beauty

8 of the biggest hair trends that'll dominate 2021.

If you're anything like us, you've emerged out of the sewer that was 2020, entering the new year with scraggly split ends and box dyed colour. You're in need of a fresh look - something to shake off those residual bad vibes and embrace something different.

But what's the cool jam these days? Wispy bangs? Bold colours? Are lobs still trendy? How about the whole mullet thing? ARE THE KIDS STILL TRYING TO MAKE MULLETS HAPPEN?

Watch: Want some inspo? Check out some of our favourite short celebrity hairstyles. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

To bring you up to speed with all the hair trends set to dominate the year ahead, we went straight to the source and asked three experts on what we can expect.

1. Bold, blunt bobs.

"Strong blunt haircuts are coming back and will dominate 2021, in particular pixie cuts and short bobs will make a return," said Mark Thompson, Artistic and Events Manager at L'Oréal Professionnel.

"After the 2020 lockdowns saw many people try their own hand at hairdressing, they’ve realised it’s best to leave it to the professionals."

Hey, you live and you learn, right?

"People are flocking back to the hairdresser and they want a statement look. A blunt cut is bold and suits any face shape. It doesn’t matter if you have short, long, fine, thick or curly hair - there is a blunt cut to suit you."

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2. Loose, beachy perms.

We don't know if this is good news or bad news, but it's happening. Perms are back in - and apparently they're going to be better than ever.

"They say trends have a tendency to come back around and never has a saying been truer than when it comes to perms," said Grow Haircare Expert Tiarne April from Chumba Concept Salon." Perms were all the rage back in the 1970s and '80s and this year they’re back with a vengeance."

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Listen: Speaking of perms... check out the cult '80s hair product that destroys frizz. Post continues below.

But don't worry - you're not going to come out the other end of 2021 looking like Charlene Robinson. This year, things are a little more pared back and effortless. April said to expect looser, beachier waves, rather than the tight corkscrew styles.

"We saw the trend creeping back in 2020 thanks to the likes of celebs Emma Stone and Olivia Munn experimenting with the look, along with some on-trend catwalks. It’s likely that perms will continue their trajectory this year, however the 2021 perm is quite different from those super-curly back-combed styles of yesteryear."

"Be warned though, a salon perm still requires at-home maintenance using the right products for an effortless look," she added.

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3. Subtle colour changes.

If you've been thinking about switching up your hair colour, there's never been a better time to do it. Ahead of L'Oréal Professionnel's Annual Colour Trophy Awards, Thompson said variation and multi-dimensional colour in hair will be huge in 2021. 

"It’s all about nuance and having two to three layers of colour in one head of hair, seamlessly blended throughout the hair to give it life and vibrancy," he said.

*Looks at dull hair*.

"To achieve this look, hair will still look 'natural' but will have a selection of subtle colours running through it and will be easy to maintain. Confidence is a critical part of this trend and expressing your strength and individuality. If you’re a blonde, then it’s about being the best blonde you possibly can be, and rocking it. If you’ve got brunette hair then [it's] adding some subtle dimension."

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4. Feel-good transformations.

If you've always wanted to go blonde, go blonde! If you've always wanted a short cut, go for the chop! 'Cause 2021 us the year of transformations. 

"The beginning of the year is often treated as a fresh start. This will be exacerbated tenfold in 2021, as 2020 was such a challenging year," said Riley.

"Hairdressers will be paramount in driving this trend as they advise clients on how to get the cathartic release they’re looking for with a new look. It’s important to have a consultation with your hairdresser to discuss the change you're looking for, whether it be a simple gloss treatment to make your hair shine, a bold chop, or a subtle colour change." 

And BTW - don't feel like you need to go for an all-or-nothing approach. Subtle changes can feel just as empowering. 

 "It doesn’t need to be dramatic, it just needs to feel different," said Riley.

5. Hollywood drama.

"The adventurous hairstyles of Hollywood will be a strong source of inspiration for 2021. In the same way that haute couture fashion makes its way from the runway to the high streets in a more wearable style, daring hair trends will be translated in the salon into an everyday look that’s suitable for work and the weekend," said Thompson.

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"For example, Miley Cyrus rocking a mullet could translate into a hairstyle that experiments with different lengths. We’ve had to play it safe [in 2020], so this trend is all about pushing the boundaries!"

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6. Complete scalp care.

Scalp care is still huge, people. In fact, hairstylists say haircare as a whole is going to be one of the major focuses this year.

"Easily forgotten but so imperative is ensuring the excellent condition and radiant shine of our hair, which is set to make its way back to the limelight in 2021," said L'Oréal Professionnel's General Manager Cara Riley. "After such a tough year emotionally and physically, there will be a strong emphasis on self-care in 2021, and that includes the health of our hair."

April describes this movement as the 'skinification of hair' - that is, treating your hair with as much care as you would your skin. This includes a massive focus on scalp care - including scrubs, masks and cleansers.

"It's all about enhancing your routine beyond just a basic shampoo and conditioner and moving towards intuitive products like scalp scrubs and hair masks. It’s the equivalent of implementing a great skincare routine but for your hair and focusing on products and ingredients that go beyond just your basic wash and condition," said April.

Want to suss out what kind of scalp care products are kicking around? Check out our piece on some of the best scalp care products.

7. Natural hair.

With salons around the world shutting their doors, last year forced many of us to ditch the regular colouring appointments and keratin treatments and embrace our natural hair - so it's no surprise this trend will be following into the new year.

"Going back to natural colour and style can require little maintenance and when many people are still predominantly working from home, it can be a no-brainer," said April.

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Whether it's embracing a head full of natural curly hair or letting those greys shine through, this is about working with what you got (FINALLY) and enhancing your individual look with the right styling and products.

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"To maintain a stylised look with your natural locks, book in a salon appointment (if you can) for the right cut and invest in salon-quality products that you can use at home for upkeep," said April.

8. Focus on hair growth.

Anyone else coming into the new year with their hair looking a *little* worse for wear?

"In 2020 hair loss, hair thinning, and hair shedding were a big concern for many. Stress, changes in lifestyle and haircare routines can all be contributed to these concerns, so it’s no surprise that in 2021 people will focus on regaining their growth," said April.

Along with looking after your health and eating right, you're going to want to look out for targeted products that are formulated to tackle hair thinning. 

We like Grow Longer Stronger Stimulating Scalp Scrub, $16.99 and L'Oreal Professionnel Serioxyl Denser Hair Serum, $62.

Image: Grow Longer Stronger Stimulating Scalp Scrub 

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Image: L’Oréal Professionnel Serioxyl Denser Hair Serum 

Feature image: @januaryjones; @carolagmakeup

Would you try any of the above hair trends? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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