Orient yourself: 2016’s Korean hairstyles are straight-up fab.
There’s no doubt that hallyu, or the Korean wave, has been infiltrating the beauty sphere here in the U.S. What first started with soap operas, pop music and street fashion has now spread to beauty trends as well in the form of Korean hairstyles.
We’re definitely on board with their other beauty peculiarities like double-cleansing, the OG ombré lip and face masks galore; it only makes sense that we’d be all over their latest contributions to hair trends. They seem to have a knack for seeking out the most flattering shapes, which is, as an Asian girl myself, so clutch: Unlike other Asian hairstyles that seem to seesaw between vanilla and wackily over-the-top, they get more realistic.
Korean hairstyles seem to always find that sweet spot between avant-garde and wearable.
They manage to take one hot trend of the season and feminize it to not just suit an Asian face (which is usually rounder), but hair texture as well (oftentimes straight and a tad style-stubborn).
It was hard, but we managed to curate a shortlist of our top three favorite Korean hairstyles for this season. Now if you could just tear yourself away from that K-Drama for a sec…
Hot Korean Hairstyles for 2016
1. Soft unicorn hues
An oldie but goodie, long hair (whether voluminously wavy or in a simple, straight version) gets a style update with the addition of some cotton candy color. Several Asian-American bloggers and even Seoul pop stars have been all about this hot trend, which is a great way to get their naturally dark hair to stand out among the crowd.
Cop the look: Once you have your #MermaidHair color du jour—we love us some griolet and pink ombré hair for the summer—start with an at-home deep-conditioning treatment for your locks to replenish the moisture sapped during bleaching. After rinsing and blowdrying till damp, coat hair evenly with a thermal protectant. Divide hair into sections, and proceed to curl each section around a 1.25” thick curling iron barrel. Repeat on all sections, and brush curls out gently for a soft look. Finish with some shine spray, such as Bed Head by TIGI Headrush, to give your standout color even more sex appeal. Pigtail braids optional, but also highly recommended.
2. Dandy-boy bob
The chunky, chin-length bob is a Korean hairstyle favored by the trendier set. Perhaps it’s because it inherently makes you look younger, or maybe because not a lot of people can wear it and look put-together, but there’s definitely something classy and aspirational about this uljjang (“best face”) favorite ’do. It employs a one-length cut all throughout the bob, with slight layering at the chin and an all-over gentle wave.
Cop the look: Ask your stylist for a soft, chin-length bob with minimal layers. To style, start with freshly washed and conditioned hair (we need that fluff!) and apply some styling spray or mousse, from roots to tips. Blowdry hair with a round brush, looping the very ends around the barrel for a slight wavy bend. Repeat on the entire end, and mist hair with some frizz-fighting spray to set. We like how TRESemmé Climate Protection Mousse helps keep volume and style in place even in high humidity—super important for straight, frizz-prone hair.
3. Wispy bangs
We don’t know why we love this look (potential forehead grease trap!), but we really, really do. The style features scattered, whisper-light bang sections on your forehead, and is a much more democratic take on the fringe than the fuller, French-girl kind, which not many can pull off. Wanting to have our bangs look stringy and just like we crossed three avenues in the summer heat can be puzzling to some, but matched with loose waves and big sunglasses? It-girl chic!
Cop the look: Ask your stylist for a thin, eyebrow-grazing fringe long enough to be swept to either side, or worn middle-parted. Some light layers that start just below the ears can give a slightly mussy, bookish dimension to the look too. Mist a volumizing dry shampoo, such as Dove Refresh+Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo around 12 inches away to revitalize any stringiness and inject it with bounce during the day. Zhuzh up and accessorize with something cute and sparkly on one side, or wear as is.
What Korean hairstyles are you looking to try out?