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The Best Haircuts and Hair Colors to Try in 2021, According to Hairstylists

Start the year with a fresh new 'do!
The Best Haircuts and Hair Colors to Try in 2021, According to Hairstylists
IMAGE Instagram/jodistamaria, sueannadoodles
Start the year with a fresh new 'do!

Truth be told, we want to leave the entirety of 2020 where it belongs: in the past. But with most of the world still in isolation, there's really no rush, so don't be afraid to start slow with some small, manageable changes. Giving your hair a revamp, for one, has always been an easy way to start the year fresh (and look it, too). It's also one of the few festive new year traditions we can still pursue, because in case anyone forgot, we're still in the middle of a pandemic.

If you need ideas for your 2021 hair wishlist, then prepare to jot down notes and take screenshots. Ahead, professional hairstylists Alex Carbonell, Lourd Ramos, Junie Sierra, and Joe Almakdesi share their picks for haircuts and hair colors to try this year, so you can officially narrow down your options:

(Ed's Note: When stepping out to get your new 'do, don't forget to follow safety protocols and wear your face mask and face shield. Reschedule your makeover if you're feeling under the weather!)


Best Haircuts for 2021

1. Modern Shag

The shag haircut has long been an A-lister favorite for effortless-looking locks, and that's exactly why it's perfect for this year in continued isolation. In essence, this look is characterized by textured layers that gives body to the hair. "Inner cuts and inner layers produce feather-y ends, and the backcombing technique is executed for jagged texture," Alex Carbonell of Studio Fix by Alex Carbonell explains. "The thinner the texture, the wilder the shag!"

2. Precision Bobs

The pros say we have plenty of options for bob cuts this year. Lourd Ramos of Creations by Lourd Ramos Salon recommends an ultra short bob à la Beth Harmon from The Queen's Gambit, while Alex suggests a square, box layered bob to emphasize your jawline.

Speaking of a bob, Junie Sierra of The Bloc by Junie Sierra and Co. thinks you might want to try a square bob with a fringe for a wash and wear look that isn't boring. If you want something more out there, a mid-length hanging bob that's cut in a 45-degree angle on the edges is always a chic choice.

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3. Disconnected Mullet

Mullets are making a comeback, whether some of us like it or not. Both Junie and Alex recommend this '80s-inspired look, but Alex says disconnected styles with undercuts, overlays, and an asymmetrical look in particular are a must-try this year, and it's a haircut that will look amazing on men, too!

4. Long Layers with inner cuts

Lourd Ramos says that long, flowy layers are basically foolproof for framing your face and accentuating your best features (consult your hairdresser to decide on what kind will work for you!). It's one way to maintain long hair without it feeling stuffy either, perfect if you're just going for a non-complicated vibe for your strands.

5. Dramatic Curtain Bangs

The curtain bangs trend is due for an update in 2021, and Alex says that this wispy look is the way to go. "It shows the eyes but creates those winged layers on the sides," he tells us. Pair it with a layered cut for even more drama and some fun bounce!


Best Hair Colors for 2021

1. Warm browns

Joe Almakdesi of Basement Salon Rockwell predicts that we'll be going for warm-toned hair colors for summer. Colors like dark coffee or chocolate brown are his picks to give the skin a subtle glow while reminding us of the cooler months. Meanwhile, Alex recommends auburn browns for a healthy-looking tan and cool-toned ash for a non-brassy vibe. For some added dimension, you can't go wrong with some highlights of lowlights.

2. Dark Cherry/Wine

For a vibrant dye job that won't be a pain to maintain, Joe and Lourd suggest going for reddish hues like deep cherry or wine for glow-boosting locks that'll almost tempt you to skip makeup. Not a huge fan of red? Lourd says dark blue is also a chic option that's drastic but still looks classic.

3. Copper

Want to get ahead of the summer trends? Try coloring your locks an eye-catching copper! Junie Sierra predicts this will be all the rage this year instead of the usual ash dye job. That said, since it's a complicated color to achieve, he suggests having it professionally done at a salon.


4. Fresh Pastels

If light hair is more your speed, Alex advocates for soft pastel hues like blush pink, teal blue, mint, lilac, and marmalade. "Blush pinks, teal blue and mint greens are shades to add drama on previously bleached balayage. Lilac and marmalade are also exciting ways to give anyone a fresher boost of soft color," says the hairstylist.

The cool thing about pastel hair colors is that they don't always need to be your starting point. With the help of a pro, you can dye your strands a deeper hue at first and eventually have it fade into a softer shade. For this method, Junie says to go for experimental colors like solid red, pink, blue, green, and violet!

5. Color Streaks/Color Paneling

After the chunky highlight trend took over social media last year, it only makes sense to let it evolve. Instead of just bleaching the front part of your hair blonde, take it up a notch by coloring chunks of your hair in contrasting colors through split coloring. For example, you can try a peek-a-boo style and only color the inner half of your hair with a vibrant shade or do several streaks for a smoother blend.


For this look, some combos Alex recommends are ash beige and peach gold, dark brown and smoky topaz, or chunks of copper reds with an auburn brown base color. "Just like clothes, paneling is a way to create bolder textures," he notes.

6. Ultra Blonde

Thinking of going blonde? Give your take on it a spin by mixing in some beige and caramel highlights, as recommended by Lourd. A sharp contrast with dark roots has an effortless flair to it as well, not to mention that it'll help your bleached 'do grow more gracefully!

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