Whether you’re still in lockdown or have emerged back into the real world as a fully fledged sourdough connoisseur, summer is around the corner and we’re all guilty of thinking about how we’re going to look in the sunshine. Without access to our beloved hair salons (I have shed a tear), or the impossibility of getting an appointment due to the post-quarantine booking frenzy, finding hairstyles to attempt at home is likely the most realistic solution for the time being.
And where else to draw inspiration from, but the autumn/winter 2020 catwalk? Think back to the dramatic impact of those retro waves at Miu Miu, the gently slicked back ’do at Prada or the sultry, yet subtle low pony at Saint Laurent. The options are chic and achievable. Here are six easy summer easy hairstyles to try at home now.
1. Lower the ponytail
Oscar de la Renta AW20 © Photography Go Runway
If, like the rest of us, you tend to hit the snooze button until there’s 10 minutes to go until your first Zoom meeting, you might just have to make do with an easy ponytail. However, with a tiny bit more effort, courtesy of a good brush and some hairspray, you can elevate this simple look into a polished low pony. It’s also perfect for that Saturday morning trip to the corner shop for croissants.
Saint Laurent’s latex-clad sirens sported this with a red lip, Ports 1961 had theirs hanging loosely over the ears; Oscar de la Renta paired it with a centre parting to give an extra touch of sleekness. Meghan Markle adopted this ’do for her first appearance in London after she and Prince Harry decided to step down from royal duties—a landmark moment that needed a big hair statement to match.
2. Step that messy bun up
Fendi and Badgley Mishka AW20 © Photography Go Runway / Getty Images
The bun is a classic, but did you ever think that you could upgrade your messy updo into being runway-ready? Probably not. But this fashion month told us otherwise. Fendi proved that the bar can be raised with tight braids, while an amalgamation of clean and dishevelled top knots at Badgley Mischka confirmed the best of both worlds can collide in harmony.
Got a quiz on Houseparty and want to look as if you’ve actually showered? Look no further. Michael Kors and Altuzarra offer pared-back versions, with a lowered placement that exude energy. Your friends won’t even notice the clutter in your lounge, what with all the equestrian allure your bun is serving. This style is often favoured by off-duty models like Bella and Gigi Hadid.
3. Slicked back/wet-look CEO
Proenza Schouler and Sacai AW20 © Photography Go Runway
You’re gunning for that promotion and you’ve got a very important call with your boss. Up your chances with a slicked back look—think executive realness. Proenza Schouler gelled their models’ hair to the extent of appearing wet, an assertive look which a modern day Alexis Carrington from the 1980s TV series Dynasty would likely wear to a board meeting, “I own 51 per cent of this company!”
For a lighter option, try Prada or Balmain’s approach by only brushing back the centre and allowing the rest to sit quite naturally. Consider it a power move. Now, put on your shoulder padded spring/summer 17 Balenciaga blazer (or, in my case, a charity shop version), and go get what you deserve. Remember Beyoncé’s I Am… Sasha Fierce album cover? That’s the kind of CEO we’re talking about.
4. If you like it, then you might put a bow on it
Chanel and Giambattista Valli AW20 © Photography Go Runway
Want to look extra pretty for that special someone? There’s nothing like a statement bow to achieve this. Check hair maestro Sam McKnight at the Chanel show and elevate a tousled half-up look with an elegant clip-on bow. You can go girlier like at Giambattista Valli with a silk headband atop a chignon, with bejewelled eye makeup to match, to be the Blair Waldorf you always knew you were.
If time is of the essence, go for the aforementioned low pony and pop a sheer ribbon on it for a level-up, much like Brandon Maxwell did on the runway. Hailey Bieber nailed the look at the 2019 Met Gala—a velvet bow with a high ponytail contrasted with a low, back-baring gown for a bit of sauciness.
5. Retro hair, making waves
Miu Miu, Chloe and Erdem AW20. © Photography Go Runway
With the world becoming more eco-conscious, vintage fashion and retro hair is also having a moment. With a little help from crocodile hair clips and an easy-to-follow YouTube tutorial, you can recreate this trend at home. At Miu Miu, hairstylist Guido Palau was responsible for the pin-up curls paired with a simple brushed back—perfect for when your arms ache from the strenuous curling work you have to do to the front.
If you’re looking to dip into other eras, try Erdem’s 1920s-inspired finger waves, meticulously gelled in place. You can go for that 1970s look, with Chloé’s effortlessly-fresh summery locks (who doesn’t want to look like Fernanda Ly or Kaia Gerber?) Shortly after debuting her pixie cut on Instagram, Rowan Blanchard juxtaposed the modern trim with wet Old Hollywood style at the Vanity Fair Oscars party earlier this year.
6. Side-part is the right part
Tom Ford and JW Anderson AW20 © Photography Go Runway
It’s official, this season the side-parting has usurped the centre. Although still a vision of modernity, the side-parting gives you a slight unconventional update. Off-centre, if you will. Great for making a bit of effort for a picnic in the park, Facetime call with a long-lost friend from university or to liven up a trip to the post office. Brush and part the hair to your desired side until smooth, then tuck behind the ears to achieve the ultra glossy and clean looks at Tom Ford, Loewe and JW Anderson.
For a more dressed-down option try gelling it and accentuating those brows, like at the Rochas show, to give it a cooler edge (think Trinity from The Matrix.) Take note from the coolest girls we know (or would like to) Dua Lipa and Rihanna—both of them have mastered this look on the red carpet.