New year, new you. That’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? One way to refresh your look – and how you feel – is by switching up hairstyles and trying something new. It doesn’t have to be extreme, nor does it have to look like much has changed, but a new cut or styling trick can make you feel like a brand new person. Here, Vogue speaks to the hairstyling experts on the hair trends that will be everywhere in 2022 – inspiration boards at the ready.
A next-level haircut
A starting point for all good hairstyles, Luke Hersheson says that getting a really good haircut – even if it’s just twice a year – is key for creating a modern shape, which can be dressed up or down, depending on your mood. “Invest[ing] in a haircut above just styling products gives hair shape – whether it’s a bob or longer – and allows you the structure and architecture to do lots of things with your hair,” he explains. “Ten years ago, people were just styling hair and not thinking about the haircut underneath it.” It’s a way of approaching your hair that allows you to embrace all manner of trends, from embracing your natural curls to air drying your layers, and gives your hairstyle its unique character.
Meanwhile, hairstylist Larry King agrees, adding that as a result of the pandemic, clients now leave more time between appointments, which means that haircuts need to have a well-crafted structure in order to look better for longer. “It’s all about sharper haircuts that last longer – texture and chopped-up hairstyles have a shorter life span,” he says. “Healthy hair is the order of the year.”
The bob is going nowhere
Undoubtedly the haircut of 2021, the bob is going nowhere for next year, either. Hairstylist George Northwood has long been the man to see for an excellent bob and says that he has never seen so many requests for the classic style. “The Alexa-style bob remains at the forefront, but there are so many new variations – changes in length, shape, volume and styling – for 2022,” he says.
“For those ready for a change it’s time to go a little shorter, with a soft line at jaw length; this gives a nonchalant, contemporary edge. Otherwise, I’m taking inspiration from the 1970s and dropping the length to the shoulder. Shorter and longer lengths are a great way to bring the bob up to date.”
Northwood is also taking inspiration from Celine’s spring/summer 2022 show, where bobs were shorter at the front and sides, something he says “does wonders for the cheekbones” and is a great shape for thick hair. “I like to keep the edges broken and style with a wave – the result is a little punky and contrary, which feels in keeping with our times.”
Knotless box braids
“Intricate partings and patterns have always been popular in African culture,” says Charlotte Mensah. “Detailed cornrows will be popular in the new year, as well as knotless box braids in different sizes and colours – they are everything you want in a hairstyle. Not only do they look cool, but they are also versatile and flattering.”
For a while now, we’ve favoured hairstyles which appear artfully undone, low maintenance and effortless, but many hairstylists are predicting a return to the old-school blow-dry and a more finessed approach to the hair. “Think Adele in Vogue,” says hairstylist Syd Hayes. “Full bodied, glossy, glam hair.” Hersheson also notes that this classic ’90s blowout hair feels a bit “Upper East Side – very polished and luxe” and the rolled brush blow dry, which we used to think was a “bit naff” now feels right again. He has been creating this kind of sleek look for his celebrity clients, including Dua Lipa.
An easy route to creating the look at home is with a hair tool. Hayes touts the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush as the tool to try to create a voluminous blow dry look at home, without having to worry about a hair dryer and brush. “It helps to smooth your hair, while adding body and movement,” he says. Meanwhile, Dyson’s AirWrap is also an excellent choice and the new Flyaway head can help smooth frizz if you don’t want to go the whole hog. This look works better on longer hair, says Hersheson, who warns that it can look old fashioned on shorter lengths.
An expensive finish
Even if you’re still not tempted by the glossy blow dry, one way to tap into the luxe-looking trend is with a polished finish to your hair, whatever your cut. Northwood is touting Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface as his polished-hair pin-up: “A professional blow dry is the ultimate way to achieve this polished, expensive-looking hair. But if you’re styling at home, seek out products that create that finish for you. He recommends his Moisturising Cream to smooth flyaways and add shine.
You saw the big bows braided into hairstyles at Chanel’s recent Metiers D’Art 2021 and French influencer, Camille Charriere’s, delicate beaded wedding hair – both are a sign of things to come for the new year. Mensah predicts that hairbands, bows, barrettes, scarves and clips will be all the rage in 2022: “No matter what your chosen hairstyle is, hair embellishments are in!”
This year, hairstyles got given the ’70s treatment, with shags, choppy fringes and wild curls becoming ever-more popular as the year went on. That rock ‘n’ roll finish is going nowhere, which is a good thing as it also goes hand in hand with the continuing movement towards embracing our natural texture and bringing out the best in our curls. While Mensah says this will start off with a “big chop” to start afresh if you’ve been using hair relaxer, it will soon be a case of making the most out of your natural curls, coils and kinks: “In my salon, the rounded Afro is the most requested cut – it keeps your curls healthy and full of life,” she says. Hersheson and Hayes also say that layers, air-drying and body will be big.