There’s nothing quite like a new cut or color to make us feel like we’re transforming our lives. Many people will opt for a makeover to recover from a big change (like a breakup), a job shift (hello, recession), or a lifestyle shift (like becoming a new parent).
Other times, we don’t need a significant motivator to try out a new trend, like the shift of seasons from summer to fall. Especially after the elements of sun and water wreak havoc on our hair, you might feel ready to cut it all off, color it and display a new look for autumn.
Meet the Experts
Jay Small is a hairstylist and co-founder of Arey.
Erinn Courtney is a StyleSeat hairstylist and natural hair expert.
Jessica Walker is the president of J Walker Salon Group.
Leianna Hillo is a lead colorist for eSalon.
Genevieve Barnoski is a lead stylist for AURA Personalized Hair Care.
So, what’s popular as we dive into fall 2022? Here, we spoke with experts on the latest trends in styling and color:
Stronger, shorter cuts.
As this summer comes to a close, Jay Small, a hairstylist and co-founder of Arey, says more clients want to cut more hair than in the spring. Going into fall 2022, he says people with longer hair will seek stronger and shorter haircuts: “Dare I say — think early 2000s Victoria Beckham,” he describes.
“The key elements to look for are shoulder length or above and less hair around the face,” he continues. “The shorter we cut the hair, the more we tend to touch, tousle and move it. As a result, everyone is looking to feel lighter and more intentional.”
And while not everyone will be bold enough to chop it all off, Small says for those with longer hair, the length will still somewhat come off, and people will be more interested in layering. “Last fall, we were a little groggy post-pandemic release; now we are all ready to experiment,” he adds.
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According to Erinn Courtney, a StyleSeat hairstylist and natural hair expert, the curly afro — a more modern take on the traditional afro — is making an appearance this fall. She explains it carries the same boldness but adds more definition and curls throughout the hair.
“The curly afro requires less teasing and structure as it does not need to be picked out as often to create volume,” she continues. “With texture defined by your curls, there is less manipulation to achieve a big bouncy look. It’s one of those looks that let you shower, twist, and go.”
Why is it popular this fall? First, it’s easy to maintain and looks stylish. Plus, it’s ideal for pairing with scarves or hairpieces. “It’s a super versatile and an easy in-between option when transitioning from summer protective styles to a fall look,” she adds.
Textured styles in men.
For men, Small is seeing more and more males interested in the textured styles that were popular between 2033 and 2007: “A little hair over the ear, maybe even a little more at the neckline.”
Small says the technique will move away from clippers and focus more on point cutting with scissors. “Point cutting is a way to help take off the length and keep the texture, creating a disheveled look that is easier to style,” he says.
We can probably agree that nearly everyone has imagined taking the plunge and testing out bangs. But, if you’re thinking about it, here is the sign you’ve been waiting for: bangs are back, baby, according to Jessica Walker, the president of J Walker Salon Group. “Bangs are where it’s at,” she predicts. “Sexy, light, fun, and free, bangs provide options with all colors and cuts: from autumn shades to hair painted highlights, from the pixie to a textured, layered bob, bangs are what is happening.”
Gardeners know it’s essential to plant rhubarb in late fall, so it sprouts in the spring, but have you ever considered the hue a hair color inspiration? This shade is great for the upcoming fall and winter seasons because it takes a deeper approach to a classic red shade, says Leianna Hillo, a lead colorist for eSalon. You can think of it as a mix between medium brunette and red mahogany. “Because this color contains so many different tones, it looks gorgeous on all skin tones, and it will give you a rich, warm glow,” she says.
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Lavender and lilac.
Yep, that’s right: we’re not just using purple shampoo this fall — we’re also adding the color purple to our hair. Genevieve Barnoski, a lead stylist for AURA Personalized Hair Care, says lavender and lilac hues will become more popular in the coming months. For a subtle approach, go with lighter lilac. For a more intense shade, try darker lavender. “As this shade mixes blue and purple tones, this hue works well on everyone and is great for anyone looking for a youthful and feminine change for the fall,” she says.
If your starting point is on the darker side, Barnoski suggests first using balayage highlights for a brighter look. Once lightened, your colorist can add a pigmented hair mask for 10 to 15 minutes. “If you’re looking to stay on the subtle side, you can apply the mask directly to your hair without lightening,” she says. “To keep your dark lavender shade, we suggest using a pigmented conditioner every time you shampoo and your mask every week.”
Rather than completely re-doing your look, you can make a subtle change to your dark brunette hair color by adding in some honey-kissed highlights, Hillo says. This will be popular in 2022 for those who want to add a hint of gold to their overall complexion — and aren’t afraid to continue balayage treatments year-round. “This shade works best on cool and neutral skin tones as well as pale and deeper complexions,” she says. “If you’re on the lighter side, we recommend going no than two shades darker. After settling on the base’s depth, ask your colorist to add natural golden tones. You will then want to apply highlights for that ‘barely there’ look.”
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Bold rose gold.
Rose gold has become a design staple for years, showing up in kitchens, nurseries, bedrooms, and offices. It’s now made its way into hair color, and this fall, Barnoski says it’s going bold with a brighter twist that’s more vibrant than a typical muted rose gold shade.
“Bold rose gold typically works best for those with cool or neutral undertones. However, if you have pink undertones or very fair skin, this shade may accentuate that,” she says. “To achieve this shade, you will want to start with lightening your hair with balayage highlights. The lighter you go, the brighter your hair will be. Once you achieve your desired lightness, apply a pigmented hair mask in this reddish-rose shade for 10 to 15 minutes.”
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