How will we be wearing our hair this autumn? As the cooler months roll in, we’re swapping our top knots and other beach-ready styles for directional cuts, natural texture and a more androgynous mood. And boy, does it feel good. Here, hairdressers share their predictions for the top hair trends to see us through autumn 2021.
1.Raw textures and rough layers
Whatever the cut or style, Leigh Keates, John Frieda’s creative styling consultant, says that the biggest trend for autumn comes in the form of texture, including rough layers and anything that gives the hair movement. “Whether it’s the French-girl bob, short shag or the newest version of the wolf cut, which teeters more into mullet territory, face framing layers enhance and complement your best features, while choppy pieces encourage natural movement in the hair.” Working with your own texture also minimises styling time and heat exposure, resulting in healthier strands too.
As British Vogue previously reported, this year’s haircuts take their cues from the ’70s, when Jane Birkin, Farrah Fawcett and Debbie Harry reigned supreme. “At the salon, we’ve seen an uptick in clients referencing ’70s styles,” confirms George Northwood. “Our clients adopt a trend in a sophisticated, more wearable way. Suki Waterhouse wears a modern-day shag cut very well – her layers are chic and understated, and her grown-out fringe takes centre stage.” He also mentions Margot Robbie’s ’70s fringe as a good point of reference.
3.Every kind of bob
“Any hairstyle with a definite shape is still really relevant,” says Luke Hersheson, who name-checks the bob as a cut that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. “It’s not about one specific length or type but rather a ‘wash-and-go’ vibe.” Bobs with lots of layers and volume, and with a rock ‘n’ roll edge are in. Those with a “French twist” – think shorter at the sides with a slight flick at the back – are also particularly chic, he says.
Meanwhile Frederic Fekkai predicts that longer bobs – those which hit between the jawline and collarbone – will be a cool way to wear the look, and Northwood says it’s all about the androgynous ’90s bob (“the same length the whole way around with no shape at the front”). As for Charlotte Mensah? It’s the “shorter, slick version with a ’90s feel” for her. Decisions, decisions!
4.The curly shag
A haircut that is quite literally everywhere right now, the curly shag will only grow in popularity for the autumn months, says Mensah. “This is the most requested hairstyle in our salon,” she explains. “It’s a grown-out version of the traditional style and works brilliantly on kinky, coily, curly and wavy hair – it’s really wearable.”
5.Grown out fringes
Whether curtain, blunt, choppy or a longer, ’70s-inspired look, fringes will be everywhere this season. In fact, Mensah confirms that “every other client” is asking for one in her salon, while Fekkai says the curtain fringe is huge thanks to its versatility and easy sensibility.
Crucially, the fringe is not just for straight hair either. Vernon François, celebrity hairdresser and Redken’s global consultant, says that while they’re often showcased on straight hair, fringes are “also very much for curls, coils and waves”. “Into autumn, playfully style underneath a hat, ideally silk-lined to keep friction and tangling to a minimum, and twist small sections in the direction that hair naturally turns for definition,” he advises.
“The current ’20s can be likened to the 1920s, because lockdown felt a bit like the prohibition era,” says Larry King. “Now we’re all feeling like we deserve a bit of the roaring ’20s glamour. Saving it for something special is no more – now it’s here to be had any and every day.” As well as movement and embracing one’s natural texture, this look revolves around healthy and happy hair, whether curly or straight. Maintaining it (or bringing it back to life) is key so aim for mirror-like shine and products that foster strength, vitality and overall health.
For low-maintenance types, look no further than the buzz cut. “The great thing about buzz cuts is that they’re easy to keep looking neat and tidy, so you will always look polished for work or a night out,” says Mensah. “For most women, a buzz cut is a radical hairstyle that will change how others perceive you, so be prepared for lots of comments and remarks on your new look – few people have the confidence to go for a buzz cut, so enjoy that limelight.”
From British Vogue