blonde through the ends," she says. "A toner can help achieve this ash blonde, along with frequent use of blue shampoo at home." Just note that using toning products is important so there's minimal damage by overlapping lightener, she says.
As a nod to Anya Taylor Joy's red hair in The Queen's Gambit, Schaudt also sees a bold red as an it-color this spring. "This sleek and sophisticated color will transform old, outdated shades," she tells Bustle. "It’s a true red, meaning it’s deeper than a copper red, but lighter than auburn. In most cases, you’ll achieve this color in one appointment, but you’ll need to keep up on the maintenance with touch ups every four to six weeks to avoid fading." Her tip? Head to the salon if you're trying this trend out, since it can be tricky to do at home.
For those who aren't quite ready to embrace the bold, chunky face-framing highlights of E-girls and '90s trend lovers, you could always try face-framing layers. Marjan says the style is perfect for those with curly hair who want some soft pieces around the face to enhance your natural curl pattern.
"Inner Glow" Highlights
Rex Jimieson, colorist at Maxine Salon, says that "inner glow" hair colors will be popular for 2021. The look is achieved by subtly lightening or darkening your hair by just one or two shades, which enhances your natural color.
Jimieson also sees a more natural highlight as trending this year: "halogen highlights," which he explains is named after halogen bulbs. "This light is flattering to all skin tones as [it] mocks natural light," he says. His tip is to use multiple tones to create the same natural-looking glow your hair gets under these bulbs or in the sun.
Another 2021 hair trend comes from the Victoria Beckham runway. During the autumn/winter 2021 show, models — with the help of GHD — wore styles with heavier textures like chunky, blunt bangs. Of the look, Beckham said in a press release, "It’s a little more relaxed, [and] there’s a sense of ease of wearability — it’s worn-in but still done."
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