The 7 Major Hair Trends That Will Define 2022
You can look into a crystal ball all you want, but it's impossible to guarantee how the next year will pan out. Whether you get a new job or find your dream apartment in 2022 is TBA, but if you're someone who likes to head into the next 12 months with a clean slate, why not do so with a new hairstyle?
While we can't predict the future, with the help of top stylists, we can forecast which haircuts and hairstyles are going to be trending in 2022.
From Gabrielle Union's curly bixie to Beyoncé's super-long waves, we've compiled a definitive guide to the year's biggest haircut and hairstyle trends for each and every hair texture and length. Find your 2022 hairstyle ahead, screenshot it, then book an appointment with your stylist.
1. The Shoulder-Length Shag
The shag is an anomaly of a haircut: it works across hair textures and lengths and with or without bangs because it's defined by its layers. However, while the cut is still going strong in 2022, expect shoulder-length takes, often with bangs (think Kaia Gerber's new shag or Miley Cyrus's signature cut) to reign supreme.
"The shaggy layered look is major right now in all lengths, but the shorter version is a slightly tidier, chicer version of the trend," says celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein.
While this cut gives off an effortless vibe, the shorter the shag, the more upkeep for those with thick or coarse hair, which is something Rubenstein says anyone looking for a low-maintenance style should keep in mind. "One thing to always remember is that a short version of any cut is an expanded version. If you have a lot of hair, without the weight to hold it down, it will grow outwards," she explains. "A short shag for someone with very thick coarse hair will be a lot of maintenance."
2. The Bixie
One part bob, one part pixie, the "bixie" is a short cut with a little extra length up top, as seen on Gabrielle Union and Anne Hathaway. While the cut adds volume and shape to a shorter length, it's also so '90s. And if 2021 taught us anything, it's that what's old is new again — at least when it comes to beauty trends.
"The bixie haircut is ultimately a look that combines elements of the pixie and elements of the bob," as Yureesh, a professional hairstylist, global director of development at Pureology, and owner and CEO of YureeshStyle, previously told InStyle. The stylist also says it can be customized to fit each individual's hair texture.
3. Heavy Layers
Heavily layered cuts inspired by "The Rachel," Jennifer Aniston's renowned cut from Friends, is another '90s trend experiencing a second wave in 2022. Here, Hailey Bieber shows off her gradual face-framing layers with a smooth blowout.
Rubenstein says this is a versatile cut. "Although it was a very specific look, it could be worn on hair of many textures, and from fine to coarse. The only requirement is that you should be good with using a blow dryer and a round brush."
4. The Center Part
Let's set the record straight: the best hair part is whichever one you like the best. However, it's undeniable that the center part is having a moment. (Thank you, TikTok.) So if you're not going to go into 2022 with a new haircut, switching your part is an easy way to transform your existing style into an entirely different look.
5. The Sliced Bob
The sliced bob is yet another ode to the '90s that will be popular going into the new year. This mid-length take on the classic cut can be worn super sleek like Selena Gomez, or a little less done up. Rubenstein says the cut has a "heavy weight line at the perimeter" and can be "middle parted or flipped to the side." She calls it "cool babysitter hair."
6. '60s-Level Volume
"I think everyone looking at themselves for the past couple years on zoom made them realize they needed a little volume," says Clayton Hawkins, celebrity hairstylist and Sun Bum Hair Pro, of the gravity-defying bounce and volume often associated with the '60s and your mother's hot rollers.
"If you want gravity defying lift with hot rollers, it's best to prep it first," the stylist adds. He's a fan of Sun Bum Curls & Waves Whipped Mousse because it really thickens the hair. "I like to just rough dry the hair, not overly smooth or blow it out with a round brush before you set it in the rollers," he adds.
7. Bangs, Bangs, and More Bangs
While bangs are often a post-breakup power move (or chaos move, if we're being honest), adding soft, textured fringe to your current cut is also simple way to update your look for the new year. "Bangs are a great way to change up your look in a major way while still having the comfort of keeping your length," says Hawkins. "They can be super flattering on so many different face shapes."
That being said, there are a few things to consider before making the cut. "Once you have the bangs, it's important to keep them from looking greasy. You should always carry a dry texture spray (I love Sun Bum Dry Texture Spray) to give your fringe some lift and texture throughout the day," the stylist says. "It's also important to use a heat protector while styling with a blow dryer." Another pro tip? Use a paddle brush opposed to a round brush when blow-drying bangs.