Working with a brilliant team of fashion editors who have their fingers on the pulse means that, luckily for me, I've had the low-down on the spring/summer fashion trends for 2021 for quite a while now. The world of beauty, however, can be a little trickier to predict. We've already delved into the brilliant beauty products that shaped 2020, but the growing popularity of platforms like TikTok means that trending beauty often changes overnight. Combine that with the uncertainty around the opening and closing of beauty salons, and it's becoming increasingly tricky to forecast which beauty treatments and trends look set to take off in 2021.
However, after enjoying just one haircut during the whole of 2020, I was feeling frankly desperate for a little hairstyle inspiration, so I decided it was time to ask some of my favourite hair experts to take a peek into their crystal balls. And they didn't disappoint.
Turns out, this spring/summer, we're going to be looking to the past for almost all of our hair inspiration. From a classic '70s cut to a '90s-inspired approach to colour, this year we'll be embracing throwback hairstyles along with our natural textures and a more laid-back attitude towards accessorising.
Keep scrolling for the eight spring/summer hair trends that will be everywhere this year and to shop the products that you need to re-create them at home.
1. Supersize Fringes
Fringe wearers, rejoice—big bangs are back. Great news if, like me, your fringe has been seriously neglected over the last year. "Post-lockdown, overgrown fringe? No problem—you’re bang on trend for spring/summer," says Dominic Roach, creative director at Butchers Salon. In fact, the bigger the better when it comes to fringes for the first half of 2021. Both "heavy, blunt, in-your-eyes" fringes and choppier bangs with "chic, '60s French vibes" look set to be popular, with Roach coining the trend the "XXL fringe."
"Blow-dry the fringe directionally across the forehead with a round brush to create your shape," advises Roach.
Add some bounce to your bangs by prepping hair with a volumising product. Roach uses this one "for weightless volume and hold."
2. The Shag
Yes, it might scream Charlie's Angels, but this classic '70s style looks set for a rerun in spring/summer 2021 thanks to the low-maintenance nature of the cut. "Internal layering for bigger movement and volume,” explains Roach. The shag is a great option if you're not sure when you'll be able to make it to the salon next. How do you really embrace this style for the season ahead? "Don’t forget to embrace the curly fringe," says Roach.
"Your diffuser is your go-to for texture optimisation," advises Roach. "For more curl definition, twist [your hair] before drying."
3. Jumbo Braids
As well as big fringes, braids will be going supersize for spring/summer 2021. "Extra-long jumbo braids will be hot," says legendary hairdresser Charlotte Mensah, who has thrice been crowned Afro Hairdresser of the Year. "Thick, soft plaits will have all eyes on you," Mensah explains. "Not only do they take less time to put in and take out, but they are also the perfect canvas for showing off fashion accessories like rings, beads, and jewels."
Mensah recommends her nutrient-rich styling product when re-creating jumbo braids or other curly styles at home. "It coats every last curl and coil with intense moisture to instantly eliminate frizz and dryness," Mensah explains. "Your curls will look instantly defined and feel super soft, especially during the warm spring and summer months."
"A little goes a long way," Mensah warns when recommending her cult hair oil. "Manketti Hair Oil is unbeatable when it comes to oils that hydrate the hair. It's loaded with vitamin E and is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which act as a barrier to help protect moisture from escaping from the hair for longer."
4. Copper Tones
Although it might feel a little high-maintenance right now, spring/summer 2021 will still provide a chance to experiment with colour. The hue of the season? Copper. Our penchant for the shade started last year thanks to all of that 2020 box set bingeing. "Two of the most talked-about shows last year, The Queen’s Gambit and The Undoing, featured lead women with soft copper hair," explains Tracy Hayes, global colour and brand ambassador for Fudge Professional. "This tone will remain a huge influence in 2021."
If you're looking to experiment with colour, then Hayes recommends this as the "perfect go-to to keep the pastels or brights looking fresh in-between salon visits."
To make a more subtle switch to your hair colour, these gloss treatments from Josh Wood Colour revive the natural hues in your hair with a copper tint while deeply conditioning.
5. Basic Hair Accessories
Fuss-free hairstyling will be top of everyone’s minds for spring/summer 2021, especially as we continue to spend time at home. "Twenty-twenty is a year we won’t forget quickly, but I think one thing people really tried to do was find easier ways of managing their hair," explainss Jonathan Andrew, a Fudge Professional global brand ambassador. "Headbands and scrunchies are here to stay for a while."
And whilst hair accessories have the added benefit of disguising second-day hair, Edmonds notes that they’ll continue to trend in 2021 as a way of experimenting with hair at home. "Hair accessories that take the hair back and jewellery and adornments around the top of the head or the ears all define face shape and hair colour," he explains.
This plush, velvet headband combines a luxurious fabric with a simple silhouette for everyday wear.
Not only do these scrunchies look chic (I have my eye on the leopard-print one in particular), but they're also specially designed to avoid snagging or creasing your hair.
6. '90s Colourblocking
If you thought that TikTok beauty trends were going anywhere in 2020, then you were very much mistaken. "We saw '90s hair emerge as a huge trend in 2020, but we’re going to see even more of an increase in this style … thanks to apps like TikTok and celebrities like Bella Hadid," says celebrity hairstylist Calum Tierney. Reminiscent of the chunky highlights that all the popular kids rocked at school at the close of the 20th century, this look makes a seriously cool hair statement for spring/summer.
Tierney is keen to stress that it's best "that you get your dyed by a professional once you can," but meanwhile, these semi-permanent drops from Shrine can be customised to create a subtle wash of colour or a Bella-inspired pop of red.
Prolong the life of your colour between salon visits with this nourishing mask that enriches colour and boosts vibrancy.
7. Flipped Ponytails
Another throwback hairstyle that we’ll see everywhere in spring/summer 2021 is the flipped ponytail—a '90s classic. "From J.Lo and Kim Kardashian to Hailey Baldwin, the neat half-up, half-down flipped ponytail has made a fashionable comeback as we look to create more polished hairstyles," says Tierney.
This look is all about creating a sleek texture. "Working in sections, run your Hur.Iron through the hair to ensure you have smoothed out all areas," says Tierney. "As you near to the ends of your hair—or about three-quarters of the way down the hair shaft—start to angle and move your [straighteners] in a 90° motion away from your head."
"To finish, mist a little Davines Salt Spray into the hair and run your fingers through to style," advises Tierney.
8. Lived-In Texture
Roach likens this "return to a more lived-in, fuss-free approach to hair" to the '90s grunge era. Spring/summer 2021 is going to mark a return to more effortless, unstructured, and natural movement.” Lazy girls, rejoice. It’s all about air-drying to really show off the natural texture of your strands. Mensah agrees. "With so many of us exploring and learning about our natural hair during lockdown, no wonder a lot more women will want to let their unique textures thrive in 2021."
Roach recommends applying this to wet hair and letting "the elements do the rest."
If you're not ready to give up styling your hair completely, then Roach recommends applying your product and then "twisting your hair into four buns and allowing it to air-dry." Once it's dry, "undo and blast with cold air for that 'just out of bed' look," he adds.