Expect to See These 8 Hair Accessories Everywhere for Fall 2021
Before reporting on the latest fashion trends became my job, my knowledge of hair accessories and how to wear them was, admittedly, lacking. Sure, I kept a series of barrettes and butterfly clips in rotation like every other '90s kid in elementary school, and as a teen in the early aughts, went through a serious (albeit short-lived) headband phase my senior year of high school, all thanks to Blair Waldorf's influence. But, that was the extent of my hairstyling expertise. That is, until now.
To date, my most worn hair accessory is a black elastic. And when I say "most worn," I mean on my wrist. Seeing as how I'm months away from turning 30, I thought it was high time I experimented with my strands. That and the fact that stylists are expecting the most popular hair accessories for fall 2021 will be rooted in 90's throwbacks.
Below, I asked fashion and hair stylists to break down which hair accessories they expect everyone will be wearing this season. Read on to find out what must-have items to shop.
Personal stylist Bri White of Vostra Moda expects to see a resurgence of vintage items popping up in the hair accessories category, specifically that of the kerchief.
"These are classic headdresses that our grandmothers and great grandmothers had as a go-to functional and fashionable accessory, and now it's our turn," Moda tells InStyle. "Cloth or silk kerchiefs wrapped over the top of the hair and tied under, leaving the extra fabric trailing along the back or over the front shoulder will be the epitome of casual but chic elegance."
Think woven accessories were exclusive to summer looks? Think again. According to senior colorist at Radio Hair Salon in London and international educator, Heather King-Labeur, straw boat hats (round, short brim) will replace tan boho hats this upcoming season.
"These hats complete any outfit and hideaway undone/unwashed hair," she says.
Another throwback hair accessory getting a revival is the scrunchie, but fashion editor of The Nines, Lisa Sanchez, assures us these fabric-covered elastics have undergone a serious style upgrade over the last decade or two.
"Rather than the dayglo colors from Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210 (the original shows, not the reboots), colors these days are more muted and come in more elegant/professional-looking styles," Sanchez tells us. However, she adds, they have gotten bigger. "The Organza oversized scrunchies have become quite popular. Keep your hairstyle simple — think a neat low-pony — since these scrunchies are a statement piece in and of themselves."
Mini Claw Clips
While glittery pastel butterfly clips might not be coming back around quite yet (though we fully support putting that in motion), miniature claw clips most definitely are having a moment. However, unlike in the '90s when the hair accessory was used to help deal with growing out bangs or create twisted styles, Sanchez says they will now be used where you can't really see them. This time around, they'll be the perfect pick for pulling hair back into half ponytails.
"They give the half pony a little extra support so the hair doesn't just flop around."
Fun fact: 'Hair slide' is a British term that refers to either a long hair clip or bar that stylistically holds strands in place (think of it as the grown-up version of a barrette) and celebrity hairstylist Anastasia Stylianou has it on good authority that these types of accessories will be a hit come fall.
"These simple details can make your hairstyle go from boring to high fashion," Stylianou tells InStyle, adding Miu Miu and Prada will be their go-to hair slides this season.
When it comes to hair accessories for fall 2021, size matters, and this upcoming season, the bigger, the better.
"Dreamy hair accessories will be all the rage this fall. We're talking dramatic haute couture decoratives," says fashion stylist Cindy Conroy. Be on the lookout for exaggerated bows, but not your grandma's version. "We're talking lux over the top numbers that transform classic outfits into bold fashion moments."
Jamila Powell, hair expert, owner of Maggie Rose Salon, and founder of Naturally Drenched expects a select few summer hair accessory trends will roll over into fall, with "hair "jewelry" (i.e. studded pins, decorative bobbies and barrettes) being one of them. According to Powell, "adding a touch of sparkle to your hair with decorative pins and clips, like these KITSCH Pearl Bobby Pins, is the perfect way to enhance any look — and it's so fun!"
Biolage global ambassador and celebrity stylist Sunnie Brook tells InStyle over email that headbands will be a staple accessory this fall, and my 17-year-old self is swooning.
"I'm expecting to see embellished headbands everywhere," Brook writes. "Luckily, they're a really great way to elevate and accessorize your look, as they give the illusion of volume without all the effort."