15 Fresh New Year Haircut Trends Predicted By Top Stylists
2021 was an incredible year for hair. Trends were born left, right and centre as celebrities, influencers and TikTokers made a case for the coolest cuts. We're talking curtain bangs and '70s waves, through to the mullet (DIY and salon pro) not to mention the iconic shag. But it seems the New Year is shaping up to be just as innovative and Instagram-worthy.
Big movements like instinctive cutting (a cool, freehand technique) and French glossing (the 2022 spin on ombre) have already made their way into the UK's best salons, but there are a handful of ground-breaking — and totally wearable — hair trends just waiting to be uncovered.
Ahead, a dream team of most sought-after UK stylists predict the hair movements that are going to take 2022 by storm.
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"The mixie is a marriage of a shorter version of the mullet, with a pixie haircut," says London-based hairstylist Neil Moodie, who boasts clients such as Phoebe Dynevor, Jodie Comer and Naomi Campbell. "It's effectively a short, pixie crop but all the edges are longer, which lends a much softer look. It can work on straight, wavy or curly hair."
Take inspiration from this cool cut by Paige McNeil on Instagram. Though dreamt up in Atlanta, US, this pixie-meets-mullet is giving us all the London cool girl vibes.
The Classic Afro Cut
Award-winning hair artist Charlotte Mensah champions the classic afro cut, like this beautiful creation on model Londone Bui. Charlotte touts this as low-effort and low-maintenance, and suggests keeping strands nourished and moisturised using Manketti Oil Pomade, £52. "This like a nutrient rich food for your hair," says Charlotte. "It coats every last curl and coil with intense moisture to instantly eliminate frizz and dryness."
This style of fringe is good news for anyone who wants to grow out their curtain bangs, says Neil. "This much longer curtain fringe frames the face around the cheekbones and can be worn in the centre or even off-centre depending on your parting. It looks great with some longer layers within the rest of the haircut and works really well if you want to tie your hair up, as you can leave the curtain fringe out for instant softness. It's gorgeous and going to be really big this year." Take your cue from model Annabelle Hoy.
The Box Braid Bun
More a protective style, Charlotte Mensah is making a case for the show-stopping updo after a year of mainly wearing hair down. "Box braids in a bun is a thing and they look really great," said Charlotte on Instagram. Keep frizz and flyaways on lockdown with the Manketti Oil Finishing Mist, £40.
"This year people may start moving away from texture like shags and mullets. Instead, heavier silhouettes and bolder lines will take precedence," says Tom Warr, academy director at Blue Tit. The new 2022 version of the bob takes inspiration from French hair cutting, which Tom has coined the "bi-bob" (it accentuates the bi-level area of the face, such as the eyes and cheekbones.)
"A bob with a heavy fringe is a perfect example," says Tom. "It still has shape, as it's shorter at the front and longer at the back, but heavier lines define features and stand out. Look to influencer Chloe Miles.
"Styling wise you want to get a flat, straight-ish finish — but it can't look too perfect," says Tom. He suggests rough-drying hair, taking a small amount of the OWAY Smoothing Cream, £33.99, and applying heat from a hairdryer in downward strokes. "Its cute, fresh and timeless," says Tom.
"Embracing natural texture will be a big trend for 2022," says Pamela Cooney, artistic director at Hazel & Haydn in Birmingham. "Think round shapes cut above the shoulders and worn off the cheeks. We're also moving away from fringes and curtain bangs to opt for cuts that open up the face and create beautiful silhouettes."
To define curls, Pamela suggests layering the Amika Curl Corps Gel, £20, and Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Original Hair Oil, £39.90, then twisting hair around your fingers before diffusing with the ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer, £159.
The European Bob
This Spring, we brought you the Italian bob, courtesy of London stylists The Hair Bros. Slightly shorter at the front, it gives the face a lift. You won't be surprised to know that it's going absolutely nowhere in 2022, but Natalia Vera, designer stylist on the artistic team at Live True London, adores the slightly tweaked version taking European salons by storm.
"This is a short bob that reaches more or less to the lips — a length that gives the face a very youthful appearance." Natalia says that it's a much less polished cut with a lighthearted finish. "This is versatile and looks great on anyone regardless of hair colour, facial shape or age. It's very easy to wear, too, as it is designed to air-dry," so you can forget about excess styling. It looks incredible on model Amrita (crafted by The Hair Bros).
"Natural textures will be big in 2022," says Sharley Butcher, afro and textured hair specialist at Blue Tit, who created this cut with minimal styling. "We're celebrating and embracing what we have, styled either by air-drying or with a diffuser. Bobs will still be strong and styled with a centre or side parting with a couple of '90s layers like Jennifer Aniston."
The Carved Bob
"The bob never really goes out of style," says Neil, "but I predict the short, French version of the bob will be the most popular." Ends aren't bluntly sliced, but expertly carved to appear a little bit weighty for maximum volume. Neil advises doing for a cut that skims your chin, but you might feel more comfortable with a little extra length if you have an oval face shape. "The difference with this bob is that the outline will be slightly textured," says Neil, giving it a modern — rather than retro — feel.
The Modern Mullet
"The modern day mullet is a great look for clients who want to progress their look to a more modern shape — without going to a really obvious mullet," explains Louise Howard Long, owner of Architect Hair in Leeds. A layered fringe is the cherry on top. "It works perfectly to frame the eyes," she says, much like this short, sharp style created at Pink Dagger Studio.
Pinterest is jam-packed with references for the burgeoning octopus haircut. Just don't let the name of the trend put you off — it's actually super flattering.
"This style first appeared in Korea and Japan," says Neil. "It consists of shorter layers on top and longer length underneath that (sort of) resemble the tentacles of an octopus." Neil says it isn't quite a mullet, as a mullet is very short on the sides and the ears. "Instead, the hair is longer around the ears," says Neil, which makes it a commitment haircut. This look by Ollie Kelly at Blue Tit's Streatham salon is perfect. It's not exactly low-maintenance, though. As the layers grow out, Neil suggests you'll have to head back into the salon to cut off the longer length underneath in order to keep the shape.
The Textured Bob
"I predict that the biggest trend this year will be the textured bob," says John Manolakis, stylist and manager of Blue Tit East Village. "I can already tell based on my clientele — most of them are requesting this cut." It can work on all hair types, too, especially curly lengths like this style by BLEACH London on Instagram. John pinpoints French styles (voluminous and effortless) and lots of airy texture as a must. "I love these shapes as they emphasise the characteristics of the face."
The Matte Buzzcut
We're not done with buzzcuts just yet, says Pamela. Inspired by punk roots, Pamela explains that buzzing the hair right back to reveal all the natural features makes a real impact. "Initially, it should be taken off with clippers but then your stylist should go over your hair with a pair of scissors and a comb." Pamela suggests applying a veil of Amika's Vandal Volume Powder Spray, £22, to achieve a modern, matte finish. You could even apply a wash of colour like Ndouri, courtesy of BLEACH London.
Modern Mid Lengths
Whether you're growing out a shorter style of fancy lopping off some length, in-between styles are de rigueur, according to The Hair Bros. This shoulder-grazing cut is elevated by the mussed-up full fringe on the beautiful Ruby Evers. It occupies a cosy space between chic and playful.
The short, heavily textured shag is out. 2022 is all about medium-length and longer styles that need a lot less maintenance and appear soft, wispy and slightly more polished in texture, says Paco Latorre, creative director at Live True London. "We're bringing back '70s styles but adding a modern twist," adds Szindy, hairstylist and colourist also at Live True. Use this style on content creator Lydia as a reference to tailor the look to your hair type. Plan to have new haircut? Let's book your hair cut session with The Shampoo Lounge
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Article written by Jacqueline Kilikita fot Refinery 29