Fall 2021 Haircut Trends You're About to See Everywhere
From the wolf haircut to curtain bangs, these are the season's top styles for strands, according to hairstylists.
With fall right around the corner, it's just about time to trade pineapples for pumpkins and bikinis for cozy knits. Maybe you're also itching to switch things up with your hair and craving that fresh-start feeling, which a new cut can provide. Sound familiar? Then you've probably also spent ample time scrolling through social media sourcing inspiration for your next 'do — and with good reason. See, today's major hair trends are all taking shape on TikTok, according to Ryan Richman, celebrity hairstylist and spokesperson for the brand Unite Hair. (Related: These Hair Growth Treatments Are All Over TikTok — Are They Worth Trying?)
But even if you haven't already scoured Gen Z's favorite social media app, you can still get an idea of the trending looks taking shape on the 'Tok and determine the best of-the-moment 'do for you. Ahead, hairstylists share some of the top haircuts seemingly everyone will be sporting this season and how to style them once you leave the salon.
The late '90s and early '00s are back in a big way, with low-rise jeans, platform shoes, and tube tops all making a return. Another turn-of-the-millennium style also set to be on-trend this fall? Feathered layers, according to Richman, who adds that they work well for all hair types and, when long, tend to air-dry nicely. ICYDK, feathering is a cutting technique used by pros to create soft ends, which can take the weight out of thick hair and lend to bouncy blowouts. To achieve such smooth, glamorous waves, Richman suggests applying mousse to your strands, flipping your hair upside down, and rough drying. Then, grab a medium-to-large round brush and continue to blow-dry your hair until you've scored Addison Rae-level locks.
The bob usually makes its way onto yearly hair trend lists in one form or another. This season, the "'90s style, asymmetrical, long-in-the-front bob" in particular is having a moment, says Ashanti Lation, celebrity hairstylist and CEO of VIP Luxury Hair Care. Since there are numerous iterations of the bob, your best bet is to bring a reference photo (such as the one of Kim K. above) to your stylist to help explain which shoulder-length cut you're hoping to achieve, recommends Lation. But she also encourages you to be open to what your stylist thinks would make sense for your hair texture, density, and current length. (Related: Shoppers Say This $6 Hair Cream Seals Split Ends Between Haircuts)
Although it's been a hit for quite some time now, the '70s-inspired shag trend is still going strong, says Richman. The style, which consists of choppy layers, "can add soft volume and texture to your style while always looking cool and edgy," he says. This look lends to embracing your natural texture, but achieving that perfectly undone look may take some effort if your hair is on the straighter side. After getting the cut, Richman suggests blow-drying hair (no need for a brush), then using multiple curling irons with barrels of different sizes, curling hair in alternating directions to add variation throughout, then finishing with a texturizing spray. (Related: The Best Texture Sprays That Won't Leave Hair Sticky or Crunchy)
Another retro (and highly polarizing) look that's making a comeback? The mullet. This "business in the front, party in the back" style takes the shag a step further since its short layers extend all the way around the head. If you're skeptical, rest assured that the version of the mullet that's trending is "not the '80s version you might have seen in a country music video," according to Lation. Instead, a softer iteration that's more of a cross between a shag and a mullet — hairstylists are referring to the look as the "wolf hair cut" or the "shullet" on social media — is in favor. (Related: Shoppers Swear This $13 Hair Mask Is the Only Thing That Saves Their Dry, Damaged Hair)
Along with blunt bangs, curtain bangs — bangs that are parted down the center — are having a moment, says Richman. "Bangs are a great way to change up your style a bit without getting a full-on haircut," he says. "Curtain bangs have been very popular on TikTok because they are softer, longer, and grow out easily." In other words, they can be a good option if you're not ready to commit to shorter bangs. To style curtain bangs, Richman suggests applying a volumizing spray such as Unite Hair's BOOSTA Volume Spray (Buy It, $29, dermstore.com) onto towel-dried hair, then blow-drying, lifting the bangs with a medium round brush as you go to create body.