We’ve just gotten through a very serious season, and the fall 2020 hair trends were no different. Austerity was the word that came to mind, with practical hairstyles that won’t raise eyebrows in professional settings and will keep your hair out of the way during physical activities.
The fall 2020 hairstyles that really fit into that utilitarian theme included low ponytails, sleek brushed-back hair, and half-up looks. There were also a ton of short haircuts for those who don’t want to spend their time styling long hair.
However, there was also room for hair trends that reflected some fantasy, romance, or even chaos, including intricate, big hairpieces, vintage-inspired curls, and a few very messy styles.
Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Hair Color Trends
Thinking of changing up your hair color? Maybe you can find some inspiration in the fall 2020 hair color trends that we spotted on the runways.
#1. Light Ash Blonde
Slightly deeper than platinum but with that same blonde hue, this covetable shade became the major blonde in the fall 2020 hair color trends. The tresses of relative newcomer Madeleine Fischer (who walked for Givenchy, Saint Laurent, and Giambattista Valli) are the perfect example of what this blonde hair color should look like.
#2. Strawberry Blonde
Strawberry blonde hair straddles that thin line between blonde and red hair, with its warm, playful hue. Natural strawberry blondes on the runways this season definitely made us crave the joyful hair color, including Rianne van Rompaey, who was one of the openers at Chanel, and Isabel Monsees, who walked for Prada, Valentino, and more.
#3. Espresso Brown
Cool, rich, and dark – espresso hair is perfect for a frosty winter. There was no shortage of models looking stunning in the deep hair color on the fall runways. Notably, Bella Hadid took a darker turn on the runways of Lanvin, Burberry, and Tod’s.
#4. Black Hair
Fall 2020 was the second most racially diverse season as far as model casting went, and many of the beauties walking the runway had extremely dark, nearly black hair. This was a season for celebrating natural hair, with models with tight curls or pin-straight tresses all rocking their naturally dark black hair.
#5. Bright Colors
Wigs, hair dye, and some models who came onto the scene with their own unique style meant that bright and vivid touches of color were very noticeable on the fall runways.
It was all about red at Alexander McQueen, where most of the models wore a hairpiece threaded with streaks of the vibrant shade. Extreme color was achieved at Dries Van Noten with the help of neon-dyed marabou feathers that were plastered down at the part. We spotted some more bright colors at Marine Serre, Monse, and Ashley Williams.
One of the coolest things about the fall 2020 hair color trends is the way stylists incorporated metallics without necessarily dyeing anyone’s hair. Instead, it was about splashes of paint and glitter that added that metallic touch at shows like Marni and Erdem. For real life, we think this kind of effect could be achieved with hair chalk or wash-out dye, and it’d be great for a night out!
Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Hairstyles
Whether you want to keep things simple and sophisticated or you’d like to get dramatic, the fall 2020 hairstyle trends have something to offer that’ll suit your sensibilities (or lack thereof).
#1. Low Ponytails
Low-slung ponytails got to be the major simple updo in the fall 2020 hair trends. They were clean, simple, and elegant without too much fanfare: the perfect hairstyle for such a restrained season.
While there were a few wild hair looks, most models at J.W. Anderson had their hair styled into a very neat low ponytail with a prim and proper side part. The look was slightly similar but with a twist at Valentino. While models did wear those clean, low-ponytails with a side part, the front of the hair was pulled forward and sculpted to cover the forehead in an artful way.
Hair was brushed back at Givenchy for a more severe and sophisticated look, with a bit of hair mousse or gel adding sheen and texture. There were plenty more low ponytails at Saint Laurent, Brandon Maxwell, Hugo Boss, and Carolina Herrera.
#2. Slicked Back
There is something powerful and a little masculine about a slicked-back hairstyle, which we thought fit in well with the themes of practicality that we noticed on the runways.
Sleekness bordered on dampness in some instances. For example, at Proenza Schouler, hair that had been brushed back looked piecey and wet thanks to an abundance of hair gel. At Balmain, the top part of the head was also gelled heavily for that damp appearance, but the bottom half was left to flow a little more loosely.
The hair at Prada was also slicked back with a sheen, so it was slightly reflective but not wet-looking. It was pushed back tight against the scalp and without a part, which gave a nearly helmet-like effect.
Finally, at Hermès, the same sleek, shiny brushed-back look ruled, but similarly to Balmain, the bottom half of the hair wasn’t slicked with hair product, which created a textural contrast.
#3. Middle Part
For the fall 2020 hair trends, middle parts were a clean and smooth styling choice, as opposed to previous seasons where hair inspired by the ‘70s was kept naturally wavy and voluminous.
Most of the models at Off-White and Burberry had a crisp middle-part, with sleek, straightened hair given a hint of a glossy sheen. There were a few exceptions at Chloé, but for the most part, most models had their hair styled with center parts and then either loaded up with hairspray or styled into low knots.
Stella McCartney, Missoni, and Maison Margiela combined trends, presenting clean, center-parted hair tied back into a low-slung ponytail.
#4. Side Part
Side-parted fall 2020 hairstyles were probably just as ubiquitous as center-parted ones. Unlike middle partings, side parts are intrinsically more serious and sober, especially when kept very clean, as was the case this season.
The look was hyper-clean at Loewe, with the side-parted hair smoothed down and brushed behind the ears, looking clean and shiny. There was a combined look at Rochas, with the top of the head gelled down to look pristine, with a deep side part, but then allowed to flow more loosely from the nape of the neck down.
The side-parted hair was even glossier at Emilia Wickstead, where it was also brushed behind the ears and tied back into a low ponytail. In general, the combination of side parts and low ponytails was quite common since we also spotted it at Jil Sander and J.W. Anderson.
#5. Buns and Knots
A bun is a quick hairstyle that can add instant elegance to your look. With a few exceptions, most of the fall/ winter 2020 hairstyle trends weren’t overly intricate, and this is also true for the subtle chignons we saw on the runways.
On the Michael Kors runways, models had their hair parted into a side part and then twisted and knotted into a lovely chignon that was neither too high nor too low, and had a few strands sticking out at the bottom, so it didn’t look overly clean.
The knots were similar, although a little less twisty at Badgley Mischka and tied off slightly higher on the head (though not so high that they lost their elegance). The low buns at Altuzarra were extra clean and crisp, with the hair once again parted to the side. The simple elegance of the look definitely reminded us of ballerina hair.
Half-up hairstyles deserve a lot of credit for bridging some gaps in the easiest, breeziest way possible. They are clean and proper but also comfortable and easy to achieve, with inherent femininity that turns any look just a touch prettier.
Of course, the most significant half-up style was created by Sam McKnight for Chanel. He combined the ‘70s French girl aesthetic with some Victoriana to put together voluminous updos with natural-looking waves and texture.
Vintage inspiration was all over the place at Rodarte, in combination with a goth aesthetic that led to half updos with a center part, high bun sitting at the back of the head, a few odd strands of hair adding a light touch. For a cleaner half-up look, we turned to the Tory Burch runway, where strands of hair from the front were twisted and then pulled back into a half-up style.
#7. Messy Hairstyles
Serious hairstyles may have reigned supreme, but on the other side, we had intentionally messy and wild-looking hair. Perhaps the idea was that women should go out and face a harsh world looking prepared, but once they’ve been mired in the struggle, we can’t expect the hair to remain looking so neat.
The main hairstyle at Anna Sui this season proved that updos could be messy and kind of weird while still exuding glamour. Hairstylist Garren created messy victory rolls that fell over the forehead and haphazard topknots that swayed dangerously.
At Celine, hair was left to its own devices, with natural texture and waviness, as well as a bit of frizziness or errant strands. The hair wasn’t wildly messy, but it looked more like what we’d expect air-dried and brushed hair to look like after a few hours out and about.
We also appreciated the autumn vibes on a few models at Tod’s who wore their long, naturally textured hair tucked into a scarf. Finally, for something truly out there, the models at Junya Watanabe wore Debbie Harry-inspired wigs in two tones – blonde and black – that were teased, mussed, and sprayed to rock ‘n’ roll perfection.
#8. Artful Vintage Curls
The curly hairstyles for fall 2020 were something extremely special. Hairstylists took inspiration from the past when putting together truly retro curl-based looks.
For Miu Miu, Guido Palau described the look he created as if a woman in the ‘70s were to style her hair based on the ‘40s, with a ton of length and glamour, with rising curls over the forehead that were reminiscent of victory rolls. The main inspiration for hair was the ‘40s also at Lanvin, with ultra-smooth bombshell waves that were pinned just so.
Many stylists rode the ‘20s-inspired finger wave, with tight Marcel curls artfully created at MSGM, Dolce & Gabbana, and in silver at Erdem.
#9. Intricate Hairpieces
Most hairstylists kept things simple for the fall/ winter 2020 hair trends, which made it all the more fun when things got bigger, wilder, and more intricate on a few of the more outrageous runways.
First of all, we must talk about the 18th century Marie Antoinette hair at Moschino, which was the result of Paul Hanlon’s exceptional wig work. The exceptional wigs, which came in natural hair colors as well as pastels, were styled to reach the sky, with soft waves, and a few tendrils of hair falling down the back.
In contrast, the hairpieces at Haider Ackermann were very clean and smooth. Large, egg-shaped hair pieces were added at the back of the head, like oversized buns, while the rest of the hair was pulled back tightly.
We spotted more wild hairpieces and wigs at Ashish and Dilara Findikoglu.
#10. Delicate Braids
The fall 2020 hair trends didn’t feature as many creative braided hairstyles as we had spotted in previous years, yet there were a couple of delicate braided looks to copy.
Jason Wu’s high braided ponytail was the simplest and sleekest plaited look that could be easily taken from day to night. The small braids spotted at Max Mara looked warrior chic, giving some excitement to the messy loose hair of the models.
Chocheng combined trends by incorporating middle parts and sleek finishes to the fun braided double buns. We also loved the museum-worthy braided updos of Fendi, the wild box braids at Area that were used as a hood, and the messy plaits at Simone Rocha.
Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Haircuts
We gotta admit, some of the cuts presented for the fall 2020 hair trends gave us the urge to take the chop, either straight to the bangs or all over.
#11. Piecey or Choppy Bangs
There is something kind of punk about choppy bangs, so if you’d like to hide your forehead in an unusual way, the fall/ winter 2020-2021 hair trends make it easy.
Piecey bangs at Versace were very intentional. These side-swept, spiky bangs were actually extensions that Guido Palau chopped to get that devilish look.
At Fendi, the hairstyle was a complex braided updo that alone would have been quite classy, but with very choppy razored bangs cut to very short, babydoll lengths, it ended up being edgy instead.
We spotted some more choppy bangs on a few of the models at Haider Ackermann, Gucci, and Christian Dior.
#12. Lush Bangs
Lush bangs were also ubiquitous on the runways, especially on models with naturally wavy or curly hair.
While most models at Saint Laurent had their hair pulled back, those with a thick fringe were allowed to let it frame their faces on the runway. The same was sort of true at Chloé, where the main look was carefully parted in the center, but many models with thick bangs broke up the monotony.
There were more models with thick bangs at Celine and Louis Vuitton.
#13. Pixie Cuts
Pixie haircuts are a lot of fun, and a model with a pixie cut always helps to create some interest when everyone else on the runway has long hair.
There were a ton of models with pixie cuts at Dior, including Ruth Bell, who opened the show with her choppy pixie. There was Maike Inga, who rocked a freshly bleached pixie at Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, and Paco Rabanne.
#14. Crisp Bobs
Maybe it was the French influence on modern fashion, but many models rocked crisp French bob haircuts with sharp lines that really drew attention to the face and jawline.
Notably, these shorter bobs looked super prim when styled straight and neat with a side part at Loewe and J.W. Anderson. On the other hand, at Chloé and Rochas, models with wavy hair proved that bobs can still look fierce even with more texture.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly