A-listers know the power of a new hair look. We review the It-girl cuts, colours and styles that have rocked social airwaves of late, and ask experts how to re-create them for ourselves.
Celebrities have long known that a dramatic new hairstyle can get serious cut through. When Rihanna took her long pretty locks to a directional asymmetric cut all those years ago, she went from girl nextdoor to superstar almost instantly. It’s a phenomenon that fellow musician Katy Perry also knows well. The popstar is a veteran hair chameleon, having changed her naturally brunette locks to basically every hairstyle and colour imaginable, from a platinum buzz cut to rainbow hues.
Meanwhile, megastar Billie Eilish has said she is “happier than ever” to go dark again after her short stint as a platinum blonde nearly broke the internet. More recently, model and actor Iris Law made waves by cutting off all of her perfectly nice light-brunette locks and switching to a blonde buzz cut for her breakout role as Soo Catwoman in the TV mini-series Pistol. She has said that having her hair cut (by hairstylist Anthony Turner) changed her life. It certainly changed her profile: she has since amassed nearly 700,000 followers on Instagram.
Meanwhile, longstanding It-girl Selena Gomez nearly broke Insta last year when she debuted a wavy lob with wispy bangs. When it comes to colour, a drastic change has long given Kim and Khloé Kardashian a spike in attention. Kim recently toned down her platinum locks to one of 2023’s big hair trends – honey blonde – and Google searches for “Kim Kardashian hair” increased by a whopping 346 per cent the following week in Australia alone.
Thinking of a hair renovation in 2023? Here are the trends, tips and expert advice to get you plenty of likes.
It’s not brunette but it’s not blonde either. Bronde is the latest It-shade to get us excited – and it’s being championed by Australia’s own Margot Robbie. The actor evolved her locks from the blonde she has been sporting as Barbie to a shade that’s probably closer to her natural hair colour.
“Margot has had her likely natural brunette root blended into the grown-out blonde using a natural balayage technique,” says celebrity hairstylist Anthony Nader, at Sydney’s RAW salon. To keep the look flattering, Robbie’s colourist Justin Anderson appears to have used balayage to add blonde highlights to ends and around the face. “Margot’s face-framing strands (also referred to as ‘money pieces’) have been kept light,” adds Nader.
If you’re after a new hair colour, honey blonde could be it, and Kim Kardashian is leading the way. After a stint as an icy blonde, the star switched her colour (thanks to hairstylist Chris Appleton) to a creamy honey blonde. Appleton declared over TikTok that this is not “caramel Kim” it’s “honey Kim”. Celebrity colourist Simon Bright confirmed, “This is the It-girl colour of the season. It’s the perfect shade to try if you want something [lighter] but are wary of maintenance. It puts just enough sun reflection into hair but avoids excessive bleaching.”
Bright works colour in via highlights or balayage and says, “I’m creating these blondes for clients who want to give their hair a rest.” What’s more, it works on blondes and brunettes. “If you’re already blonde, have your hairdresser apply deeper wheat tones,” explains Bright, who adds that darker hair types should “opt for subtle pieces of neutral blonde.”
The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2023 is Viva Magenta, so it’s no surprise the bold shade is working its way into hair looks on the red carpet. Yes it’s vibrant and requires fearlessness, but because the shade descends from the red family, it’s flattering on most skin tones.
Revlon Professional Nutri Color Filters, 740 Copper, $25.95, Adore Beauty
Kicked off by A-listers such as Miley Cyrus, the shag is set to be a must-have this year. “This cut is going to be seen everywhere in 2023,” says Nader. It’s also versatile in terms of length and fringe extremes (opt for a micro fringe or the longer fringe of the wolf shag).
A blend of the bob and the pixie, the bixie cut (like Jenna Ortega’s crop) is longer and more uniform. A texturising product will add piecey femininity.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Wave Foam, $44, MECCA
Girl of the moment Emma Corrin has helped revive this ’70s-inspired hair trend, which has been made modern by blending the mullet and pixie cuts into the one style. It has shorter bangs but there is length at the back, making it edgy and pretty at the same time.
“Oozing femininity, this Brit-inspired haircut is low maintenance,” says Nader. “If your hair has lots of texture, this is a great style for you.” Just add a styling lotion for greater manageability.
R+Co Zipper Multitasking Styling Lotion, $48, at Rogue Beauty
The Boyfriend Bob
Despite its name, this haircut is super feminine. Inspired by the boy-band men’s haircut in the ’90s (think Nick Carter), it’s boxy and blunt and usually has no layering. Take cues from model Hailey Bieber and actor Lucy Boynton, who’ve both worked the look. It’s short, low maintenance and versatile because you can wear it with a centre parting (the look), flipped to the side or swept back in a slightly wet-look vibe. It’s also flattering because it elongates the neck and can be worn straight or with a wave.
Thanks in part to model Kaia Gerber and her soft undone waves at the Met Gala last year, pre-Raphaelite curls are the latest look we’re dreaming of. Especially when it comes to truly glamorous moments – such as HoYeon Jung’s Met Gala appearance.
Referring to the 1870-1890 Gilded Age in New York, which was made famous by artists of the pre-Raphaelite era, these curls are ideal if you have long hair. “For the longer-length manes, this is your go-to for adding a stronger hair shape that will last you hopefully the week,” says Nader. To get the look, he suggests “winding one section in one direction and then the next in the opposite direction, as it will make hair appear more real and not as wig-like.”
A blunt, thick fringe can change your hair look in an instant. Case in point: Lily Collins’ fringe in Emily in Paris. “Her full bangs and sculptural waves look glamorous,” says Nader.
The downside? “This hairstyle will need some upkeep to maintain that healthy bounce,” adds Nader, who suggests keeping up the haircut appointments every six weeks.
Inspired by Swedish content creator Matilda Djerf and ’90s supermodels, bombshell hair has returned with a bang via the butterfly cut. Pulled off by actors Sydney Sweeney and Olivia DeJonge, this look involves both face-framing layers and long feathery layers, meaning you’ll be able to keep your length while adding plenty of body and volume.
Date Night Half-Up Style
Thanks to Sydney Sweeney and Hailey Bieber, this sleek half-up look is gaining traction. “We will increasingly notice this classic look,” says Kristina Youssef, founder of KYK. The good news? “It’s adaptable and can be fashioned on short and long hair.”
R+Co Bleu Daily Forecast Finishing Spray, $48, at Rogue Beauty
“It doesn’t matter what shade you are, an in-salon gloss will give strands added radiance and health,” says Nader. “A clear gloss will also make your complexion pop and it works brilliantly for hair that feels brittle or rough on the surface.” Supplement with a leave-in product to add hydration between salon visits.
IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner, $49, MECCA
Salon-worthy hair at home
We talk to celebrity UK hairstylist Sam McKnight (who has worked on A-listers such as Cate Blanchett and Kate Moss) about how to get our mane as clean and glossy as it is when we walk out of the salon.
“We formulated our haircare with skincare in mind,” says McKnight. The reason? “You’re not just washing your hair, you’re treating the scalp as well. It’s important to work the shampoo into your scalp because it’s where a lot of the dirt lies.”
Focus on the roots
“You shouldn’t be mashing shampoo into the lengths of your hair,” says McKnight. “Work the shampoo into the roots first, then let the shampoo run down hair to clean the lengths.”
Sam McKnight Happy Endings Nourishing Balm, $71; Light Cleanse Hair & Scalp Shampoo, $55; and Light Nourish Conditioner, $55, MECCA
Condition in reverse
“Conditioner should never really go on your scalp or at the roots,” adds McKnight. “Work conditioner into ends, then work any excess higher up lengths.”
Add a leave-in
“To get great style you need hair in really, really great condition,” says McKnight, who recommends working in a leave-in balm to lengths and ends to ward off split ends and boost shine. He also suggests a weekly mask to keep locks in peak condition.
Protect Your Hair
These colour-saving and strengthening treatments will keep hair looking glossy and bright
Great for colour: Goldwell Dualsenses Color Repair + Radiance Balm, $32, Adore Beauty
Great for a refresh: James Cosmetics Replenish Me Hydrating Hair Mask, $50, James Cosmetics
Great for breakage: Matrix Total Results Instacure Repair Porosity Spray, $26.95, Adore Beauty
Great for dehydration: Davines Momo Hair Potion, $47.95, Oz Hair & Beauty
Great for detangling: Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hydrating & Detangling Leave-In Conditioner, $34, Adore Beauty
Great for curls: Hair By Sam McKnight Curl Cleanse, $67, MECCA