If our dip-dyed ends and in-between bob haircuts aren’t proof enough, it’s that trends are notoriously fickle and playing catch up can sometimes just be a case in futility. However, there’s something to be said about summer hair trends in particular: It’s like the hair gods know that the world is on vacation, and anything overly fussy or moody will just spoil the fun. It’s pretty nice, actually, to get a couple of months reprieve before the strict, back-to-school seriousness of the fall. These days, it’s all about the dog days of rumpling up, leaving your hair down and just letting the good times roll—in a perfect done/undone hairstyle, natch.
We’ve all been there: One eye paying attention to the latest trends, and the other just too lazy/punch-drunk/busy packing for the next road trip to care.
Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? Below, your most distilled, most quintessential list of hair trends for the summer to keep you comfortably this side of basic, without the stress of overthinking it. Read on for your most fashionable CliffsNotes ever:
5 Summer Hair Trends To Keep Your Look Current
1. The Cut: The West Coast Shag
More and more reality show stars and Hollywood A-Listers alike are hopping on the chunky lob bandwagon, and everybody knows it. For actors, models and other hair chameleons, chopping their hair off might be a preemptive strike against further damage and split ends; for others, it might be a career move or a rebellion against hair extensions. Whatever the case, as far as summer hair trends go, it’s certainly the cut to ask for if you want to freshen up those tired, gnarly-looking ends, and sport a super flattering, collarbone-grazing length no less. Ask your stylist for choppy layers that can be parted either way (messy middle parts are fire for 2016), and if you’re anxious about its styling potential, look no further than some sea salt spray and a nonchalant scrunch. Saltwater and some effortless swag? Just like a true Cali girl.
2. The Color: Nude
In case you didn’t hear us the first 327 times, lightening up can open up a whole new world of possibilities, especially for the summer—nothing is quite as fetching with a golden glow. However, neutral hair shades—cool ash bronde, quiet caramel or café au lait—lend a certain cool-girl insouciance to your whole look by being low-maintenance but sophisticated, and still light enough to satisfy any blonde cravings. It’s like your official hairflip to all the peroxide blondes popping up on the block, who will eventually have to deal with green-tinged locks or ends that are porous beyond repair. Also, nude hair colors neutralize the red from an overzealous tanning session and stand out against your bright summer wardrobe too. Win-win-win.
3. The Highlights: Ecaille
Ecaille, or “tortoiseshell,” is exactly what you think: dark brown with a lighter, honey blonde melted in, like swimming pool ripples made of caramel. The look is subtle, natural, expensive—golden blonde layers add dimension, balayage-style, to a darker base, preferably one that’s only up to three to four shades lighter. On a chunky lob, it adds heft and a peek-a-boo flirtiness; on longer layers, it provides a sun-streaked effect that only looks more legit the more it grows out.
4. The Add-On: Baby Bangs
Dubbing this the dark horse of 2016, but wow, what a snowball effect indeed! The baby bang resurgence is the best example of how being in the right place at the right time can give us new perspectives. Coming on to the summer hair trends scene exactly when the ’90s were enjoying a S/S 2016 runway renaissance, the baby bang became the perfect fringe to match with your new shag, those pigtail braids or that crisp chin-length bob. You’ll have all summer to enjoy the fringe’s non-obtrusive, eye-opening length, which will then have grown out to a sexy, side-swept version to pair with Fall/Winter chignons come September. Perfect!
5. The Texture: Moppy Layers
Moppy layers are like festival hair without the accessories, or beach hair without the crunch—in short, second-day hair in all its gloriously uneven, slightly matte glory. Layers are left in a true laissez-faire state, kind of unbrushed towards the ends with a stringy feel. Skeptics, read on: In the summer, hair should look more relaxed and almost like it’s taking a backburner to your having a good time (keyword: almost). To mimic this grungy-hair-devil-may-care finish, ask your stylist to point-cut the ends into a sort of ragged, ratty finish that you can then texturize with some mousse, like the TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Touchable Bounce Mousse, then finger-curl for loose waves. This look, though a bit messy, has enough appeal to take you from front row at a festival to a romantic rooftop date.
Looking for more summer trends? Be sure to check out the short summer haircuts we love.