Hair trends 2022: bye-bye balayage, hello bob cut

It's also the year to embrace your natural tresses by cutting back on heat-styling tools and adding care treatments to your routine

In a bid to embrace all things natural, shadow roots are no longer a styling faux pas. Photo: Maggie Semaan
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A new hairdo is one feel-good way to make the “new year, new you” adage work well, when it comes to revamping your look. We ask the experts what their cut, colour and care predictions and recommendations are for the coming year.

Glossing and grooming

Shala Rodriguez, a stylist with K18, a leading international hair care brand, says: “This is the year of shine. Glossing is going to dominate the hair industry as people seek to enjoy healthy and luminous-looking hair. Expect to see reflective, shiny locks with a natural base or a balanced bold look, including shades of the 2022 Pantone colour of the year, Very Peri.

“We’ve also seen a recent shift from the excessive use of heat-styling tools to embracing one’s natural locks and waves,” says Rodriguez. “So another trend set to make its way into 2022 is voluminous, natural ‘bed hair’."

Ammonia-free and natural hair colour

The stylists from Coya Spa in Dubai, reiterate the penchant for haircare, predicting that it will play out as more people opting for clean beauty products and natural treatments.

“We also see the ammonia-free hair colour trend gaining momentum as such products coat the hair shaft in the pigment, instead of penetrating it and damaging the hair structure.

“As for styling trends, we predict a shift towards a less-is-more approach with 1990s-style layers, long sleek tresses, natural big curls using a blowout brush versus a curler and one dimensional, high-gloss, natural colours – think chocolate brown, ginger or soft black – rather than balayage."

Bangs and bobs

Michaela Quinn, salon manager and hairstylist at That Hair Tho in Dubai, echoes the bye-bye balayage sentiment. “One-dimensional colour will be knocking balayage off the top spot in 2022, with solid colours like warm chocolate brown and glossy black becoming the new go-to. The year will also see more women embracing their greys.”

When it comes to hair styles, Quinn says 2022 is “going to be all about the mid-length bob, whether you’re a side-part or middle-part kind of girl".

"You can also opt for shaggy layers, a la Kourtney Kardashian to give off a distinct 1990s vibe.

Curls and bangs are both still cool in 2022, but to update the former, stylists are keeping curls light, soft and effortless, using wider barrels for a less structured look, while softly framed curtain-style fringes will offer delicate layers around the face.”

Shadow roots and foilayage

Those ruing the loss of balayage can always opt for foilayage.

“It’s the newest technique for sun-kissed hair and is a perfect style, whether your hair is think, medium or thin, wavy, straight, short or long,” says Balmain Hair Couture hair artist Maggie Semaan.

Glam-seekers can also turn to a sleek straight look. “If you’re looking to shake things up and add a little bit of drama, then long, straight hair is for you,” says Semaan. “We know it would take years to have most hair naturally grow up to a dramatic length, but fret not, extensions can be your best friend.”

Overall, though, Semaan stresses 2022 will be a year of embracing relaxed looks. “Think of it as your day-after kind of hair – naturally gorgeous.” This also trickles down (or shall we say up?) to your roots. “Do you get bothered by your roots that seem to grow longer and longer by the hour? If you’ve coloured and highlighted your hair, you’ll know the struggle. But in 2022, cancel your root touch-up appointments as we love everything natural, including shadow roots.”

Updated: June 23, 2023, 4:25 PM