As the ways of personal upkeep have changed, so have the trends that come along with them. Haircuts are obviously important to people — a handful of folks across the nation went so far as to take to the streets to demand access to hair salons, whether it was actually safe to go or not. Those in areas that have reopened salons have found that their local spot looks and feels a lot different than it did before the pandemic.
With times so uncertain and folks not knowing how long things will remain open (spikes are being seen in cities with less strict policies), the question of what to do with our hair when we do have access to stylists is crucial. And the guidance of our hairstylists is more important than ever before.
So, what do haircuts in the time of a pandemic look like? We asked some top stylists to tell us what trends they're already seeing and the forecast for the near future.
Having limited access to the salon has inspired many to say "eff it" and cut all their hair off. And since we're living in what, at times, feels like the apocalypse, some people simply don't want to have to worry about their hair.
Emmy-nominated hairstylist Derick Monroe says buzz cuts are a great way to have a cool-looking hairstyle "without having to worry about the maintenance that comes with color and blowouts." It's all very Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road if you ask us. Michaela Coel's buzz cut is one of our favorites of all time and makes a case for the rest of us to grab some clippers.
Another great thing about a buzz is that it allows your face's unique, natural structure to shine. Early on during the pandemic, Ruby Rose went even shorter than her usual pixie, shaving it down to this close-cropped moment, leaving just a little length near the crown to create a single small braid. It's like a front-end rat-tail. Is it a look we thought we'd see in 2020? No. Are we better for it? Yes.Of course, after Rose cut her hair, she dyed it half blue and half pink. Whether or not you choose to experiment with color, it's important to remember that a buzz cut is low maintenance, not no maintenance. "Condition the hair and scalp as though you have a full head of tresses so that as your hair grows out, it will be well-nourished," advises Monroe. Be sure you have a leave- in conditioner or hair oil in your stash that suits your natural texture.
The great thing about buzz cuts is they also make it super easy to experiment with color. You don't have to wait too long for it to grow out, and if you hate your dye job, you can cut it off all over again.
Buzz cuts are also a great option for anyone looking to do the big chop — if you're willing to cut your hair that low. Tiffany Haddish recently shaved all her hair off because she wanted to see her scalp, but if your purpose is solely to start over from a relaxer, this is one route you can take. "It's the perfect time, in my opinion, to try [this trend] because it's a way of nursing hair back to health, starting over from not only cosmetic damage from chemicals, but from styling and the overall environment as well," says Monroe.
Hadid's fringe looks amazing, and it's partly because she went with longer bangs. While you're most likely better off letting a stylist do the job, if you're up to the challenge of cutting them yourself, it's best to keep them on the longer side so that you don't wind up chopping too much off. If they are too long after your first attempt, you can snip them little by little in order to get to where you want.
Whether you go to a stylist or not, Taylor agrees that length is your best bet. "Keep the bangs a little longer. Short bangs are cute, but long bangs are sexy," she says. "We all deserve to feel sexy after months of quarantine." Amen!
Be very specific about the type of bangs you want, just in case you'll need to freshen them up yourself. "Let the professional cut your bangs exactly how they are meant to be worn, then if you need to trim them on your own, do so cautiously," Streicher advises. "A professional should be able to give you the best bangs for your hair and face, and give you the best advice."
Oh, and if you've got curly hair and would like to try bangs, be sure to check out our simple guide to nailing the look.
Not quite about that buzz life but want to go super short? A pixie cut is probably your best bet — and it's a haircut hairstylists overwhelmingly see trending for the foreseeable future. "I think we'll see a big resurgence in these shorter cuts because after being quarantined without our stylists for so long, people are going to want a fresh start and will be ready for a dramatic change," says Taylor.
Pixies are yet another haircut that brings your bone structure to the forefront. Case in point: Zoë Kravitz and her flawless jawline.
Pixie cuts are famously fussy to maintain, though. But if you really want your stylist to give you one and you're willing to do some work in between (or you want a cut that you can deal with in case of future stay-at-home orders), Taylor advises going with more of a tapered pixie, like Samira Wiley's."For a pixie that will be easier to maintain in the event of another shutdown, ask your stylist to cut it more cropped on the sides and longer on top," she suggests. "You can wrap your hair at night with a silk or satin scarf, take it down in the morning, and put it back into the desired style using a wide-tooth comb. Mold the sides down when it's wash day."
Another reason stylists see the pixie trending? The effects of having to maintain your own hair in isolation. "Many have taken to their own hair during these months inside and possibly have found that cutting a shorter crop might not be as scary as they thought," says Streicher. "I think a lot of people are getting brave and wanting a real change — now couldn't be a better time."
There are also a million ways to style your pixie cut. Short hair doesn't mean a shortage of options, beloveds. Charlize Theron's hairstylist Adir Abergel has styled her pixie in so many different ways, it deserves its own coffee table book.
Long, Grown-Out Hair
Going to the salon less frequently naturally means that your hair is going to grow longer. And stylists agree that long layers (especially if your hair grows down as opposed to out) are your best bet. It's a style that's easy to maintain and it also just looks good.
"I think some may keep it long for less maintenance," says Chris Appleton, the go-to hairstylist of the Kardashian-Jenner crew. He's feeling "nice long, flowy layers that frame the face and add texture."
Another perk of long layers? "[You] also have the luxury of doing some snatched ponies or braids to change up [the] look," he says. Yay for experimentation. Here, Natasha Lyonne shows just how gorgeous long layers are, and how well they go with a fringe to boot.
Long, Grown-Out Hair
If your hair grows out to the heavens instead of down, let that 'fro do its thing. Just be sure to take care of it, as Afro-textured hair does require quite a bit of maintenance. Moisturize regularly with a weekly conditioning mask and by using leave-ins or curl refreshers when it gets dry in between wash days.
"Learn how your hair is in its natural state and test ways to wear it so that you can wear it beautifully," instructs Monroe. Keke Palmer recently hopped on social media to show the world how long her natural hair has gotten since she buzzed it off a few years ago. Take a page from her book and "rock your 'fro without forcing it to be something it isn't," suggests Monroe.
Long, Grown-Out Hair
Long hair definitely needs to be maintained so it can stay healthy. "This is a great time to make a trip to the salon and get a hair treatment," says Pecis. Check with your salon to see what kind of treatments they have available. Whether you hit your stylist's chair or stay at home, a clear glaze is a great way to add a healthy shine to your crown, so your hair can look as glossy as Vanessa Hudgens's does here.
"Ease and longevity are definitely the top two benefits of this look," says New York City-based hairstylist Andrita. "There is so much going on in all of our lives right now [that simplifying] even just our hair situation can feel like a major win." The great thing about protective styles is even one specific protective style comes with so many different options.
Ryan Destiny went with small goddess-style box braids to give her look some extra texture.
Depending on the type of protective style you get, you may have to sit in the salon chair (if you choose to have a braider do the job) for quite a while. But don't worry: "[They] tend to last a while, which means you [ultimately] spend less time in the stylist's chair — yasss, social distancing — and your coin stretches a little further," notes Andrita.Be selective about who and where you get your protective style done if you choose not to do it yourself. Do your research — make sure the salon you go to (if salons are open in your area) is taking the necessary safety precautions. If you have a braider come to your home, be sure they are following COVID-19 safety protocols.
Protective styles, though they are easy to take care of, still need to be maintained. Cleanse your scalp weekly. As New York City-based braider Tamara Albertini previously told ishonest, the key to properly washing your scalp when you've got a protective style in is to "use equal parts shampoo and water in an applicator bottle." Spray or squeeze your concoction onto your parts and gently rub it in so that you're not causing too much frizz at the base of your braids, twists, or locs.
Lobs are another haircut stylists expect to be in demand this season. "Many people have grown past their awkward length and into a new realm of possibilities," Streicher says. "I think one style we'll see is a collarbone- length blunt cut, as many have been able to grow out their bobs a bit."
Refreshing your hair as it grows will help you transition from the shorter style you had pre-pandemic to having longer hair, if that's your goal.
The fact of the matter is that lobs are always trending — even in the middle of a pandemic. And while they do require their fair share of maintenance to keep the ends looking fresh, their medium length makes the grow-out process less awkward.
I mean, how good does Hailey Bieber's hair look? "The bluntness [gives] this mid-length haircut a little edge," says Streicher.
With a lob as cute as Bella Hadid's, it's important to care for it as it grows out, especially if you want to maintain some semblance of its bluntness. To keep the ends from getting scraggly as your hair gets longer, be sure to invest in some treatments to maintain your hair's health.
The Best of Beauty-winning Pantene Prov-V Intense Rescue Shots are an affordable and quick fix for damaged hair and lessens the appearance of split ends.
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