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From beach waves to high ponytails, we take a walk down memory lane and look at the most fashionable hairstyles from the runways through the years.
1. The Sleek Ponytail (2010 – 2012)
The beginning of the decade started with sleek ponytails at fashion shows in the autumn/ winter season of 2010. Various designers sent their models gliding down the runway in neat ponytails. We saw side ponys at DKNY in Fall 2010, and more sleek styles from the likes of Calvin Klein and Jil Sander.
Image Credits: (Calvin Klen)Marcio Madeira / FirstView.com, (DKNY) Marcio Madeira / FirstView.com, (Jil Sander) Don Ashby & Olivier Claisse / FirstView.comA sophisticated, yet practical style, we saw the hairstyle through the year and coming back again the following season in 2011 at both Ralph Lauren and Christopher Kane’s autumn/ winter fashion shows. The sleek ponytail defined fashion in all the fashion capitals, from New York to London, Paris and Milan.
Even off the runways, the sleek ponytail was incredibly popular with models and celebrities alike. Around this era, we saw the "Queen of Cool", Freja Beha, rock clean and immaculate ponytails while backstage at shows. The trend transcended to our favourite A-listers, from Victoria Beckham’s sophisticated pony at the Royal wedding, to Beyonce’s sleek, side-parted ponytail at the 2012 Met Gala.
2. Top Knots (2012 – 2014)For 2012, top knots came into fashion and they came in all shapes, sizes and styles – ranging from the messy undone styles with lots of flyaways to the super-sleek, not-a-strand-in-sight looks. Thanks to the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, whose topknot merged sophistication and punk for a fresh take on the hairstyle, the top knot became the hottest updo during this time.
Image credits: (Jean Paul Gaultier) Vogue.com, (Ashish) Marcus Tondo / GoRunway.com, (The Blonds) IMAXTree and Alessandro Lucioni
Between 2012 and 2014, we saw some of the coolest topknot hairstyles. At Ashish’s spring 2013 show, the messy topknot, held together by a scrunchie, while two years later, we saw the biggest, bulbous topknot buns on the catwalk at The Blonds spring 2014 fashion show at NYC Fashion Week.
Off the catwalk, Cara Delevingne rocked one of the coolest styles with her top knot back in 2014; the supermodel showed off her structured facial features as she posed off-duty in a top knot with hairline braid. In September 2014, Rita Ora showed off her incredible, ‘out of the box’ topknot at the Marchesa Spring/Summer 2015 show.
From straight and slick to big and messy, topknot buns were taken to new heights in fashion. The style was not only cool for everyday wear, but for special occasions that it stayed on trend throughout the 2010s.
3. Milkmaid Braids (2012 – 2014)Valentino’s spring 2012 show saw models walking down the runway in the romantic, timeless milkmaid braids. During fashion week in 2013, models for Nicole Miller, Rebecca Minkoff and Naeem Khan were all prancing down the runway in this hairstyle.
Image credits: (Valentino) Gianni Pucci / GoRunway.com, (Rebecca Minkoff) Fabio Iona / Indigitalimages.com, (Naeem Khan) IMAXTree and Alessandro LucioniLater that year, the release of The Hunger Games cemented the popularity of the hair trend as Jennifer Lawrence herself rocked the look on the red carpet.
4. Ombré (2014 – 2016)In 2014, Gisele Buchden graced the Chanel Spring 2015 show in a subtle ombre colour, which later become one of the hottest hair trends of the year.
Image credits: (Chanel) Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com, (Mary Katrantzou) Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com, (Stella McCartney) Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
The popularity of ombre hair saw gave way to more gradual colouring techniques, such as sombre and balayage. Alessandra Ambrosio catwalked the Victoria's Secret Show in 2015 in a subtle brown ombre and towards the end of 2016, nailing the sombre trend, and then we saw edgy ombre beach waves, and more balayage styles from the likes of Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney.
Off the catwalk, the colour was popular everywhere, from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Beyoncé’s ombre wet-look waves at the Grammy’s. This is also the year we started to see the rise of hair extensions as we tried different colours and looks.
5. Lob (2016 – 2018)Circa, 2014, the bob was the go-to hairstyle for fashionista, but in 2015 the hairstyle became more mainstream. So, between 2015 and 2018, the fashion world made the bob edgy and bold, birthing the chic lob (long bob).
Image Credits: (Versace) Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv, (Victoria Beckham) UMBERTO FRATINI, (Versace) Carlo Scarpato / Indigital.tv
We saw the trend take over in the fashion world, from Victoria Beckham's catwalk show in 2017 to supermodels Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Anja Rubik walking down Verscae's spring 2018 show styled in their lobs.
Fashion icons such as Karlie Kloss and Victoria Beckham were swapping their long, flowing hair for the daring lob haircut. This hairstyle also stayed throughout the 2010s, whether it was worn sleek and blunt with a middle part or highly textured waves with fringe. This also led to fringes become a top trend during this time. We also saw the rise in the popularity of clip-in fringes.
6. Beach Waves (2018 – 2020)In 2014, beach waves ruled the runways as glam curls gave way to textured, tousled waves. We saw this new laidback style of waves at the Burberry and Blumarine SS15 catwalk shows.
Image Credits: (Burberry) Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com, (Blumarine) Photo: Kim WestonArnold / Indigital.tv, (Chanel) Kim Weston Arnold / Indigital.tv
The trend kept a steady rank, later coming back again in 2018. The effortless and tousled look marked 2018 as Chanel’s catwalk was transformed into a beachy set, while at House of Holland's London Fashion Week show models took to the catwalk with a ‘just got out of the sea’ wet look, beachy wave. This is a trend we see staying throughout 2020.
7. High Pony – (2018 – 2020)High ponytails were a major trend throughout the 2010s. In October 2015, Balmain’s Spring 2016 sent his supermodels down the runway in slick and smooth, high, ponytails – in which hair extensions were used on the models. The following years saw the trend get more popular, with styles from the likes of Nicholas K and Versace.
Image Credits: (Nicholas K) Photo: Umberto Fratini / Indigital.tv, (Balmain) Gianni Pucci / Indigitalimages.com, (Versace) Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.comA hit on the catwalk, the ultra-long high ponytails became one of the biggest hairstyle trends of the year, making ponytail clips ins one of the year’s must-have hairpiece.
The look was taken to the red carpet by the most popular celebrities at the time, including Kim Kardashian and Beyonce’s side pony at the Met Gala.
This hairstyle stayed a major trend and has showed no sign of going away soon. We ended the decade with the high ponytail being one of the top hair trends, which we have seen transition into 2020.
Over the years, we have seen similar hair trends going and coming back again. However, the 2010s saw the rise of hair extensions. Initially synthetic hair was used but over the years, we’ve seen these styles amongst many others being created using human hair extensions, allowing fashionistas and everyone else to experiment with colours, length and volume. 2010s was the decade of clean and simple hairstyles, and of course, the rise of human hair extensions.Did you rock any of these hairstyles? Any of these make you feel cringey or nostalgic? Let us know on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.