Much like fashion trends, the hair trends of 2013 have been strongly influenced by the styles on the runway. And in our numerous interviews with hair teams backstage at the shows, particular words have been bandied about again and again, a common thread of inspiration between shows in every city.

One of those words was tomboy. Boyish, another. Stemming from 2012 and carrying into spring 2013’s hairstyles, it’s hard to ignore the amount of effortless, cool, boyish hairstyles dominating the runways and the streets.

Tomboy hair: where it fits with fashion

If you were to simplify it, there were two main ways that boyish hairstyles for girls were being interpreted by high fashion this year. One is by pairing boyish hair with androgynous fashion for a complete, or near to complete, masculine look.

androgynous hair and clothing
Androgynous look at Jeremy Laing, F/W ’12

The other is to contrast highly feminine fashion with a contradictory hairstyle that’s careless and tomboyish.

androgynous hair and clothing
Contrasting boyish and feminine at Karen Walker, F/W ’12

Tomboy hair: the styles

There are countless variations on hairstyles that give off a tomboy vibe. Below we’re highlighting just a few as seen on the fall 2012 runways; styles that you can try at home (follow each link below for a how-to tutorial) or vary as you see fit to create new styles of your own. Some tomboy styles take inspiration from the refined, Dandy side of menswear – they’re perfectly slicked and clean and parted. But for the most part, in 2012, they’re about creating a look that’s effortlessly chic, as if you just rolled out of bed and whipped your hair into a fabulously boyish ‘do.

Gelled tomboy hair

From a slick, deep side part to a combed-back ‘do, a gelled hairstyle has its roots in the opposite gender. That’s not to say that all wet look hairstyles are boyish (some taking their cues from mermaids and ocean goddesses) but there are certainly those that are menswear inspired.

One to try: Jeremy Laing’s boyish half-slicked hairstyle (follow the link for a how-to guide) which deliberately opts for a bit of texture and tousle.

tomboy half slick hair
Boyish half-slick at Jeremy Laing, F/W ’12

For a very slick, androgynous look the wet look ponytail is a must to master. From the front it’s all boy, culminating in a neat ponytail at the back. Follow the link for a tutorial based on the look at Anthony Vaccarello’s stern-yet-sexy fall 2012 collection.

tomboy slick pony
Slick ponytail at Anthony Vaccarello, F/W ’12

Effortless tomboy hair

A little bit of texture and hair tucked casually – and practically – behind the ears. It may not be a style that borrows directly from the boys, but it’s a style that the tomboyish girl is well acquainted with. It’s no fuss, fancy-free, and she can wear it while kicking a ball with the boys.

Alexander Wang channeled that sentiment in his fall 2012 collection, creating an effortless tomboy hairstyle to go with the sporty-luxe clothing. Follow that link for a tutorial on creating the look.

tomboy out hair
Easy tomboy hair at Alexander Wang, F/W ’12

When she does do her hair up, the nonchalant (yet stylish) tomboy is likely to opt for something like this: the tomboy ponytail as created for the runway of Paul Smith. It’s a little messy, a little voluminous, and a little bit sexy.

tomboy pony
Tomboy ponytail at Paul Smith, F/W ’12

Retro tomboy hair

You couldn’t miss all the retro inspirations swirling through this year’s fashions. And with them: various takes on retro and rockabilly hair.

On the runways we paid particular attention to easy-to-create, modern updates on classic styles. Karen Walker gave the pompadour a fresh reworking in this messy, boyish half-up pompadour hairstyle. Follow the link for steps on recreating it.

tomboy pompadour
Half pompadour at Karen Walker, F/W ’12

Alexandre Herchcovitch meanwhile presented a look that merged a men’s quiff with sleek sides. It’s simple to achieve, too: you can read more about the smooth vs textured hairstyle at that link.

textured tomboy hair
Textured hairstyle at Alexandre Herchcovitch, F/W ’12

Tough and punky tomboy hair

Last but not least can a tomboy hairstyle lean to the tough side. This is for the girl who has a punk edge – or at least wants to add a punk edge as a contrast to her otherwise chic yet feminine getup.

For this, don’t look past a style like the knotted fauxhawk. It takes a little practice, but will make you stand out in a crowd if you can master the combination of neat sides and textured knotted center that make this look so striking.

knotted fauxhawk
Knotted fauxhawk hairstyle

For other fall 2012 hairstyles that don’t necessarily lean to the boyish, follow that link. You’ll find plenty of others styles for those ultimately feminine days.

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