How to nail the fairy hair trend – aka the hottest look for the 2021 party season

Not to put too fine a point on it, but party season looked pretty different this time last year – so you can bet we’ll be going all out with our beauty looks for 2021. And this year, fairy hair is dominating the hairstyle space.

For some seriously sparkly hair inspiration, here’s everything you need to know about the trend and pulling it off for yourself this Christmas.

What is fairy hair?

The fairy trend is essentially hair tinsel, aka micro strands of the sparkly stuff, that are woven through your hair for a style that catches the light everywhere you go. Although it’s perfect for Christmas and NYE party season, it does work all-year round – think festival season, too.

“It’s a look that instantly spices up your hair style,” says Jessica Patching, founder of Marla Hair. "Very fine pieces of tinsel are tied into the hair close to the root – the more that’s added the bigger the sparkle."

The fitting process is actually similar to having extensions put in. "After the hair is washed and blow dried, strands of tinsel are attached to small sections of hair, like extensions that sit below the top layers using micro rings at the root," explains Emma Fordham, master stylist at Samantha Cusick London.

"We attach the rings a few inches below the parting to keep the applications discreet, and the result is fine hair-like sparkles that glisten through the mid-lengths to ends."

Because tinsel itself is straight, it won’t blend so seamlessly through naturally curly hair. But Emma notes that it can be easily woven into braided styles or plaits, so there are ways of making it work for all hair types.

How long does hair tinsel last?

Hair tinsel lasts for a lot longer than you might think; the maximum recommended time it should be kept in for is 6-8 weeks, and you can wash your hair as normal with the style.

"Any longer and you could cause some damage to the hair that we have attached the tinsel to," Emma explains. "You can shampoo and condition accordingly – massage your roots to shampoo around the micro rings gently."

She adds, "Style-wise, tinsel can withstand about 200°C heat, so whether using a hair dryer or straightening irons, your tinsel is [also] safe to style as usual with your favourite hair tools."

Tinsel is an add-on service available at Samantha Cusick London for £42, or opt for the "sparkly blow dry" involving a wash, cut and blow dry from £72.

We see some serious sparkles on our hair horizons!

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