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Two years ago, we welcomed the new year with the ever-optimistic hope that this year would be different; 2020 would be the year we lose the weight, the year we fix our eyebrows, the year we find and actually stick to a skincare routine, and the year we would finally become the best versions of ourselves.

Of course, life had other ideas and although 2020 was different, it was different for all the wrong reasons. But as we look back now, it is not the pandemic that we remember 2020 for, nor is it all the banana bread we baked; what we remember most about 2020 are the iconic hairstyles that were born from it. From curtain bangs to the mullet, these were the most popular hairstyles of 2020.

The shag

Originally created for movie legend Jane Fonda and her character Bree Daniels in the 1971 cult-classic “Klute”, the shag absolutely dominated 2020’s beauty trends. Known for its layered, sometimes-messy appearance, the shag made its triumphant return when celebrities such as Halsey, Debby Ryan, and Miley Cyrus walked the (virtual) red carpets sporting the hairstyle. This hairstyle offers the rare duality of being both elegant and wild, and is the perfect style for any lady who wants to have the best of both worlds.


Today, it is difficult to walk down the street and not see a mullet, but in 2020, this style was equal parts controversial and, well, sexy. Although the mullet has been attempting to make its comeback for years now (with moments such as ’90s ScarJo, 2013 Rihanna, and, of course, 2016 Zendaya), 2020 was the year it was finally successful. In February 2020, Miley Cyrus was spotted rocking a mullet, and then, during our ‘Tiger King’ era of the pandemic, Joe Exotic inadvertently influenced hundreds of young people to style themselves a mullet. Barbie Ferreira followed, then Billie Eilish, and soon, this iconic 80s hairstyle was seen everywhere. But the mullet isn’t for everyone, and just like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it.


Would it even be a lockdown if one of our friends didn’t cut themselves a fringe?

In 2020, cutting yourself bangs became synonymous with taking control of your life during a situation totally out of your control, and although most of us cut too short, long, fluffy bangs became all the rage during 2020. Just like the other popular hairstyles of 2020, the curtain bangs took their inspiration from the 1970s and 1980s — but with celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Rosalía, and Halle Berry sporting bangs, taking a pair of scissors to your hair had never been so tempting.


Us curly-haired ladies will know that our hair only comes into fashion once every eight or so years, but luckily for us, 2020 was one of those years. Whether it be loose curls, waves, or tight coils, curly hair arguably became the most sought-after hair texture in 2020. Perhaps it was because we had no reason to straighten our hair during lockdown, or perhaps it was because we were simply fed up with the arduous task of trying to tame the curls, but this beauty trend spread far and wide during the pandemic and had everyone scrunching their hair with t-shirts and sleeping in plaits.

Short hair

2020 truly was the year for hair scissors.

For those who had enough self-control not to spontaneously cut themselves a fringe, a mullet, or a shag but were fed up with having long hair, hairstyles such as the bob, the lob, and the pixie-cut were their go-to style in 2020. With celebrities such as Dua Lipa, Kylie Jenner, and Zoe Kravitz rocking these three styles, it was hard to resist taking the leap and cutting all those inches off too.

The buzz cut

For those who felt the urge to totally transform their hair but refused to venture into mullet territory, the buzz cut became the answer to all their problems. Although this hairstyle has never truly died out and likely never will, it was during 2020 that more and more people began to rock the shaved-head look (and the best part of this hairstyle? It cuts your shower time in half!). Whether it was for fashion or for other reasons, the buzz cut was undoubtedly one of the most radical hair trends of 2020.

What do you think? What was your favourite hairstyle in 2020?

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