From short hairstyles to French braids, hair trends are a lot to keep up with. We speak to Shawn Chia, associate salon director of Chez Vous: HideAway, and ask him to share his thoughts on this year’s biggest hairstyle trends

Thinking of finally getting a short hairstyle such as a pixie cut this year? Well, it may be the right move because it’s among some of this year’s biggest hairstyle trends.

It’s never easy deciding on a new haircut or hair colour because of a variety of reasons, from not knowing what suits you to being unable to decide on your favourite style.

This year, some have said braids are (once again) making a comeback and have been seen on models such as Gigi Hadid on the runway. But not everyone feels the same way.

Shawn Chia, associate salon director of Chez Vous: HideAway, believes that braids aren’t necessarily going to trend this year.

“Braids have been making several comebacks in the last decade on the runway. However, it rarely takes off in reality, especially in Asia. Because it is pretty troublesome to braid our own hair at home. Influencers might deliberately wear them for their grid—at best. Not so much for the masses,” Chia told us in an e-mail interview.

Want some inspiration on which hairstyles to try in 2021? We asked the hairstylist to reveal his predictions and share his thoughts on popular hairstyles among Singaporean women, the most requested look at his salon as well as the hair trends that are here to stay. 

Below, Chia shares with us nine hairstyles that you should probably try this year:

1. Behind-the-ear Pixie Bob

To snip or not to snip? As it turns out… it’s probably best to cut most of of your tresses off.

Shawn Chia (SC): “Tucked-behind-the-ear hairstyle has become the go-to short haircut in Seoul. If you’re a fan of Korean dramas, you would have seen countless Korean actresses sporting it as well. It’s perfect for working professionals who want to look classy without looking overly serious. This cheery-looking hairstyle is a crossbreed between a Bob and a Pixie haircut. One can opt to have their hair texturised with layers at the crown for greater body and lightness too.” 

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2. Curtain Layered Fringe

If you’ve been considering going for a bold new look that doesn’t involve getting usual bangs, try this instead. In fact, it adds some definition to your visage. 

SC: “Curtain Bangs are fringe that are parted and layered, framing your face on each side (much like a curtain does with a window). When matched with curls, the look is simply chic and modish. Curtain bangs used to be popular back in the 70s and are now trending, once again. The updated version is one that is less heavy, more layered and texturised. Thanks to Hollywood megastars such as Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez and Ariana Grande, Curtain Bangs is now the go-to hairstyle for celebrities who wish to have a hair-makeover without sacrificing the overall hair length. In Seoul, many celebrities are also sporting Curtain Bangs or Fringe to create a framing effect even when they tie up their hair. This hairstyle is well-received by many women in Singapore because it’s low-maintenance unlike conventional bangs, and it helps create greater volume while contouring the face shape for a visually slimming effect without going under the knife or dieting.”

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3. Airy Bob

Yes, short hairdos are trending this year. In fact, it's among one of the most popular hairstyles that are well-loved and can never be labelled as a 'wrong' look.

SC: “Bob hairstyles will always be classic and never out-of-trend. Just that the feel and style will vary according to seasons. In 2021, the trend is moving towards the Airy Bob. It’s moderately texturised without losing the shape, and more effortless-looking. A little frizz and disconnection make it look chic, current and contemporary (i.e. less “perfect”, neat and sleek). Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many customers prefer to “loosen up” and go easy with their hairstyles. The beauty of the Airy Bob is that it gives you a light-hearted “beach holiday” vibe. Spray on Oribe Texturising Spray all over a lightly-permed hair, ruffle it a little and you’re good to go.”

4. Modern Shag

Not for the faint-hearted: it’s edgy with a whole lot of character so tread wisely even if you want a hairdo that you’ve never tried before.

SC “Modern Shag is a haircut style that has been layered to various lengths. It is characterised by the longer lengths at the back vis-à-vis the sides. The layers are often texturized at the front, sides and back. It first made a comeback last year in Europe and America. Now, we can see this medium-length hairstyle on by many streetwear and fashion forward influencers in all major cities in China.”

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5. Ear loop highlights

If Lisa from Blackpink is wearing this hairstyle, sign us up for the same look. This trend kicked off in the middle of 2020 and clearly, it is not going anywhere. 

SC: “Ear loop highlights is similar to the concept of peekaboo highlights, where only the under-layers around the ears of our hair are lightened and often dyed. This trend has just started to rage thanks to Lisa from Blackpink, who popularised it.

Since only certain sections of our locks require bleaching, the rest of our tresses won't have to incur the same chemical damage – making it a popular choice amongst many women who are keen to add some “colours” to their image without severely damaging their hair. Nor, will it break the office dress code (as long as it’s well-hidden). It’s popularity will continue to grow in 2021.”

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6. Money Piece or Rogue Fringe

Just as we had suspected, the '90s trend is far from over—and we're not talking about just fashion.

SC: “Money Piece refers to face-framing highlights in balayage that start at the root and continue to the ends of the hair. However, in 2021, high contrast bleached fringes (a.k.a. Rogue Fringe) is flooding our Instagram feed. This '90s hair trend is making a comeback thanks to celebrities like Beyonce, Jennie from Blackpink, Dua Lipa, and Kylie Jenner. This statement piece is perfect for adding a pop of light and dimension to one’s hairdo while accentuating your hair colour and facial features.”

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7. Maple Brown hair colour

Hair colour trends come and go, making it pretty tough to keep up with—especially in the realm of K-beauty where South Korean celebrities always seem to be sporting the latest look.

SC: “In Asia, many customers take hair trend cues from the South Korean’s entertainment industry, thanks to the Hallyu wave. In recent seasons, we can sport Maple Brown lookalike hair hues on various Korean celebrities such as Lee Dong Wook in his latest drama, Tale of Nine Tailed; and Han So Hee in the blockbuster drama, The World of the Married. The trend towards copper and cinnamon tinted brown hair colours is rising in Asia, as they are highly flattering for most Asian skin tone. Moreover, more and more customers prefer hair colours that do not involve severe bleaching (damage), nor styles that scream excessively for attention, post the Covid-19 lockdown saga. Instead, wearable hair colours that are classy, elegant and office-friendly—without being overly mundane and boring—are preferred. All of which, Maple Brown fits the bill perfectly.”

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8. C Curls + S Curls Rebonding

What’s not to love about this evergreen and classic ‘do?

SC: “The number of S-Curls and C-Curls Rebonding hairstyle requests post the Covid-19 lockdown has shot through the roof. It seems like more customers are going for simpler and elegant hairstyles that doesn’t scream excessively for attention. Yet, the slight movement at the hair ends makes it less boring. And, S-Curls and C- Curls Rebonding fits the bill perfectly. Our prediction is that this will continue into 2021.”

9. Bayalage

SC: “Balayage will continue to trend in the near future.”

Enough said. This hairstyle is not going away. If you haven’t tried it—what are you waiting for?

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