12 Fresh Haircuts That Will Get You Excited for Fall
Fall is all about change, after all.
There’s no way of sugarcoating it—2020 has been a YEAR. And as the year creeps on and we move from summer to fall, there’s no denying that the change in seasons feels notably different. Even the concept of going "back to school" has taken on all kinds of new stress. That being said, the air is still turning crisp, the leaves are still changing color, and you can still bust out the pumpkin spice everything. And perhaps this year, more than ever, it might be nice to mark (somewhat) of a fresh start with a new fall haircut. Not only is it an easy way to change up your look, but it’s also a great opportunity to snip off dead ends and undo any summer-induced damage that’s taken a toll on your tresses. Plus, you deserve to take a little time for yourself! We know, not everyone may be able to or feel ready to visit a salon quite yet, but here are 12 different fall hairstyles—with options for all lengths and textures—to inspire you once you do book that appointment. Trust us, they’re cuts you’re guaranteed to fall for (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves).
For Short Hair: A-line Bob
“After a summer of beach hair and ponytails, it’s always nice to opt for a more polished look come fall. Plus, shorter styles balance out the silhouette of the added clothing you’re now wearing,” says Dallas-based stylist Michelle Pasterski Mesen. Mesen recommends a bob, more specifically, this A-line version, which is slightly longer in front than in the back and is point-cut into at the bottom to keep it from looking too blunt. These subtle changes keep it from being your average bob, and you can also style it either smooth and sleek or with some texture, adds Reyna Zaragoza, a stylist at 3rd Coast Salon in Chicago.
For Short Hair: Tousled Bob
If all that fun in the sun and surf has done a number on your hair, now is the ideal time to take the plunge and go short, removing any remnants of summer damage in the process, says Giovanni Vaccaro, the artistic director of Glamsquad. Not to mention that short styles are also very on trend this season, he adds. A collarbone-grazing cut, like the one seen here on Ashley Graham, is a universally flattering length that’s short, yet still versatile enough that your styling options won’t be limited. Also nice about this length? “A short cut will complement all your fall fashion picks—think collared shirts, scarves, and high neck coats,” says Maggie Corine Puett, a stylist with the Bob Steele Salons in Atlanta.
To keep your look fresh, “Add texture by using a flat iron, rocking your wrist back and forth among small sections to create a subtle bend,” says Vaccaro, who calls this the ultimate "cool girl hair." Sold.
For Short Hair: Choppy Pixie
If you’re ready for something more dramatic, opt for a super cropped cut—fall is all about change after all, says Puett. This bold pixie is especially choice for those with straight, fine hair. If your strands are thicker or curlier, it’s going to require quite a bit more effort in the daily styling department, points out April Cason, a stylist at the Bob Steele Salons. Piece-y layers add lots of texture and interest, and fall is also a great time to incorporate a wispy bang, since you won’t be dealing with the humidity and sweat that make bangs tough to style, she adds.
For Medium Hair: Jane Birkin Bang
Update any shoulder-grazing style with this unfussy fringe. “The narrow yet full bang opens up the face, but lets you keep the rest of your hair looking nice and full,” says Mesen. Bonus: Any kind of bangs will be much easier to maintain come fall, now that you’re not dealing with summertime forehead sweat, she adds.
For Medium Hair: Bouncy Volume
“No matter whether you’re trying to grow out a shorter summer cut or want to go shorter gradually, this in-between length is no longer considered awkward,” says Vaccaro. Plus, a cut that hits just past the shoulders is the ideal base for va-va-voom volume. It’s also surprisingly easy to create this full look. Forget using a small curling iron on multiple small sections of hair (because, really, who has time for that, especially on rushed mornings when the back-to-school frenzy is real). Instead, use a large, two-inch iron on a few large pieces of hair, suggests Vaccaro. Pro tip: Alternating the direction in which you wrap the hair around the iron will create even more volume and fullness.
For Natural Hair: Bold Bangs + Layered Bob
If you have natural, textured hair and have always shied away from going short for fear of ending up with that dreaded ‘Christmas tree’ shape, don’t be. A cropped cut with bold bangs can be so flattering on natural hair, and a great refresh post-summer, especially if you’ve been wearing your hair up or pulled back most of the time, says Mesen. The key? Make sure you see a stylist who specializes in curly hair, since the cutting technique is essential for creating the perfect shape and end result.
For Natural Hair: Soft Bangs and Highlights
Embracing your natural texture is yet another big trend for fall. The key to making it look as good as possible? “Shape and color really matter when you’re keeping your hair au naturel,” points out Vaccaro. Something as simple as adding a soft fringe and some warm highlights that complement your skin tone—as seen here—can make a big difference in the end result, enhancing what your momma gave you.
For Medium and Long Hair: Face-Framing Waves and Grown-Out Highlights
If you just can’t give up those summer vibes, try this beachy-inspired style. “The length is trendy yet universally flattering,” says Zaragoza. “Soft, face-framing layers help enhance the textured look, which you can then play up by adding some waves to make it look like you just got back from the beach,” she adds. This length is also a good place to start if you’ve always had longer hair but want to start going shorter, without going so short that you lose styling versatility, Zaragoza points out. Natural-looking, grown-out, balayage color pairs perfectly with this summery style.
For Long Hair: Modest Shag
“The shag has made a major comeback, but if you’re not ready for such an extreme change, this toned-down version can give long hair a much-needed makeover,” says Mesen. This cut will take off dry summer ends, but still leave you with plenty of length and fullness, and the cheekbone-grazing bangs will stay out of your eyes but still help create a pretty shape around your face, she adds.
For Curly Hair: Curly Shag
According to Vaccaro, this cut is one of the biggest hair trends of the year, especially for fall. If you already have a naturally curly texture, you’re one step ahead of the game and don’t even have to worry about creating spirals. You’re also in luck since the change of seasons marks a noted drop in humidity…and the likelihood of your curls frizzing and poofing up. Ensure they stay extra smooth by using the diffuser attachment on your blow-dryer, and gently scrunching your hair, but never running your fingers through the curls, adds Vaccaro.
For Coily Hair: Dry Cropped Cut + Subtle Color
Mesen suggests asking for your coils to be cut dry; the technique lets your stylist better see your true curl pattern and shape. She says going short, with a cropped cut like this that follows your head shape, is particularly flattering on coily textures. “It looks polished, yet free and natural,” she says. To amp it up even further, you can pair it with an ever-so-subtle color, like the copper tones seen here, which will only enhance the unique shape of the coils even more, she says.
For Coily Hair: Passion Twists
This passion twist style was big for summer and isn’t going anywhere come fall, says Vaccaro. And while you likely wore them piled up or pulled back during the hot weather, now’s the time to let them down and show off the length and intricate detailing. Creating the look does require some time and effort—and is best achieved when weaving extensions in along with your natural hair, Vaccaro notes—but the finished result is well worth it.