Plenty of new standout styles, cuts, and techniques beckon for 2024, so to ensure you know exactly what to ask your hairdresser for, we've quizzed London's leading hairstylists and colourists on their predictions.
Before we break down the full list of emerging looks, in the internet's current favourite formula of 'In and Outs', here are the ones our experts say are at the end of their era.
Out for 2023...
Last year was the year of super short hair. Harry Styles (or no-Ha-iry Styles, if you prefer), Emma Corrin and co. embraced buzzcuts, and mullets were everywhere. But trend forecaster and creative director for Evo Hair, Tom Smith, doesn't see close crops or fades sticking around. "The tastemakers who wore them last year are now experimenting with the various shapes that are facilitated by growing them out, and we’ll see a commercialisation of them as they are reinterpreted into softer, mid-length and more mass wearable versions," he says.
Silver dye jobs
As for colour, the silver-surfer hair hue which complemented the metallic dress code for Beyoncé's sell-out tour is unlikely to maintain its moment. Freddie Leubner, an educator for Bleach London, who's previously created looks for Maisie Williams, says, "For colour this year, we are really seeing a departure from the obsession with ash and silver."
Now, for a revelation that might rock many devotees of the surfer girl look: Leubner thinks beachy waves are getting tired. "They seem to have become the go-to style and I think they make everything look so dated. There are lots of different ways of creating movement, curl and volume all waiting to be explored," she says.
So what are the looks and tricks we should be exploring?
In for 2024
Noughties graduation, aka the butterfly cut
Whatever the name: "Layers, the TikTok butterfly cut, or as we called it in the Noughties: forward graduation is enjoying a renaissance," confirms Leubner. But fear not about reviving yet another 1990s or Noughties trend. Smith, explains that "feathered cuts are the new evolution of the 1990s face-framing style where stacked layers soften hard lines and curve around the face. This has been updated for 2024 with a more refined approach and can be seen on mid-length to long hair in smooth to wavy hair types."
Stephen Buller, the director of London's sustainable salon Buller and Rice, confirms that it's perfect for those wanting a polished look. "Playing around with layers: face framing and soft textures really elevate your hair when it comes to styling and blow-drying, especially if you want volume." Which brings us nicely onto the next trend to make a comeback...
Hair that looks really ‘done’ (call it a side effect of wanting value for money in the cost-of-living crisis) is back. "I used to have people tell me they didn’t want their hair to look 'like they just came from the salon' and now I’m doing bouncy blowouts on every client," says Leubner. The Dyson Air Wrap (from £349.99) or a Revlon Multi-Step Blow-Dryer are your friends for keeping the look maintained inbetween hair appointments. For inspiration, think Cindy Crawford in her 1990s Pepsi model era.
This year, grown-out 1970s-look fringes are going to be less requested, reckon Buller and Leubner, instead it's all about eyebrow-grazing lengths. For a retro take with soft texture, Leubner is still seeing Margot Robbie's Barbie movie cut serve as inspiration. She describes the look as having "wispy texture in the middle, getting longer and framing the face".
If you want to go the whole hog, Buller insists, "Fringes will definitely be making more of an appearance in 2024," and it's back to "the classic full fringe that sits nicely on the eyebrow and doesn’t necessarily blend into face-framing layers". Think 1960s glamour — the type of bangs that might have been paired with a bouffant.
The soft, layered shaggy cuts mentioned by Smith as the reincarnation of grown-out crops will materialise as a combo of the mullet and pixie, the 'mixie', thinks Leubner. “I’m also seeing a lot of Winona Ryder-inspired short haircuts, and I have also used 1990s-era Meg Ryan as a reference for a not bob-not short kind of feel,” she says. Buller notes that these cuts are "a great way of embracing your natural texture and movement".
Round and halo cuts
The standout cut for curls and texture? The disco era-inspired round cut. Charlotte Mensah, owner of the Hairlounge salon and brand founder of Manketti Oil, explains that it "allows the curls to look fuller". While Smith, who calls it the halo cut, suggests, "It's all about the outer silhouette of the haircut and the hair framing the face. This can work in a variety of lengths, from head hugging and short, to long and tumbling."
When styling at home, Buller recommends "slowly diffusing the hair on a lower speed and heat," to add more texture and volume. In terms of finish, Mensah says product cocktailing is key to define and hydrate curls. "My favourite cocktails are the Manketti Oil Pomade (£55), Aveda Be Curly Cream (from £10.50), and Manketti Hair Oil (from £17). These products together allow for a medium hold without leaving the hair dry or crunchy," she explains.
The new-look perm
If you wish a round cut would work on your poker locks, then good news, as perms are coming back with a new name and MO. "A reimagining of perming is growing — particularly in the USA and will be gradually building in the UK," says Smith. "I’ve been testing it throughout the end of 2023. It's called the ‘curl cult’ and it has already attracted various celebrity fans, such as Portia De Rossi and January Jones."
It's also great news for those who want a full fringe. "This gentler perm technology allows for softer waves and much deeper personalisation. We can also now redirect the way in which hair grows, in some cases allowing us to soften cowlicks or strong partings to facilitate fringe styles to those who would have previously struggled with daily styling."
The boy bob (Boyb)
Plenty of famous women are sporting chic, coiffed bobs currently, from Zendaya to Hailey Bieber, and the style is set to get more brazen, thinks Buller. He says, "The Boyb is our lead trend prediction for the season," describing the new look as a "shorter, sharper, sexier, androgynous" cut which is blunt or only very subtly layered.
A highly versatile style, Buller says it works both "tucked behind the ears for the chic dressed-up look or with gel for that wet look. The spring 2024 runways were heavy on chicly greased hair over clean lengths," he adds, referencing the likes of MiuMiu and Prada.
For other ways to style, he suggests scrunching the hair dry with a seasalt spray for what Buller dubs the 'natty bob' (one for the Clapton conglomerate who love their wine the same way). You could also add in a fringe for a boxy look nodding to this year's other big trend: bangs.
Anyone who lusted after Dua Lipa's red hair at the Golden Globes is ahead of the curve. "Reds have slowly been creeping back into trend over the last few seasons, but they are becoming braver and bolder. There are more cherry cola and red wine vibes for 2024. They have gone up a notch, it's gone Rodeo," says Buller.
If you want to ask your hairdresser for the Lipa look, Harriet Muldoon, one of London's favourite colourists, working out of Larry King, says she'd recommend "a combination of permanent and Redken Shades EQ glosses to give amazing shine".
In terms of care and keeping your copper or red hair looking bright and bold, Leubner reminds us that “condition is key", as is maintaining "really healthy hair — we have all learned that every colour needs light reflection (shine) to really pop.” She predicts that K18 repair and peptide prep products are going to be the next big thing for coloured hair care. "It works on the polypeptide chains which hold together the disulphide bonds (what Olaplex and other bond builders work on). I am seeing fully bleached hair grow and thrive when I use it as a treatment with my colours and my clients continue with it at home," she says.
Braids will boom
"Braids are more in than ever!" says Mensah, who thinks experimenting with hair adornments will be a big trend as well. "Braids have remained popular for decades because they give Black women a level of freedom through many styles — from jumbo to micro, pencil size, extra long, knotless, rope twist to cornrows — with adornments such as pearls and beads."
While stylised curls around the face to frame a braided look have been popular the past few years, wearing baby hairs this way might be losing its appeal. "I believe we will see fewer baby hairs as a way to finish off styles. Instead, we will see more 'natural' hairlines, meaning the way our hairlines are already uniquely designed," says Lacy Redway, the beauty creative who's styled looks for everyone from Laura Harrier to Florence Pugh and Hunter Schafer. This was evident on the spring runways of Akris, Jil Sander, and more.
If you thought the trend for bows was all wrapped up in 2023, you'd be wrong. If there's one trend every one of our experts could agree on it was ribbons. "They are making a huge comeback in the world of hair. I've been adding a touch of elegance and playfulness to my hair with velvet, satin, or grosgrain ribbons. They are the perfect accessory to elevate your style," says Mensah.
Redway, who created ballerina-style updos featuring braids weaved with bows for the Christian Siriano’s spring 2024 show, has said her goal was to “keep the hair feeling soft with a clean-girl aesthetic but put-together".
For an everyday hair look that ties into the trend, try adding an oversized bow from Buller and Rice's new collection with Damson Madder (£18, damsonmadder.co.uk) over a low ponytail, or a simple black ribbon to your updo.
If the Golden Globes were anything to go by, glossy, relaxed down 'dos — or, as our beauty editor Madeleine Spencer dubbed it; the 'rich look' — is going to be highly coveted in 2024. Call it an evolution of stealth wealth into the hair world. Indeed, tresses in tip-top condition from root to tip require investment in both time and product terms, which chimes with the fact that our hair insiders confirm that a growing interest in hair health is on the agenda for the year ahead. Hair-specific supplements (Glowwa is a hair pro favourite) and scalp care, especially oil treatments are gaining pace.
It’s so nice to see people embracing the nurturing, self-actualising power of a new do and its maintenance.
Freddie Leubner, an educator for Bleach London
Another trend contributing to improved hair condition is heat-free styling, which Leubner is seeing growing in popularity compared to using tools. "Lots of people are embracing their natural texture and air drying their hair. The right products are key for that. You want a conditioning agent and a shaping agent. I find L’Oreal Tecni Art Full Volume Mousse works on almost any texture," she says.
'Naturalising' your hair colour is another way to preserve hair condition. "For blondes, this will be a big trend for this year," says Muldoon. "We’re taking blondie locks and bringing them back to base. Just like we create natural make-up, blondes want to embrace their natural shades with subtle lights to complement the look."
Of this shift to holistic haircare, Leubner raves, "I am so happy to see self-care seeping into every area of our life. It’s so nice to see people embracing the nurturing power of a new 'do and its maintenance." New hair, new you could be more than figurative, then.