Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (2024)

Here on the Cosmo Beauty Desk, we're all for a dramatic makeover. 3D nail art? Sign us up. Graphic rainbow eyeliner? Yes, pls. Vampy red lips? You betcha! But with all that being said, experimental beauty certainly doesn't fall short when it comes to hair.

Sure, we're all individuality and of course, thinking outside the box [of hair dye] and going with the flow [of your hair] but when it comes to a beauty trend, you best believe we're at the forefront and centre. And so, with a new szn upon us (hi, hello rain) comes a roster of new hair trends, courtesy of Tom Smith, hair trend forecaster, creative director at beauty brand evo and Olaplex artist.

From 'Neptune waves' to 'candy cane red' locks, here, Tom rounds up 10 of the best style and colour trends to take note of for autumn/winter 2023. *Grabs pen and paper... or rather, pulls up iPhone notes app*

Best autumn/winter 2023 hairstyles

Neptune waves

'Mermaid waves'' little cousin, 'Neptune waves' has arrived and she's taking centre stage. Lady Gaga famously wore the stretched-out style in a recent Instagram post and it's one that we've, no doubt, screenshot and favourited in our hairspo photos album.

Tom says: "Unlike the 'Botticelli waves' of last year, 'Neptune waves' are more fluid and stretched-out, with thinned-out ends and a fluffy silhouette. This style is often worn by those with longer than shoulder-length hair but as the trend grows, we'll see its texture on mid and bob-length cuts, too.

"'S wavers' or 'three prong tongs' are a tool that can be used to DIY this look but a more natural, heat-free and irregular version can be achieved by braiding your hair overnight with a soft middle parting, leaving the ends out."

The veil

Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (2)

Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (3)

Admittedly, the 'tucked behind the ears' lewk isn't for everyone – some do prefer to frame the face with tendrils or soft strands. However, if like Noami Campbell and Emma Mackey, you're all for showing off a full-fact beat or a statement earring, see to the 'veil', that can be sleeked to perfection with a touch of finishing spray.

Tom says: "Romantic, ethereal and statuesque, this hairstyle is incredibly easy for anyone with long hair – specifically those with beyond shoulder-length locks. If you're blessed with a relatively symmetrical face, a perfect, sharp, central parting and poker-straight hair will work really well. If a softer alternative is more your jam, a more irregular mid-ish parting and a little more texture in the lengths is a good option."

Stretched mullet

Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (4)

The gal pushing all the boundaries, Julia Fox is back back back again with a head-turning XXL mullet hairstyle. And while it's not for the faint-hearted, Tom predicts it'll be a hit for those wanting to go the extra Billy Ray Cyrus mile.

Tom says: "The epitome of business at the front and party at the back, this face-framing shape is one that'll turn heads! If you already have a 'wolf cut', mullet or similar, this can be easily achieved by adding extensions in and around the nape of the neck area. If you have a shag, on the other hand, try tucking your hair behind your ears to preview what this kind of shape would feel like IRL."

Le petit bob

She's smol and French, behold, 'le petit bob'. As shown with Lily Allen and Willow Smith's recent cuts, this look is so versatile and it's one that I'm sure the Bob Mania gang can get behind.

Tom says: "This sharp new offering might be as tiny as a bob can go... before it becomes a totally new shape. It's the sassy sister of the 'French bob' and can be a great option for those growing out a crop. If your hair texture is finer or has thinned out over time, this cut is one of the best you could opt for to increase the visual thickness and bulk of your hair.

"The trick to achieving this nano length is to graduate slightly at the nape of the neck. We have to lift the hair above the natural hairline which allows us to create the shorter length around the face."

    Skinny lob

    A long bob on a diet? Tom says so with his prediction of the 'skinny lob'. As shown, Daisy Edgar Jones demonstrates the style perfectly with her fresh cut she recently debuted on the 'Gram.

    Tom says: "The final evolution of a 2023 lob is a slimmer, head-hugging, stretched-out shape but with straighter sides and softer ends.

    "Ideal on those with wider, rounded or heart-shaped faces, the 'skinny lob' will elongate the neck and cast shadows under the cheekbone, which can be great for those whose faces benefit from angles and contour. Longer or narrow face shapes should avoid this style in favour of a shorter or thicker look that will add width and open up the face (see: le petit bob)."

    Best autumn/winter 2023 hair colours

    Candy cane red

    Megan Fox paved the way for 2023's boldest hair colour yet and as shown, it's a vibrant, 'candy cane red'. Not only do we think it's a fire (see what I did there) look for autumn but it'll carry through until the end of the year, thanks to its festive vibes.

    Tom says: "This candy shade of true red is not a naturally occurring shade and so, is best suited to those who are comfortable making a statement.

    "In such cases, the choice behind wearing this shade is less motivated by what will 'suit' your skin tone or eye colour and more so what will suit your personality; It's the attitude of the wearer that is most important for the success of the look."

    Beurre brunette

    Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (10)

    I am on a hair dyeing ban (per my boss – thanks to my ventures in bleaching and the inevitable breakage), so, a more subtle, natural brunette tone is right up my street. And it's one that we're sure can be achieved by a gloss!

    Tom says: "Under the 'expensive brunette' umbrella of luxurious multi-tonal dimension, this shade is a great way of upgrading your brown hair for the season or utilising any leftover lightness from summer. This is a great option for those with naturally darker hair who are tempted to try a lighter shade without a dramatic change."

    Cowgirl copper 3.0

    We know, we know, you've probably heard of the 'cowgirl copper' trend before and that's because it's not all that new. Having said that, this is the third iteration of the hue, veering towards a more muted version, as Tom tells us.

    Tom says: "Just as many 'natural shade' lovers oscillate between blonder and brunette tones throughout the year, this earthy auburn has stood the test of time and as it became a little brighter and foxier over summer (thanks to the Barbie hype), we're now seeing a more peachy and muted version develop.

    "Per the frostier strands reflected in this cowgirl copper shade, those with cooler or fairer skin tones can wear this shade into the colder months."

    Trophy blonde

    As its name would suggest, this hair colour deserves an award for standing the test of time. I mean, blonde ain't going anywhere, gals, but it is better than ever.

    Tom says: "Bright, gleaming and reflective, this is the truest, brightest 'trophy wife' blonde shade. Halfway between summer's 'Barbie blonde' and autumn's 'Nepo blonde', this tone is clean and clear with just a hint of gold but it is, however, heavily painted on with very little shadows or dimension. Seen on longer hair with soft movement, the success of this shade requires healthy hair to shine and glow. More is more.

    Bündchen balayage

    Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (14)

    Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (15)

    Supermodel Gisele Bündchen is our muse in more ways than one but in terms of hair, it's the balayage blonde that has had us gagged since the dawn of time. While she is, ofc, as relevant as ever, Tom predicts this exact hue will be all the rave during the chillier climes.

    Tom says: "Gisele's flowing locks have been the envy of many for her entire career. And her 'better than natural', dimensional blonde is ideal for those who love their hair the most when they are just back from holiday.

    "The main trick to achieving Gisele's subtle golden blonde tone is keeping the hand-painted highlights away from the root while retaining some of the deeper base colours in the mids and ends, too. The bad news is this hair colour relies on a light brown/dark blonde natural base colour and tends to not look as harmonious or understated when the base colour is dyed to be so."

    Et fin!

    So, with 10 hair colour and style trends for the A/W season at your beck and call, which will you opt for? Le petit bob, I'm coming for ya!

    Follow Lia on Instagram.

    Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

    As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or opinions, but I can provide you with information on the concepts mentioned in this article. Here's a breakdown of the different hair trends mentioned in the article:

    Neptune Waves:

    • Neptune waves are a hairstyle characterized by fluid and stretched-out waves with thinned-out ends and a fluffy silhouette.
    • This style is often worn by those with longer than shoulder-length hair, but it can also be adapted for mid-length and bob-length cuts.
    • To achieve Neptune waves, you can use 'S wavers' or 'three prong tongs' as a tool, or you can create a more natural version by braiding your hair overnight with a soft middle parting, leaving the ends out.

    The Veil:

    • The 'veil' hairstyle involves tucking the hair behind the ears, creating a sleek and polished look.
    • This style is suitable for those with long hair, particularly those with beyond shoulder-length locks.
    • It works well with a perfect, sharp, central parting and poker-straight hair for a more symmetrical face. For a softer alternative, a more irregular mid-ish parting and some texture in the lengths can be a good option.

    Stretched Mullet:

    • The stretched mullet is a head-turning hairstyle that combines a business-like front with a party-like back.
    • To achieve this style, you can add extensions in and around the nape of the neck area if you already have a 'wolf cut,' mullet, or similar hairstyle.
    • If you have a shag haircut, you can try tucking your hair behind your ears to preview what this kind of shape would feel like.

    Le Petit Bob:

    • Le petit bob is a small and versatile French bob haircut.
    • It is a sharp and tiny version of the bob, suitable for those growing out a crop.
    • To achieve this nano length, the hair is graduated slightly at the nape of the neck, lifting the hair above the natural hairline to create a shorter length around the face.

    Skinny Lob:

    • The skinny lob is a slim and stretched-out version of the long bob (lob) hairstyle.
    • It features straighter sides and softer ends, creating a slimmer and head-hugging shape.
    • This style is ideal for those with wider, rounded, or heart-shaped faces, as it elongates the neck and casts shadows under the cheekbones.

    Moving on to the hair color trends mentioned in the article:

    Candy Cane Red:

    • Candy cane red is a vibrant and bold hair color that is not naturally occurring.
    • It is best suited for those who are comfortable making a statement with their hair color.
    • The choice to wear this shade is less about what will suit your skin tone or eye color and more about what suits your personality.

    Beurre Brunette:

    • Beurre brunette is a subtle and natural brunette hair color.
    • It falls under the category of luxurious multi-tonal dimension, allowing for an upgrade to brown hair for the season or utilizing any leftover lightness from summer.
    • This shade is a great option for those with naturally darker hair who want to try a lighter shade without a dramatic change.

    Cowgirl Copper 3.0:

    • Cowgirl copper is an earthy auburn hair color that has evolved into a more muted version.
    • It is a shade that can be worn by those with cooler or fairer skin tones, especially with the frostier strands reflected in this shade.

    Trophy Blonde:

    • Trophy blonde is a bright, gleaming, and reflective hair color.
    • It is a clean and clear blonde shade with just a hint of gold, heavily painted on with very little shadows or dimension.
    • This shade is often seen on longer hair with soft movement, and it requires healthy hair to shine and glow.

    Bündchen Balayage:

    • Bündchen balayage refers to the balayage blonde hair color popularized by supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
    • It is a hand-painted highlight technique that creates a subtle golden blonde tone.
    • The highlights are kept away from the roots while retaining some of the deeper base colors in the mid-lengths and ends.
    • This hair color works best with a light brown/dark blonde natural base color.

    These are the different hair trends and colors mentioned in the article. Remember to consult with a professional hairstylist to determine which style or color would best suit your hair type, face shape, and personal preferences.

    Autumn/winter '23 hair trends: From the 'stretched mullet' to 'Bündchen balayage' – here's everything you need to know (2024)

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