How to Style Fall’s Biggest Hair Trend

written by BETH GILLETTE

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Source: Zara
Source: Zara

You don’t have to work too hard to convince me to change my hair color. Just this week I convinced myself that I’d finally go back to my favorite hair color (a gorgeous copper red)—and then the next day I sent my stylist a bunch of photos of colors not even closely resembling that color. While I’m infinitely inspired to try new hair colors, when it comes to hairstyles, I’ve been doing the same loose wave for the last three years. Ready to change it up, fall’s biggest hair trend has caught my eye: all the hair accessories you could possibly think of.

We lived an unfortunate amount of time where hair accessories were deemed “out,” and I’m happy to say that time is far behind us. Thanks to the cultural reinvigoration of the ’90s, the early aughts officially making their comeback, and TikTok to convince us to try pretty much anything once, your beachy waves and blowout don’t have to be the only hairstyles in your repertoire this season.  

From big bows to thick headbands to embellished everything—hair accessories in 2021 don’t have to be understated, and they sure as hell don’t have to cost as much as they look. Here’s what we’re loving this year, how to style them, and where to find them on a budget: 


1. Embellished Headbands

The pearl headband trend isn’t going anywhere, and this season, we’re adding even more. Big, jeweled headbands make your look preppy with a cool factor, but if you really want to take it a step further, try layering them They can all be the same size, or have them vary in size to play off each other. 

As for how to style, headbands always look best with a little bit of volume, regardless of if your hair is straight or coily. Add a bit of lift at the root behind the headband using a teasing comb, and then style your hair according to your style. Sleek and straight will show off the headband, while curled or natural texture makes the headband seem less bold if you’re going for an understated look.

2. Claw Clips

There’s nothing easier than the quintessential ’90s claw clip. I, for one, hope this trend never leaves because it makes getting ready in the morning a complete breeze. Whether you opt for a half-up look or pull all your hair back, it’s really as simple as pulling your hair back and clipping it up. For a sleek look, brush your hair back into a ponytail, and then clip it up. Or make it messy by pulling pieces out around. your face and letting your ends spike out from the top. 

3. Big Bows

As the preppy look takes over fall 2021 fashion trends, you can expect its influence in hair as well. If Blair Waldorf would wear it, it goes. This style pairs best with a half-up look where the bow can really take center stage, but it can be done on any hair type or texture. 

4. Bobby Pins

Don’t forget the basics. Bobby pins are finally having their moment, and they’re going from those little things strewn about your vanity for fixing updos and ponytails to making a statement all on their own. This style works best with a side part, and all you need to do is pull your hair taught on the side you want the bobby pins and start placing them. You might have to move them around a bit to get the shape you want, but it’s really as simple as that. 

5. Padded Headbands

This style takes a nod at the ’60s and is almost entirely thanks to the influence of the padded Prada headband that blew up on Instagram (and costs just over $400). Luckily, you can get the look for a lot less and have dozens of ideas to style it. My favorite way to wear a padded headband is after a blow-out when my ends have a bit of a curl, but this style looks good on every hair type and texture. It’s also an easy way to spice up second-day hair when paired with a ponytail, braid, or bun.

6. Scarves

A hair scarf is the perfect accessory because you can wear it a dozen different ways and always get a different look. You can roll it up and use it around the base of buns and ponytails, around your head as a headband, or folded and tied at the nape of the neck (à la Dua Lipa’s look). Keep lots of bobby pins on hand to pin it down and keep it in place all day. 

7. Wide Jersey Headbands

Could it get any more mod than this? This headband trend took over TikTok (including stars like Dixie D’Amelio), and it’s so easy to recreate at home. Give yourself lots of volume with a teasing comb and hairspray before you put on the headband and after to zhuzh up the style. Then, sleek down flyaways and edges with a hair gel

8. Colorful Barrettes + Slides

Any hair type, texture, or style can do this look. It’s one of the most versatile but has some of the biggest impact. It adds some color to your look and is so customizable. You can opt for classic snap clip barrettes, or go with jeweled slides like these ones from Zara. 

9. Oversized Scrunchies

The oversized scrunchie trend is finally an answer to putting up voluminous, textured, and curly hair types, but it also adds lots of flair to straight and wavy hair too. This style looks best when hair has a little grip, so it’s great for when you’re a little farther along in your washing schedule. You can do a bun with this, or go classic with a low ponytail. It looks the best when the style is a bit messy, so pull out a few pieces to frame your face and don’t worry about smoothing down flyways.