Normally when I do these round-ups there’s some mild trepidation because I’m bearing news like: in order to be fashionable you’re going to need to shave half your head or wear enormous shoulder pads or do something that I know most moms are going to roll their eyes at because if you don’t have time to find clean underwear, how are you going to figure out how to style half a head of hair?
But, I have magical news, because 2016 is definitely the year of going natural. Okay, fine. Not “actual natural” where you walk around with weird kinks in your hair because you showered before you went to bed and mascara rings around your eyes because you were too tired to take off your makeup, but “fashion natural,” which is still way better than shoulder pads, am I right? Woohoo!
Here are the hottest hairstyles for 2016:
Image: Getty/Chris Weeks
Air Dried Hair ala Alexa Chung – Yes, you read that right. One of the top trends for 2016 is totally natural hair that you let air dry—NO HAIR DRYERS ALLOWED. (I swear I just heard a chorus of angels.) The look you’re going for is easy, beachy, without a care in the world (totally my life). The key to getting it is a great haircut and talking to your hairdresser to find the right leave-in product. This is one of those times when a little bit of money up front can save you a whole lot of time later.
Image: Getty/Rabbani and Solimene Photography
Natural, Curly Bangs ala Solange Knowles – Naturally curly and bangs are not two words that often go together in the fashion world, but they are (thankfully) having a big moment. No more sculpting or straightening the gorgeous waves out of your bangs. Instead, style them just like you would the rest of your hair. (This is another place where a good cut and product are key.)
Image: Getty/Frazer Harrison
Textured Lob ala Michelle Williams – The biggest haircut of last year—the lob or longer bob—isn’t going anywhere, it’s just getting a bit of an update. Rather than last years’ stick-straight locks, the lob of 2016 has textured ends to give it more movement for an easier look.
Image: Getty/Alessio Botticelli
Natural Looking Color ala Jessica Alba – This year’s color is all about looking like you just happen to spend all of your days by the pool, letting the sun gently kiss your locks until they lighten up just enough to brighten your face, but not enough to get brassy and bold. So, basically, just do what you normally do, right? HAHAHA. Or you can ask your hairdresser for babylights—tiny highlights that give you the same effect and still allow you to get dinner on the table for your family.
Image: Getty/John Shearer
Highly Dramatic and Geometrical Cuts ala Zoe Kazan – For those gals who may not want to air dry (OMG, what?!?), 2016 is also the year of the opposite end of the spectrum—the geometrical cut. Zoe Kazan rocked the 2016 Golden Globes with this killer cut, which looked beyond fresh, while Gwen Stefani debuted a temporary straight, blue cut fit for a rock star.
Image: Getty/Jason LaVeris
Super Short ala Nicole Richie – There’s a little hidden secret about super short hair—it is so easy. If you have a good cut, it typically takes just a blast or two with the hair dryer to get it into shape, and if you have (here I go again) the right product, it will last all day. Plus, it’s surprisingly versatile—Nicole Richie’s super short bob works slicked back, with easy bangs, and as a traditional bob.
Image: Getty/Jon Kopaloff
Long, Textured Layers ala Mila Kunis – For ladies who want to rock the longer locks, it’s still all about texture. Rather than the blunt cuts we’ve been seeing, layers are long and flattering and—OMG, you totally guessed it—more natural looking.
Wondering what hair trends are officially dead? Head to the next page to find out…