2023 Hair Trends
What does the next year have in store for the hair world?
2022 was a whirlwind year for hair and fashion. We saw a continuation of the social media boom and the fast-changing online trends, which saw heightened impact over the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, continued to gain pace with a host of animal shapes (see: octopus cut, wolf cut and manta-ray layers just to name a few) and recycled favourites (we’re looking at you, chunky highlights).
Just as quickly as it began, however, 2022 came to a close. Does this mean we’re waving goodbye to some of the favourites we’ve grown familiar with this past year? Alternatively, for which trends is this just the beginning? Join the creative minds at Blue Tit London as they look to the year ahead and share what they think is going to be a big hit in salons over the next 12 months.
In recent years, hair has been dominated by mullets in a variety of techniques, and 2022 was no exception, with everyone’s ‘for you page’ showing mullet hybrids and the Instagram algorithm boosting those razor cut layers to anyone who even glanced in the direction of a stylist’s account.
However, Blue Tit’s Creative & Academy Director, Tom Warr, is starting to think that the mullet is losing its grip on the wheel when it comes to 2023 trends. ‘I think we will see a fall in the extreme mullets this year’ he says, attributing this to the length of time the trend in question has been in focus. It’s a point worth noting, especially considering the attention span of the TikTok-influenced younger generation – trends change quickly and there is a constant flow of inspiration to keep up with.
There seems to be consensus amongst the academy team that those extreme mullets are giving way to variations of the well-loved shag cut, with Academy Educator Mads Ruus predicting a rise in ‘trends like the wolf-cut, octopus cut and butterfly cut popping up in the mainstream language’. These cuts see the weight of a classic shag distributed differently depending on your animal of choice and are seemingly about to get big, so make sure you’re adding them to your vocabulary in 2023! Pashcan’el Mitchell, afro & textured hair educator at Blue Tit, expands on this, explaining that ‘2023 is going to be all about the movement and freedom’ carried through those social media trends – and the evidence is there. The shag stands as testament that those layers aren’t going anywhere this year, despite the move away from those at the more hardcore end of the mullet scale.
Looking towards technical trends, Pash goes on to speak about the revival of some classic fan favourites, noting that hype surrounding precision cutting is getting the 90s bob back in the salons and really giving us a chance to show off those sharp lines. Tom brings those visions together with the layer-love, predicting the shaggy and textured bobs will continue to be a big hit after gaining some attention towards the end of 2022 – a trend which Mads sees picking up quickly throughout the beginning of the year all thanks to Wednesday star, Jenna Ortega, switching up her look and bringing a cult following to a punk twist on the bob.
Blue Tit’s education team are excited to see some stand-out looks coming through their chairs this year, with Pash encouraging people to ‘go big or go home with twist outs to create texture and movement, or finger-curling to get them curls to pop’ as he observes a ‘cultural shift’ with people embracing their natural afro and textured hair as our feeds fill with those care tips. He states ‘there’s a shape out there for everyone’ and 2023 is definitely the year to run with his message of ‘get creative’.
Moving through to the world of colour, Mads sees magenta becoming synonymous with 2023, as the warmer shades we saw coming in over winter move past being simply the usual seasonal shift and instead grow into a strong trend for the year ahead. This sentiment is echoed throughout the team, signalling that perhaps those icy blondes are being challenged for the top spot on our social feeds going forward.
Those shag fringes secure the continuation of face framing and those small pops of colour, with the animal shapes providing the perfect canvas for bleach panels and little slices of brights. So, be reassured – the fall-back of the mullet doesn’t mean an end to the blend of business and party.
2023 will be another intense one for the hair industry as we set, expand & discover a never ending series of new trends (stylists everywhere are trying to guess the next animal-themed TikTok tutorial) and perfect the classics that never go out of style. Having heard the thoughts of the talented minds at Blue Tit, the takeaway surely is that this isn’t just a new year; it’s 12 months in a rapidly changing, media driven world. We’re seeing a new generation coming through our chairs with minds shaped by TikTok, individuality discovered and explored during those lockdown months, and a power to set the next ‘big thing’. 2023 isn’t about one style or colour – it’s about embracing your own energy and discovering the power your hair holds. It’s about finding your people amongst the countless sub-cultures of the internet, each one recognisable by their niche aesthetics and hyper-specific epithet. 21st century social media has mind-reading algorithms with the ability to make any and all trends popular amongst the right audiences. Keeping up with 2023 means getting plugged into the tutorial-sharing, image-curating, self-loving social media communities – that is what 2023 will give us: a reflection of our true selves staring back at us from that salon mirror.