Beauty lovers will agree: there’s nothing better than a fresh haircut to fully reset in a new year. Whether you’re looking to shed off the year’s past stressors with a several-inch snip, desperate for a transformational New-Year-who-dis chop, or eager for an arguably unnoticeable but totally invigorating trim, some of NYC’s top hairstylists expect to usher in a range of trendy new cuts for every desired hair length. From iconic and super-nostalgia-inspired shapes to effortless-looking snips for those reveling in the whole undone-at-home vibe.
If 2021 had an official haircut, the experts unanimously agree: it’s the shag. “As a result of quarantine, a lot of people have been coming in with very grown out hair with no shape as they hadn’t had the chance to get a proper haircut (outdoor garden haircuts included),” Dhiran Mistry, a hairstylist at The Second Floor Salon in New York City, tells Byrdie. “I love all the movement and layers that you can add to a grown out haircut.”
Ryan Trygstad, a celebrity stylist and co-founder of Mark Ryan Salon, says a shag is the cut for 2021 (his clients include Emma Roberts, Laura Dern, and Kelly Ripa). “What makes this feel modern is a bang. This is the modern version of Jane Fonda’s Klute haircut. The whole top moves forward and is more fringey—there is no real part,” Trygstad says.
Sky Kim, a stylist at Jenny Perry Hair Studio, agrees that a shag with a soft fringe will be big for 2021. “Recently, there’s been a huge covet for shags, and I am here for it—I think it will carry on to the next year,” Kim tells us. She says it’s the perfect face-framing cut with an edge—the shattered layers create softness and will grow out beautifully, adding, “This cut looks good with short to long hair, whether the hair peaks through your neck to longer and shattered layers with long hair.”
For anyone who attempted an at-home bang trim during quarantine, Kim says there’s a bonus to a shag cut: “It will be a nice transition to connect all those shorter pieces.”
- David Mallet Australian Salt Spray ($45)
- Shu Uemura Wata Wave Texturizing Spray ($42)
- OUAI Air Dry Foam ($28)
Draw The Curtain
Curtain bangs will be in high demand throughout 2021, according to Mistry, Trygstad, and Kim. “If someone has long hair, it’s time to add a longer curtain bang (like Sienna Miller in the movie Alfie),” Trygstad says. “Face-framing or curtain bang captures the vibe of this cut without losing length.”
“Curtain bangs are a result of people wanting a change but not ready to chop all the length to change their look drastically—they work really well to frame the face,” Mistry says. “I love hair loosely tied back with these bangs down—such a great effortlessly chic look.” The stylist recommends blow-drying with a round brushing and applying a serum (his pick is Shu Umera’s Essence Absolute Nourishing Oil) at the ends for a replenishing touch.
For natural and textured hair, Kim says this type of soft fringe works really well. “People who are bored with their hair will be experimenting with bangs but still able to keep all of that length from 2021!”
- Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil ($69)
- Rahua Legendary Amazon Oil ($44)
- Davines Liquid Spell Reinforcing Bodifying Fluid ($45)
“Long hair is coming back as all the people that didn’t get haircuts were also not doing so much heat damage to themselves,” Mistry tells Byrdie. Kim echoes this sentiment: “I think everyone is letting their hair grow and focusing on the health of it. Since everyone has gotten used to not doing much in 2021, it’s super low maintenance and helps to make it look full without doing much.” Her prediction: long, blunt hair for all textures and long and natural locks for those with curly or textured hair.
To maintain healthy, flowing locks, Kim suggests regular nourishing hair masks (her top pick is Briogeo’s sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free Don’t Despair Repair formula) to keep hair soft and shiny as well as nourishing leave-in for smoothing and replenishing. “A little goes a long way,” she warns.
Get The Look
- Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Hair Mask ($38)
- IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm ($29)
- Virtue The Polish Un-Frizz Cream ($42)