There’s no doubt that 2021 was a turbulent year for our hair. We spent the first few months trying our hardest to manage our strands at home after going a really long time without a salon appointment. And when we finally did get the chance to sit down in front of a hairdresser, we had a whole lot of damage on our hands.
Despite having big plans for our hair last year, in reality, we spent most of 2021 trying to get our strands fighting fit after many, many months of neglect. But as we ring in the New Year, we’re feeling pretty confident that 2022 will be the year for hair. To get some sort of idea of the sorts of hair trends that will be popular this year, we reached out to some of the top hairstylists in the game.
So, whether you’re tempted to chop all of your hair off (be that a pixie, bob or just at the shoulders), dabble with a bit of bleach or simply change your daily ’do, keep scrolling for the biggest hair trends of 2022.
1. The Big Blowout
Dressing down a big blowout with a low-key tracksuit is the perfect way to make this typically glam hairstyle work in the day.
A voluminous, ’70s-style blow-dry will no doubt be the biggest hairstyle of the year.
It’s really no surprise that big, glossy blowouts are set to make a huge comeback this year. Celebrity hairstylist Luke Hersheson explains, “We’re all starting to feel the need for super-luxe, glossy, blown-out hair again. Maybe it’s being able to go back out and socialise again after two years of on-and-off lockdowns. For 2022, we’re talking big, bouncy, ’90s-supermodel style volume.”
If you’re not the biggest whizz with a hairdryer, the Dyson Airwrap makes achieving that super blown-out look at home easier than ever. Yes, it’s pricey, but so are blow-dries, and if you think you could make the money back by saving on those salon appointments, it’s a no-brainer.
A grown-out or slightly longer pixie cut can look effortlessly chic.
If the shag was the biggest haircut of 2021, the mixie will be the cut of 2022. Sitting somewhere between a mullet and a pixie crop, it’s much more daring than the shag, but it’s still really quite wearable. “It’s a versatile look,” says Paul Percival, Owner of Percy & Reed salon and Redken Artist. “You have control of the look and can adapt it quickly and easily. We have a new in-salon service at Percy & Reed London that combines two styles in one appointment. We cut a pixie cut and match the style and colour to ethically-sourced hair wefts. The pixie cut is easily wearable for every day, but then you can clip in your weft for something different.”
The key to the mixie is to ensure it’s full of texture. Work a styling pomade or wax into the roots for an angled, edgy look.
3. The French Bob
Style your French bob with on-trend curtain bangs for a low-maintenance style.
Wavy and curly styles lend themselves well to French bobs, as demonstrated by Fran.
This will come as no surprise. Yes, the French bob will be everywhere in 2022. Its understated, classic nature means it’s set to be a mainstay hair trend. “Bobs are going to be big in 2022,” says Hersheson. “I don’t think there’s such thing as a bad bob for next year. Everything from long bobs to graduated bobs will be huge, but particularly the French bob.”
To get lived-in volume and texture in the roots that won’t weigh the hair down, use a super-lightweight styling foam. This will give the lift of a mousse without any of that crunchy weight.
4. The Undone Boy Bob
Kaia is the queen of the ’90s-style boy bob.
If your hair is straight and lacks weight, the boy bob could be the hairstyle to try in 2022.
Speaking of bobs, a new bob on the scene this year is the boy bob. We saw it all over the catwalks (Chanel S/S 22, we’re looking at you), and it’s set to be one of the most popular cuts in the coming months. “It’s the sort of cut you can just leave to air-dry and it will still look effortlessly chic and undone,” says celebrity hairstylist George Northwood.
The key is in the cut. “Ask your hairdresser for a super-short bob, cut to the jawline, that is just long enough so that you can still tuck it behind your ears. Keep it all one length with no shape around the face. If the hair is feeling too straight and sleek, I’d recommend a couple of spritzes of my Undone Volume Spray to add some body and texture,” adds Northwood.
Sabina’s iconic French-girl blonde is giving us major inspiration.
While ’70s cuts were everywhere in 2021, this year we’ll be taking retro inspiration for our colour. “After a monotonous year of lockdowns, people will be looking for a dramatic change in 2022—and ’70s hair trends offer just that,” says Northwood. Particularly, when it comes to bleach and colour. “Think honey-hued blonde shades against layered hair with heaps of volume and choppy bangs, The colour tends to be slightly creamy, with softer butterscotch tones, offering a fresh take on a classic retro style,” he adds.
To keep bleached strands as healthy and free from breakage as possible, swap out your usual hairbands for thin silk scrunchies. Tension is one of the biggest causes of breakage in bleached hair, and silk bands are the perfect alternative.
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6. Natural Curls and Texture
Air-dry curls to minimise heat damage and get the most of of your curl pattern.
This year, consider wearing your coils loose, in a middle parting.
“Texture in all of its forms will dominate the hair world in 2022,” says hairstylist and Imbue Creative Director and Ambassador Michelle Sultan. “The curly hair market, in particular, is growing and growing. We are seeing more representation on television showing more Black presenters, hosts, and stars wearing their natural texture.”
If you’ve been toying with the idea of styling your natural curls for a while, take this as your sign that now is the time. Before you take the plunge, be sure to stock up on products formulated specifically for curly or coily hair in order to get the most out of your curl pattern. “Using products that are curly girl-friendly is always a good idea, whether you have a loose wave, tight coil or kink,” says Sultan.
7. Barely There Hair
If your hair is naturally thing and straight, let your hair dry naturally and embrace its natural shape and texture.
Take the barely there trend into the evening by very roughly bending a straightener through the ends to create undone waves.
If your natural texture isn’t typically full of volume and falls a little flat, 2022 is the year for you just as much as it is for more voluminous styles. “This is what I like to call barely there hair,” says Northwood. “It’s like no-makeup makeup but for your hair. Natural, effortless-looking hair has really become the new glamour hair. Simply styled with a subtle wave with a tong gives the illusion of having just rolled out of bed with an undone look. Hailey Bieber’s hair at the Met Gala in 2021 was the perfect example,” he adds.
To achieve the look at home with minimal effort, consider air-drying your hair. After washing, work an air-dry cream into lengths and let it dry naturally.
A middle-parted, blunt bob? Sign us up.
Can you tell the bob will be big news yet? While the French bob and boy bob will be seriously popular, it’s also worth noting that the classic bob will also make a comeback this year. “The classic bob never dies,” says Sultan. “Fashionistas across the globe are opting for less maintenance and instant power hair in a sleek bob—they’re blunt and swingy.”
To get that glass-like shine on your bob, use a coating shine spray straight after washing and then blow-dry the hair. “For a glossy shine, also make sure you’re using a good heat protector,” adds Sultan.
9. Warm Ginger Tones
This balayaged ginger style blends warm red tones with cooler blondes for a low-maintenance, effortless look.
Warm, auburn hair, like Gigi’s dyed lengths, doesn’t equal easy upkeep, but the results make it so worth it.
Trends of warm orange hair tones have started emerging in recent months, and they are set to take off big time in 2022. “This time around, warm gingery hues will be bright and unapologetic. Make sure that when trying out a colour like this that you get it done professionally,” says Sultan. With red tones being notoriously hard to work with when applying colour to hair, be sure to keep strands as protected as possible by using bond-restoring treatments like Olaplex.