Spring 2021 Hair Trends to Lust Over As Your Freeze in Your Apartment

The weather outside is frightful, but these hairs are so delightful.

Spring 2021 Hair Trends
(Image credit: Courtesy)

You did not click on this article about spring 2021 hair trends to hear yet another screed about how bad 2020 was and how much we have to look forward to in 2021. You came here for major hair inspiration, and I am here to deliver. One good thing about 2020 was that quarantine and lockdown left creatives a lot of time to get inspired. Which meant that even though fashion shows and red carpets weren't what they once were—some were virtual, others had pared-down guest lists, others were outright canceled—the looks that turned out were nothing short of spectacular.

At Gucci, models in the holiday campaign showed off bouncy blowouts and long thick bangs, a lush and rather retro look brimming with optimism. Balmain, of course, had a different take, sending models out with punk pixies, made modern thanks to feathered, feminine strands at the nape. Ropey braids at Red Valentino were the most personally inspirational: I can only Zoom into my Monday morning meetings in a floppy high bun so many times.

The idea behind spring 2021 hair: Fun. Lord knows we all need it. Nothing was fussy or overly wrought, and while styles felt individual, working and adjusting based on the models' natural hair texture, there was something deeply accessible about all the styles I saw. Hair is about self expression, self care, and beauty, plain and simple, and you shouldn't need professional help or a black AmEx to pull off the styles you crave. Ahead, the twelve most relevant hairstyles for the spring 2021 season.

1. Air-Dried Ease

For her latest Lancôme campaign, Zendaya turned out with hair that wasn't overly primped or pressed. Instead, air-dried strands—may we suggest a little leave-in cream, and possibly the touch of a diffuser—showed off inspiring natural texture, perfect for a time when anything too artificial is well, just that.

2. Razor-Sharp Ends

A funny thing with trends is that often contrasting ideas exist at once. Skinny jeans are in—as are wide-leg flares. In this case, tho, precise razor-sharp cuts that look salon-fresh are just as appealing as the undone grown-out looks most of us are rocking. Here, Lucy Hale gives us the crispest ends, the darkest black, and an angled part, showing that intentional hair isn't over just yet.

3. Blonde Bob with Bangs

The curled-under ends. The smooth volumized texture. The ever-so-slight split down the center of those long, luscious bangs. If there's anything we're taking from this Gucci look, it's that sweet, soft hair is in, while severe, statement editorial hair is a thing of the past.

4. Long, Choppy Pixie

While not exactly the gamine Audrey pixie we're used to, there's something so modern about this take from Balmain. Here, hair from the very top of the head is brushed straight forward, then trimmed in jagged snips just above the lashes. In the back? Flicky, nape-hugging pieces that feel both punk and pretty.

5. Slick High Ponytail

You'd toss your hair, too, if it looked this fly. Here, Lizzo is giving us a snatched pony right behind the hairline, wrapped at the base and waved at the ends. Expect to see more red carpet styles that aren't overly wrought but are dripping with style and ease.

6. Low-Key Waves

A few soft bends with a low-heat curling wand and a chill attitude are all you need to pull off this sumptuous look seen at Lela Rose. Depending on your natural texture, allow your hair to air dry, then hold the wand vertical and wrap, holding in place for about twenty seconds.

7. Classic Braid Duo

At Red Valentino, traditional French braids were reimagined. Rather than plaiting down the back of the head, hairstylists drew the braids straight down behind the ears, tying them off at the nape with floppy bows. The result is simple and sophisticated.

8. Natural Curls

At Cynthia Rowley, models' hair was moisturized and fluffed, and allowed to do what Mother Nature intended. Look fresh and fly, that is. If you haven't quite mastered your own natural hair routine, may we suggest our handy guide?

9. Sleek Pageboy

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Q: What is Kaia Gerber in a modern pageboy? A: The sharpest hairstyle we've seen in decades. A deep side part, sleek brush strokes, and snippy, uneven ends, give this very classic and posh style a fresh dose of modernity.

10. Rounded Bangs

True, the supermodel has one of the most historically beautiful faces of all time so, yes, encircling it with a rounded frame of hair is breathtaking. But: The point still stands. Bangs that are slightly shorter towards the center of your face and longer on the ends will have a moment this year.

11. Very Real Beach Waves

Okay, so 2020 wasn't the year that most of us got vacation hairstyles. Which is exactly what likely inspired hairstylist Holli Smith at the Jason Wu show this fall. Smith scrunched AZ Haircare Captivate Structure Gelée into damp strands, and allowed models hair to air dry to pull off these crinkly, breezy beach waves.

12. Cropped Coils

Hairstylist Earl Simms painstakingly picked and pressed all the Adwoa Aboah pretty little curls, resulting in this subtle perfection. A little moisture and a little patience are all you need to render a similar look from your natural spirals.

Hannah Morrill

Hannah Morrill is a writer and editor based in Portland, Maine. She’s an avid reader, an indifferent face-washer and a sunscreen/retinol evangelist.