Summer is starting to peak out from behind spring rainclouds, which means it’s officially time to hang up our jackets and store our sweaters in exchange for tank tops, kitten-heel sandals, and jorts. It also may mean that it’s a good time to change up your hair. The best ways to bring a summer spin to your look? By lightening up, making playful tweaks, or making your hair lower maintenance. Celebrity hairstylist Cynthia Alvarez explains the season is all about being “easy, breezy, and free”. When it comes to color, Shvonne Perkins, master colorist at Madison Reed, says that less is more in the summer months. Instead, “it's not about making big dramatic changes, it's about soft shifts in tone or adding spotlight highlights that make the overall color sing,” she says. Even bolder changes are about channeling a casual and fancy-free attitude. Abby Haliti, colorist and founder of her self-named Color Studio expects to see effortless natural hair flow and vibrant hues to trend, because they “reflect a carefree spirit and a desire for a more natural look,” she explains.
There’s still time to start plotting and preparing for your summer hair debut. To help you decide, NYLON spoke to four hair colorists and stylists to share the hair trends they are expecting will take over our social feeds this season.
Summer Hair Trend #1: Face-Framing Layers
Los Angeles-based hairstylist Bradley Leake says summer 2023 will continue the revival of the ’90’s blowout. “[The cut] creates volume and movement, making the mid-length haircut and face-framing layers on the trending styles leaderboard,” he explains. Especially now that he observes many people are prioritizing their hair care and wash routines more—they can make a great blowout last for days. With a hair cut that basically does all the styling work, it’s an easy look to upkeep all summer long.
Summer Hair Trend #2: Peek-a-boo Color
In keeping with the return of nostalgic hair trends, Leake also sees vivid pops of hair color coming back into the trend cycle—only this time in a more subtle way. The look gets a 2023 update when the colorful highlights read more like “peek-a-boo pops” around the hairline or in the underlayers of hair.
Summer Hair Trend #3: Micro Bangs
Haliti says that as people are on the search for lower maintenance haircuts during the summertime, which is why people opt for “shorter lengths or bold layers and bangs,” she explains. This year, however, even shorter bangs have been having a major moment, setting us up for a summer of micro bangs à la romantic lead Amélie. However, bangs this short can actually require a lot of maintenance, like styling them against your curl pattern or keeping up with trims. So those following in the footsteps of Olivia and Emily best beware that being this on-trend might require some extra effort.
Summer Hair Trend #4: Fairy Pastel Shades
Alvarez says pastel fashion trending will also inspire many people to get curious about trying out these soft shades for their hair. “It’s the fun, lighthearted, hippie vibe we all expect with warmer weather,” she explains. “Pinks in particular are going to be popular because the tone is flattering on all skin tones." Alvarez advise to consider warmer shades of pink for deeper skin tones and cooler shades for lighter skin tones.
Summer Hair Trend #5: Mermaid Lengths
Alvarez says that no matter what trends her clients are interested in, everyone this year is laser focused on hair care. While it’s always important to think about hair health, it’s no coincidence that we’ve all also been watching Halle Bailey serving major mermaid hair inspo both in The Little Mermaid reboot and on the red carpet. Expect to see a lot of emphasis on growing long, healthy hair (or just getting extensions that look like it).
Summer Hair Trend #6: Subtle Ombre
Seeing the word “ombre” might give you flashbacks to 2013, but Perkins says that the newest version is subtler and softer than the stark bleached ends of years past. Think 1970s, not Tumblr. The new ombre “features a solid root with grown-in, sun-kissed color weaved throughout the mid-lengths and ends,” Perkins says. “It looks effortless while still adding dimension and waking up the skin with a little brightness.”
Summer Trend #7: Spicy Red
When the coolest girls of the moment, Ice Spice and Julia Fox change their hair to a spicy, bright paprika red shade in the same week, you know it’s about to be everywhere. Perkins says that blondes will shift closer to a turmeric hair shade (or apricot blonde) and other redheads will go primary color red, for a fresh twist on the copper craze.
Summer Trend #8: Bombshell Volume
You’ve already heard of the Pamela Anderson updo, but what about her other main hairstyle—bombshell blowout? Super pumped up hairstyles exist on a spectrum between ’60s French movie star and ’90s video vixen— all of which are fabulous.