The Coolest Hairstyle Trends Worth Trying (and DIYing) This Year, According to the Pros
It’s like what Fleabag said: hair is everything. “It’s the difference between a good day and a bad day,” she lamented, and we have a feeling she’d back us when we say that’s precisely why you’ll want to brush up on the coolest hairstyle trends of the year. They may not be “everything,” but they will be everywhere – and you can easily recreate them yourself, in the comfort of your own home.
So what can you expect? “2020 has been seeing a lot of experimentation,” said LA-based celebrity hairstylist Laurie Heaps. “We are pushing style boundaries and changing our hair in more meaningful ways. People are not afraid to do something drastic or even out of the norm. It’s really about having fun and letting your hair show how you feel. Whether this is a permanent change through colour or cut or even just wigs or extensions, we are going to see hair that is bold and strong.”
“Strong,” it seems, is the big buzzword this year. Hairstylist and global creative director for Redken Guido Palau agrees: “We’re seeing hair with stronger styles. Nods to different time periods are coming back and they’re very exciting. When you look at models, they very rarely have one signature look anymore – they’re all trying different looks. This is so important in fashion, where you’re seeing inclusivity for all looks and styles by celebrating each person’s individual beauty.”
From retro hairstyles to sorta-woke-up-like-this looks, we asked a handful of pros to dish on the hairstyle trends to try this year (after your Amazon Prime binge-watch, of course).
2020 Hairstyle Trend: "Wet" Hairstyles
“If you’re usually in a rush in the morning, then wet styles are the way to go,” said Anabel Santos, hairstylist at Sally Hershberger NoMad Salon in New York City. “Opt for a slicked-back look without looking greasy by using a texturizing paste to boost shine while keeping hair soft and manageable.”
If you don’t like the “wet” look, fear not; you don’t have to style your hair in such a way that it looks like you just stepped out of a pool. “The important thing to note is that hair can still be sleek and not look wet,” Heaps said. In these instances, “dry shine is what to aim for. Instead of gels, reach for dry oils and shine sprays.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Lived-In Updos
“My go-to inspiration for a live-in updo is ‘Brigitte Bardot bubble bath hair’ with the hair away from the face and just a few face-framing strands pulled out of the updo,” said Travis Speck, hairstylist at Sally Hershberger NoMad Salon. “It’s sexy and sophisticated without trying too hard. Add some vintage jeweled hair pins and barrettes to the hair and you have a sexy twist on a classic look.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Retro Styles
“Trends always circle back into style, and 2020 is seeing a fun blast from the past,” Heaps said, adding that this year’s “it girl” haircut is the modern mullet. “I recently did this for Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira. It was choppy and had texture but we kept the look true to its signature style – short in the front and longer in the back. You can play with the length in the back and get as short on the sides and tops as you would like.”
It’s not just one retro haircut or style that’ll reign supreme this year – it’s all of them. “I love seeing all the time periods being referenced during this [Spring/Summer 2020 runway] season,” Palau said. “For example, Marc Jacobs was a collection of individual styles, Prada had a nod to the ’20s, Tory Burch had nods to the ’40s and ’80s, and Miu Miu had a ’40s punk energy.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Bangs, Bangs, Bangs
“During 2020, it will be all about bangs – and all different kinds of bangs,” Heaps said. With this style, the sky is the limit: “[We’ll see] straight and full bangs. Curly bangs will be big. They can be paired with shorter or longer hair. I am also predicting bangs with bobs and you will also be seeing long bangs with shaggier haircuts.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: '40s Curls
If you have natural curls, this next look is just about styling the front of what you’ve already got. If you don’t, follow Palau’s lead: “I did a tissue-set, ’40s-inspired look at Miu Miu to finish off Paris Fashion Week,” he said. “It’s an old-school way of achieving curls, where you wrap individual sections of hair with a tissue, heat them up with an iron, then allow them to cool. Once you take out the tissues, the result is a soft curl. I’ve then brushed through and shaped the curls into a ’40s-style at the front, and squared off in the back.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Chunky Headbands
Blame it on the early-2000s resurgence or recent stay-at-home orders, but thick, chunky headband looks have proven to be the fall season’s best easy-to-execute hair trend. Just slip one atop second-day (or third-day, or fourth-day . . .) hair or a messy ponytail, and voila – an instant style that’s quintessentially Zoom-ready.
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Half-Up Styles
And the award for “most flattering hairstyle to wear with a face mask” goes to . . . the ones that do it halfway, where only the top section of hair is pulled back. “This look is great for those looking to keep the hair out of the face and works with a mask for any outing,” said LA-based celebrity hairstylist Bradley Leake. “If you are also wanting to add a bit of glam add [hair] extensions for additional volume and length.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Braids
According to Larry Sims, celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union, more and more people will be trying out cool iterations of braids this fall. Why? “Braids are so easy and low maintenance,” he said. “I think we’ll see braids that are waist length, but also cut in bobs. The demand for braids will go up, simply because they last so long. People are opting for no-stress, carefree styles.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: "Lived-In" Texture
The overall vibe for Spring has been less by-the-book – and that includes lots of texture and movement. “Spring of 2020 will prove to be the season of the ‘lived-in’ look – styles that are no longer polished,” said Michelle Cleveland, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Hair Addict Salon. “This season, you’re going to see a throwback to the ’90s when grunge was king and the hair was textured and free.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Loose Tendrils
On the topic of loose, undone texture, face-framing wisps on any updo hairstyle will become a new go-to: “We’ll see lots of tendrils from the bang section with the rest of the hair in a bun,” said Devin Toth, NYC-based hairstylist at Salon SCK. “Hair falling on your face is always super cool and fits with the overall vibe of the season.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Deep Part, Bouncy Curls
Embracing your natural texture is never a trend – in fact, it’s beautiful no matter the season – but there’s a particular way to style your curls that gives it a nice Spring refresh. “Curly hair is definitely replacing the waves from last year,” Toth said. The cutest hairstyle to try combines a perennial favorite: “the deep side part with an ear tuck, paired with full bouncy curls.”
2020 Hairstyle Trend: The Hair Flip
“The hair flip – where it’s a bob haircut or long hair in a pony – gives a cooler-than-school, ’60s retro vibe,” Toth said. And who wouldn’t want that?
2020 Hairstyle Trend: Accessories - With a Twist
Hair accessories have been huge in the last few seasons, but Toth predicts a resurgence of pearls and statement barrettes (which, we agree, will make the perfect accent to a springtime outfit).
2020 Hairstyle Trends: The "Swoop"
Think of the hairstyle you saw on everyone circa 2006, from Zac Efron to Selena Gomez: “swoop” bangs. “After months without a bang trim, I can see short bangs becoming a ‘swoop bang,’ bringing the side part back to center stage and replacing the center part,” said César DeLeön Ramîrez, celebrity hairstylist and Unite brand ambassador. Like an exaggerated side bang, the swoop also works on any hair length and “looks great with short to long layers.”