Managing our hair has proven challenging in more ways than one this year. With salons closing their doors for months on end, we're taking hair-related tasks previously left to the pros into our own hands. But for those not brave enough to take on the stress of at-home hair dyeing and shaky-handed trimming, it's been a period of overgrown roots and scraggly lengths fit for Rapunzel. One thing's for sure: It'll be a real treat to (hopefully) visit our beloved hairstylists for the first service many of us will get this year: fall haircuts.
Fall is all about change, and according to the six fire celebrity hairstylists we tapped to tell us which cuts will take off this season, that same vibe will extend to our hair. And while the understated haircut trends of yesteryear won't disappear completely, there are some funky new varieties bubbling up among celebrities and fashion girls alike.
Ahead, get all the expert intel about the fall haircuts that will be taking over throughout the autumnal equinox, along with ideas for wearing them just like the fashion set already is. Be sure to save your faves for your next hair appointment, and don't forget to shop the sprays, creams, and tools our pros say you'll need to keep your freshly chopped tresses on point all season.
Surprise, surprise, bobs are still among the most popular haircuts we'll see this season. This stylish crop pairs perfectly with all the clavicle-exposing tops you'll be clinging to as summer slips away, and according to celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Yepez, a whole new flock will likely take the plunge into bob life over the coming months. "I think we are going to see a lot of short haircuts, especially after everyone has been at home and wanting to try a change. Getting out of quarantine with salons open, people are going to go for the fresh cut," she predicts. Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway agrees, adding that we'll see many variations of this look, including varying lengths and textures.
"I love a blunt cut bob where the ends are softened with a slicing technique, instead of layers, to give movement and eliminate weight through the ends," explains celebrity hairstylist Peter Lux. "This is a great cut for someone who likes to move their hair a lot and likes to wear it without being restricted to wearing their part on one side. Left, right, or middle, everything works."
Lux says this hydrating cream is great for both wet and dry styling. On wet hair, you can scrunch it in and then leave your tresses to air-dry or hit them with a hair dryer.
"For blow-drying curly, wavy, and thick hair, I have been obsessed with the Dyson Airwrap. It saves so much time and also gives you that curling-iron wave effect and more styles than using just a blow-dryer," says Yepez. "When using the round bristle brush attachment, your hair dries like if you pinned your hair in a set and let it down. Super glamorous and much more than just a blow-dry."
For those who committed to a bob last year, the grow-out has probably gotten real. That's why celebrity hairstylist and creative director César DeLeön Ramîrez is calling out almost-long tresses as a style to watch. "All those trendy bobs and lobs are no longer bobs and lobs. They are almost long now, and it’s sexy," he says. "I love this length just below the collarbone. It’s super chic and also a very versatile length."
Lux loves that this particular length suits so many different hair types. "A shape I find really flattering for wavy and curly textures is a soft layered cut with longer bangs and length within the perimeter of the hair to maintain length and so the shape doesn’t become too round," he says. "The fringe looks great a little longer and with soft ends, which enhances the texture and makes the hair move better." It's an art, really.
"This is my favorite product for the thick to medium hair types," says Lux. He likes to scrunch it into the hair, which he says keeps curls defined without getting crunchy.
If you'll be wearing this cut straightened, Ramîrez recommends using Unite’s Lazer Straight system to help keep your newfound length nice and sleek before passing your favorite flat iron over your hair to create little bends on the ends.
Our expert crew is also predicting massive texture by way of long layers this season. "This fall, we’ll also see natural textures cut into layers with a textured fringe. That cut looks great at all times and on all hair types," says celebrity hairstylist and Flawless by Gabrielle Union co-founder Larry Sims. "The grow-out on it is great. This cut screams volume, carefree, easy, and effortless." Redway also notes that these low-maintenance, maximum-impact cuts tend to gain traction during times like these. "Right now while we are in a pandemic, I think everyone is trying to go back to basics and choose haircuts that are not too high-maintenance," she adds.
"I think women are now enjoying their natural hair, so they want to be able to wear their hair curly or wavy natural and then also wear their hair blown out and styled," says Yepez. And this cut certainly allows for both.
Sims suggests using this hydrating shampoo to infuse moisture and to help detangle hair as you rock your natural texture. It's the perfect precursor to both air-drying and heat styling.
If playing with texture is causing more product buildup than you're used to, Redway suggests reaching for a targeted treatment to keep your hair and scalp clear of debris. "The TPH by Taraji Master Cleanse scalp treatment wash helps to do just that and helps to balance the pH levels for your scalp and hair," she explains.
Alexa, play "Not the Bayang!" This viral TikTok tune may have brought bangs to the forefront of everyone's minds for a moment this summer, but celebrity hairstylist and owner of LunaBella Makeup & Hair Salon Christin Brown thinks the bangs movement will keep that same energy into fall. "The amount of folks that consistently think about getting bangs but resist the temptation due to a botched past experience surpasses most haircut decisions," she says. "However, I feel that people will finally be taking the plunge this fall." Ramirez agrees, adding that the extended time away from hairstylists is even transforming bangs for those who've already had them. “After months without a bang trim, I can see short bangs becoming swoop bangs, bringing the side part back to center stage and replacing the center part," he predicts.
Yepez says those famous fringey, Brigitte Bardot–style bangs will be a leading style as well. "I like the longer bangs that you can style like a full bang but also part it and have it swept away," she comments.
"This look is amazing with hair up and the bangs out swept to the sides and then hair down with texture and volume," says Yepez. To keep frizz from coming for your bangs, she recommends the Sebastian Professional Drench Shampoo and Conditioner. "This line nourishes, hydrates, and detangles dry, frizzy hair, leaving it hydrated and silky but also full of volume."
If you've got curly or coily bangs, go with a defining jelly like this one by Kinky-Curly. Brown says it helps to create polished curls on a heavy bang, a fluffy bang, or even bangs with a deep part.
Our experts agree: The motto this fall is texture, texture, texture. As such, they're foreseeing some big shapes on the horizon. "With quarantine hair being longer than ever for the vast majority, many of my clients are coming in begging to remove the hair away from their faces and off the shoulders. They want a lift, volume, and a bold look that doesn't say that they've been stuck at home for months," says Brown. She loves a cut with a weight line just below the earlobes that creates a steep line up toward the crown of the head for a gorgeous silhouette from all angles.
And according to Sims, we can expect to see bigger afros this season, too. "It’s powerful and beautiful no matter the length," he explains. "Many people are embracing their natural textures, and I love it. The classic roundness of an afro never gets old."
"Use this styling cream to instantly replenish moisture and define your curls," Sims instructs.
“For those of us with texture, this was the perfect time to appreciate what your mama gave you after months of giving your hair a break from heat and chemicals," says Ramîrez. "From tightly coiled ringlets to big, bouncy curls, all you need is Unite’s Boing Curl care system and a diffuser for the perfect curly hair regimen.”
Photo:@lacyredway, Getty Images
The crisp air and changing leaves of fall are some terrestrial signals of a fresh start. If you're seeking a new start with your mane, you're in luck because our experts are predicting ultra-short cuts will have a major moment this season. "Super-short hair could be the start of a transition for some people. It could mean more than just a haircut—perhaps a restart," says Redway. Sims concurs, stating that buzz cuts will see an uptick. "As we’ve adapted to our new normal, people are using this time to get rid of damaged hair and old energy. Cutting it all off feels fresh and new," he says.
Brown says we'll also see endless variations on the classic pixie cut. "Sometimes, you just have to leave it all on the floor, and a curly pixie cut is a bold way of achieving that. It's easy, it's sexy, and it's fairly low-maintenance," she says. "There are different versions of a pixie cut, so the cut is not a one size fits all. You can go long on top, short all around, side parts, and more."
"I like to rub a little bit of light oil on all hair but love to use it specifically in short hair," says Redway. "It helps me texturize the strands while keeping them hydrated." She reaches for this option from NatureLab the most.
"One of my favorite stylers for my curly pixie clients is Olaplex 's No. 6 and No.7 ($28) for effortless styling," Brown says. Both options are great for all hair textures from straight to curly.