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8 best hairstyles for long and short hair in 2021

Plus lightweight products that'll keep your new 'do looking great for days.
Woman at home doing her hair
Eva-Katalin / Getty Images

Summer is just around the corner! While you've probably already began switching out your wardrobe and accessories, why not take it one step further? Switch up your hair, too!

If you're anything like me, you stick to the same few hairstyles. Personally, I'm a fan of putting my hair up in a bun, especially during the summer months to keep it out of my face. I often think about switching it up and trying other looks, but I never know where to begin or what products to use to make it happen.

That's why I spoke to a few hairstylists for inspiration about summery hairstyles they recommend for long and short locks. They also recommended a few lightweight products that will make your new 'do last even longer. (Nothing is worse than putting a ton of effort into a hairstyle only for it to last one day.)


Artistic Director for SACHAJUAN Trey Gillen and New York City-based hairstylists Madison Sullivan and Gloria Espinoza have noticed the rise in blowouts recently. It's a classic look for long and short hair that can last for days at a time. Sullivan and Espinoza both noted that you can add your own personal touch to a blowout by using accessories like headbands and claw clips.

Kerastase L'incroyable Blow Dry Hair Lotion

Apply this hair lotion before you blow-dry your hair for the best results. "What I love about it is that it has memory to it," Sullivan told Shop TODAY on a call. This means that when you touch up and blow-dry your hair again, it will reactivate its features thanks to Kerastase's microwax technology. It also controls frizz for up to 96 hours, is heat-protectant up to 450 degrees and has maximum shapeability.

Color Wow Dream Coat

Gillen usually uses this product after a client's hair is already dry. He finely mists the spray over the hair and then seals it in with a flatiron. "I can get people's straight hair to stay for, like, four days if I do that," he said.

Rene Furterer Straightening Gel

"For a blowout, some people don't realize that gel is actually pretty great," Espinoza shared. "By blow-drying the product in, it's helping the style lay sleek. The gel will help with humidity, but also to avoid that dry crunch[y] look gel can have."

Wear out natural textures

If you want to highlight your natural texture, summer is the perfect time to do that. "Girls with curly hair are wanting to embrace their natural hair," Sullivan said. And this is another instance where you can have fun and add an extra personal touch to it with barrettes!

Wearing out natural hair is more than just washing it and being on your way. You'll need a solid go-to product to help keep things under control.

Redken No Blow Dry Just Right Cream

Redken's line of No Blow Dry creams comes in three options for different hair types and are made to help your hair air-dry faster. "They're lightweight for each hair type," Sullivan told us.

Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse

The Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse is a go-to for Espinoza. "It adds more body, and it looks pretty and effortless," she said.

'50s style half pin-up

Styles from the past are making their way to the main stage this year. Gillen likes a '50s style with tousled waves in the back and either one or both sides pinned up in the front. "It's really nice in the hot weather because you can keep all of your hair out of your face," he said.

Kerastase Curl Manifesto Gelée Curl Contour Gel-Cream

Gillen recommends using products from the Curl Manifesto line to scrunch up hair in the back and diffuse it for more defined waves or curls. Try this curl contour gel-cream from the line for soft, defined and bouncy curls.

Sleek '70s high ponytail

Hairstylist Gloria Espinoza recommends a sleek high ponytail for long hair this summer. This style will easily take you from day to night activities with little to no effort.

Suavecito Original Hold Pomade

This pomade dries with a medium hardness but doesn't leave your hair feeling crunchy. It's also water soluble, so it grips hair like wax when dry but washes out smoothly like gel. It even boasts a 4.7-star rating on Amazon.

"I know most think of pomade for men or pixie cuts, but one I like to use is Suavecito Original's hold pomade and it smells great," Espinoza told Shop TODAY via email. "It gives a nice soft hold without your hair feeling crunchy from using too much hairspray."

Messy high beach bun

You can't go wrong with a messy bun in the summertime. Espinoza recommends using a texturizing spray before raking your hair up with your fingers. The goal is for an "effortless, done-undone look," she said.

Rene Furterer Vegetal Texture Spray

This hairspray from Rene Furterer is designed to add texture, volume and body without leaving behind any unsightly residue. "This spray is great for anyone who hasn't been able to keep that undone look to last. It's [personally] a go-to for my fine hair," Espinoza told us.

Soft spikes

When you think of spiky hair, you might think of hard-to-the-touch, stiff spikes. Gillen recommends a softer style that is more tumbled than textured. "It goes great if you're coloring your hair," he said.

Tresemme 4+4 Styling Mousse

To get softer spikes, Gillen recommends starting with a mousse on your wet hair and finishing with a holding spray. "Steer clear of hard waxes and gels or pomades. Go with softer waxes and sprays to get the [desired] texture," he said.


"I say go for the mohawk!" Gillen said. His take on it is to keep the top section longer and curl the hair instead of spiking it to keep it soft and "undone looking." Instead of completely buzzing the sides, he recommends using a clipper with a guard to shave the sides for a more sophisticated look.

Iles Formula Curl Revive Spray

Gillen really likes this curl spray from Iles. It's sulfate-, silicone- and paraben-free, and made with clean ingredients like vitamin B5 and alkanes that stem from coconut oil.

Short twists

Twists are perfect for anyone with textured hair, especially if you're growing out a buzzcut or just did a big chop, according to Gillen. "It's very protective because when you twist the hair, you don't really create damage and you can leave the twists in for weeks at a time without changing the look or re-twisting them," he said.

Mizani Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

Gillen recommends spraying a leave-in conditioner and following it up with a hair wax or oil. With a 4.6-star rating on Amazon and over 3,500 five-star ratings, this Mizani leave-in conditioner is a great option. It touts benefits like protecting colored hair, smoothing the hair and enhancing curls.

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