Hair appointments have been pretty hard to come by over the last two years. Thankfully, salon doors are open! The glaring problem? Most of us have forgotten how to brush our hair, let alone tell a professional what style we want (according to my hairdresser “clean” is not a style).
The obsession with all things virtual during lockdowns has translated to the development of seriously sophisticated AI-driven beauty and fashion apps. Snapchat launched augmented reality fitting rooms for major clothing brands, while cosmetic retail giants like Sephora brought the cosmetics counter experience to beauty lovers’ smartphones with their “virtual artist” app.
The humble makeover app is having a renaissance in an increasingly virtual world and is more sophisticated than ever. So whether you’re looking for a chop, styling tips or some quick edits for social media, we’ve got you covered. Read our round-up of the top-rated established and emerging apps below.
9 TOP FREE HAIR APPS
Here are the top-rated established and emerging hairstyling apps in 2023 – from super-niche to full-360 service.
- Hairstyle Try On With Bangs, 3.9 stars, 893 ratings, iOS, Jorge Gregorio Martin Bello
“Should I get bangs?” the eternal question. Make the wrong decision? Your set or months of angst, bobby-pins and “no-idea-if-they’re-working hair growth supplements. Fortunately, the metaverse god’s have answered our hair prayers. This app allows you to quickly upload a picture from your smartphone and try on different colours, styles and lengths. As promised, it has a full suite of bangs to select from, from seventies curtain style to hipster micro. Fans love the ease of use and specialisation. One reviewer thanks the app for saving her from a hair disaster: “I downloaded this app and decided bangs weren’t for me. My friend was having the same problems as me, so I recommended this app to her, and she got bangs. She has no regrets!” DivaDancer_432
- Hairstyles Step By Step, 4.3 stars, 45,469 reviews, Android, created by Piu Piu Apps
Now for something completely different – you’ve figured out braids look great on you, or a french bun would be the perfect accent to your outfit. But how the hell do you create the look? This genius app breaks down hairstyling step by step. Search by styles (fishtail, dutch and french braid) or occasion – think summer or back to school. With a 4.⅖ star rating out of 45,491 reviews, this app has a cult following. Users learn how to create styles on themselves and friends with one fan writing: “Genuinely love this app, it’s especially easy for girls like me who never got the chance to learn to do nice hairstyles when I was young.” Now creators Piu Piu just need to bring out this wonder-app for iPhone!
- Hairstyle For Your Face Shape, 4.0, 163 ratings, iOS, Gregorio Bello
Called a “game-changer” by fans, this app focuses on working with your face shape. First, it scans your face, identifying whether you’re an oval, diamond, heart or square in a matter of seconds. Then, the app collates a range of styles that might flatter you. For someone who has never known their face shape, the app was worth it for that service alone!
Hair Zapp users love the ability to take photos within the app – removing the need to fiddle with positioning and resizing an existing photo. It also allows you to compare your top hairstyles if you’re struggling to make a final call. Still unsure? What really set’s Hair Zapp apart is its community review system, where you can receive anonymous feedback on potential chops from fellow Hair Zapp users!
- Hairstyle Makeover App: 3.7 stars, 76 reviews, iOS, Appdicted
On Hairstyle Makeover, users can select from five versions of each style (long, short, mid). The paid version includes “advanced editing” tools that allow you to “cut” in-app, edit lighting and brightness and change hair parting. It’s early days, but this app has already generated great reviews online, even from industry pros! One reviewer writes: “I am a hairdresser and was thinking only a month or so ago… Someone should make a hairstyle selecting app! I like that you can resize the hair to fit the face… Enjoy!”
- Perfect Hairstyle Women & Men, 4.1, 10.2k ratings, iOS, Jorge Gregorio Martin Bello, iOS
Ever spotted a celebrity hairstyle and wanted to try it on straight away? Perfect hairstyle has you covered! The app provides easy uploads or in-app photographs and quick edits to get the ideal fit. It has a range of on-trend, “Most Popular” hairstyles (no dated Karen cuts here)
- Your Perfect Hairstyle For Men, 4.2, 746 reviews, iOS, Jorge Gregorio Martin Bello
Whether you’re a guy looking for a fresh cut and colour or a parent trying to find the best look for your teenager, this app specialises in masculine styling, allowing you to try over 300 hairstyles. The app will even throw in its two cents with an “attractiveness rating” (although we know beauty is in the eye of the beholder!)
With more than a 100million users, this app is the complete package – from makeup looks and retouching to hairstyles, you can create a complete makeover. The app also provides beauty, fashion and styling tips from its brains trust of industry professionals and expert stylists. Think of it as a red-carpet glam-squad at your fingertips.
Another “all in one” app with some great hairstyling options. From light Instagram edits to complete makeovers, you can add volume to your hair, completely change your colour and style and add facial hair giving a full suite of options for every gender. Powered by advanced neural face editing technology, making hyper-realistic edits for personal use or social media a breeze.