From vivid colours to the return of effortlessly cool ponytails, summer 2021 is already proving itself to be something of a playground when it comes to experimenting with new hair looks. But with copper colours trending one minute and the return of the mullet the next, it can be incredibly hard to keep up with what's popular in the world of hair. So to make things a little easier, I decided to harness my contact book for some insider info on what the key summer hair trends will be for the summer ahead. My go-to hair expert of choice? Syd Hayes. Having worked with the likes of Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber, the celebrity hairstylist and BaByliss ambassador has his finger well and truly on the pulse of what's on-trend for hair at any given moment—and he was only too happy to share his summer hair predictions with me.
There's undoubtedly one theme that's coming through thick and strong this summer: texture. Whether it's courtesy of a choppy cut or a few minutes with the curling tongs, this summer is all about low-maintenance styles that embrace movement, volume and the natural texture of your strands, and I'm very much hair for it.
Ahead, keep scrolling for the four summer hair trends that you need to know about, according to celebrity hairstylist Syd Hayes.
1. Beach Waves
"The beach wave is a must," says Hayes straight off the cuff. Inspired by the "super-beachy hair" that Hayes created for Hailey Bieber for the Versace Dylan fragrance campaign, this look is all about embracing that California-girl approach to hair. And the fastest way to achieve it if you don't happen to have access to a pro hairstylist like Mrs. Bieber does? With a hair waver.
"If your hair is super straight and you're looking for some beach waves, then get yourself a BaByliss Deep Waves Styler (£50)," recommends Hayes. He used it on Bieber during the aforementioned ad campaign, and his top tip for natural waves is to make sure you don't use the tool too close to the roots of your hair. "Start the wave around the top of your cheekbones, and finish the look with a hair accessory like a slide or a simple grip."
Beach waves are one of Bieber's trademark hair looks.
Make like Jeannine Roxas, and add some mini plaits to your beach waves for a fun '90s take on the trend.
If your hair has natural texture already, then scrunch a little salt spray through the lengths to enhance your waves in a just-stepped-off-the-beach way.
2. The Wolf Cut
Emerging as one of the breakout hairstyles of 2021, the wolf cut is already dominating social media as the cool cut of the summer. "The wolf cut is really having a moment," agrees Hayes. "It's a mix between the shag and the mullet, and I really love this." The key to the style? "The length is kept throughout the back with choppy, sliced-out layers," explains Hayes. Expect to see every cool girl you know stepping out with this cut before August arrives.
Since shedding her two-tone number, Billie Eilish has been embracing many a hair trend, and her wispy wolf cut is up there with the best of them.
Last year, she was modelling the mullet, and this year Debby Ryan is embracing the wolf cut—and it looks so good.
Doja Cat's bright-blonde colour, micro fringe and choppy cut are all so on-trend for this summer.
I love the way that María Bernad plays with textures and lengths. This layered wolf style with full fringe is incredibly cool.
This is Hayes's summer styling product of choice. "Use it to blast some texture into your hair," he recommends.
Warm a small amount of this between your fingers, and then massage into roots to add texture while absorbing excess oils.
Spritz this through towel-dried hair to condition dry ends and keep flyaways at bay.
3. '70s Bangs
This is the year of the fringe, and for summer specifically, it's all about embracing a full one. Hayes loves the '70s-style split fringe (aka curtain bangs) inspired by his hair icon, Stevie Nicks. "Combining '70s bangs at the front with one long length of hair everywhere else is super chic," Hayes explains. "It provides a confident change to long hair without having to chop it all off."
I'm all kinds of obsessed with Jennifer Lopez's blown-out, throwback style. The flicked-out fringe looks so chic.
Tie your hair back into a ponytail—the ultimate summer hairstyle—and show off that sweeping fringe like Symphani Soto did here.
There's something so wonderfully French about this split-fringe trend.
Keeping the length long and the fringe sweeping really channels those Stevie Nicks vibes that Hayes adores.
Add shine and definition to your hair with this oil-infused hair cream.
Described as a ring light for your hair, this rejuvenates dry ends or adds an all-over glossy finish.
4. The Modern Shag
Continuing on with the '70s theme, the shag is probably the most popular hairstyle of 2021 so far, and our love of this low-maintenance style shows no signs of slowing down. "Effortless and free-spirited, we are all loving the modern take on the shag," says Hayes. "This haircut has choppy layers and razored edges, and everyone is going to be asking for it in salons this summer."
I love how dramatic the layers are at the front of Caitlin Miyako Taylor's choppy cut. They'll look just as chic as they grow out.
Jazmine Rogers's choppy layers, piecey fringe and tapered ends are a modern take on the shag hairstyle, and it works brilliantly with her natural curls.
The shag hairstyle lends itself to textured strands, and Zendaya's curly take on this layered look is seriously glam.
Embrace the shag spirit with a shorter haircut like Alyssa Coscarelli's layered pixie crop.
This beauty editor–adored product provides lift and bounce exactly where you want it.
This innovative lotion provides all of the texture with none of the shine.