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."
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.
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."
A blow-dry brush is one of the fastest ways to create that retro, flicked-out fringe, and this one from Amika is brilliant.
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."