I’m calling it: 2021 is all about hair. Sure, glowy skin and colorful makeup will have their moment in the spotlight, but now that hair salons are back open and we’ve been reunited with our hairdressers, the chance to experiment with a new hairstyle is just too alluring to resist. And trust me when I say that there are already so many trending hairstyles out there with major strand appeal.
From low-maintenance layers to ’90s-inspired highlights, this summer’s buzziest hair looks truly cater to all styles and comfort zones. Want to keep things classic with a chin-length bob? Turns out basically all of the fashion set is going for the chop right now. Looking for something a little more head-turning? You’re in luck—mullets are the most-searched hairstyle of the past year, and even celebs are embracing this throwback style.
Emerging from TikTok, as all good 2021 beauty trends do, the wolf cut is undoubtedly the biggest trending hairstyle of the summer. With over 380 million views of the “wolf cut” tag on the app right now, Gen Z is going wild for this choppy cut thanks to its low-maintenance feel. An amalgamation of two of summer’s other trending cuts—the mullet and the shag—the wolf cut has short layers at the front, is tapered at the back, and is all about the volume up top. Be warned, though: Despite its laissez-faire appearance, this artfully disheveled haircut does require some styling. So if your hair is naturally flat, then have your texturizing sprays at the ready.
From fashion to beauty, ’90s looks are going to be big news this summer, and this playful take on color looks set to be one of the most popular hairstyles of the season. Effectively a chunky highlight, money-piece hair involves applying a lighter color at the front of your hair to really frame your face. And it can be as bold or as subtle as you like. Contrast dark hair with bleach-blonde highlights like Dua Lipa’s, or go for honey-toned hints for a subtler sun-kissed look.
As someone who is pretty useless at doing my own hair, I’m delighted that this trending hairstyle is totally foolproof. The bubble braid is basically a ponytail or pigtails with additional hairbands evenly spaced out down the length to create a bubble effect. It’s super cute and takes seconds to do, and I’ve seen so many fashion people stepping out in this style already this summer.
The fringe is back in all forms for 2021, but it’s this soft, sweeping, split fringe that will dominate this summer. Think less Nick Carter in the ’90s and more effortless French girl for this feathery finish that looks great with basically any hairstyle and texture. If you’re not sure about the blunt bangs or sharp fringes that are also having a moment right now, then the curtain fringe is the perfect foray into the trend.
While there is nothing revolutionary about layered hair, this subtle style is already everywhere right now. With very little upkeep required, long layers are the easiest look to opt for if you don’t want to be traipsing back to your hairdresser every six weeks for a maintenance cut. Plus, it’s a great option for thin hair, as layers help to add movement and texture to naturally flat styles.
Claw clips started creeping back into favor last year, and there is no sign of them falling back into obscurity any time soon. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that they are the trending hair accessory of 2021. They’re easy to use and super versatile—get a large one to twist up long hair or a smaller size for a cute half-up, half-down ‘do. I hadn’t worn one since childhood until a couple of months back, and now I’m totally obsessed and quickly amassing a collection in basically every color and pattern.