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The last few years have been dominated by DIY haircuts and at-home treatments, but 2022 will be defined by stepping outside of our collective comfort zone when it comes to our tresses.
Whether you're finally ready to travel back to the '90s with your look or try out a dazzling new hair color, this year is all about experimentation. Forecasters and stylists alike have placed an emphasis on self-expression with this year's hair trends, which means more people are embracing bolder haircuts, textures and hues than ever before.
Shop TODAY talked to several experts to weigh in on the biggest hair trends predicted for 2022. If you're looking to reinvent your self-image and leave your bad hair days behind, scroll on to discover the styles that'll be dominating your social media feed.
Long layers and volume
Rigid cuts and styles are things from the past. Whether you prefer long or short hair, stylists are opting for more movement and layers than ever before.
Santin predicts a rise in cutting techniques and shapes with soft layering that look effortless and add extra dimension. "Things are going from really short shags and mullets to mid-length haircuts," she said. Expect to see '90s-inspired long layers and stylists focusing on adding more volume while keeping the hair length intact.
"Two of the most frequently used techniques will be slide cutting and texturizing. While we’ve seen these techniques before, they’re always evolving. This year is no different and we’re seeing these techniques create some of the coolest, low-maintenance haircuts," added professional hairstylist Justin Toves-Vincilione.
Give your hair a volumizing effect with this hair foam that will control frizz and give your curls extra body. Santin's a big fan of its organic-driven formula, plus customers adore how it adds extra definition and texture to their tresses. "I also appreciate how little you have to use to get curls to be gorgeous and defined," mentioned one verified buyer.
This shampoo "really cleanses the scalp and gives you a nice restart for the month," said Santin. Ideal for those with an oily scalp or added buildup, the rosemary leaf extract stimulates while adding anti-inflammatory properties — a win-win when you need a clean head before the work week.
According to Santin, this leave-in conditioner practically "lives in [her] bag." It offers a lightweight formula that helps moisturize your hair, whether you go to the beach or a mountain retreat.
"The bob will always be a classic, but we will see so many new takes on this look in the coming year," said Vincilione. "Whether it’s jaw-length with a fringe or chin-length with a middle part, the bob will be big in 2022 — and the shorter the better!" Another similar hairstyle trending this year is the bixie cut — a combination of a bob and a pixie.
According to Vincilione, this cut looks best when fresh, so scheduling a trim every six weeks is ideal.
"Short lengths can be liberating and fun, but still need a solid hairstyling routine," said Vincillone. That's why it's important to add a primer for heat protection and styling. L'ange's Glass Hair primer provides thermal protection and frizz management while leaving your strands soft and sleek.
Most beauty editors swear by this Olaplex product, thanks to its frizz control feature. Aside from restoring your hair's healthy appearance, the Hair Perfector also protects hair color, volume and repairs damage caused by environmental stressors.
"To maintain your curly bob, the key is going to be moisture! Find a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that is formulated specifically for curly hair and do your best not to over wash," added Vincilione.
While 2021 brought tons of light balayage and highlights, 2022 will send boldness straight to the forefront. While monochromatic looks are trending at the moment, Santin predicts hues to transition from pastels to more daring shades.
"I am seeing lots of greens, oranges, bold and vibrant colors, but also an emphasis in placement," added Santin.
If you have dry hair, this shampoo and conditioner duo will hydrate and protect your color for long-lasting wear. The formula is infused with lavender, bergamot, patchouli and green tea to relax your scalp and stimulate hair follicles. One customer with permanent colors said this duo "reduces the frizz and [my] hair is so soft and feels really healthy."
Prevent your color from fading with this sulfate-free shampoo from Shu Uemura. The product works well on wavy and curly color-treated hair. Also, it offers a great scent from the added musk rose and goji berry. Many customers confirm that this formula provides shine and freeze-free results.
Maybe this has to do with the glitter galore seen on the Gen Z scene or the fact that people just want to be more experimental. Either way, shimmery "fairy hair" is popping up more than ever before. In fact, according to Google Trends, searches for "hair tinsel tutorials" are up 300 percent this month.
For starters, it's one of the ultimate hair accessories to give your locks some pizzazz without doing a permanent dye job. "You can add a glimpse of shimmer and add a highlighting technique with fairy hair if you're not big on coloring your hair," said celebrity hairstylist and curl expert Ona Diaz-Santin.
Also, thick hair can benefit from this technique as you need strong hair stands to hold the tinsel in place without breakage.
For those that are looking to shine at a party, these colorful hair extensions add a perfect touch of glamour to any look. The kit comes in 12 different colors including purple, rose gold, silver and more for a quick makeover.
Add some sparkle to your mane with this flashy hair tinsel kit with hundreds of glowing five-star ratings. "I can say that I've washed my hair, brushed it several times and put it up twice and everything stayed in place," added one verified Amazon reviewer.
The plumed afro
2022's manta: embrace your natural hair! This year is about cherishing your God-given curls and texture by adding some extra definition.
"People will definitely be getting creative with dimensional color, bangs and volume to amplify their waves and curls," said Vincilione.
This conditioning formula will provide natural texture while providing control and frizz protection. All you need is a small amount, plus some hair oil to provide extra shine.
Define your curls with this Black-owned brand that helps eliminate frizz while conditioning your hair. With nearly a five-star average at Target, this gel offers a bouncy finish without the extra weight. "I look forward to styling my hair with it because I know I will have a good hair day," one customer added.
Short hair can really benefit from this trend, thanks to the quality extra-long extensions available on the market. This trend provides a variety of texture, length and style options, said hair artist and salon owner Illeisha Lussiano.
The most popular styles are "long straight sleek ponytails, long braided ponytails, bubble link ponytails and long/voluminous curly ponytails. This can last 10+ days depending on the quality of care that it receives during that time."
Made with quality synthetic fibers, this ponytail extension gives a natural finish to your coily hair. It's particularly ideal if you have thick hair and need extra texture. "This is the perfect full volume ponytail," said one verified customer.
This 26-inch hair extension comes in 23 different hues including a unicorn-inspired ombre. Aside from giving you an instant confidence booster, this ponytail is easy to add for an instant style change. Also, this is a great opportunity to create the bubble braid that's been trending on TikTok.
Trade your long bangs for a structured fringe to give your hair the illusion of thickness. This style is characterized by choppy ends and lots of texture to add dimension and that rock 'n' roll look.
"Hairstyles in 2022 will, without a doubt, pay homage to the iconic looks worn in the '70s," commented Vincilione. "The option to wear your fringe or face frame in a shag is one way to get the look while keeping it modern."
Also, super short bangs are trending in 2022, including on the red carpet. "Even though the length is quite short, there are several ways to style this look. Slightly swept to the side, straight and sleek or curled under. If your style is retro, an Audrey Hepburn-inspired fringe might be just what you need," added Vincilione.
Vincillone recommends using a mousse "before blow-drying your hair to add volume and life."
This one is made with blue agave and green tea to leave the hair feeling soft and shiny. For those who live in humid environments, this foam will also control your frizz, giving you a naturally sleek look.
Control your frizz and flyaways with this top-rated TRESemme hairspray that holds your fringes in place. It also offers an anti-humidity resistance for 24 hours.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Want shinier, healthier hair? You may want to add this step to your beauty routine
- This No. 1 bestselling ceramic hair tool gives me the perfect wavy hairstyle
- Should you be diffusing your hair? Stylists weigh in on the right way to do it