What haircuts will you be asking for in 2021? After an apocalyptic 2020 — from COVID-19 and political unrest to record unemployment and unprecedented natural disasters — we’re all hoping that 2021 offers a much-needed respite from the chaos. And after spending countless months stressing out over it all in quarantine, 2021 promises some interesting new beauty looks, too — some better than others. “It will be very interesting to see how haircut trends evolve in 2021,” Briana Cisneros, North America ambassador for Wella Professionals, told The List. “In 2020 there has been an undeniable amount of experimentation and at-home haircuts. The exciting part is that people are breaking out of their comfort zones and making bolder decisions with their hair.”
Whether you’re going for a never-leave-the-house shaggy chic kind of cut, or you’re in serious need of a new do after months and months without your go-to stylist, we caught up with hair pros to talk about the coolest cuts of the new year. We’re talking about classic bobs, adorable pixies, natural curls, and old-school haircuts that are making a comeback — plus a whole lot more. Read on for the trendiest haircuts to look out for in 2021.
This haircut is making a comeback in 2021
Bobs are a classic haircut that have been around for ages. And while we’ve seen various iterations of the bob over the years, the latest bob will be a haircut you’re asking for in 2021. It’s been popular throughout 2020, and stylists don’t see it going anywhere any time soon. But this time, it’s more of a natural look, says Kien Hoang, principal educator of content and training at Oribe. “I think for those straighter hair types, we will see blunt, unstructured bobs at chin-level styled with the hair tucked behind the ear and natural movement in the back,” they told Harper’s Bazaar.
Other industry insiders agree. Ghanima Abdullah, a cosmetologist and consultant at The Right Hairstyles, told The List that she’s excited to see more of the bob — but, this time, a low-manipulation version, courtesy of Prada. “Instead of wearing your hair flat-ironed straight, try a bob on your natural texture,” she said. “Air dry it for just the right amount of frizz, then hold it in place with hair spray [and] use piece-y bangs.”
Layered bobs haircuts will be in style in 2021
Bobs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some are longer and some are shorter, while some are straight and some are curly. They fit virtually every face shape there is, which is largely why they’ve been a staple look through the ages. They’re also one of the most popular haircuts for older women, adding to their universal appeal. And, while we’ve seen a lot of them in 2020, you’ll be asking for bobs in 2021, too.
While bobs are perennially popular in various forms, it’s layered bobs that you’ll be asking for in 2021, says Briana Cisneros, North America ambassador for Wella Professionals. “I definitely see haircuts with blunt lines and geometric shapes that are extremely softened with a ton of texturizing,” she explained to The List. The bonus is that layers add depth and texture to the hair, which can give even fine and thin hair some more volume. And for thicker hair, bobs can feel breezier than long locks, too.
Bold pixie cuts will be all the rage in 2021
Pixies are another classic style that were adorable back then and are still adorable now, so you’ll definitely be asking for this haircut in 2021. As Briana Cisneros, North America ambassador for Wella Professionals told The List, she’s expecting to see a lot of bold style statements like the pixie from her clients. The shorter the better, too. “Believe it or not, the buzz cut is making a huge appearance,” she explained.
Why? It seems that women are evermore open to change in the year 2021, as noted by Cheron Hamner, a stylist in Atlanta. “I’ve been chopping off inches and feet of hair because women are feeling bolder, and 2020 has caused us to think differently about everything in life,” she shared with The List. “Many women are willing to free themselves from old memories that have been tied to their long hair in a quest to live life to it’s fullest potential.”
Southern Living agrees that the pixie is pure gold as well. “When you’re ready to take the ultimate plunge, call this boyish pixie á la Mia Farrow up,” the magazine shared. “It’ll do the job.”
You'll be asking for shaggy haircuts in 2021
Briana Cisneros, North America ambassador for Wella Professionals, is excited about the haircuts you’ll be asking for in 2021. “Overall, the feeling of the trends to come are bold, empowering, and liberating, and I’m all about it,” she told The List. That includes super sexy shaggy haircuts, with lots of loose layers that flow naturally. Cisneros said that a lot of her clients with long hair are even wanting to cut more layers into their length.
Other stylists agree, including Ghanima Abdullah, a cosmetologist and consultant at The Right Hairstyles. “Long layers are back in the form of shaggy waves,” she revealed to The List. “So go on and get your feathers and bangs. If the cut is done well, you won’t have to use a blow dryer in the mornings.”
Southern Living also chimed in about shaggy tresses. “Nothing flatters a head full of curls like a classic shag…the cool girl cut of the bunch,” the magazine shared. Top it off with the fact that long, shaggy curls are the haircut men find most attractive, and you have a winning style.
Shoulder-length haircuts will be all the rage in 2021
If you’ve been trying to grow your hair out for quite some time, this is good news for you: medium-length haircuts are going to be a thing in 2021. You don’t have to worry about that “awkward length” at your shoulders anymore because that length will totally be in style in 2021. “I believe 2021 haircuts will be very edgy, bob and shoulder length cuts,” hair stylist Senada Ceka told The List. “I think they’ll be popular for 2021 considering all the difficulties we faced during this pandemic.” She added that these new styles will feel liberating after the perils of 2020, helping people to feel stronger than ever before. We are here for this!
Ceka added that women will be asking for short- and medium-length cuts since many of them are working from home, and these looks are easier to manage. So whether you go for a shoulder-length cut for the style or the management, rest assured that you’ll be seeing a lot of similar cuts.
Edgier haircuts will disrupt the norm in 2021
The year 2021 is going to be one for the books, as it can only go up from a year like 2020 — and people are ready for it. The dawn of a new time is going to be reflected in hairstyles, too, as stylists are expecting bolder haircuts that symbolize women’s yearning to break free from the craziness and chaos. We’re talking about short haircuts that will stun you, as they’re far from traditional, which is why you’ll be asking for them in 2021.
Eric Fossett, a stylist based out of Detroit, told The List that he expects to see tons of “edgier” designs like pixie cuts, tapers, and fades with fun designs and etchings. Why? Well, with many women working from home these days, they finally have the opportunity to get risky with their looks — from the clothes they wear to the ways that they style their hair. They’re trying out new looks that normally wouldn’t fly in office atmospheres.
The grown-out crop haircut will be big in 2021
Crop haircuts are a bit longer than pixies, and they can be characterized by bangs. Grown-out crops takes this look one step further, as the length tends to brush the face and neck. They’re easier to manage than long hair and short hair because you don’t have to keep up with them like you would with say, long locks or a pixie; that’s one of the reasons you’ll be asking for this haircut in 2021. So, if you’re growing out your pixie or buzz cut, take solace in the fact that grown-out crops are trending in the new year.
And don’t sweat it if you haven’t trimmed your crop in a while; the longer the crop, the better. Plus, you can go much longer without a haircut with the grown-out look. “This might be the most elegant crop cut we’ve seen all year,” proclaimed Southern Living. “Side-swept bangs and flattering layers keep it wearable and long.”
Want to know if you can rock the crop? This trick will tell you if you’ll look good with short hair.
Curtain bangs will be super cute in 2021
Women will be asking for some daring hairstyles in 2021, tired of the same old, same old. One of the new looks that they’re going for is soft and flirty curtain bangs, which can be done with a variety of lengths of hair. “Perhaps our favorite trend that’s been gaining steam, curtain bangs looks super stylish and a little bit retro all at the same time,” Southern Living explained.
Curtain bangs are also a solid option for women who don’t want to have to do much to keep up with their bangs. “It is a great option because it gives some interest around the face without being overly committed to a fringe that requires women to come to the salon for bi-weekly trims,” the magazine added.
Curtain bangs aren’t super high-maintenance because, even when they start to grow out, they can add beautiful layers to frame the face. It’s a win-win situation, no matter how you cut it (pun intended). Want to know if this style is for you? Here are the best bangs for your face shape.
2021 is welcoming women's mullet haircuts
Love or hate it, but the woman’s mullet is back in action — just ask Miley Cyrus about her mullet. Traditionally a men’s look (and a largely controversial one at that), the mullet is a statement. To that end, it’s a haircut you’ll be asking for in 2021, stylists expect.
Why? Simply put: Women are finally ready to experiment with their hair; the new year is a time for radical change, and we are here for it. “What I’ve been noticing since being back in the salon post-quarantine is that women are ready to explore options that they never felt confident to try before,” Atlanta-based stylist Cheron Hamner revealed to The List. “They’ve grown their hair not by choice and have grown tired of seeing themselves in a ponytail or topknot.”
Hamner, who also rocks a mullet, said that the style has a message. “It fits right into the outrage of social injustices and the political climate,” she continued. “When you wear a mullet, everyone notices — especially when you add variations of vibrant colors. You’re going to be seen.”
Wild, wispy bangs are going to be big in 2021
Bangs: you either love ’em or you hate ’em. And while not everyone has the face for bangs, those who do can really rock them.
So if you’re in the latter category, get ready, as you’ll be asking for wispy bangs in 2021 if you’re a curly-haired person. That’s right, instead of being blunt and straight, these flouncy bangs are tousled, layered, and razor cut to frame the face with texture and style. “Curls love a bunch of layering to add to their natural bounce, and wispy bangs refresh absolutely any haircut or length,” Southern Living shared.
Because these fun bangs are meant to look a little wind-blown, they don’t require as much maintenance, either. That means you don’t have to spend your day worrying about how they’re falling in your face! And while they won’t work with every kind of hair texture or facial structure, they do work with any kind of haircut.
The bigger the better for afros in 2021
When it comes to afros, the bigger it is, the better in 2021. And the good news is that they’re fairly low-maintenance, too. So instead of straightening your hair or wearing extensions, you’ll be asking for this haircut in 2021, and we’re here for it. That means you can also say goodbye to all the products and devices; let your hair dry on its own however it will — frizz and all. “Afros are looking great, complete with frizzy halos,” Ghanima Abdullah, a cosmetologist and consultant at The Right Hairstyles, told The List. “This means you won’t be blowing your hair out to achieve the look after it’s cut into that perfectly round shape. Just diffuse-dry the roots for volume and allow the rest to air dry.”
Natural looks like afros are trending because people want ease, Abdullah said. “We’re going to be seeing more naturally-styled hair that’s ditching heat and chemicals,” she explained.
Side-swept bangs are coming back in 2021
Who remembers side-swept bangs? You know, from the early 2000s. It’s like everyone had them at one point or another, and for better or worse, they’re making a comeback in 2021. They’re looking a little different this time around, though; they’re longer and wispier, unlike those awkward short bangs that women used to force to the side of their foreheads.
That’s why you’ll be asking for this haircut in 2021. “You get a second chance to do side-swept bangs — correctly this time ’round,” Southern Living shared. Just don’t cut them yourself.
Side bangs can be either a super sexy look with a fancier up-do, or they can be cute and casual for those Netflix and chill nights, too. You can style them with your hair up or down, and you can play around with curls and waves to make the bangs seem more defined.
You'll be asking for natural, lived-in haircuts in 2021
Women are wearing their hair more naturally than ever before, according to Vogue, which covered Prada’s spring 2021 fashion show. The designer’s stylists let many of the model’s manes dry naturally to let their natural textures shine through.
It may be because 2020 taught us all that our health and happiness are the most important things — and the way your hair falls in your face, like material things, doesn’t really matter in the long run. That’s why people are owning their natural beauty, as they’ve spent a lot of time doing some serious soul-searching in 2020.
Stylists agree that you’ll be asking for natural, lived-in haircuts in 2021, too. “The reasoning behind women wanting more low-maintenance styles, I think, is largely driven by the times,” Eric Fossett, a stylist based out of Detroit, told The List. “That’s due to uncertainty, or because now, with more people working from home, they are able to explore looks that might have once been deemed unprofessional.” We’re starting to sense a theme here.
Lob haircuts will make statements in 2020
Lobs — also known as long bobs — are making a comeback in 2021, though lob haircuts were also big in 2020. Specifically, lobs that hit just below the neck are what you’ll be asking for in 2021. “A lob that hits right at your collarbone is the most flattering length,” Southern Living proclaimed. “Full stop. That’s all we need to say on the matter.” So, if you’ve been growing your hair out in 2020, rest assured that 2021 is your year.
Additionally, the mid-length lob is pretty easy to keep up with since you don’t need to tame long hair or keep trimming short hair, says Charlie Martin, creative director and owner of Salon One Six One. “With the right stylist, growing out your hair doesn’t need to be a dreadful experience,” he revealed to Glamour. “Women are growing out their short hair and are into collarbone-length lobs. This cut works great with softened layers throughout the crown, not to compromise fullness around the perimeter or length.”
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