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 Right Now
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 Shine Spray, 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 Suave Extra Hold Shaping Mousse helps keep volume and style in place while enriching hair with vitamins and proteins.
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 Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower 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.
4. Loose Bun
We all have our days when we only have enough effort to create easy hairstyles. Lucky for you, this loose bun style is universal. We’ve spotted this look just about everywhere, but we absolutely adore it as the cherry on top of an off-duty look.
Cop the look: Gather hair into a loose pony and secure with a strong hair tie. Smooth any cowlicks back with Bed Head by TIGI Stick.
5. Fringe Bob
What’s a roundup of our favorite Korean hairstyles without the classic fringe bob hairstyle? We definitely know this is a go-to style amongst many but seriously, who can blame them? If you’re after a signature look, here’s the hairstyle to try.
Cop the look: Whatever you do, don’t take matters into your own hands. Book an appointment with a stylist that can execute the perfect bang and bob cut for you. Once you have the cut, keep your style in place by using TRESemmé TRES Two Unscented Extra Hold Hair Spray.
6. Full Ponytail
Do you want to talk about voluminous ponytail goals for a sec? If you have thick hair, we challenge you to live your best ponytail life. Take advantage of it!
7. The Half-Up
Whether you’re looking for a way to update your lived-in strands, or just want to try your hand at a trending hairstyle, the half-up is a hit. A bold pout can elevate the look to make it feel less basic.
Cop the look: Gather the top half of your hair into a mid-ponytail and you’re done. How easy is that?
8. Ice Blonde Cut
Ice, ice baby! This icy blonde hue looks good on any Korean hairstyle you can think off. Maintaining the color may be a pain, but it’s well worth it all.
Cop the look: Go to a professional. No one likes a brassy or yellow bleach job. What you can do at-home is make sure you are treating your hair with the right shampoo. Use a shampoo like Nexxus Blonde Assure Purple Shampoo and Conditioner to keep your color in tip-top shape.
9. Pink Bob
Think pink! What don’t we love about the color pink? It might as well be a neutral because it goes with everything, amirite? Shake things up a bit by adding a pink hue to your look.
Cop the look: Ask your stylist for a pink gloss for a temporary change.
10. Sleek Ponytail
Sleek, chic, and fine all around. We can’t get enough of a sexy bone straight ponytail style. Wear this ponytail to any outing since the look is so versatile.
Cop the look: Smooth straight hair back into a low ponytail style using a boar-bristled brush.