It’s that time of year when wading through buzzy summer haircuts in search of a new look is only natural. “Summer is time for freedom and a fresh start,” says Travis Speck, a senior hairstylist at Suite Caroline in SoHo. “A hair refresh activates self-expression in new beginnings.”
If the warm weather is inspiring you to lose a few strategic inches for some new shape and movement, you’re not alone. “In the heat, chopping some hair can be invigorating and reinventing,” says fellow pro Dhiran Mistry. It could be something radical, like a full chop or a graphic new silhouette, or something a bit more subtle, like a new set of layers or face-framing ringlets. “A haircut that embraces natural texture is effortless,” says Speck. “You should be able to run out the door and let your hair fly in the summer breeze.”
Whether that inspires a curtain of fringe, a gamine pixie, or a transformative new bob is up to you. Here, industry pros present an array of It girl-approved summer haircuts to consider before your next salon visit.
Wolf cuts and shullets
According to Dhiran Mistry, who splits his time between New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, the lines between the mullet, shag, and TikTok-popular “wolf cut” are continuing to blur in new and exciting ways. On one end, there’s the shullet, which is a soft mullet, and then there’s the more graphic high-low mullet, as seen on Iris Law and FKA Twigs. “There’s definitely an evolution happening where it’s getting shorter around the hairline with still some length at the back,” says Mistry, adding: “I say evolution as most hairstylists will adapt a look to suit a person’s hair texture and their style in general.”
This spring, hairstylist Mara Roszak debuted the “’90s heartthrob haircut” and since then, the style—a choppy, layered bob featuring close-cropped layers at the nape of the neck and then longer, cheekbone-sweeping pieces in the front—has continued to take off. “I love a bob for the summertime,” says Roszak. “Getting the hair up and off the neck can feel so refreshing, plus it looks so chic and cool!”
“This summer, I’m seeing haircuts that feels airy and light with layers,” explains hairstylist and R+Co Collective member Jenny Cho. “It doesn’t require a brush or a definite part.” Case in point: The layered shag she gave model and Squid Game star Hoyeon Jung. “It’s an easy style to achieve to bring out natural waves or bends in damp hair you’re letting air dry,” says Cho. “It gives it a break from heat styling tools.”
As of late, pro Johnnie Sapong has been receiving requests for Gallic-inspired pixies a la Zoë Kravitz and Léa Seydoux. “It’s the homme et femme effect,” says Sapong. “The French call it the ‘garçonne.’ It’s strong, bold, and sexy.”
For a more relaxed crop, look no further than a collarbone-grazing lob as seen on the ever-chic Laura Harrier. Crafted by her hairstylist Bryce Scarlett, the longer silhouette proves that losing a few inches can go a long way for a sleek new look. The length can also breath new life into a pre-existing shag as seen on Selena Gomez.
“Bottleneck bangs are a hybrid between a full and grown-out fringe,” British pro George Northwood told Vogue of the latest French girl-inspired look, most recently seen on Emily Ratajkowski during Cannes Film Festival. “It gets longer at the sides, and essentially morphs into a grown-out fringe. It offers the best of both worlds.” Gregory Russell emphasizes that bangs cut in the summer grow out perfectly for autumn, too. “Bangs give an instant style, which makes them great for summer, but they’ll also grow out by fall into a shaggier split fringe,” explains Russell, who has popularized the look on client Lilly Collins.
Roaring 2022 bobs
Speck finds himself shearing crops that are sleekly graduated or rounded in the front. “Think babes from the ’20s living in the ’70s and imagine Louise Brooks wearing shimmery blush and a Halston slip dress,” says Speck. “This strong, shorter shape has previously emerged when culture was pushing for freedom, from flappers to Chloë Sevigny in the ‘90s.”
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.