From new recipes to new skills and even new items of clothing, bringing home small elements of your travel can help you to get the most out of those experiences, and also enrich other areas of your life. After all, the world is a rich melting pot of differences and exciting new ideas, and those can apply to everything from your wardrobe to, as we’ll be discussing here, your hairstyle.
The world is, after all, filled with different cultures, trends, and ideas, and hairstyles from elsewhere can be inspiring, exciting, and the best possible option for a refresh. So, whether you take inspiration from your own travels, or simply do a little online research, using overseas hair inspiration can see you trying something completely different and loving it.
The question is, what hairstyles are popular around the world right now, and what do they each have to offer?
The United States of America is one of the most inspiring fashion centers in the world thanks to iconic locations like Hollywood. The prevalence of the American movie industry especially means that US hairstyles are rife, easy to research, and always camera-ready. Popular trends across the country right now include pixie cuts, as previously styled by stars like Rihanna, and loose natural waves that can now be enjoyed by all hair types thanks to options like getting a digital perm. Balayage coloring also continues to be popular since being styled by stars that include Gina Rodriguez and Jennifer Aniston.
Speaking of fashion centers, we couldn’t not mention France on this list. As arguably the fashion capital of the world, it only makes sense to look here for top style inspiration, and you certainly won’t be disappointed by doing so. In fact, with naturally messy hairstyles reigning supreme thanks to representation from individuals like Lea Seydoux and almost every model at Paris Fashion Week, France offers perhaps the easiest stylish hair go-to. Of course, if the messy style doesn’t suit, France has plenty of other great popular hairstyles to choose from, including wispy bangs, the classic bobs seen all across Europe, and long curly hair that gives the impression of natural effortlessness, no matter how you achieve it.
While we’re in Europe, we may as well hop across to the UK, which can be equally influential when it comes to world styles. According to Purewow, London residents are especially crying out for 70s and 80s-style layered cuts, boxy bobs, and perhaps more surprisingly, modern mullets. Long hair is also doing the London rounds, though layers are typically being introduced to add shape to otherwise lifeless UK locks.
From Europe to Asia, Japan is setting plenty of hair fashion precedents of its own, with top styles centring around clean, simple hairstyles that require minimal maintenance. Unlike the curls and waves that reign supreme in the other countries mentioned, Japanese hair trends typically revolve around straight, shiny hair that can be styled into soft pixie cuts, curved-out bobs, and two-toned short cuts. The high bun is also incredibly popular amongst Japanese girls, and gives a nod to more traditional Japanese hairstyles, like the shimada.
Chinese hair trends cover a lot of the styles already seen in other countries, including buns and shaggy bobs. But, Chinese hairstyles also offer something unique, with focuses like simple face-framing braids (previously styled by stars like Margot Robbie), quirky bubble braids, and the re-emergence of hair accessories like bandanas. As seen in the UK, China is also seeing something of a resurgence for more retro styles that include short curled hair, hairspray-heavy locks, and large, voluminous curls.
Nigerian women have traditionally opted for styles like intricate braids and weaves. These choices are still incredibly popular, as are the traditional Nigerian head wraps that are most commonly worn for formal occasions. But other styles can also be seen across fashionable Nigerian culture right now, and those include afro buns, shaved patterns, and even dreadlocks. Straight styles like bobs and extensions are also becoming more common, and can even be paired with more traditional Nigerian styles like weaves.
Striking traditional Indian hairstyles such as the choti and the jura are still incredibly popular for formal occasions like weddings, while everyday Indian hairstyles most commonly include long braids like paranda braids, buns, and even henna coloring. Western hair influences can also be seen, however, with other popular Indian hairstyles including French braids, diffused curls, and windswept looks that are reminiscent of France’s ‘bedhead’ trends.
While curls and natural waves might be popular across the majority of other countries, Brazilian women still very much lean towards straight hairstyles, with 48% of Brazilian women wearing their hair straight, even though 40% of women reported having naturally curly hair. Despite this straight focus, Brazilian fashions do favor hair volume, which is most commonly achieved through ‘Brazilian blowouts’ and the use of ample hair extensions.
Volume is also valued in Mexico, where hot oils are used to give hair a voluminous, sleek, and healthy appearance. However, in keeping with traditional local symbols like Frieda Kahlo, Mexican hairstyles are also famed for their color and creativity, with traditional braids and buns often adorned with hair accessories including flowers and headbands. Bandanas can also be found across Mexico, though these are traditionally worn not just as they are, but also as headbands, hair wraps, and additions to ponytails.
Spanish hairstyles follow on nicely from Mexican themes, with the use of flower accessories and more also seen here. However, with all of Spain’s 17 distinct regions each having their own style focuses, it’s difficult to highlight a hairstyle that suits all of them. Most commonly, Spanish styles that you’ll see more often may include a traditional flamenco bun, which is adorned with additions like flowers and braids. More modern takes on this age-old Spanish hairstyle can also include low-sectioned ponytails, large buns, and half updos.
Choosing your round-the-world hairstyle
These are just a few of the hairstyles currently taking each country by storm, but the world has many more hair trends to offer. When faced with this many choices, it can be difficult to know which style would be best for you so, when making your decision, it’s worth considering focuses like –
- Personal preferences
- Styles that reflect your travel experiences
- Your natural hair color/type
- The expertise in your local area (e.g. for specialist focuses like hair braids)
- And more
The main thing is that you have fun and choose a style that you love. And remember, with many styles around the world shared across countries and inspired by one another, there’s no reason why you can’t play around here. For instance, French bedheads can look great with more UK-centric bobs, while bright Mexican accessories could look great with, say, a braided style.
Our hairstyles are one of the first things people see, making them a great way to get across our style, experiences, and personality. By having fun with hairstyles from around the world, either because you’ve visited a country or because its culture speaks to you, you can create unique fashions and looks. And, as you can see from this list, there are a great deal of striking hairstyles to choose from when you broaden your hair horizons. So, have fun, look at all of the inspiration you can (either in real life or online), and don’t be afraid to try something completely new. You never know, get this right, and you might end up inspiring a brand-new style trend that crosses cultures and countries.