Show of hands, how many of you have stretched out wash days and abandoned your heat tools over the past year? No judgement. But now, we’re supposed to brush ourselves off and get back up and at ’em?
We don’t necessarily have to wake up half an hour early to steamroll our hair with a straightening iron, though. Instead, we have something else in mind: haircuts that do all the hard work for us. A phenomenal chop should carry the weight of any styling meaning it should work just as well when we wash and go as when we can be faffed to throw a bit of tonging in.
So we asked some of our fave hairstylists for their edit of the top low-maintenance hairstyles.
Short, layered cuts
Short chops aren’t only widely popular this year, thanks to the “new-start-new-me” mentality we have going on at the moment, they’re also very chic and very low maintenance. “My clients opt for short-layered cuts when they need something low maintenance,” reveals celebrity hairstylist, Dionne Smith, whose worked with the likes of Regina King and Venus Williams. “It’s good to have the length at the crown but it feathered at the front. This keeps hair looking good in-between cuts and needs very little styling,” she adds. As for pro products, “for straight hair, a little salt spray, like Jerome Russell BStyled Wave and Salt Spray(£6.99) will work wonders,” Dionne says.
“The 90’s shaggy bob is perfect for the summer and to show off texture with little styling effort,” says Tom Warr at Blue Tit London‘s Dalston salon. “It’s the ideal low maintenance cut,” he adds. He’s not the only one who thinks so. “A short, choppy bob is perfect for this time of year, as you can leave it to air dry which will add texture for that real undone look,” says celebrity hairstylist George Northwood (who counts Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Meghan Markle as clients). His famous signature bob isn’t too precise or polished, so it has longevity and grows out really well. In terms of upkeep, George recommends a quality shampoo and conditioner. The Unpolluted shampoo (£12) from his Undone range offers a gentle detox and lifts away product build-up for a clean slate. Meanwhile the Ouai Leave-In-Conditioner (£22) will keep any frizz at bay and can be left in damp hair to do its thang.
“There’s a big move towards low maintenance styles that require minimum effort,” says top hairstylist and afro expert, Charlotte Mensah, who predicts that buzz cuts will be even bigger. Already we’ve seen some of our favourite celebs, like Tiffany Hadid, make the cut. It’s the ultimate fresh-start chop and it plays straight into the bold hair transformations we’ll be seeing throughout this year. An added bonus? It’s a breeze to look after. As she explained why she buzzed her hair on Instagram, Tiffany Hadid proclaimed. “I’m gonna be using that same energy that I would have been putting into my hair, into my mind.” We like her style. Just remember, if you’re buzzing all the way, to protect your scalp with a spray on SPF. Clarins plant-enriched Sun Care Oil Mist for Body and Hair (£22) is super nourishing.
“Most clients with collarbone and longer hair no longer want to support a corporate polished blowdry without a hair out of place,” says Ricky Walters, founder of Salon64. “Layered collarbone cuts are best worn with a get up and go attitude. Less is certainly more,” he adds. “Layers are designed to give a disheveled tousled look so anyone finding their hair is sitting too block and heavy as well as fighting your hair with the hairdryer every morning, I would highly recommend adding some shorter layers.” Dionne agrees. “A longer-length bob that skims the shoulders or collarbone has all of the style kudos of a blunt bob, but can work in an undone, natural texture or straightened for an effortless style.”
Lightly layered lengths
“A longer length with some very soft long layers for some shape and volume at the crown will be popular,” says celebrity hairstylist and SheaMoisture UK ambassador, Stefan Bertin, who works with Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Letitia Wright and Alessandra Ambrosio. “Too soft and the haircut falls flat but if it’s not soft enough, the hair will need some manipulation to really look good. Your hairstylist should be able to perfectly match the level of softness to your hair cut and type,” he says, but essentially a few scattered layers can give you the volume and shape you need whether you choose to style it or not.