How low can you go?
A top hairdresser once told me, the next big hair trend is the opposite of what we've all already got. "The grass is always greener," he explained, which is why trends are so cyclical.
The last few years have been the era of The Bob, but now? While we work out what our next move is with our overgrown ends, celebs like Kim K, Lizzo, Anya Taylor-Joy and JLo have stepped in to set a new agenda.
Enter: XXL hair - incredibly long, Rapunzel-like hair that's derrière-scraping and seriously glam.
Whilst the brave/bored among us are making the decision to chop it all off, pushing things in the other direction can be just as dramatic and XXL is the perfect antithesis in-betweeny lengths.
“Lots of people are still turning up to salons with longer than following lockdown," explains BaByliss ambassador, Syd Hayes. "We've seen quite a lot of clients are choosing to go with it and mix up their normal go-to style with XXL hair."
"Super long hair is so on trend at the moment with some of my biggest clients wearing this look," agrees celebrity hair stylist, Jay Birmingham. "It's a fun way to change up your look," he says, and you can even get involved if you have shorter hair. "Clip in extensions are a great option for this look as they are zero commitment and they can transform your style in an instant," adds Jay.
But, if you're growing it out yourself, Syd highlights that the most important thing to take into account when you have long hair is to make sure it's healthy. "Make sure you get rid of split ends and request for the ends to be sliced out or even razored so you don’t have too much of a blunt line at the bottom," he suggests. "This will make the maintenance easier and ensure it looks healthier for longer."
It's the same strategy that Kim K's hairstylist, Chris Appleton, has followed. "Cut some messy layers in Kim’s hair today," he said, explaining the wispy, layered length.
"The possibilities are endless but what's key is that hair looks healthy and shiny and doesn’t have straggly ends," Syd adds. To really maximise the look, ask your stylist to recommend not only a shampoo and conditioner, but an at-home treatment to maintain your salon fresh hair. We love Olaplex for maintaining strength and length.
As for styling, you could head down the rock 'n roll route. "Try channelling Kate Moss’ cool undone hair," Syd suggests. "Simply wash your hair, use a heat protectant and then add some tousled waves to the ends using a wand like the BaByliss 9000 Wand.
For a more lived-in look, "one of my favourite ways to achieve the style is to use extensions and Batiste dry shampoo (£3.33) to create body, texture and volume at the root," says Jay. "When your hair is clean, apply Batiste to the roots of your hair. Wait a couple of minutes and then massage it in using your fingers. Then apply your clip-in extensions and spritz some dry shampoo again just above the clips of the extensions. Use your fingers to manipulate your hair over the clips to ensure they are hidden."
Or you could keep it sleek and shiny using straighteners and a glossing mist, like Charles Worthington's ShinePlex Glossing Mist.
Lastly, watch out for limp roots. "XXL hair is all in the prep," says Pam Cooney, artistic director at Hazel & Haydn. "Use a prescriptive shampoo like Kerastase Extensionist designed to keep long hair looking it’s best and healthy, paired with some powerful volumiser like Wella's EMI Root Shoot mousse. Applied root to tip, it will XXL your blow-dry; and alongside some face framing layers it will keep hair big and beautiful."