With summer here at last, and COVID-19 restrictions set to slowly ease in some parts of the world, now is a great time to think about updating your look. The first place to start? Those lockdown locks.
Have you always wanted to try a fringe but never quite felt bold enough to do it? Well, now is the perfect moment—Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner certainly thinks so with her blunt bangs. If you’re looking for something a little more dramatic, consider the mullet, as seen on model Ella Emhoff, or something even shorter such as the pixie cut, recently debuted by Rihanna.
And then you need to think about color. Will it be chunky highlights, as Evanie Frausto recently created for Bella Hadid? Or a full head of warm, blonde locks like Billie Eilish revealed on the cover of British Vogue? The world is your oyster—but consider a bit of guidance from the experts. Here, Vogue asks a set of renowned stylists to predict the best hair trends, and their biggest inspirations for summer 2021.
Sam McKnight is a celebrated British hairstylist and the mastermind behind Princess Diana’s slick short haircut in the 1990s. With a career spanning more than five decades, McKnight has worked on countless catwalk shows, editorials, and campaigns for clients including Fendi, Chanel, Balmain, and Tom Ford.
“I would say a 1970s fresh-faced [British actor] Charlotte Rampling. Sun-kissed glossy movement, but with a youthful fullness. We’ll see grown-out bobs with a nod to the 1990s, but with a modern finish. People will go for soft layers framing the face, with feathery fringes that can be swept to either side or into a middle parting for barely-there texture.
“[We’ll also see] textures that are fuller, but with softer ends. Hair that feels like it’s been left to dry naturally and has those bends from tucking behind the ear. For the brave, there might even be a full-on Halstonette glossy volume set.”
Legendary hairstylist Guido Palau launched his career in the 1990s with editorials for fashion bible The Face, the iconic video for George Michael's Freedom! ’90, and a series of campaigns for Calvin Klein starring Kate Moss. Today, Palau continues to inspire generations with his work for some of the most important names in fashion, from Prada to Valentino.
“Gone are the days of people doing summer and winter hair. Nowadays, people want to express their best self, whether that's having bright-pink hair, or highlights, or wearing your natural textured hair. With all that we've been through in the past 18 months, there's been an emphasis on trying to find out where we're most comfortable in ourselves.
“Some people might be more willing to take risks now because they realize, ‘What the hell? It’s just hair,’ —they might be more experimental. It’s not inclusive to suggest trends because one style might appeal to a certain person but not another. If I were to say a trend, it would be to find your true self, what makes you feel most comfortable. Also, healthy, clean hair, using good scalp scrubs and treatments, products that give great shine, because those things make you feel good.”
Evanie Frausto is one of fashion’s rising stars and Bella Hadid’s go-to hairstylist. The American-Mexican hair pro has been carving out a name for himself with his surreal “bubblegum” aesthetic and fantastical wigs of towering proportions, like the ones he recently created for Lil Nas X.
“I'd like to see people returning to statement haircuts—we've just gone through a year-long pandemic, so most people weren't able to get their hair cut or trimmed. Go for the bangs, the chin-length bob, the mullet! Get the cut you've always wanted, but were afraid to. Let's return to haircuts as a form of personal expression.
“At the moment, I like anything with warmer tones, things that look sun-kissed and have redness to them. It can work for all types of skin tone—you just have to find the right shade for you. In terms of color placement, I love seeing the comeback of the 1990s chunky highlight or a peekaboo patch of color.
“People should play around with a variety of colors and styles, whether it be a super-snatched high pony, a zig-zag part, or even a bouffant. It would be nice to see more diversity—people doing things that are personal to them and defying the norms.”
Leading hairstylist Gary Gill has worked with everyone from Balenciaga and Vetements to Loewe and Versace. Inspired by music and youth culture, he is celebrated for his cutting-edge aesthetic. Contributing beauty editor for Dazed & Confused, Gill is also the art director of salon and mentoring platform Emotive Hair.
“For boys, all-over crops, crew cut or military flat tops, bleached to a creamy blonde with a rawness and slight regrowth. For girls, short at the sides and back, with a long, floppy top or medium-length top giving height and texture, again with a creamy bleach and regrowth or chunky highlights, especially at the front. Also: short and low maintenance cuts with sun-bleached colors for a fun, carefree summer feel.”
Shiori Takahashi is a London-based hairstylist and contributing editor for Dazed Beauty. Inspired by subcultural trends, her playful style and boundary-pushing aesthetic has seen her work featured everywhere from British and American Vogue to i-D magazine, as well as campaigns for Byredo, Jil Sander and Vivienne Westwood.
“I’m into graphic hairstyles right now. The ‘princess cut’ is so gorgeous and I’m always inspired by old-school Vidal Sassoon cuts. I’m also loving how tight cornrows with wicked patterns can be seen all over the magazines.
“For summer, I feel a natural look will be the way to go as we slowly edge out of lockdown, but once we’re in a post-pandemic world, all bets are off—time to go crazy! I’m considering shaving off my long hair—a new take on natural.”
Syd Hayes is the reason model Lila Grace Moss nearly cut off all her hair, having been inspired by a peroxide-blonde buzz cut wig he fashioned for her on a recent shoot. Regularly inspired by youth culture, Hayes—who serves as a brand ambassador for BaByliss Pro—has worked with some of the industry’s leading photographers, including Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, but is just as excited working with fashion’s new generation.
“For me, this summer has to be about the actual cut—the freshness of a short, choppy, modern-day shag with a heavy fringe screams uber chic. The power of a good cut changes the way we feel; it gives empowerment and freedom, something we’re all ready for.
“Chunky highlights are making a bold entry. Pair them with a sleek, mid-length bob, cut with a blunt end using a BaByliss Pro Cordless Clipper and finish with some Maria Nila True Soft Argan Oil, and you’re on to a winning new look for summer.
“Shag layers are also back—think the super-cool models Mica Argañaraz or Freja Beha Erichsen. Cut with a razor to keep the ends light. So cool, so effortless. And put some hair oil through your locks to protect those ends from the sun!”
Studying his craft in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2011, Brussels-born hairstylist Louis Ghewy moved to London to pursue a career in hairstyling. Since then, Ghewy’s multilayered approach has seen him collaborate with countless brands, including Raf Simons, Versace and Fenty Beauty. He recently styled Romeo Beckham’s peroxide-blond locks for the cover of L’Uomo Vogue.
“I see more individuality than ever—I'm seeing so many fun colors and different kinds of Afro styles. I also feel hair grips, in all shapes and sizes, are making a comeback. For the Coperni SS21 show, we looked at girls with sexy hair textures—and what is sexier than a girl who's been dancing and sweating all night?"
Whether it’s his recent work for Miu Miu or fashion’s latest obsession Blumarine, Anthony Turner is one of the most celebrated names working today. A contributing beauty editor for Dazed & Confused, Turner continues to push boundaries with his bold and daring aesthetic.
“I’m loving the early 2000s revival. It’s so much fun! I love this whole Euphoria generation style that fuses the 2000s with a sort of manga vibe—it’s refreshing and interesting. For that style, texture is polished and well groomed, bouncy curls on the ends of the hair—think Mean Girls. Color can be anything as long as it's just two stripes at the front of your hair and clashes with your own hair color.”
Inspired by her teenage years spent poring over Harajuku street-style magazine, FRUiTS, Japanese hairstylist Kiyoko Odo creates whimsical pieces that border on the surreal. Based in London, Odo continues to work with some of the most important names in fashion from Junya Watanabe to Balenciaga.
“At the moment, I’m into the 1960s bowl cut—a perfect bob and some graphic Vidal Sassoon styles. On the other hand, I still love the heavily layered style of the 1970s as well. In terms of color, I feel vivid shades are coming in.”
American hairstylist Jimmy Paul is an industry legend. Following his hairstylist mother into fashion, Paul has created some of the most iconic looks in history, working with everyone from Alexander McQueen to Dior. He is the man responsible for Gigi Hadid’s Rapunzel-like locks on the cover of American Vogue’s March issue.
“I love the haircuts I’ve been seeing: all sorts of bobs, bangs and no bangs. Choppy and precise ones. It’s a great time to add color—something flirty. It’s also a great time to go lighter and add streaks. Something bold, almost homemade. And I just saw some braided hair that changes color when you go outside!”
The grandson and son of hairdressers, Kei Terada’s career in hairstyling was practically preordained. Moving from Japan to London in 1998, Terada has built up a name for himself as an industry favorite whose clients include Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Gucci.
“In lockdown, so many people were cutting their own hair, creating really interesting shapes. A lot of people have cut themselves short fringes so they can see when they are wearing masks, so I think we will be seeing a lot of natural styles, which is something I've been taking a lot of inspiration from.
“I'm into natural textures at the moment, nothing that looks too perfect, something more real. I’m also into layers at the top, almost like a mullet, so that it’s not so flat — it’s more messy.”
California-born and raised, James Pecis is a leading hairstylist and ORIBE global ambassador who has coiffed hair for everyone from Kendall Jenner to Kaia Gerber—he even once shaved Alexander McQueen’s head.
“I am into hair that has perfectly lightened ends from the sun and sea. A deep level at the roots and much lighter mids to ends. If you don't have the time to lay by the pool or swim in the sea, you can get the new ORIBE Bright Blond Sun Lightening Mist to give your hair a boost.”
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Originally Appeared on Vogue