6 summer hair trends for 2021: from curtain bangs to the modern-day Farrah Fawcett

Stuck for inspiration this summer? Five UAE stylists reveal the cuts, colours and styles that will heatproof your look while staying on trend

From left: curtain bangs, worn by Hailey Bieber, Lizzo's modern Farrah Fawcett, and beachy waves, a la British reality star Molly-Mae Hague, are all big hair trends for the summer. Instagram
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Whether you plan on having a hot girl summer or a stay-indoors-in-the-AC girl summer, there's a new hair trend to not only suit your style, but also your hair's ability to withstand the UAE's humidity.

As the season's latest style, the shag-mullet hybrid "wolf cut", continues to dominate Gen Z socials, so, too, are other '1970s-inspired looks making a comeback, albeit with a modern twist.

The '70s are big this season with hippyish curtain bangs, long fringes that frame the face and plenty of volume a la Charlie's Angels pin-up Farrah Fawcett enjoying their moment in the spotlight.

It’s not just the decade of disco that’s influencing this summer’s hair, either. Natural beige, the pared-back, muted colour favoured by Kanye West for his Yeezy brand, is the hue of choice for fashionable heads, while perennial summer favourites – honey blonde and beachy waves – return to reclaim their places as MVPs.

Here, five UAE stylists weigh in on the cuts, colours and styles that will see you through the hottest months in style …

The new brunette

The new brunette features 'flashes of terracotta and auburn tones' according to stylist Charlotte Nash, right. Courtesy Charlotte Nash, Pastels

"There's a new take on brunettes this summer," says Charlotte Nash, senior stylist at Pastels Salon Ritz Carlton JBR. "This year I've noticed, partly as a response to Covid-related lockdowns all over the world, people want to change their hair from the usual brunettes or blonde balayage."

Clients have been flocking to Nash to add warmer tones to their existing brunette shade, which, she says, "makes it different while still keeping the condition of the hair perfect".

“Many brunettes are wanting more terracotta and auburn tones flashing through their hair to brighten the shade. This can be done using the balayage technique to give more dimension and movement throughout.”

Best for: Nash says the colour suits anyone with naturally dark hair, from black to brunette. "It will add some definition to their natural look with warmth and brightness."

Cool for the summer: "This style is perfect all year round, but if you want your hair to give off a warm glow this summer, then it's perfect," she says.

Celebrity inspiration: Nash advises looking to Bella Hadid for her take on the look after she "kick-started this trend when she debuted a Ginger Spice-esque update with fiery orange stripes in her long dark hair".

Beachy waves

Amber Jones, right, stylist at That Hair Tho, advises fans of beachy waves to look to British reality TV star Molly-Mae Hague for inspiration. Courtesy Amber Jones, Instagram

"Beach waves have evolved over the years," says Amber Jones, stylist at Dubai's THT – That Hair Tho. "I find a lot more of my clients would rather an effortless wave with texture throughout, rather than a set curl."

Citing social media as the place to find plenty of different takes on the look, Jones says: “This style has evolved due to the influence of social media and red-carpet events. Seeing celebrities with hairstyles that look effortless, clients then want to achieve the same.”

Best for: "The style will work no matter if you have long, layered hair down to your waist or a shorter, shoulder-grazing bob," advises Jones. The key to achieving waves, she adds, is to start with clean, smooth, blow-dried hair.

“Then use a large barrel curling iron to wrap large sections of hair, one away from your face, one towards your face, leaving half an inch of your ends straight.”

Cool for the summer: "Beachy waves are best suited for the summer period as the hair looks effortlessly touched while still creating that glamorous style," says Jones.

Celebrity inspiration: Jones says anyone looking to nail the trend should check out the Instagram accounts of British reality TV stars Laura Anderson and Molly-Mae Hague, as well as Turkish-Egyptian influencer and blogger Zeynab El-Helw.

Modern-day Farrah Fawcett

Trendsetting pop star Lizzo, left, has put her own spin on the modern Farrah Fawcett, according to Pastels Salon co-founder, Ruksher Malik, right. Courtesy Ruksher Malik, Instagram

The Charlie's Angels actress's celebrated style is revived every couple of years as new generations discover the timelessness of big, blown-out hair.

“The style’s signature lies in the curl pattern, volume and flirtatious pieces that frame the face,” says Ruksher Malik, co-founder of Pastels Salon. “Fawcett’s feathered cut became a hallmark of the '70s, helping to define the decade, which then spun off into subsequent '80s and '90s versions.”

Malik attributes the renewed interest in 1970s hair to the fact the decade was highly influential on the Gucci catwalk this season. “Plus, a lot of current pop music – Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus – is channelling 1970s disco.”

Best for: The shag-and-layered version of the Farrah works best on hair with lots of layers already. "A good rule of thumb is the shorter the face-framing, the better the style," says Malik. "Avoid if you have extra-long hair and minimal layering."

Cool for the summer: "Having taken over TikTok, the style is youthful, perfectly bouncy and easy enough for anyone to achieve," Malik says.

Celebrity inspiration: Pop star Lizzo has put her own spin on the classic style.

Natural beige

Marthe Krakeli, stylist at That Hair Tho, right, says natural beige 'creates a shiny, summery feel'. She points to UK Instagram star Kirsty Green, left, for a cool take on the look. Courtesy Marthe Krakeli, Instagram

“My personal go-to for the summer is natural beige,” says Marthe Krakeli, stylist at That Hair Tho. “This cool shade is best described as the colour of sand, with controlled warmth and ash undertones which create a shiny, summery feel, especially when used to highlight dark hair.”

The look has evolved from balayage, a popular highlighting technique in which colourists hand-paint colour directly on to the hair.

“Balayage is one of our top-requested services and the number-one searched hair colour on social media,” says Krakeli.

“It makes the hair look sun-kissed, so natural beige allows us to create a balayage that brings light to dark hair by concentrating highlights around the face and ends of the hair.”

Best for: A trend for all hair types, Malik says this is the colour for anyone looking for a low-maintenance style. "This trend is perfect for clients that love softer regrowth as highlights tend to start inches down from the root, meaning they are meant to look grown-out."

Cool for the summer: "We often use balayage to mimic the shimmering effect of summer," says Malik. "You can allow [the highlights] to grow out naturally."

Celebrity inspiration: British Instagram star Kirsty Green, currently rocking the hue, is the photo to take to your stylist.

Curtain bangs

Senior stylist Rachel McDermott, right, says long bangs are 'universally flattering'. Courtesy Pastels

Feature-softening curtain bangs are this season's way to wear your fringe. The style also comes down firmly on the side of Gen Z in the "middle parting vs side parting" debate currently raging between Gen Z and millennials, as this is a middle-parted look.

“Curtain bangs are big this season as they are a really versatile way to wear a fringe,” says Rachel McDermott, senior stylist at Pastels Salon Ritz Carlton JBR.

“If you’re worried about going too short, longer curtain bangs are also on point this summer,” adds McDermott, who advises focusing on the fringe first after washing, as it will be harder to style when dry.

Best for: "While the curtain bang is universally flattering, people with smallish foreheads may find they make their faces look too small," says McDermott. "And, if you have an uncontrollable cowlick, avoid it completely."

Cool for the summer: "The finished result is unkept. Great for beachy, boho hair which is always popular for summer," she says.

Celebrity inspiration: McDermott advises looking to model Kaia Gerber who has worn the style, while Nicole Richie has been a fan for years.

Golden honey hues

Malik says Millie Bobby Brown, left, Serena Williams, centre, and Margot Robbie all showcase different takes on golden honey hues. Instagram

The summer favourite returns in a style that suits all hair lengths.

“Kiss goodbye to platinum blonde for now; this summer it’s all about the sun-kissed golden honey blonde, achieved either through highlights or balayage,” says Malik.

Tennis star Serena Williams has been wearing the attention-grabbing style, while Australian actress Margot Robbie is a long-time fan.

“This can be higher maintenance than balayage,” warns Malik.

Best for: "In general, golden or honey blonde is a versatile and popular blonde for all skin tones," says Malik. "As this shade gives warmth, there's less risk of your skin looking sallow." She adds that the hue should be avoided if the hair is extremely damaged.

Cool for the summer: Noting that the colour would work perfectly in conjunction with beachy waves, Malik says: "Well-highlighted blonde hair works really nicely with undone styles."

Celebrity inspiration: Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown is one of the latest stars to try the trend.


Read more:

What is the ‘wolf cut’? The season’s hottest hairstyle is Gen Z’s version of the mullet

The benefits of argan oil: no more adult acne or frizzy hair with this 'liquid gold' formula