Breakups and summer: the two things we find synonymous with the word haircut. (Of course, one excites us much more than the other, but that's another topic entirely.) After all, there is nothing like a major shift in life or temperature to warrant a much-need transformation where our cut, color, or perhaps tired style is concerned. And with summer finally and officially just around the corner (Memorial Day marked the unofficial-official cornerstone in that direction, after all), there's no better time to discuss what's on all of our minds: the biggest summer haircut trends of 2018.
And thankfully, since as editors we merely have inklings as to what's on the exciting haircut horizon, we had the opportunity to tap celebrity hairstylist Cervando Maldonado for his savvy predictions. (He counts such hair-blessed beauties as Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Felicity Jones as clients.)
Then, to take our summer prediction report to the nth degree, Maldonado consulted seven other amazing hairstylists based at brand-new West Hollywood–based salon 454 North for their predictions as well. Curious to find out what the biggest summer haircut trends will be for summer 2018? Keep reading for 454 North's eight collective (and temptingly chop-worthy) predictions.
The Blunt Bob With Texture
According to Maldonado, everyone will be making major length changes this summer, chopping longer strands to shoulder length, or even above the chin. The key distinction: Maldonado loves one length, blunt ends, and endless texture.
"To achieve this particular cut, make sure you find a stylist who specializes in shorter hair," he warns. Then, once you get home from the salon, it will be all about your own maintenance and styling. "You can keep the look of your cut precise by getting a cut every four to eight weeks," he continues. "But styling will vary depending on the type and texture of your hair."
For straight hair, Maldonado suggests applying a serum before blow-drying to ensure a smooth, sleek finish. Then, you'll go in with a little bit of dry shampoo (he likes the one from Sachajuan, below), to break up the blunt ends. If your hair is on the wavy or curly side. However, he recommends using a light curl cream like Oribe Curl by Definition Crème ($55), before diffusing or leaving strands to air dry. "To finish, use a light paste on the ends to create more texture and separation," he concludes.
The Curly Shag With Bangs
"My favorite summer haircut trend for 2018 is the curly shag with bangs," says celebrity hairstylist and colorist Jenda Alcorn. "So many more women (and men!) are embracing their natural curl and texture, and enhancing it with color, cutting, and products. A lot of my curly clients used to be afraid of bangs, but now they're being bold and giving it a try!"
Not sure what to ask your stylist for? Fear not—Alcorn gave us her very best tips for creating the perfect shag when lots of curl and texture are involved. "I like to cut my curly clients dry and in their natural state, like pruning a hedge or bonsai," she explains. "This is crucial since all curly clients have a different curl pattern throughout their hair." According to Alcorn, roughly 90% of the curl-blessed population have a tighter curl in the underlayer, but there are also some, albeit few, who have a straight bottom layer.
"It's always best to cut the bangs dry as each person's curl shrinkage will vary." Plus, she says, finding the perfect product for your curls is paramount. Alcorn tells us she loves the Davines formula below which gifts stands with hydration and hold. For a finer texture, she says she'll gravitate more toward a mousse or curl spray to create some extra body and movement.
"When styling your curls at home, detangle with a comb in the shower as you condition and then put the brush down for good," she advises. "Then, I recommend rinsing your hair upside down while scrunching, which boosts natural volume into your roots. And then when you're done, don't finger-comb or rough up with a towel." Instead, Alcorn suggests carefully twisting the hair up into a towel before scrunching in your product. If you're looking for an extra hit of polish, try air-drying for the majority of your wait time and then blow-drying it once the hair is 80% or 90% dry."
The Irregular Bob
As hairstylist Michaelangelo Arevalo points out, with warmer temperatures comes the temptation to go shorter with your length. But for summer 2018, he envisions the most popular bobs and lobs being a little more imperfect.
"Why not put a twist on a classic and create a little eccentricity? This style looks like a bob cut to the clavicle (or a little higher as seen here on Taylor Swift) and is less sharp and severe compared to the standard bob. Instead, the overall feel is loose and flowing—as if the cut was done swiftly," he explains.
Here's what you (and your stylist) should bear in mind: "The key to making this cut look good is to strategically leave some pieces a little longer in the front or possibly in the back—it should have attitude." Arevalo also recommends ditching your flat iron and owning your natural texture. In other words, letting it do whatever the heck it wants (blow-dryer optional).
The French-Girl Cut
With women like Caroline de Maigret and Laeticia Hallyday as his muses, hairstylist Christopher Turner says the French-inspired cuts will be a major trend this summer.
"I've always been fascinated by how French women make their hair look so good with so little effort. My clients have been moving into bobs and cuts that fall a bit below the shoulder with some type of fringe—but the kind of fringe you would never spend time on." (Which, he says, is what makes it so chic and effortless.) Another bonus, it's also a low-maintenance style once summer's rising temperatures and humidity sets in. Simply use a leave-in conditioner like the below pick from Leonor Greyl (one of Turner's favorites) and then let the hair dry to about 75%. Then, twist strands into a knot or bun, which he says will allow the hair to naturally set into a soft wave—no unnecessary heat or styling tools required.
The Summer Shag
"I love summer: the heat, warm nights, pool parties, vacation, and rosé, the entire sultry vibe we all love to have in the summer. And our hair should reflect the way we feel," says hairstylist Melissa Stone. "Effortless, natural, loose, tousled, dewy, sexy, and chic, we'll move into the summer season with the shag, which is fresh with an edge. Think long bangs paired with loose, effortless layers. This shape gives you a natural look with a rock 'n' roll edge."
Here's what to tell your stylist: According to Stone, you can keep your length and add some more layers around the top and crown with softness on the length. This, she explains, lightens up the weight of your hair and will accentuate the style with movement and texture.
Stone also recommends steering clear of heat-styling and air-drying your strands instead. Reach for oil-based products, which she explains will encourage texture, lend hydration, and keep your mane healthy all summer long. (She loves this curl gloss below from the hair goddesses at Oribe.)
The Bedhead Cut
"Nothing says summer more than effortless I-woke-up-like-this hair and texture," emphasizes hairstylist Christopher Farmer. He explains it's all about low-maintenance: "I'm loving mid-length hair for the summer. The difference between this look and past beach wave styles is that we want the hair to have a softer, more undone feel."
According to Farmer, the key to mastering this haircut is to ask your stylist for concave layers, which will allow texture or curl will show up immediately as you style. He recommends using your favorite hot tool (the bigger, the better, he says, since we're after volume here) to style and then finishing off the look with dry shampoo or texture spray to the roots and ends. Last but not least, shake it out with your hands to achieve Ciara's messy, imperfect rumple.
The Straight and Chin-Length Bob
"Short, mid-neck, or jaw-length bobs will be super hot this summer," says hairstylist Liz Sustaita. "I've been taking clients from mid- and long-length hair to short and chic. Essentially, it's a classic and symmetrical bob—one length all around. It's playful and versatile, and it's also a great way to feel that summer breeze on your neck."
Explaining that her favorite version of the haircut is one that hits right at the jawline, Sustaita also informs us the styling is incredibly effortless to create and maintain. She recommends prepping the hair with a pump of oil or serum and then reaching for a flat iron (she loves GHD) before sectioning the hair into one-inch pieces.
Next, you'll carefully slide the flat iron down the length of your hair from root to end, taking care to concentrate on the ends to achieve a sophisticated and sleek look. "For those looking for something with more volume, I suggest curling over your natural texture with a 1.25-inch curling iron and reversing each one-inch section in opposite directions," advises Sustaita. To finish, you'll flip your head over and apply a dry texture spray onto the inside layers of the hair. That way, when you flip your head upright, you'll have lots of volume for what Sustaita describes as an "undone-done playful bob."
Long and Invisible Layers
According to hairstylist Brian Borg, many clients are also coming in and requesting longer haircuts (aka the anti-bob) with Victoria's Secret models as their inspiration—long, layered, and flowing.
"I love to cut in a form that I call invisible layers," Borg explains. "When you wear your hair straight, you don't see the layers and they blend in really nicely for a sleek finish. However, when you wave or curl the hair, the layers really pop and you get a lot more texture."
To create a perfectly tousled look for summer, Borg tells us he reaches for a 1.25-inch curling iron. (He swears by the one from Hot Tools shown below.) "I start in the front temple area, and each wave I create will alternate. So if the first section is going forward, the section next to it is going backward. Then, wrap the hair around the curling iron, and make sure to leave out a good two inches at the end, which lends a lived-in, beachy look. Once all the hair is curled and cooled, I'll spray strands with a texturizing spray before shaking it out."
However, he does point out this last step depends on the client's hair type, as sometimes he'll just leave it without applying any extra product or texture-enhancing spray. To finish, he'll add just a touch of very light oil or cream for an extra dose of polish.
Looking for more celebrity hair inspiration? Check out the one unexpected color everyone is trying this summer.