It's official: Hair salons are back open for business across the UK and hairdressers are busier than ever. Yes, after many months of neglect (with the occasional at-home haircut or colour thrown in for good measure), many of us are desperate to get back into the hair salon to let the professionals take care of our strands. But with my own hair appointment booked in for next week, I have to admit that I"m suddenly feeling a little overwhelmed.
There's a lot of pressure in a return-to-salon haircut: should I go for a full-on transformation and get my hair chopped into shorter bob or embrace my current mid-length hairstyle by adding some fresh layers? There are so many hair possibilities to choose from and I know that friends and family are feeling equally confused.
So who better to turn to than the experts themselves for some guidance? While the start of 2021 saw many hair stylists predicting that copper colours, tapered cuts and maxi fringes would be some of the biggest hair trends of the year, what hairstyles are people actually asking for once they're in the salon chair?
Ahead, keep scrolling for nine of the most popular hairstyles in salons right now. From '70s-inspired layers to pixie crops, there's so much to get inspired by.
#1: The Shag
"I've had a lot of guests showing me pictures of shag haircuts," says Roman Sys, Stylist at Trevor Sorbie Bristol for L'Oréal Professionnel. "They are all different lengths but definitely the loose, free-looking styles have been very popular. I definitely think with the trend of more shag haircuts, a 'less is more' approach works well: Letting your hair air dry to maintain some natural movement then scrunching in some light but hydrating mousse."
If your hair is naturally curly then smooth this curl-defining lotion through damp hair to add shine and bounce. The more texture, the better.
#2: Mid-Length Styles
"As we come out of lockdown, many of us have had no choice but to let our hair grow out and to experience the longer length," explains Dylan Brittain, Schwarzkopf UK ambassador and owner of Rainbow Room International's George Square Salon. "Now that salons are re-open, many clients are looking to keep their length but get rid of any damage and splits ends and opt for a gorgeous, blunt, mid-length style that keeps the length without being too long. Plus, it looks incredibly healthy and on-trend for the season. The great thing about this style is its versatility: it can be styled in so many different ways."
"Alternatively, using a curling wand or hot iron to create S-shaped waves and brush these out for softness to style this mid-length look," explains Brittain.
"We are so excited to be back in salon and have had a variety of requests in our first weeks being back open," says Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L'Oréal Professionnel. "A lot of people have been opting for a shorter look to really get rid of some weight (both physically and metaphorically!) and we've seen bobs of all varieties leaving the salon: from the Shoreditch Shag, a shaggy textured look, to the Brick Lane Bob, a clean, blunt and healthy-looking finish."
My hair always looks quite dull but this spray even manages to add shine and gloss to my strands.
#4: Longer Lengths
"I'm actually seeing a resurgence of longer hair," says George Northwood, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Undone. "A lot of my long-haired clients have asked me for just a trim, as they've never managed to grow it that long before and they've realised it actually looks great. Lockdown has given people extra time to grow their hair beyond what they thought was possible."
Keep longer-length strands looking healthy and knot-free with a decent hairbrush like this one from Balmain.
#5: Brighter Colours
"When it comes to colour, there are different directions that people are going with," explains AJ Lordet, colourist at Frederic Fekkai Salon, New York. "One type of client is coming and looking for something really different. They're completely changing up what they're doing and they're going lighter, brighter, with maybe even a pop of fashion tones like a pink or blue or whatever is their favourite."
If you're not sure about permanent colour, then this soft pink will last just a few washes in your hair so you can try the trend first.
#6: Blonder Balayage
"Balayage is being taken blonder with the requests of a baby blonde tone," says Samantha Cusick, Redken advocate and owner of Samantha Cusick London. "Clients are still keen to keep more of their natural colour at the root."
Redken have recently had a global makeover and their new prescriptive packaging means it's so easy to find the product that's best for your hair. "I'd recommend using the Redken Blondage Anti-Brass Mask to keep the blonde tones looking bright," says Cusick.
This affordable shampoo contains violet pigments to tone blonde hair and keep it looking vibrant.
"I feel like opening the salon doors this time has been massively different to when we have reopened following the previous lockdown. My clients seem a lot more positive and less cautious in what they are wanting to do with their hair," says Jack Baxter, Redken advocate and owner of Baxter Salon, Glasgow. "I have been cutting in lots more style and shape around the face, and I have also seen a massive increase in fringes. I don’t think I have ever cut this many fringes in the past in such a short space of time."
Trust me—dry shampoo will be your best friend when you have a fringe. This one absorbs excess oils and will keep it looking fresh.
#8: Choppy Lobs
"Since being back to work most of my guests have been opting for the chop and going for a super choppy, low-maintenance lob," says Vicki Anne Hoskin, Redken advocate and owner of The Grove, Cornwall. "This look is very current and completely effortless and clients are still able to tie back or wear their hair in tousled waves."
Using a hair straightener to create waves keeps the look feeling more relaxed and modern.
#9: Cropped Hairstyles
"Being stuck in lockdown for such a long time, there are many people who want to try something new, fun and a bit different when it comes to their hair," says Dylan Brittain. "Cropped hairstyles and pixie cuts are a great way to do this. This style is also great as we come into the warmer months as it takes excess weight off our hair and can be styled easily with styling products instead of heated styling tools."