6 New Hair Trends We’re Trying for Summer

Written by: Brianna Peters


Published on: June 27, 2024

Photo courtesy of Sandra Semburg

Believe it or not, you can actually have the best hair of your life in the summer. The secret involves a great cut, strategic color, and embracing a more relaxed attitude. “Right now, an effortless, undone look is so flattering,” says Megan Robinson, a top hairstylist and the founder of New York’s Pearlita salon. These six looks are flexible enough to roll with the humidity, salt water, and sun damage of summer—so your hair sails through looking healthy, shiny, and even polished.


If you’re thinking of cutting it all off, Robinson advises against a big summer chop in favor of keeping a bit of length. “That way, you’re still able to put your hair up when it’s hot and humid,” she says. “Wait to do a big cut until the end of the summer. Then it feels so good to remove hair that’s dry, damaged, and dull from all the sun, salt water, and chlorine.” Instead, play around with layers, texture, and different styles to keep hair looking its best.


While shorter bangs have been popular, Robinson says many of her clients are growing them out right now. “Curtain bangs—shorter in the front and longer on the sides—are huge,” she says. “They get their name because they frame your face like curtains around a window, but they’re a softer look than shorter bangs, and they require less maintenance. Plus, short bangs can stick to your forehead in the heat.” Curtain bangs work with most haircuts, especially longer hair. “They open up the front of the face and accentuate natural waves,” says Robinson.

How to Style: Volumize

Pull your bangs in front of your face and wrap them around a round brush. Then blow-dry, guiding the round brush through your bangs to create voluminous bounce and a face-framing shape.

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“The bob is a classic—it always looks elegant and flattering,” says Robinson, noting that she’s styling the cut longer and softer than she did in spring. “I like a bob a bit grown out, hitting below the jaw or near the collarbone in almost-lob territory.”

How to Style: Slick Back

If your hair’s long enough, you can create a sleek half-up, half-down style or a bun (if it’s shorter, just slick it back). Either way, Robinson likes to apply a hair mask or styling cream with light hold first. “Brush the mask or cream through your hair with a mixed-bristle brush for a shiny, slick look,” she says. “Then tie it back with a silk hair tie or clip.” If you’re leaving your hair down, Robinson says to tuck your hair behind your ears to help taper the ends at the neck.

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Brilliant for people with long hair who want to go a bit shorter and for those with short hair who want to grow it out, this cut looks sophisticated and chic. “Take some inspiration from Sienna Miller and Kate Moss,” says Robinson. “The cut should hit right below your collarbone, with some minimal layers and texturized pieces in the front to give it a cool-girl shape and texture.”

How to Style: Beach Waves

Imagine you’ve just emerged from swimming in the ocean, says Robinson. “The look is salty and sexy. You want a slight bend in the hair that looks natural and undone.” Put a little texturizer or salt spray in your hair and then twist it into two loose braids. “Do this when your hair is still a little damp, then take the braids out before your hair’s totally dry,” she says. “You’ll have a nice uniform wave.”

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Being outside in the sun all summer naturally lightens natural hair color and fades colored hair, so it’s not surprising that people often go a bit lighter in the summer. Madison Garrett, a colorist at Spoke & Weal salon in New York, says that many of her clients focus on maintaining their color during this season rather than going for full-on transformation. “A lot of my clients travel, so they don’t want to commit to anything too drastic because they can’t come in for touch-ups as regularly,” she says. “Add some subtle lightness and definition that works with your current color.”


Softly gold and multitonal, this shade is about maximum shine and vibrancy. “Overall, it’s a warmer golden blonde that can have lighter, paler blonde pieces or richer honey-blonde pieces depending on your base,” says Garrett. “It’s best achieved with highlights—where the colorist applies color from root to end using foils—or balayage, a freehand technique where the colorist hand-paints the color on random pieces of hair throughout.” Of course, be careful of chlorine and minerals in water, which can leave blonde hair brassy or greenish. Pro tip: Soak your hair thoroughly with shower water before jumping in a chlorinated pool. Your hair is porous, so it absorbs the nonchlorinated water and then repels the color- and hair-damaging chlorine.


Warmer, bronzier, and more golden, this shade of brunette gives a “just back from the South of France” effect. Ask for warm brown, caramel, honey, or golden-blonde babylights (finely woven highlights placed throughout the hair), highlights, or balayage depending on your base color. “The key to it looking natural is blending,” says Garrett. “Focus the lightness anywhere the sun naturally hits, like the front of your face and top layers.”


Rich, vibrant reds have been popular, but a lighter, sun-kissed red makes great sense for summer. “It’s a twist on strawberry blonde, but the shade is a bit sandier and more muted,” says Garrett. “It glows beautifully in the sun, and although it looks effortless, it fades quickly, so it’s more high-maintenance in terms of upkeep. Clients usually need to come back once a month for a gloss and touch-up to keep it bright and shiny,” she explains.