Cutting-edge and wildly trendsetting, Asian hairstyles 2016 have always been on the forefront of what’s new and exciting in the hair industry. Maybe it’s the fact that Asian hair is typically dark, straight and thick—it lends itself to a lot more experimentation and, speaking from experience, the occasional style rut too.
Looks that add texture and dimension are high on the list, as well as styles that take advantage of thickness without looking too heavy or one-note. Hair dye also helps Asian hairstyles stand out from the crowd, as well as bangs, perms and waves that provide a bit of a textural change-up. Scroll down for a few of our standout Asian hairstyles 2016 that we love.
Asian Hairstyles 2016: Now Trending
1. Blunt Bob/Bang
This power-combo version of the bob is one of the most ubiquitous hairstyles we’ve seen this year. The look, which features bangs cut straight across the brow bone and a length that barely hits the chin, is admittedly directional, but surprisingly flattering as well, as it minimizes a wide forehead. The wedge look on the sides also minimize wider or fleshier face shapes, and also gives a definite structure to a simple sheath of dark hair without overwhelming the wearer.
2. Slicked Back
2016 saw the rebirth of the wet look on both the runway and street style scene. We’re completely on board: It’s pretty much foolproof (all you need is some gel and a comb) and just an extra shot of confidence to pull off all that face. A slicked-back hairstyle, although democratic, is easiest to achieve on shorter cuts such as the bob and the pixie. For a version friendly for everyday, do it on parted hair with a quarter-sized dollop of maximum hold gel, such as TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel, raked through the roots to the ends.
3. Colored Curls
Elevate that regular wavy hairstyle with a standout shade (Ed’s note: We’re partial to red and Chocolate mauve hair lately!). This style update is a win-win, as both elements of the look—texture and color—set it apart from the pack. For a truly fashionable take, go for tighter, narrower curls (just a few inches shy of crimping, another runway-hot trend for 2016) and form them a bit higher than the normcore ear-length level. A color-protective gloss, such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Glossing Tonic, also keeps your hue shiny, vibrant and healthy-looking.
4. Tucked In
If you can’t part with your long, straight locks, tucking them in à la faux bob, whether into your collar or via bobby pins, can offer a quick style update to those Asian hairstyles without any tears or regret. Best on straight, blown out locks, this look has a fun trompe l’oeil effect that also looks super-sleek and polished, as it best resembles a sharp lob, or the unofficial hairstyle of a lot of high-profile fashion editors. A volumizing lotion, such as Bed Head by TIGI Motor Mouth, helps infuse your hair with some body and sheen when blowdrying, so the style still looks bouncy even when reined in a shirt collar.
5. Ashy Lob
Asian hair is actually quite hardy—it can withstand a good bleaching and still retain some level of integrity. Take advantage of this (reasonably, of course) by experimenting with lighter, ashier shades that flatter paler skintones with yellow undertones, such as champagne and beige blonde. The trick to healthy-looking dyed hair? Sporting it in a medium length, which cuts off any ends damaged by the bleaching process. Wearing the lob slightly rumpled and naturally blown out, perhaps via a root lifter such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Hydra-Light Root Lifting Mist, adds to its street cred.
6. Piecey Bangs
Chunky, semi-piecey bangs were a huge Korean hair trend earlier this year, and we don’t see these Asian hairstyles 2016 shrinking away anytime soon. Not quite as full (and also slightly staticky), this look has a quirky appeal that reminds us of our own schoolgirl fringes back in the day, but with a grownup twist that comes from razored edges. This hairstyle is ideal for bang girls looking for a fresh way to wear their fringe and is easily worn for everyday with some dry shampoo to remove any grease, such as Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo.
7. Adult Pigtails
Asian hairstyles 2016 are known to lean towards the cuter and more feminine, so wearing hair in grownup pigtails—gelled on top and rendered via faux dreads (as above), or Double Dutches—definitely leaves an impression. Women who want to play around with their look but leave their color or texture unaltered can try braided hairstyles, which give straight hair more dimension without the permanence. Bonus: This is a super-trending hairstyle, and keeps strands on lock even during the gustiest of winds.
Looking for more Asian hairstyles 2016? Check out some of our favorite Asian hairstyles and how to achieve them.