If 2021 was all about the eyes, brows, and a snatched jawline, then 2022 is all about healthy, flowing locks. Gone are the days of surface-level hair products that may have made your ‘do look or feel good in the short term but did very little to strengthen or improve your stands over time. In their place have come innovative and scientifically sound treatments, stylers, and supplements that seek to restore and maintain the health of the hair and scalp. The goal is simple: A healthy, shiny mane from root to tip. And there are an array of tips, tricks, and techniques that can help you achieve the ‘do of your dreams. Here, we present eight tress trends that prove 2022 is the year of hair.
1. Serious Hair Repair
When it comes to rejuvenating your ‘do, restoring hair to a more youthful state is always top of mind. Unfortunately, hair easily renders dry, brittle, and prone to breakage between coloring, straightening tools, heavy metal-depositing water, and heat damage. Technological advancements combined with discoveries in cosmetic chemistry results in newly developed hair repair treatments that have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and repair broken bonds from within, says Shab Reslan, an award-winning hairstylist, trichologist, and HairClub hair health expert. “Breakthrough bond repairing treatments work better than ever and offer immediate results for chemically and thermally damaged hair,” she notes.
Case in point: the new IGK Pay Day collection, which consists of shampoo, conditioner, and serum. IGK co-founder Aaron Grenia explains that bond-building technology has become necessary in repair products, which is why they included the brand’s so-called Integrated Biomimetic Bond Building Technology – featuring a naturally derived reparative and resealing peptide. “It is clinically proven to reduce breakage and reseal damaged hair, restoring the look and feel of shiny, smooth, healthy tresses,” he adds. The premise for creating this trio is to quickly yet effectively repair damaged hair and protect against breakage from the inside out — and, of course, the IGK salon regular played a huge role, too. “Every day, we see clients that have concerns around hair damage, from daily heat styling to heavy-duty bleaching and highlighting,” he says.
Damaged hair is more fragile and vulnerable to dryness, brittleness, and breakage, which is why it responds best to nourishing, strengthening, repairing, and extra gentle formulas. “Giving damaged hair the right products tailored to its needs will ensure that you're giving it the reparative and moisture benefits it needs and avoiding unnecessary mechanical damage (think: hair breakage, snagging, and snapping),” he explains. In the line, Grenia says a vegan silk extract supports hair strength via a breathable layer of protection. It also undoes three types of damage:
- Mechanical (from styling)
- Chemical (from coloring and straightening)
- Heat (from irons and blow dryers)
“What's different is that we could demonstrate results at the salon and through highly rigorous clinical testing to show that, when used as a system, Pay Day protects from breakage, softens hair by 11 times, seals 88 percent of split ends, and even protects from 450 degree Fahrenheit heat,” Grenia shares. At the end of the day, if your hair isn't as healthy, then a lot of your hair efforts may be null and void.
One of the biggest culprits of hair damage is hair color. Bond additives, like those found in the new One ‘n Only One Shot Bond Repair, are a must for sustaining healthy strands and lasting color. Suitable for DIY and professional coloring and compatible with lightener and color itself, it works by penetrating the hair shaft to fortify keratin bonds, resulting in less breakage and frizz and more shine and smoothness (i.e. all the problems that often arise from consecutive color). To reap the benefits, mix the single dose, pre-measured formula with any bleach or color formula. It also works with perms every time the color comes into contact with the hair.
While we're on the topic of bond-repairing products, there are at-home mask versions, too. The Twist by Ouidad Strengthen the Bond Bond-Strengthening Hair Mask is a whipped, creamy formula made with a proprietary TeraBond technology that shields against breakage. While it's good to use on all types of curls, it's especially beneficial for severely damaged curl types to improve elasticity and smooth out the hair cuticle.
2. Big Bouncy Curls Are Back
Perhaps the resurgence of springy waves is partially due to the unparalleled popularity of the ever-present Dyson AirWrap — hairstylist Kelsey Morgan says the tool gives a perfect bouncy blowout but to be patient since it takes time to master it — or just the fact that everything old becomes new again as trends come full circle, but women are going gaga over coifed curls. Unlike beach waves, which dominated for the past few years and are more of a lived-in look, it’s now all about a polished, structured curl that complements the hair's natural texture.
We've even seen how influential TikTok and quick video tutorials are on hair trends, which makes people inclined to try new looks, says celebrity hairstylist and Aquage brand ambassador Laura Polko. “There are new techniques, such as hair plopping, which are great for creating big, beautiful, and bouncy curls,” she says. Her tip? Further polish the look and lock in curls with the Aquage Curl Defining Cream.
You can also achieve the look with a jumbo curling iron and, of course, a good heat protecting spray. Morgan’s personal favorites include OUAI Heat Protection and Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Heat Styling. Or, if you are fully looking to embrace the what’s-old-is-new-again trend, try another throwback tool: classic heat rollers. T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe are perfect for creating salon-worthy waves with just the right amount of volume. The rollers evenly heat the hair between a ceramic heater and an aluminum core for a whole new look in 10 minutes flat.
There are no two ways about it, consistent heat styling is damaging. “The dependency of thermal styling tools, like curling and flat irons, has left people with perpetual hair damage and split ends,” Reslan says. But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your curls. Heatless waves are possible. Reslan’s favorite way to safely style the hair is by enhancing its natural texture and allowing it to retain as much moisture by drying it slowly. “The faster you dry the hair – be it by air drying or blast drying with a blowdryer – the quicker it loses moisture,” she shares. “So, keep the hair wrapped in a loose bun for at least an hour or so before letting it down to finish drying.” The result, she says, will be “less frizz” and “more defined texture.”
You may have even seen trendy heatless wave-makers all over social media, which make use of everything from bathrobe ties to pieces of cut-up T-shirts to roll and wrap select pieces of hair. Each methodology is effective in its own right, though some are easier to do than others. Take, for example, heatless rollers like the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set and Heatless Hair Curling Ribbon Set. These kits work to create pretty curls sans heat simply by wrapping the hair around the tubed headband and securing it in place overnight. Of course, the tighter the hair is wrapped, the tighter the curls; the looser it's twisted around the curlers, the softer the strands. Regardless, the hair is set and, come morning, shake it out for heat-free texture.
3. Anti-Pollutants Take Center Stage
As if it's not enough to worry about damage from color, styling tools, and everything else we expose our strands to, now there's another destructive factor to be mindful of: pollution. Most of us regularly protect our skin from damaging environmental aggressors, but have you ever stopped to consider the skin on the top of your head (a.k.a. the scalp)?
We live in a world where there's an exorbitant amount of pollution that is damaging the hair and scalp, says celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham. “Haircare and hair were not really studied concerning environmental damage, and we are just starting to understand this,” she explains. Research shows that the scalp is as susceptible to pollution-related damage, leading to brittle, dry, lackluster strands that are prone to breakage.
All hair types and colors — natural or from a bottle — are exposed to environmental pollutants equally, though you may see the effects faster on color-treated hair. Almost everything in the environment, including pollution, dulls hair color, explains Justin Anderson, a celebrity hair colorist and Olaplex ambassador. “Pollutants can infiltrate the hair follicle,” he says. “In severe air pollution environments, the pollutants can alter the hair's surface, making it dull and damaged.” Signs of a scalp affected by pollution can include itchiness, discomfort, dullness, dirty-looking and -feeling strands, and hair loss.
Enter Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum. This bond-building leave-in hair serum is proven to protect the hair from pollution for up to 48 hours. Chock full of antioxidants and free of silicones, the syrupy serum smooths and protects from damaging pollution that otherwise renders strands dull, lifeless, and often difficult to style. The star ingredient, French red algae extract, forms a polymer film on the hair to help neutralize free radicals and create a literal shield between the hair and environmental pollution. At the same time, the serum nourishes strands and repairs damage leaving the hair healthier. Apply it on wet hair to allow the water and warmth to further open the cuticle for greater nourishment.
4. Scalp Care Is Skincare
Good hair starts with a healthy scalp. If it seems like there are more scalp products on the market than ever before, it's not your mind playing tricks on you. The rise in scalp care products stems from a collective consciousness of taking better care of the skin on the top of the head – some experts are calling it the ‘skinification’ of hair. Thinning hair can result from stress, hormones (such as those experienced during pregnancy), and, most importantly, scalp issues, says Adam Federico, the director of content at R+Co. “Scalp health is important in maintaining healthy hair and promoting growth and preventing hair loss,” he notes.
Reslan says the environment we live in, the food we eat, inflammation from stress, and how we handle our mane every day all affect the rapid aging of hair. As such, “one of the best ways to support your hair is to provide your scalp regular nourishment and attention,” she shares. In addition, customized in-salon treatments that fit the needs of your hair and scalp type are essential in maintaining longevity and health. “I find the HairClub EXT Hair Therapy Treatment to be the most comprehensive and personalized treatment because it involves a thorough assessment of the hair's current density and scalp environment, followed by a special hair and scalp concoction, as well as an at-home regimen,” she explains.
One subcategory of scalp health treatments is those that work hard to remove scalp buildup, or the accumulation of hair product, dirt, oil, debris, and dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Lingering scalp buildup can clog the hair follicle and be the impetus for an array of scalp and strand issues. To keep the scalp as clean and balanced as possible, you're going to want to use a deeply cleansing product, like Vatika Ayurveda Kaphā Volumizing Hair Oil, which preps the hair for shampooing by gently removing excess oil and buildup with purifiers like Indian gooseberry. Scalp exfoliators and scrubs and even clarifying masks, like Jupiter Purifying Mask, meanwhile, can lift away dead skin that can clog the follicles and impede healthy hair.
5. Scalp Micropigmentation
But it's not just products that command the scalp's attention and all its needs. William Yates, MD, a board certified surgeon, hair restoration expert, and founder of Dr. Yates MD Hair + Science, says people who experience hair thinning and loss are finally seeking solutions beyond the standard topical growth products or surgical transplants. For example, scalp micropigmentation can be a non-surgical solution for addressing all-over thinning. “It's good for men who either do not want a hair transplant or are not a good candidate for one since it gives a great illusion that he has hair but has chosen to wear it short,” Dr. Yates explains. Women are also increasingly interested in the procedure because it takes down the contrast between the scalp and the color of the hair by placing cosmetic pigments into the scalp with a sterile pigment needle using a naturally occurring follicular pattern (à la microblading).
Another plus is the level of customization available. “We use a variety of natural cosmetic pigments depending on the patient's skin type, color, and other existing problems with the scalp, such as scarring alopecia,” Dr. Yates explains. The pigment is semi-permanent and usually lasts three to five years, though touch-ups will be needed to maintain peak results.
6. Innovative Hair Tools that Break the Mold
Since multi-purpose and multitasking products always sit high on everyone’s wish list, the brains behind the longstanding hair care line CHI just made life a little easier — and also freed up some storage space for your hair tools. Enter the CHI Air Setter 2-in-1 Flat Iron & Curler, which combines a flat iron and curler into one to create everything from bouncy curls to pin-straight locks. Place the hair between the plates and rotate the iron before sliding the hair out to create curls. Follow the same steps but slide the hair through the tool from root to tip instead of turning it for a sleeker look. It also encompasses a specialized Cool Air Technology feature to set your style. A press of the button provides a steady dose of cold air to lock in your ‘do, so it lasts for hours on end.
7. Hair Color that Maintains — Not Covers Up — Grays
For as long as hair color has been in existence, it’s always been about concealing gray and white hairs. But, ever since celebrities began sporting their natural shades of silver, more and more women are embracing their hair’s pure and unprocessed hues. It didn't take long for hair companies to catch on. Go Gray is an affordable line of products that cater specifically to gray hair and the journey it takes to get there. You don’t have to be fully gray to start using the system. It works for those starting their transition to a natural shade, are mid-way through through the process, or have made it to fully gray.
Each product in the line — there's a Revitalizing Treatment, Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo and Conditioner Duo, Purple Toning Shampoo and Conditioner Duo, and Purple Toning Masque — offers a different benefit to help your gray get to or stay at a gorgeous silvery shade. For example, the treatment and charcoal duo gently and safely remove lingering dye molecules for a more seamless grow-in, while the purple-based products brighten and tone all shades of gray.
In addition to sporting natural gray and white shades, Morgan says natural hair colors in general are making a comeback. “Hailey Bieber's hair color is the new blonde,” she notes. The best part? “Using less bleach ensures the health of the hair and less damage,” she adds. Similarly, Cunningham filled us in on what she calls the “true color” trend last year.
8. Sleep on It
Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets that comes from generations ago is the overnight benefit of hair care. Whether we’re talking about a deep conditioner or hair oil, allowing a moisture-drenching product to work its magic while you get some serious shut-eye leaves the hair in better condition come morning (you know what they say about beauty sleep).
The 3 More Inches LifeSaver Deep Sleep Overnight Treatment was created with this very purpose in mind — and then some. Loaded with a unique cashmere protein complex, applying the treatment to locks at night is one of the best hair hacks you'll ever discover. That's because a blend of natural essential oils (think: lavender and Egyptian germanium) allows your mind and body to relax while also feeding the hair a dose of nutrients to make it thicker, stronger, and softer. Other brands are jumping on the trend, too. Take, for example, the Nuele Nighttime Scalp Serum. This antioxidant-rich formula contains just five ingredients to keep strands super moisturized in between washes and to calm the scalp.
To avoid turning your pillow into an oil slick, consider tucking your treated locks into a showercap (we’re fans of Shhhowercap) or sleep turban (hi, YouGoNatural) before bed. On non-treatment nights, opt for a silk pillowcase (you can’t go wrong with Slip). It helps eliminate friction to prevent frizz and breakage – and it’s equally good for your skin. We’ll call that a win-win.
All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.
More Related Articles
‘Try on’ aesthetic procedures and instantly visualize possible results with AEDIT and our patented 3D aesthetic simulator.