From shaved heads to skunk hair – it’s time to think big. Some of the UK’s top stylists talk about the rebellious haircuts and colours having a hot moment
If you’re itching to switch it up with your hair look and try something a bit more daring, you wouldn’t be the only one. In Pinterest’s 2022 Trend Predictions, Rebel Cuts made the top 10 trends thanks to an explosion of creative pinning. Searches for ‘bob cut wigs’ are up three fold, ‘mullet’ searches are up 190 per cent versus 2021, and ‘shaved head designs’ searches are a whopping 12 times more popular than last year.
“I love the idea of ‘rebel cuts’; people breaking away from anything uniform and ‘run of the mill’ to express themselves and show who they are, on the inside as well as the outside,” says Kayleigh Johnson, an INNOluxe Superstar stylist based in Manchester. “I have clients of all ages from early 20s to mid-50s who don’t want to conform to the stereotypes of their age groups. We work together to do a cut that is totally unique to them. I always encourage them to push their own boundaries by adding blocks of colour, or panels that are shaved.”
However, as with any style, it’s about making a trend work for you. “The rebel cut trend has the potential to be something this year, however it’s all about suitability,” agrees Luke Benson, creative ambassador for ALFAPARF Milano. “As a rule ‘ugly’ haircuts don’t have longevity, but they can be made to be beautiful – the mullet, for example. If you’re happy to push it to being super short at the sides that’s cool, but it can easily be kept softer which has the potential to suit a wider audience too.”
Here’s some ideas and advice for some of the rebellious cuts to try if you’re feeling adventurous and ready for a change…
Shaved Head Designs
“The look that I am all for this year is the shaved head dye designs,” says Safy Burton, founder of Safy B Salon in Aylesbury. “I’m very lucky enough to have a few clients who are fans of this and always like to try out new patterns and colours. “The head is your canvas and freehand colour allows the imagination to run wild. Any hair dream can become a reality – think bold and beautiful. For 2022, patterns such as zebra stripes, florals and rainbow blends will be huge for those looking to embrace the shaved head dye designs – the opportunities are endless and you can be as creative as you wish.”
Wigs are a great way to take a look and completely transform it, without having to commit permanently. “You would be surprised at how many celebrities wear wigs on a daily basis,” says Darrel Starkey of Taylor’s Hair Studio in Skegness. Bobs are a big deal for 2022, but you might understandably balk at losing so much length, needing months (if not years) to re-grow. This is where the bob-cut wig comes in.
“Designed to make all hair dreams come true, the wig can be cut as desired by the individual – a blunt cut or perhaps a choppy bob, with the wig tailored to suit the requirements. To give the style a more bespoke feel, flashes of colour can be added throughout to give it a much more colourful touch and the addition of a heavy fringe for a modern look,” Darrel suggests.
“Letting your inner alt’ personality is becoming an energy,” agrees Thom Robb, colourist and educator for ELEVEN Australian UK. “There’s been a huge rise in clients experimenting with different lengths of fringes, mullets with clean shaved undercuts and shag cuts. A shyness has been replaced with an empowering rebellion of self-confidence being shown through the medium of thinking big, bold yet simple style.”
Undercuts are a great way to throw off convention – especially since you can hide it, should you need (or want) to – something that Coral Jade, founder of Coral Jade Hair and Beauty on the Wirral has been getting lots of requests for recently. “Clients can show their rebellious side but still have a more contemporary look for work. I’ve also been doing lots of hidden rainbows and patterns on undercuts.”
With Netflix such a huge part of many people’s lives now, many hairdressers are noting that TV shows are a key source of inspiration for their clients now, in the same way that red carpet looks used to. “Squid Game had everyone talking … and in the hair world it’s no different!” says Paul Watts, JOICO European design team member.
“The trend which emerged from Squid Game is the Short Wolf Cut, a modern twist on the classic shag/mullet look, and one we are seeing more and more in the salons.” Full of texture and volume, this is definitely a statement look, but a great choice for those looking to embrace their own creativity and try something new. “The cut itself can be tailored in length to suit the requirement of the client, and the addition of a much fuller fringe or micro fringe can really give the style a whole new, modernised feel,” Paul adds.
Post-Covid we’re facing a bit of a culture vacuum and a heavy dose of nostalgia. “There’s a lot of influence coming through from the ‘00s Myspace and Tumblr emo era, which I love,” agrees Heffy Wheeler of Hx Hair in Rugeley. “Features like shorter layers, more texture and swooping fringes with heavy block colour all fit in with the aesthetic. We’ve had lots of clients ask for skunk hair, reverse dip dyes and streaks with a nod to Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty years. Long hair has been dominating hair trends for the past couple of years, so it’s great to see shorter textured styles making a comeback.”
“From mullets to undercuts and bold experimental colours, this is the year to embrace your inner rebel!” says Christopher Laird at November Collective in Edinburgh.
Go wild – and don’t forget to tag us @layeredonline!