From Bangs To Bobs, Here Are The Top Hair Trends Of 2021 #ELLERewind


The pandemic had people googling hair care and styling tips left, right and centre. Stuck at home, wild colouring attempts ensured, DIY techniques were employed for growth and volume, and of course almost everyone had the dreaded “Oops, I cut my own bangs!” phase. Admittedly hair trends swung wildly from sexy to sullen but hey, desperate times called for desperate measures for maintaining one’s hair game at home. With the pandemic completely overhauling the way we engage with the beauty and hair care industry, on the whole, 2021 was a year for big changes (and comebacks). 

Scalp care received extra attention, taking precedence just haircare. The ground-breaking statement looks from the ‘Pink Haired Queens’ aka the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Saweetie, Lana Condor and Halsey, made the dullness outside seem less melancholic. But that’s not all. Let’s dive into our memories folder of 2021 to scoop through the hair care trends that are worth a mention.

The Ones That Made The ‘Hair’cut


1. Retro Curly Bangs

 A time machine back to the ’70s? Curly-haired girls are only recently stepping away from using flat irons and heating products. With the ‘curly girl method’ becoming a thing and everyone embracing ‘natural beauty’, a lot of people ditched products in favour of letting the curls do their thing. People embraced their natural hair texture by way of cutting, and braving bangs. Longer bangs are always recommended due to the bounce-back effect of your curls. 

2. Shaggy Layers 

Haircuts moving into ‘shag’ territory with shorter layers surrounding the face are the new low maintenance ‘it’ haircuts of 2021. This cut is defined by the layers, not by the length, and looks great on any hair type/texture. 

3. One Length Cut

Minimal yet chic, one length cuts were very popular with people walking out of the quarantine with grown out hair. The transitional cut gave hairstylists the opportunity to give their clients a healthy cut without doing too much to tresses that hadn’t seen the insides of a hair salon for months.

4. Curtain Bangs 

The soft, sultry framer of faces, the ever-popular curtain bangs made their comeback in 2020 (followed all through 2021), and we have absolutely no complaints. Another low-maintenance wonder, curtain bangs are well-suited by long-haired and short-haired queens alike. 

5. The Bob’s Back 

2021 marked the return of the iconic bob. Bobs look great when they’re slick & straight, or showing off a flirty edge for some waves using a flat iron. Lengths of the bob may differ, and you can customise them according to your hair texture and according to the hair trends of the season

2021 Hairstyles To ‘Dye’ For


1. Half Up Half Down

All you need is a hair tie and a few minutes. The summer of 2021 was when this hairdo was at the peak of its popularity, but with claw clips making a comeback (JK, they were never out of style), the half up half down hairstyle got a fun accessory to clip on during days out in the sun. 

2. Instagram Curls

Those voluminous curls you’ve seen popping up on your Instagram feed all through 2021 show no signs of slowing down. Wavy, beachy hair with big curls so your hair has a ton of volume, along with looking red-carpet ready at all times, everyone is doing that. 

3. The Power Pony

This versatile hairdo shows off your facial features while keeping your hair intact. Arianna did it first, but various celebrities and power corporate ladies have taken a liking to this hairstyle. Also, it saves your lip gloss from going everywhere. We love. 

4. Messy Waves

The shaggy layer haircut became a favourite and the tousled messy waves came right after. The length of your hair isn’t a concern, messy waves are a beachy godsend for a day or night out, and 2021 witnessed a lot of it.  

5. Space Buns

Cute but edgy, but cute. Space buns have the versatility of being used in half up half down hairstyles as well, or with you showing off those 2021 curtain bangs. Miley made this trend so very popular, with all the 90’s kids hopping onto the trend. A tip: if you have less hair to play with, make sure you don’t use all of it in the space buns, you want the updo to still add volume to your hair.

Don’t Cross The Hairline


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2021 was the time for experiments in the hair trends and treatments space (whether at home or in the salon – thank God for these reopening amirite?). The DIYs at home consisted mostly of grandma’s recipes with aloe vera, curd, eggs, hibiscus being just a few of the main players in the space. Plant-based products gained popularity as well, and hair masks made of natural products or as recommended by ayurveda took the prize. Hair masks, leave-in treatments, and fast fixes became the norm. With scalp care also becoming the new skincare in 2021, microneedling on the scalp became the go-to cosmetic treatment for regrowing hair, and minoxidil played a role in this as well. For smooth, frizz-free hair, cysteine treatments and Olaplex had more users than before.

Hair Colours That Had Is In Splits (In All The Right Ways)


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2021 was the year for trial and error where hair colour was concerned. From face-framing highlights to full-on pumpkin-spiced hair, we’ve seen it all. Colour-blocked pastels were probably Gen-Z’s favourite, soaking in all of the gloom that the year was. Platinum blondes and bleached money pieces took the cake as some of the more bold choices for the ‘it’ crowd. Edgy grey neutrals made their way into the regular balayage as a strong companion for the technique with soft melts and smoky texture. The toned-down shades that many flaunted through the seasons in 2021 were chocolatey goodness, caramel sandys, and of course sun-kissed tinges with contrasting highlights.

The Best Accessories Of 2021


Adding accessories to your hair can be your saving grace for those hair wash days you skipped. Plus they distract people from the hair day you are having, what else can one ask for? 2021 was the year for hair trends and hair accessories, with organza scrunchies and delicate flower patterns making updos look Pinterest worthy. Claw clips regained the status as a girl’s best friend, in varying sizes and multiple patterns. Studded headbands were the companion to all those Gossip Girl fans making way for the Blairs of the season, and XL clips were used to frame faces perfectly.

Photos: Instagram

- Beauty Contributor

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