By Lexy Lebsack
Loose, air-dried, effortless hair — from long beach waves to messy lobs to voluminous Afros — will always be a part of the L.A. scene, like heavy traffic and a general lack of awareness about what season it is. (I often forget whether it’s April or October, to be honest.) The same goes for bleached-out ends and highlights so delicate, people think you live in Stockholm instead of Silverlake. But this season, there are even radder looks walking out of our coolest salons to consider for your fall update.
The cuts are getting shorter and more structured, the color more obvious and dimensional, and the bang trend du jour is taking a page from Pinterest’s most-liked. We checked in with some of the city’s coolest stylists and rounded up the trends that are sweeping salons — and will be huge this fall and winter season.
You know the drill: Bookmark this page, make an appointment with your hair person, and get ready to let L.A. influence your look for… wait, what season are we in again?
Trend #1: HD Highlights
There are many clever techniques to ensure your blond is as natural-looking as possible — but this is not that story. Bold, deliberately dimensional color is having a big moment in L.A., from bright pops along the hairline to face-framing pieces. The contrast is key, but the trick to the look is soft transitions.
“The highlights are more dense around the face and taper off to a more subtle highlight towards the crown and interior of the hair,”
Méche Salon hair colorist Chris Green tells us about this standout look: “There is contrast and more defined areas of light and dark.”
Bonus? The limited placement means that you’re coloring less hair, so the results are healthier. “Ask your colorist to pack the highlights in around your face and then space them out and leave more of your natural color as they get further from your face,” he says. “Then ask them to ‘tip you out,’ which means lighten the tips of your hair.”
To keep the transitions smooth, some colorists use a balayage technique to go bright. Jessica Gonzalez used her client’s naturally dark strands as a base to add major dimension through her ends.
Glossy, warm shades of blond work, too. Colorist Dawn Tracey fades the warm, rich shades of copper down to bright honey blond.
A few pops of blond in brown hair makes for less damage and more impact. Win-win!
One of the most popular looks in L.A., which we see season after season after season, is a bright face frame that hugs the hairline. Here, Tabitha Dueñas shows us how it’s done with a vibrant streak of blond that brightens her client’s face.
Trend #2: Graphic Chops
It only makes sense that graphic shapes would start trending now: Angelenos have been going shorter and blunter over the past few seasons. The best thing about opting for a cut with a graphic feeling is that it is truly customizable — all you need is a blunt finish or architectural shape.
Hairstylist Kristen Shaw has been chopping her Venice, L.A.-based clientele into looks like this on the regular. Her secret? The length depends on your face shape.” Ask for a length that is suitable for your jaw, chin line, and neck length,” she tells
R29. “It doesn’t have to be the same length as the one here — the best length is one that is based off your strongest angles.”
Work with your stylist to nail a length that makes you feel amazing, then go for it. “Ask for the structure to remain blunt all around,” she says. “This goes for all sections of the hair except for the nape of the neck, where you can ask for it section to be softened. I like delicately carving this section so it lays close to the back of the ears and nape of the neck.”
Her final trick to this cut? “The only part I chopped into for layers was the front pieces by her face so they would be slightly uneven, leaving her with a perfectly imperfect structure, instead of a more contemporary bob.”
When hairstylist Kristin Ess talks, we listen — and a lot of what she’s saying right now is quite graphic. She gave longtime client Lucy Hale this sharp, classic bob and slicked it right back to show off just how sleek it could be.
Graphic need not mean short. Ask your hairstylist for a blunt lob and wear it with a sharp center part for maximum impact. Tip: Ramirez|Tran owner Anh Co Tran shared his
“parallel undercut” technique for cutting thick hair blunt.
Messy texture and long, layered strands get a dose of structure with short, baby bangs. Ask your stylist for thick, blunt bangs that are shorter in the center. Fair warning: They will take time to style every day.
A soft, feminine pixie is eternally beautiful, but we’re also seeing an uptick in more architectural takes on the trend, like this rounded, longer version done by hairstylist Tim Dueñas.
Trend #3: Copper Caramel Color
What we lack in seasons, we make up for in warm, autumn-worthy shades of amber, copper, caramel, and golden blond — for which everyone has a different translation. “I would describe this look as a warm, copper ombré that’s darker at the roots,” L.A. colorist
Sean Metcalfe tells R29. The trick to an easy grow-out, no matter your natural color? “The color gradually lightens towards the ends [and it has a] face frame,” he adds.
This is another customizable trend, as the best color in the copper-meets-caramel family is the one that brightens your unique skin tone, so it’s important to work with a colorist that can execute the technique you want and the color you need.
Metcalfe’s final tip? “Ask to keep the look rooted to have a saturated, yet sun-kissed look.”
Colorist Cherin Choi knows
a thing or two about trends: She’s one of the biggest L.A. colorists in the game. “Ask for full highlights and have some fun with a warmer, light brunette color,” she says about this look. She adds that you really only need to go a shade or two lighter than your natural color — or darker, if you’re a light blonde — to get maximum impact, just make sure that your colorist picks the right warm shade for you.
Hairstylist Miles Jeffries is a jack of all trades — he cuts, colors, and applies extensions like you’ve never experienced before — but it’s this glistening color that we’re loving now. Want to copy the look? “Ask for a combination of chocolate and copper color that fades into blond at the ends,” he tells
Have existing highlights? You can score an all-over wash of color by opting for a warm
gloss. Bonus: It’s way more affordable that any other treatment and utilizes the built-in dimension you already have.
Colorist Kari Hill is known for her
dreamy shades of blond, but she also cranks out trendy shades like this warm, caramel tone. Ask for subtle babylights and have your colorist smudge your roots for a result this sleek.
Trend #4: Curtain Fringe
L.A. may be a hotbed for trends, but when a cut spikes on
Pinterest, you know it’s a thing. The site reports that curtain fringe is having a huge moment — and we can see why. The loose and relaxed take on bangs is chic, but it’s also a great way to try fringe without a massive commitment since it’s longer and layered to flow directly into your length.
Ask for a set that’s to the eyebrow and tapered out at the ends, — shorter in the center — and just heavy enough to hang right, but not so heavy that they can’t be brushed to the side. (Your stylist should cut them for your unique texture.) Stylist Hannah Burdy added a set to this lived-in lob and brushed them to the sides for effortless polish. Is that you, Brigitte?
Curtain fringe doesn’t have to be center parted. Hairstylist Colleen Duffy gave her client this wispy version and a soft side part.
Curtain fringe is also a great option for curly hair, as seen with this rad cut done by L.A. hairstylist Liz Sustaita. A few side-swept tendrils give this angular bob a softer finish.
Hairstylist Sal Salcedo shared his trick for blowdrying fringe to a perfect soft — yet piece-y — finish
here. The big takeaway? The wrap-dry technique.
No one does curls in L.A. quite like Shai Amiel. Want to copy this chop? “Ask for a traditional shag with long layers and longer length over the ears,” he says. As for the bangs? “The fringe should be cut shorter in the center and gradually get longer towards the sides.”
Trend #5: The Sci-Fi Bob
We’ve been talking about
the bob-and-bang look for a few months now, but to ignore it here would be a disservice to what’s going on in L.A. right now.
What you already know: This is a rad, structured cut that feels modern and cool and works on every texture and type. It’s also a celebrity favorite and, for some, a feminist statement.
What you might not know: It’s exploding in L.A., with every top stylist cranking it out. However, each version is different, which you’ll see ahead. Whether you like baby bangs and longer lengths, curly fringe and full curls, or the
lip-grazing length that started the trend in the first place, there’s something for you.
Spoke & Weal stylist Melissa Hoyle created this cut, which calls upon a blunt bang and invisible layers that allow for curls and waves to fall perfectly.
Ask for a classic bob that’s cut right to the corners of your lips, Salcedo tells
R29. “The fringe should be above the eyebrows and get slightly longer at the temples so that it blends right into the length,” he adds.
Hairstylist Aaron King shows us just how versatile this cut can be. The shape may be structured and dramatic, but with the right styling, you can master the bedhead, French-girl look, too.
Curly hair is just as chic in this cut as straight styles, as seen here by this curly shag done by Salcedo.
Jen Atkin and Anh Co Tran are, easily, two of the most successful and trendsetting stylists in L.A., so it’s no surprise that this is the cut that resulted from their pro-on-pro appointment.
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