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AW16 Key Trend: Return of the Curl

It’s time to say goodbye to 90s-style straight hair and the 70s’ loose boho waves: this autumn/winter, curls are back – and they’re tighter and messier than ever before. The Kelsey look in our new Artisan collection is the archetype of the season’s style, with short, 80s-inspired curls and a heavy fringe framing the face. It’s a bold look, but there are plenty of ways to style this must-have AW16 hair trend. The curl has returned, and this is everything you need to know…


Curls were all over the AW 16/17 catwalks, which is why they are now set to be a big trend in salons and at home. At London Fashion Week, Vivienne Westwood (below, left) sent models down the runway with clearly defined and separated ringlets, curled tightly and very close to the head. In Milan, there was a similar preference for tight curls on hair cut short. However, here there was a strong focus on matte texture, such as the candyfloss-like hair at Stella Jean (below, right).

2016 Catwalk Hair Trends | Curls

Vivienne Westwood | Stella Jean

Although this season’s curls were defined and ringlet-like in appearance, there was still an air of dishevelment and a lived-in look. This was created by letting tendrils of hair fall loose over the forehead, and pinning random sections of hair for an asymmetric finish. Frizz was also embraced rather than corrected, with the static look adding textural interest.

And the curl isn’t set to just be an autumnal phenomenon; it will also be permeating into next Spring/Summer, too. For the warmer season’s catwalks, the curls were reminiscent of the 1970s – still close to the head and tight, but with heavy fringes. Chanel recently had her models sport a halo-like head of curls, with short layer creating a round style that framed the face (below).

Return of the Curl | Chanel 70s



To achieve the AW16 must-have trend of curls, curl creams are a must-have. A product such as DESIGNLINE Curl Lock Curl Cream will add definition and hold to both natural and heat-styled curls. On the topic of heat, unless your hair is naturally curly then heat appliances are likely to be an important step in recreating this look. A heat defence product will therefore be essential – the label.m  Heat Protection Spray absorbs heat of up to 225°C, making it one of our stylists’ favourites.

If you have natural curls, the diffuser head on your hairdryer is going to become your new favourite accessory. It was the essential tool for our Creative Director Kieron Fowles when styling Kelsey on our Artisan shoot (below), and for good reason. Often overlooked, the diffuser is ideal for distributing heat over large areas of hair without disrupting your natural curl or creating any frizz.

Curl Trend AW16

For the matte texture seen on the AW16 runways, spritz some dry shampoo through the curls. A light misting of hairspray, such as EIMI’s Stay Styled, will help to hold the style in place while also providing a barrier against humidity.

In-Salon Services

For those not blessed with the natural chopstick curl, the same look can be created with a small-barrelled curling wand. For an expert finish, visit one of our stylists in salon. Asking for a small tonged service will enable your stylist to recreate the 80s-inspired Kelsey curl, adding volume and definition to create the shape that suits your personal style. 

To stay up-to-date with the key hair trends for autumn/winter 2016 and beyond, sign up to our Newsletter. For more information on the Kelsey look, visit our Lookbook. 


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