On 8 March 2021, women around the world will unite in celebrating International Women’s Day. Women from vastly different cultures, with vastly different life experiences, will come together in spirit to celebrate the political, professional and personal achievements of womankind. The day will also focus on challenging bias and taking action for equality.
The day also provides an opportunity for women to celebrate themselves. And what better way to do so than through something which unites women around the globe? In every culture, certain hairstyles carry certain associations. For Native Americans, long hair denotes wisdom and power, while within the Himba Tribe in North Africa, different styles of dreadlocks are worn to reflect a woman’s status and age.
Hair and identity are very strongly linked. In fact, a survey conducted by All Things Hair found that 72.8% of women feel that their hair is a strong part of their identity. In honour of that deep-rooted connection (pun most definitely intended), we’re going to take a look in this article at a selection of women’s hairstyles from around the world. All of them have been popular over the past couple of years, meaning you can experiment with these styles and feel connected to your sisters around the globe. We’ll also include some quick haircare tips, to keep your tresses in tiptop condition as you try out different styles.
International hairstyles – inspirational colours
No matter the colour, texture, thickness, straightness or curliness of your hair, you can draw inspiration from around the world when it comes to how to wear it.
Let’s start with colour. If we look to Australia, it’s easy to see how popular balayage is, with hand-painted dye giving a wonderfully natural look on hair of all hues. Over in India, the last couple of years have seen some fabulous examples of red and burgundy hair, while Mexico has seen a trend towards re hair too. In Japan, some striking ash grey colours have been turning heads.
Whatever hair colour you choose, whether a subtle change to cover up a few stray greys or a bold, dramatic statement, be sure to have fun with it and enjoy the confidence boost that a new colour can provide.
Of course, not every nation prioritises colour. Many Brazilians, for example, prefer their natural hair colour, focusing instead on achieving a wonderfully healthy shine and using loose waves for a tousled, beach-kissed look.
Short styles from around the world
Short haircuts can signal confidence and strength. Leading style icons in South Africa have been sporting some stunning buzzcuts in recent years. Germany, meanwhile, has been leading the way when it comes to pixie cuts.
There are also plenty of examples of bobs and lobs around the world. Over in Japan, bobs with feathered fringes have been combining sharp edges with softer lines in some interesting ways. Korea also has some lovely examples of short hair, with wavy bobs in particular proving popular. India, too, has showcased some lovely short styles of late, with sleek, straight cuts sitting just above the shoulders.
Longer hair fashions
While the UK has plenty of examples of bobs and lobs, longer hairstyles are also popular, with elegant ponytails suiting a range of face shapes and occasions. Long hair is also in style in Colombia, where explosions of natural curls are creating some striking feminine looks.
In China, long hairstyles include the wonderfully elegant Buddha bun, where long hair trails out of the bun itself. And over in France, everything from messy buns to the chicest of tidy, elegant buns are worn with aplomb.
Curls and braids
In the US, it is perms that win the day when it comes to the most popular recent hairstyle. All Thing’s Hair’s analysis of data from SEMrush and Google Trends has shown that 33 of the US states prefer perms over any other hairstyle.
However, box braids put in a good show as well, with these being the most popular style in 12 states. Braids are also popular in many locations in both Africa and Asia.
The US is also home to a growing trend towards natural hairstyles. According to All Things Hair, 77.6% of women report always wearing their hair naturally, reflecting women’s confidence in their personal style.
Restyling your hair – top tips
If you’re planning to restyle your hair in advance of International Women’s Day, it’s a good idea to speak to your haircare professional first, particularly if you’re planning a new look that’s a long way from the hair you have now. Even if your salon is closed due to restrictions resulting from the pandemic, it’s worth seeing if you can book a video consultation with your hairdresser before you attempt to overhaul your own style.
Plan carefully to ensure that you’re ready for your restyle, with all the right products to hand, along with at least two mirrors to help you see your hair from every angle as you work on it (as well as to admire your fabulous new look at the end of the process!).
It’s also important to think about ongoing maintenance before you opt for a new style. If you’re changing your hair colour, for example, then you’ll need a colourfast shampoo and conditioner to ensure that your colour stays vibrant for longer. And if you’re lightening the hair, a deeply conditioning mask will help to counter the fact that it will become drier as a result of being chemically treated.
The same is true if you’re planning to per your hair. You’ll need shampoo and conditioning products that are suited to curls, as well as a nourishing mask to try and redress the damage done by the perming process. You’ll also need to think about which styling products you’ll need to keep your curls looking just how you want them.
And if you’re going the other way, from chemically treated hair to natural hair, then you’ll have the fun of choosing from a huge selection of leave-in conditioners and nourishing oils, to curl taming creams and defining butters.
Become the woman you want to be
International Women’s Day will look a little different this year due to the pandemic. Why not change your own look too, using the day to become the woman you want to be, inspired by one or our hairstyles from around the world?