Images via @han_davids; @interdimensionalife; @theoversea

5 hair stylists share the biggest trends in their cities right now

Featuring mullets in Mexico City, fun with colour in Tokyo and ‘wolf cuts’ on natural hair in Cape Town.

by Frankie Dunn
17 August 2021, 12:54pm

Images via @han_davids; @interdimensionalife; @theoversea

It feels like everybody and their lockdown puppy has a new haircut right now. You know why? We’re hitting that sweet spot where the heady days of summer and that looming back to school mood collide in a spontaneous but urgent need for a beauty refresh. While it’s clear which trends permeated the AW21 shows (neat bobs and sculptural braids) and what’s big for team i-D (new bangs, bleached streaks and brows to match), we thought we’d check in with some of the coolest salons and hair stylists around the world to see how things are looking to them.

This is your final call to board the hairplane and buckle up as we head to Tokyo, Cape Town, London, Mexico City and Berlin for a summer 2021 hair trend tour. 

Mariana PaMa, Mexico City

Mariana PaMa specialises in hair and plastic arts. “It’s about taking hair out of the box,” she says of what drives her, “out of the conventional ways we know and see it.” And that she does! Using hair as a material to create with, Mariana has crafted stunning floral-like sculptures for Kali Uchis, a number of otherworldly Björk-like looks and technicolour butterfly hair tattoos on freshly shaved heads. “In my country, México, we are still very traditional as a society,” she says. “I want to inspire people to have fun with their hair and lose the fear of looking different.”

Tell us about a big hair trend you’re noticing right now.
I think haircuts are protagonists now: there are disconnected haircuts like mullets, very marked layers, super straight bangs. I’ve noticed that Japanese hairdressers are on the top of hair trends more than ever. I always say yes if someone asks me if they should have a big hairstyle transformation.

How about a trend that’s unique to CDMX?
It’s been difficult to break with traditionalism but I think we’re starting to embrace our nationality, roots, our self-expression. We’re experimenting with accessories, wigs and colours more too. In our day-to-day looks, I’ve seen a lot of shaved heads with tiny areas of medium-to-large hair; like horns on the forehead or tails on the nape. Also, hair with random bleached areas, without any order, is getting more popular here. I love this type of bleached look that, at other times, could have been considered a mistake.  

What do you think prompted these trends? 
I think many people had a dress code that came with their jobs, and after changing the system to home office mode, they started to get the hair of their dreams without fear! Also, as people realised that everything can change in just one moment, they don't want to waste any more time being contained. 

Teiji Utsumi of Haco Hair, London

Born and raised in Nara, Teiji Utsumi moved to London in 2005 to study at LCF. Inspired by street style and the fashion world he works within, Teiji has collaborated with photographers like Harley Weir and Alexandra Leese, for publications including yours truly. This year, mid-pandemic, he assembled a team of mostly-Japanese hair stylists and opened Haco Hair in Shoreditch, a seriously aesthetic salon popular with local creatives.

Tell us about a big hair trend you’re noticing right now.
I think 90s-inspired chunky section colours are a really big trend right now. They usually start from the front section, like classic 90s colour, but now people are getting used to it and so they want a modern twist. It’s becoming more freestyle depending on their fashion and lifestyle. 

Where do you think the trend came from?
People have had limitations on their lives -- not going out, not seeing family and friends -- which definitely pushed them to do something exciting. So many people bleached their hair by themselves at home, so we have been fixing their colour after lockdown. And the colour trend? I believe it's naturally coming from fashion right now. 

Marchay Linderoth, Cape Town

29-year-old Marchay Linderoth has been in the industry for almost a decade, though her love of hair began long before then. Taking her obsession with styling and running with it, she developed her skills in the salon and took them out into the world of shoots and special projects. But Marchay’s dedication to shaping her clients’ aesthetic remains at the heart of what she does, which is why you’ll sometimes find her crafting magic at Cape Town’s Kitsune Hair. “I love creating new hairstyles and colour combinations,” she says. “I love transforming hair dreams into reality.”

Tell us about a big hair trend you’re noticing right now.
The return to the mullet. There are different variations of this trend, of course, also known as the ‘wolf cut’ and the ‘shag’. I specialise in curly and ethnic hair, so it’s been quite exciting to adapt these styles in a way that works for natural hair. I have also been loving all the red hair in different shades, and the icy blue look too. If you’re slightly more daring, colourful tips are IN right now — whether it’s from blonde to blue or black to red, these looks have been a fan favourite. 

Do you reckon the natural hair mullet trend is unique to Cape Town?
I do. Lots of people who are seeking change and usually don’t step out of their comfort zone are now steering towards the shaggy cuts. Curly cuts are super big in Cape Town right now, more than ever! South Africans are finally embracing their natural hair and educating themselves about how to maintain and care for it. It has been a huge part of my day-to-day life in the salon and my clientele has grown enormously because of it.

What do you think inspired people in Cape Town to embrace natural hair?
Social media and celebrities. I think that the fad of sleek styling has been seen as expensive and damaging, and people choose convenience over anything else. We are in an age where less has become more and ‘natural’ trends are peeking worldwide. POCs in the public eye have also been embracing their natural hair on the red carpet and their personal platforms so this has given us all the confidence to be naturally beautiful.

Koshi Okutsu at The Oversea, Tokyo

If you happen to be in Tokyo and find yourself in desperate need of a cut and colour, visit The Oversea. Owner Koshi Okutsu and the salon’s stylists are masters at tie-dying hair for the coolest models and musicians in town -- Gus Dapperton is a regular, Aya Goomy can’t get enough and Dani Miller of Surfbort is a big fan. Their salon is located right between Minami-Aoyama with its high fashion stores and Harajuku, and so The Oversea attracts creative crowds from both worlds.

Tell us about a big hair trend you’re noticing right now in Tokyo.
Until last year, it was popular to colour the whole thing, but this year, section highlighting is popular. You can make the most of your individuality by deciding the colour and part [of the hair] that suits each person. I think It's very unique.

And what do you think it was that inspired the trend? 
I don't think it’s a direct result of the pandemic, but I do think it has had an impact. People want fun! I’m enjoying each [piece of] originality that appears in the hair.

Janina Zais, Berlin

Berlin-based Janina Zais is living her childhood dream. The hair artist and “face/body painter” — one of the British Fashion Awards’ 2020 New Wave Creatives — has known she wanted to work in fashion forever, quickly establishing herself as an artist and somehow racking up 14 years of experience. “I love my job!” she says. “I have the freedom to work with amazing inspiring people from all over the world and that influences my work a lot.”

What’s the biggest trend you’re seeing right now?
The hair trend at the moment is "dirty bleached" parts on the hair. I bleached and cut my friend Eva Losada‘s hair this way — she’s an amazing photographer from London and is a huge inspiration. For now the trend is super new, and more common in Tokyo, but people in Berlin are open minded and slowly I’m getting more and more requests for that "dirty bleach“ trend! 

What do you think was the inspiration behind it?
I got inspired by an Instagram page called @isthisyourclient, which shows the messed up hair of customers who were at hairdressers who are less talented ;) I personally find it super inspiring to look at hair accidents and create something cool out of it! 

And why do you think it’s proving so popular in Berlin and further afield?
Since we have already imitated all hair trends from all ages, it's time to create something new that reflects 2021. We don’t want anything perfect, in fact we are tired of perfectionism! Therefore we can now take absolute no-gos and reinterpret them, remodelling them as a trend!

Follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more beauty trends.