As the year draws to a close, we have something to look forward to next year. It could be an item you’ve been saving up for, the return of your favourite TV series, or, in the case of most beauty enthusiasts, a new hairstyle.
The start of a new year is our annual cue to switch up our look with a fresh cut, which is why we reached out to two professional hairstylists for their hairstyle and hair colour trend predictions for the upcoming year.
Ahead, you’ll find 2022 hair trends, which include some throwback looks you might feel compelled to revisit, along with several cuts and colours that’ll breathe new life into your tresses.
Hair trends 2022: Hairstyles
It’s hard to imagine any other equally flattering, feminine, and versatile hairstyle element as face-framing layers. Shorter or longer, softer or more defined, face-framing pieces can be tailored to highlight the best features of virtually every face shape.
One of the most current and popular hairstyles, the lob (a.k.a. long bob), can sometimes look heavy at the front, especially if you have thick hair. Chin-length layers around your face will soften this hairstyle and accentuate your features. Giving the front of your hair some shape isn’t a dramatic change, but it makes a huge difference.
The half-up hairdo works for almost everyone who wishes to rock it, no matter their texture, shade, or preference.
If you’re looking to conceal greasy roots, a textured pony at the crown can hide them until shampoo day. If you’re heading out for a quick lunch and still want to look chic, a sleek pull-back will keep your strands out of your face.
It’s the perfect way to show off bold or experimental makeup by drawing attention to the eyes too, and if you’re simply feeling indecisive, the look is versatile enough to inspire a new variation every day.
“The half-up hairdo – most notably made famous by Ariana Grande – is versatile in its presentation and thus suitable for a wider age range,” hair and makeup artist, Christian Maranion, shares. “Whether it’s worn straight or wavy, the key to this look is volume.”
If you decide to go for a wavy look, simply brush it out for more volume. “Don’t be afraid to stick a couple of clip-in extensions for easier bulk,” he recommends.
With the half-up hairdo, you can also pull down a few strands on the sides of your face to create face-framing tendrils. “Work this with any up or half-up hairdo to be effortlessly chic,” Den says. “They can also delicately glam up a simple ponytail and keep your looks fresh as you take the bulk of your hair away from your neck.”
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Chances are, you haven’t scrolled past your Instagram feed without seeing the reinvention of this cult punk classic. The shag, better known as the “wolf cut”, has been widely emulated by models and influencers for the latter half of the year, and Christian says it’s coming through to 2022.
“Shaggy wolf cuts are definitely young at heart and the epitome of Gen Z, but I say “screw the rules”. If you have the confidence to sport the choppy look, then you should rock it,” he declares.
The trend is a little on the tough side, thanks to a combination of textured volume and cropped layers at the front. Of course, the statement here is the volume at the top, which is tapered out at the ends. The look is finished off with a heavy fringe for that ultimate vintage feel.
To get this haircut right, Christian suggests bringing lots of visual references to your next hair appointment to avoid miscommunication. “For example, a lot of times a client will describe big curls to me but when visual references are shown to me, it is, in fact, a big wavy blowout,” he illustrates.
Thinking of lopping off your long hair to start the new year fresh but still want the comfort of a little more length? Then we’d like to introduce you to the collarbone lob – a clavicle-skimming, choppy, laidback hairstyle that’s proving to be a hit with Hollywood’s elite.
“Simple yet elegant, the collarbone lob adds length to your face shape and is a flattering cut for most,” Den shares. “This also gives you a bit of length to play with without you [dealing] with the bulk of long hair in our hot and humid weather.”
You can also add a touch of effortless chic to your lob with some texture. “The tousled look [will] still reign in the coming year. It also helps you remain chic, whether you’re stuck behind a screen on conference calls, lounging at home, or treating yourself to a night out,” Den lets on. “It adds bounce to your locks and is an excellent choice for thin hair to give you more volume.”
Made infamous by Little Richard and David Bowie, the gender-neutral roots of the divisive haircut is back yet again with a modern twist. So far, we’ve seen the hairdo on Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Doja Cat – and Christian says it’s here to stay for years to come.
The mullet involves having your hair cut short on the top of your head and around the temples – preferably layered if you’re going the whole hog – and left long at the back, either straightened smooth or tousled.
“The look can vary in length, colour, and choppiness and is definitely a bold statement at its core no matter how it’s presented,” Christian says. “I think that the look has given women the courage to go “unconventional” or break the mould and go even shorter.”
Hair trends 2022: Hair colours
Brown hair gets a bad rap for being basic because it can lack dimension at times. But if you’re looking to switch up your brown tresses by injecting it with a cool factor, then ash brown hair would work perfectly for you.
Next to the usual honey brown shades, ash brown is deeper with a smokey, matte finish that’s flattering and mysterious in equal measure. You can sport subtle highlights for a hint of cool bronde or full-on balayage for a knockout transformation.
“Cool brown is a hit because of its versatility. It’s perfect if you don’t want anything too drastic, but I would love to freshen up the look by lightening dark hair a couple of shades. Then, dress it up quickly by adding waves or highlights for added texture,” Den shares.
When in doubt, consult with your hairstylist and they should be able to recommend a shade of ash brown that best compliments your skin tone and features.
Just like face-framing layers, face-framing highlights are a colouring technique that cleverly brings out your most attractive features. Den says they’re “a bolder version or an added accent to face-framing layers. They bring out the best in your looks and can come in a vast range of colours and styles.”
Chunky blonde highlights that flow along the sides of the face are a creative way to draw attention to the eyes and mouth areas. Meanwhile, walnut brown tones that run throughout the midsection all the way to the ends can liven up long tresses and flatter your beautiful facial angles.
Some colours are a match made in heaven, which is why Christian predicts the resurgence of two-toned hair colours. You use two colours to give your hair vibrance and life, but a few others have gone creative by using multiple shades of the same tone to create a dimensional look.
The safest trend to opt for is a peekaboo two-toned hairstyle, where one tone remains hidden until you put your hair up in a ponytail. If you want to go all out, opt for a blunt contrast in colours.
“I see a black and red combo being one of them. Bright colours like hot pink but also silver and grey for the older crowd. They may have given up on colour or decided to let those natural greys show and instead, enhance them,” Christian weighs in.
Shadow roots are a little more elegant than months-old grow-out, but it requires way less upkeep than your usual hair colour.
Also called a root smudge, shadow roots is when your stylist goes back over your highlights or fresh colour with a shade closer to your natural shade. This not only gives your hair a cooler “lived-in” feel, but it also extends the life of your colour by fading into your natural roots, instead of leaving a harsh demarcation line.
Den loves this technique for its ability to extend your grow-out in a graceful way. “As more people get cosy at home, you don’t want to be rushing back to the salon for touch-ups,” he shares. “The shadow root allows you to take your time and wear every stage of your colour with style and ease while adding dimension.”
Butter makes everything better, and that also applies to hair colour. If the new year has you itching for a new hair colour, consider going over to the light side with a buttery blonde hue.
“Whether you’re a first-time blonde or a seasoned one, this buttery blonde shade is one to try. After years of trial and error, buttery blonde has emerged as an excellent choice time and time again as it complements most skin tones and eye colours,” Den says.
It is a natural, creamy blonde with tons of dimension. Because of the blend of colours, it looks softly sunkissed, and you’ll get swirls of champagne, honey, and blonde for an easy lived-in look instead of a harsh, bright, one-note blonde.