Hair Trends Everyone Ditched In 2023

The start of a new year is the perfect time to reassess, set new goals, and make necessary changes in your life. It's also a time to leave behind bad habits and things that are no longer serving you. And sometimes, there's no better way to start fresh than with a new haircut or color. It may sound silly, but feeling confident in your own skin can help you in many aspects of life. So why not start the new year off right with a style you're excited to show off?

2023 had so many fun trends in fashion, beauty, and hair. Bleach blonde, shag cuts, wolf cuts, curtain bangs, and more dominated the year's hairstyles. Although these attention-grabbing styles had their moment, not all trends are built to last. With the year coming to a close, it's time to let go of the following 2023's looks in favor of fresher 'dos. 

We're moving on from balayage

Balayage is a French word that literally means "to sweep"; however, in hair terminology, it's a technique used for lightening. A hairstylist hand paints the color onto a client's hair without using foil. The light color typically becomes heavier at the bottom and remains more natural and darker toward the root. This style of hair lightening has been very popular with celebrities and influencers in recent years. This ombré-type style is more forgiving of regrowth without the roots becoming too jarring.

You've likely seen this popular style countless times, including on celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, and others. But have we overdone it? Maybe we've seen too much of this style in the past few years. Although balayage is flattering, some experts are predicting that we will be moving away from this style in the new year.

"The balayaged, streaky, overdone look seems to be passing, since everyone's trying to keep their hair low-maintenance," celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena told Glamour. "No one wants to look like their hair is so done." Lyndal Salmon, Australian Hairdresser of the Year, told Body and Soul agrees that it's finally time to say farewell to the balayage look and try something fresher. "The balayage trend has stuck around for so long, I think we need to move on," she said. Rather than getting the same old balayage, Salmon suggests bringing the color closer to the root in 2024.

It's time to add some dimension to your long hair

If you've been keeping your hair ultra-long and flowing, it's time for a fresh cut for a flattering and elevated look. Like balayage, long hair is a popular and classic choice we've seen for years. Women often opt for longer hair styles because long hair feels like the safer style choice. But 2024 is your year to push out of those comfort zones and cut that one-length 'do. Although long hair may feel like a safe bet, these hairstyles aren't actually suited to everyone. Depending on your hair texture, long hair can look heavy. It can also elongate your facial features, which may not be ideal for all face shapes.

In 2024, try updating the classic look for something more modern that highlights your facial structure. "People are getting used to the shorter lengths around their face and pushing the boundaries," stylist Ali Holmes told Body and Soul. Shorter layers around the face can give even long hairstyles a refreshed look and are "far more flattering for most face shapes," according to Holmes. Longer layers can work, too — the important part of modernizing your long hair is to avoid any one-dimensional cuts. "Think '70s-inspired layers that start between the chin and the shoulders and flow down the back," celebrity hairstylist Graham Nation told The Zoe Report.

Cool-toned blondes are out

Blondes definitely took centerstage in 2023, with platinum and cool ash blondes everywhere. If you bleach your hair, you know the struggle of finding the perfect purple shampoos and treatments used to keep yellow tones or brassiness out of your desired shade. The good news is you can leave all that behind in 2023. The predictions for 2024 show a lack of platinum locks. Additionally, "ash blondes are long gone," hairstylist and salon co-owner Ali Holmes told Body and Soul.

While you may have been attempting to perfect your cool-toned blonde for years, it's now time to embrace some warmth. This is not to say that blondes will be left entirely behind. "2024's buttercream is a muted version of a warm summer blonde that also enhances the rosiness of your winter cheeks," colorist Tiffanie Richards told Allure. This color allows for the bombshell blonde impact but with warmer colors that will go better with many skin tones than cool blondes. Your scalp will also thank you for leaving ultra-bleach blonde behind.

We'll see less of curtain bangs

Curtain bangs were quite popular during 2023. For this style of bangs, the hair is cut shorter towards the center of the forehead and becomes gradually longer as it goes out, eventually blending with the rest of the cut. It's a slightly less blunt option than other styles of bangs because you don't have a strong differentiation between the fringe and the rest of the hair length. But, in 2024, we'll be moving away from curtain bangs and into more current bang styles.

If you got curtain bangs in 2023 and are looking for a way to update the look in the coming year, consider opting for eyelash bangs. These straight-across bangs land just above the eye and, unlike curtain bangs, are not blended with the rest of your hair. And while curtain bangs are shortened at the center, this bang trend is "almost too long but in the best way," stylist Sophie Rose Gutterman told Allure.

If you want something more on-trend than curtain bangs but aren't sold on having bangs that close to your eyes, Birkin bangs are another alternative. The straight-across bangs were inspired by Jane Birkin. This cut has a more tousled, effortless feel similar to curtain bangs, but still a more blunt cut than the 2023 style.

The short shag is out

Shaggy bobs were one of the defining looks in both 2022 and 2023, with viral TikTok videos even showing viewers how to give themselves the messy, '70s-inspired look. Celebrities like Billie Eilish further popularized the shag cut. While the choppy shag was fun while it lasted, this is one of the styles you won't be seeing much of in 2024. Instead, people will be gravitating towards more subtle styles. "Many people are growing out of their shags and are going for either a longer style or opting to turn them into a version of a bob," celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend told The Zoe Report.

But just because you have a shag now doesn't mean you have to panic. While styles are moving away from the short, choppy cut, other versions of it will be emerging in 2024. For a more subtle take on the spunky look, consider growing out your shaggy bob into a longer cut around the shoulders with softer layering. Melissa Wade-Smith told Allure this upscale shag will likely be one of the most asked-for cuts in 2024. "This haircut is perfect for those who have become bored with their basic bob or shag and want to take it up a notch," the hairstylist explained. Like the shag, this cut offers layers and movement for an effortless and edgy style. However, it doesn't feel as tied to 2023 and creates a more grown-up version of the shaggy bob.

Say goodbye to the sleek bob

Another hair trend that made an impact in 2023 was the bob. A bob haircut is a short, straight cut, typically ending around the chin, though there are some variations in length and layering. Celebrities like Ciara and Kim Kardashian popularized the ultra-sleek bob hair, influencing many to chop their own locks. 2023's version of the bob was a very straight, polished look.

While the sleek bob became quite trendy in 2023, it also came under fire. Kardashian's blunt bob went viral, with many comparing her haircut to cartoon characters like Edna Mode from "Incredibles" and Lord Farquaad from "Shrek (via Buzzfeed)." And with these unflattering comparisons circulating, it's likely no surprise that many are leaving the straight, blunt bob behind.

But don't worry — you can still rock a short bob style in 2024. If anything, it will be an easier look to pull off, with bobs embracing natural hair texture. Rather than sleek bobs, expect to see short cuts with a natural wave and movement to them. Celebrities like Hailey Bieber have already been showing off this more lived-in version of the bob that looks both chic and effortless. Indeed, you can and should feel confident rocking a bob in 2024 — just leave the straightener behind.

Choppy layers are getting a makeover

Choppy and messy cuts were a great way to make a statement and stay on trend in 2023. With mullets, shags, and wolf cuts all drawing attention, many incorporated the edgy and messy look of choppy layers into more simple hairstyles. Speaking on 2023 hair trends, celebrity Hairstylist Laura Polko told People that choppy layers were ideal for mid-length cuts. She pointed out celebrities like Lucy Hale, who influenced others to get the look. "People get so frustrated with midlength," she said. "When you're in that place, you don't know what to do and [you feel like] it's too soon for layers, but I think a lot of people saw [Hale's haircut] and were like, 'Oh my god, I could do this.'"

While choppy layers had their moment, softer looks will be far more sought after in 2024. When freshening up your layers for next year, consider a more subtle style like the butterfly cut. While this cut is still layered, it's less choppy with elegant, wispy pieces. And while it is polished, it's not as slick or severe as a short bob. Hairstylist Melissa Wade-Smith described the up-and-coming hair trend to Allure, saying the butterfly cut "beautifully frames the face with soft, flattering layers that offer softness and movement." This cut is sophisticated and — dare we say it — timeless.

Barbie blondes are being traded in for vibrant reds

With the release of the Barbie movie, barbie-core was everywhere in 2023. It dominated fashion with pinks all over the runway and red carpet. And it took over hair trends, making blonde the must-have hair color of the year. While we've all had our fun with blonde, it's becoming a bit overdone. It's time to step away from the ultra-blonde trend and leave the bleach bottle in 2024.

While some blonde colors, such as buttercream and other warm tones, will still be around in 2024, it's time for a new "it" color. If you're ready to move on from light hair but still want a standout color, consider a bold and deep red. "I think that a rich red wine color will be a top contender come 2024,' London hairstylist Phoebe Friend told Country & Town House, Dua Lipa and fashion influencer Marj Moore are rocking it, showing that the shade is a great option for people with darker natural bases — and in some cases it can be done with little to no bleach, meaning you don't have to compromise the health of your hair to achieve it."

Your go-to slicked-back updo is retiring

In 2023, the popular "clean girl esthetic" made ultra-sleek updos the norm. Whether you were putting your hair in a ponytail or bun or using a claw clip to pull it back, the prevailing trend was to slick back your hair so the front was pulled tight without any volume or flyaways. This style was worn by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Sophie Turner. And it gained even more notoriety from lifestyle influencers wearing the simple but polished look frequently.

While the sleek slick-backed updo had its moment, it's now time to loosen things up a little bit. In 2024, change up the clean girl look for something a little less uptight. Bustle predicts that the slicked-back bun will get a natural, slightly messy makeover in the new year. Update the look with flattering pulled-out pieces and a messy ponytail or bun for a more lived-in look.

Hairstylist Jason Crozier told Country & Town House agrees that updos will become less stiff and more creative and organic. "We saw elaborate updos taking center stage on [Spring/Summer 2023] and [Autumn/Winter 2023] runways. ... Now, in 2024, the trend has evolved with a touch of nature, reflecting a desire for understated elegance." He continued, telling the publication, "Celebrities like Margot Robbie embrace this trend, embodying a harmonious blend of sophistication and natural beauty."

It doesn't always have to be a middle part

If you were frequently on TikTok or Instagram around 2021, you likely saw the surprisingly heated debate between the side and middle parts. The party lines were mostly divided between millennials who had worn side parts growing up and Gen Zers claiming middle parts were far superior. For the past few years, it's seemed Gen Z won this fight. Influencers, celebrities, and models have all been seen with symmetrical middle parts, solidifying the trend as the style standard. While middle parts are flattering on many face shapes and are still an excellent go-to look, it's time to consider other possibilities once again.

"I love both parts," Matrix brand ambassador Sharon Spellman told "The middle part to me represents sleek and directness, while the side part represents a softer and elegant vibe." Thankfully, you can leave any and all strict rules about middle parts behind in 2023 and embrace the style possibilities of — yes — side parts. Many Spring/Summer 2024 runway shows featured models with both slightly off-centered and even deep side parts, as Vogue reported. Dramatic and voluminous side parts, as well as sleek and straight, will come back in the new year. You officially have permission to take a break from the middle parts and get more creative with your hair styling.

Leave behind unhealthy and damaged hair

In recent years, hair trends like platinum blonde, split dyes, and color blocking have led to many fun colors and expressive styles, but they've also come at a price. The frequent bleaching or dying required to maintain bold fashion colors leads to hair damage like split ends, thinning, and breakage. This is, in fact, one of the reasons balayage is falling out of favor in 2024. Celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena told Glamour, "The process of balayage can start to build up damage in the hair after a while, and everyone's looking to improve their hair since we want it to be healthy."

In 2024, hair trends are moving towards more natural and subtle styles. As warmer tones and more natural hair colors become popular, you can pick colors that highlight your skin tone and focus more on hair health. This is an especially great idea if you've had a fashion color that's damaged your hair. Use the more understated trends as an opportunity to give your hair a break and allow regrowth.

Hair care TikTok videos have started to gain more and more traction as people are drawn towards scalp and hair treatments to promote shiny, voluminous locks. Rosemary oils, scalp scrubs, and more intensive hair care routines are going to become prominent in the coming year. "I think in the new year we will see a rising trend in homemade scalp scrubs," Phoebe Friend confirmed to Country & Town House. "We've learned the benefits of natural ingredients like rosemary oil and have a better understanding of the importance of scalp care when it comes to promoting hair growth." So say goodbye to harsh colors and hello to healthy, thick hair.