Hair trends everyone ditched in 2019

When it comes to hair trends, a woman will try out an average of 150 — no, that's not a typo — different hairstyles throughout her lifetime, one survey found (via Express). Of the survey's participants, 64 percent said they cut or color their hair when they're feeling bored with their current look. With so many fun hair trends out there, it's easier than ever to change things up. In 2019 alone, we saw the return of the perm, blunt bobs paired with edgy bangs, and even the fresh-out-of-the-shower wet-hair look à la Kim Kardashian. The influx of new trends put many our once-beloved styles on the back burner and, before long, they were headed toward extinction. Out with the old and in with the new, right? 

The List spoke with hairstylists and hair care experts throughout the country and across the pond and discovered which trends lost their staying power in 2019. Without further ado, here's what the esteemed hair gurus had to say.

Adios, ombre

Ombré hair — "a dramatic, two-toned hair color effect that is typically darker at the top and lighter on the bottom," according to the haircare company Matrix — was a trend you may have never wanted to see end. As the company highlighted, ombré is well-suited for medium to long hair and it's one that won't break the bank. This is because touch-ups aren't needed as frequently. Matrix further explained, "The overall look of ombré hair color can change as your hair grows out, which many clients enjoy!" But it seems all good hair trends must come to an end eventually.

The ombré trend is "definitely over," Chaz Dean, a renowned celebrity hairstylist and founder of WEN Hair & Body Care, confirmed to The List. Jana Rago, runway hair stylist and the owner of the Boston-based salon Jana Rago Studios, agrees. "People are starting to go for more natural-looking color like a balayage," she said. "With balayage highlights, the colors [blend] seamlessly into the hair without having bleached ends like ombré. It's overall a more natural way to brighten the hair."

Rainbow hair has crossed the rainbow bridge

When you first saw the rainbow or "unicorn" hair trend, you may have been totally impressed. Perhaps you even joined in on the trend yourself. After all, those vivid other-worldly colors were hard to resist. Nevertheless, 2019 saw the end of this mythical trend — at least on adult women.

"Bleaching your hair and then dyeing in all shades of the rainbow is a phase many teen girls go through and that's fine," hairstylist Joey Furlan of Hair by Joey told The List. "The thing is, this trend managed to shift its way up onto people in their 20s, 40s and even 60s in recent years and now people are starting to realize it's maybe better left to the teeny boppers."

Many people also came to realize that the upkeep of rainbow hair was far from magical. "High-impact purple may feel exciting for a couple of weeks, but it's hard on your hair and always fades quickly," Furlan explained. He noted that "the trend towards punky colors has thankfully packed up its bags and headed back to the '90s where it belongs."

We'll miss you, messy buns

If you have mid-length to long hair, the messy bun has probably become one of your favorite hairstyles. It's one of those day-to-night looks that somehow works just as well at the gym as it does on a date. Unfortunately, this effortless trend has started to fall by the wayside. Even Meghan Markle — the queen of the messy bun — seems to have retired her signature look. Sigh

Celebrity hairstylist Patrice Vinci, founder of Patrice Vinci Salon, said women are "moving to a more polished look" — just like the Duchess of Sussex. "Think Meghan Markle's low bun, which sits on her neck for an effortless, chic statement," she explained to The List

Hairstylist Troy Alexandros of Salon64 told Express that "a tidy up do is also a great way to hide fuzzy edges and curls which can appear after a hard busy day of royal affairs." Although you probably don't have many royal engagements to attend, a low bun can be a sleek way to tame unruly locks.

Blunt bangs just weren't working

"Bangs will be a big trend to kick off the start of 2019," Sharon Ramcharitar, senior stylist at Vu Hair at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City, predicted when speaking to The List in late 2018. The expert said to expect a variety of styles, from shaggy to short and tousled. Throughout 2019, bangs have continued to remain popular. However, one style has gone out with a bang — pun totally intended.

Jana Rago, runway hairstylist and owner of her eponymous studios, said blunt bangs have been replaced. "Now we are seeing a softer fringe or wisp bang and even a micro bang," she revealed in an interview with The List. "The thick blunt bang is not the trend anymore — shorter pieces and styles are much softer around the face." This is, after all, what many people are after when opting for bangs in the first place. According to Holly Pistas, a hairstylist at Chicago-based Gordon Salons, many like how bangs frame their face and break up their hairstyle. For many, it seems, blunt bangs just didn't do the trick.

Sayonara, side-swept bangs

In 2016, Glamour wrote, "If we had to give out awards, side bangs would definitely win Most Popular…" At the time, Jon Reyman, hairstylist and founder of Spoke & Weal, told the publication that they pair especially well with round faces, saying, "The angle of the bangs creates more length in your face and thus a more oval shape."

In three years' time, though, a lot has changed. While side-swept bangs can definitely still be a flattering style, Patrice Vinci, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Patrice Vinci Salon, told The List that the hair trend is "on the way out." Many women have traded in their Taylor Swift-like side-swept bangs for a different style like the bangs worn by Jessica Biel, Kerry Washington, Ariana Grande, and Liv Tyler, according to the renowned hair guru.

If you're thinking of embracing the shorter bangs trend, you should first know that there's a pretty huge difference between the side-swept variety and full-on forehead fringe. Be sure to consider the pros and cons before taking the leap.

Platinum blonde was just too harsh

Getting platinum blonde hair is quite literally a process. In fact, it can often be a double process. "Bleach or enlightener is decolorizing the hair by breaking up the natural melanin in the hair," Spoke & Weal co-owner, hairstylist, and color director Christine Thompson explained to Byrdie. Because the roots usually lighten more than the ends, another round of bleach is used to get a single, cohesive color.  

Hairstylist Elizabeth Hiserodt at Cutler Salon explained to Teen Vogue that bleach is hard on your hair. "Removing color out of the hair can be very damaging, and often doesn't lift to light blonde tones without breaking," she cautioned. "Also, very fine textured hair can break easily with bleach applied, so also take your hair texture into consideration."

Although the platinum trend was fun while it lasted, our hair will be relieved to know that this trend is dying out. "The trend now is a less harsh looking color; it's more about the faded pastels and golden tones (especially for blondes)," Jana Rago, runway hair stylist and the owner of Boston-based salon Jana Rago Studios, told The List.

Opting out of ash tones

Ash-toned hair is essentially blonde hair with a slight tint of gray, according to L'Oréal. According to the company's site, it's similar to platinum hair in a way but looks more natural and calls for darker roots. "It's technically a cool-toned color, which means it tends to look more flattering on people with cool-toned skin (lighter complexions with blue or green eyes, for example)," the brand revealed.

Just as platinum hair has become less popular, Ruby Hook, hairstylist and salon manager at Browns Hairdressers in Stony Stratford, England, confirmed that "real ash tones in the hair have calmed down" considerably. Instead of opting for more of a silver hue, Hook said her clients are asking for more golden tones. 

If you're looking to avoid ash tones, Mitra Mir, a hair color expert at Hershesons, said you'll want to communicate that with your hairstylist. "Ask your stylist for golds, coppers and peaches — these are all warmer tones," she told Cosmopolitan. "Take a picture of the shade you want, but if you're not sure, a good colourist should be able to advise you on which hair colours will suit and which won't."

Artificial gray is not the "massive trend" it once was

It's not just blondes with hints of gray that we used to love. Artificial gray hair "was a massive trend" in 2018, according to Ruby Hook, hairstylist and salon manager at Browns Hairdressers. In 2019, though? "Not so much," Hook confirmed to The List. If you tried the silvery gray trend, you know that it was, well, annoying to maintain. That said, you may be happy to hear that it's on it's way out.

Daniel Savant, hairstylist and owner of SaVant Salon in Peoria, Ariz., told Phoenix New Times that bleaching is just the first step in getting the desired color. Next, a bluing rinse is used to prevent the hair from looking yellow and adds some variation to the gray. After your hair is sufficiently colored, you need to avoid sulfate-based shampoos and have additional dye added "every couple of weeks" and visit the salon for a root touch-up monthly. Those visits add up, and, according to Savant, most people ended up hating how it looked and went back to their former color within six weeks.

What about bobs?

The bob may be the most versatile haircut that exists. The A-line bob, in particular, has served us well for many years. Back in 2016, Jon Reyman, hairstylist and founder of Spoke & Weal, recommended an A-line bob for women with chunkier layers. "Bring up the length so the bottom layers live closer to the shortest layer, so it has a stronger perimeter line," he told HuffPost. That look was certainly the "It" thing at the time. 

By 2019, though, this carefree bob had lost some popularity — but not necessarily because it isn't great. "There's a lot of variations of the bob and the hottest on the market right now is a boyishly soft, yet blunt, bob with the length hitting mid-neck," California-based hairstylist Fae Norris of Neighborhood Salon told The List. "What that means is the many other bob options have lost a little, or a lot, of their steam." According to the expert, the A-line bob and "any version of the bob with the back being shorter than the front" are "pretty much over for 2019."

Beachy waves are changing

Without ever having to take a straightener or curling iron to your hair, you could get the beachy wave look by simply securing your freshly washed hair into buns and going to sleep. Ah, this hair trend was just too good to last forever, wasn't it?

Celebrity hairstylist Patrice Vinci of Patrice Vinci Salon told The List that this beachy style is being "changed up in a glamorous nod to Hollywood." But it's not all bad news. For those who weren't able to get the desired wavy look without heat, beach waves may have actually been more time-consuming than their glamorous replacement.

Vinci said the updated style is "voluminous" and borrows inspiration from "Kate Middleton's signature look." She explained further, saying, "The direction of curling this style needs to be one way only, and often curling forward gives a face [a] flattering look [with] polished, well-defined waves." Don't worry if your hair isn't as long as Duchess Kate's. "This type of curl can be achieved with a bob look as well," the hair expert confirmed.

Bye-bye, babylights

"Subtle blended highlights" — or babylights — are "taking a little break," Fae Norris, hairstylist at Neighborhood Salon, revealed to The List. Babylights are a much different process than both balayage and ombré because they "involve applying color to larger pieces of hair," Aura Friedman, a colorist at the Sally Hershberger salon in New York City, explained to Allure. This style worked particularly well for people with thin hair.

Although this subtle look was a big trend for both thin and thick hair types in years past, Norris said we shouldn't expect it again anytime soon. "Bold and blonde with a slightly darker root and a few low lights is 'the look' of the summer," she said. For those who don't love the low lights look, all-over colors — like chocolate brown — have also replaced babylights. "The key is keeping it all one color, avoiding highlights, and matching the undertone to your skin tone for a warm, neutral, healthy look," Norris dished.

Parting with traditional highlights

It's no longer just babylights that are out. Gabriella Goldring, hairstylist and co-founder of Eunice & May blow-bar, told The List that highlights — at least as we've always known them — "no longer really exist." Instead, everyone wants rooted or balayage for more natural looking hair," she explained. Those stripy, defined highlights have become a thing of the past — and it's not hard to understand why. Unlike traditional highlights, the balayage technique "gives a really blended natural look with no harsh or obvious regrowth lines," Richard Ward, royal and celebrity hairstylist, told Marie Claire.

"Stiff styles have been booted out in favor of more flowery natural hair," Goldring explained. And balayage most certainly fits the bill. Another natural-looking style dubbed "dirty brunette" has also taken the place of traditional highlights. The hair trend does actually call for a highlighting technique — but you'd hardly be able to tell. The key is to stick with very natural highlights, renowned hairstylist Riawna Capri of Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles, Calif. explained to Allure.

"Over-styled looks are out"

With the exception of Hollywood waves, "very glam and over-styled looks are out as people are favoring a more undone, lived-in look," Gabriella Goldring, hairstylist and co-founder of Eunice & May blow-bar, revealed to The List

Anh Co Tran and Johnny Ramirez, hairstylists and co-owners of the Ramirez Tran salon in Beverly Hills, Calif., have essentially perfected this hair trend — and they have some tips for pulling off the look. Ramirez revealed to Elle that both color and cut are equally important. "We've had clients come in for color, and then another hairdresser at a different salon will chop all the work off, which defeats the purpose," he admitted. "Anh has always been very respectful with the way he cuts. If he wants to do something a little more fun and edgy, I'll follow his lead and highlight pieces that will complement his layers to add depth." For those who want a super low-maintenance version of this lived-in look, be sure to ask your stylist to dye your roots similar to your natural shade, which is exactly what Ramirez does.

50 shades of pink

In fashion, blush is everywhere. When it comes to hair color, though, the love of this hue has died down. Throughout 2018, every shade of pink from "bright pink to rose gold to pastel" was everywhere. "We took a lot of bookings for summer, [vacations], and festivals," Ruby Hook, hairstylist and salon manager at Browns Hairdressers in Stony Stratford, England, confirmed to The List. As of 2019, that was no longer the case with this hair trend.

Years ago, you may not have imagined that pink hair would've actually become common, but, nevertheless, that's what happened. "A color explosion has happened and now is being molded to our lifestyle — as normal as they can be," celebrity colorist Daniel Moon told Teen Vogue back in 2015. And there was a reason so many took to the trend, according to Midge Wilson, a psychology professor at DePaul University. "If society is accepting of pink hair right now, it makes us more apt to dye our hair pink, therefore perpetuating the cycle," she told the publication. As cool as pink hair was, it did require a considerable amount of upkeep. Naturally, that prevents us from being too sad to say goodbye.