If you ask us, switching up your hair colour is always a good idea, but there’s something about this time of year, in particular—just clear of all that new-year pressure and a hint of spring optimism on the horizon—that just feels right. But where to begin when it comes to switching up your hue? While a trending haircut or at-home box dye might feel non-committal, there’s something about taking the plunge with a brand-new colour that always feels a little risky. So to help alleviate any hair colour nerves, we called on five of the biggest experts in the business to share their predictions for the biggest hair colour trends of 2022. And good news: There really is a colour for everyone this year. Classic colours like blonde and brunette are given a new-year update, while experimental pastels and fiery reds provide a welcome antidote to our never-ending winter. Keep scrolling for all of the inspiration you need.
"We are definitely seeing lots of requests for darker blondes in salon," says Kelly Noonan, colourist at Fekkai Soho. "Typically the sentiment is the blonder, the better, but in 2022, the typical blonde clients are requesting a darker, more natural blonde with darker base colours. Hailey Beiber is a perfect example."
"Say goodbye to money pieces. This trend was everywhere last year with chunky '00s face-framing highlights. A more natural subtle look around the face will come back around this year," explains Noonan. "It's less maintenance and healthier for the hair. Warm-toned highlights and gold and caramel tones will make a big comeback."
"The Fekkai Super Strength line is a must for maintaining the health of highlighted or damaged hair," says Noonan. "The rice-water trend has exploded on social media as a DIY way to get a protein infusion to damaged hair… and this line is rice water–based, as well as providing a vegan keratin alternative to repair and strengthen hair with clean, natural ingredients."
"People are really looking for that expensive luxe look with their colour. It's all about adding a healthy shine to the hair, creating a glossy and glowy finish to their colour," says Zoë Irwin, Wella Professionals colour trend expert. "Shine is often indicative of health and wealth, so it's no wonder people want to achieve this with their hair colour. That's why I'm so thrilled that Wella Professionals is launching the new in-salon Shinefinity treatment in March. It helps unveil that healthy-looking shine that you can see and feel, with an ultra-natural colour result."
"We're going to see the return to a very earthy red tone for 2022: an auburn colour, but it’s more like a spiced cinnamon red because it’s a softened red and much more of a golden tone and not hyperpigmented," predicts Irwin. "A lot of models are embracing it, along with the fashion crowd. It works really well with the seasonal tones and feels like something fresh, uplifting and optimistic. When the copper and red tones become more golden-based, it makes them extremely flattering for many skin tones, so it's a shade that can become very wearable."
"There's a trend that I call Statement Grey, where women embrace their grey hair totally. It’s all about using your grey hair as a statement," explains Irwin. "It doesn't mean that you don’t go to the hairdressers [though]—grey hair can take on all sorts of tones that you don’t want it to, and colourists are experts in making sure grey hair is as impactful and beautiful as possible."
"Copper has been a key trend throughout 2021 and is going from strength to strength in 2022. Barbie Ferreira even took the plunge recently," says Alex Brownsell, co-founder and creatic director of Bleach London. "Warm coppery tones are universally flattering, and with so many copper shades to explore, there’s something for everyone!"
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"Acid tones are going to be huge in 2022. Our semi-permanent dyes like Slime Light, Twisted Lemon and Curious Orange are being requested more and more, often," explains Brownsell. "Bleach bits are a really popular technique that involves creating a contrasting blonde or coloured section in the hair and are a great way to experiment with colour for the first time, or to try a bold, bright shade without committing to a full head of bleach and dye."
"Dark brunettes are making a comeback right now. We’re loving super-glossy, rich, 'expensive-brunette' tones," say Larry King, founder of Larry King and Redken UK Ambassador, and Antonia Cometa Colourist at Larry King. "We’ll see more warm colours overall, including subtle golden blondes tones this year."
"The most-requested service so far this year has been complete colour changes—people are really switching it up at the moment," say King and Cometa. "Recent times have led people to want to experiment much more and have fun with their colours. For anyone experimenting with colour through spring and summer, washed-out misty pastel tones will be big."