Post-pandemic hair trends to keep on your radar

With every new season comes a multitude of new trends to experiment with. From the clothes we wear, to the shoes on our feet and the handbags we carry, even the way we take care of our skin, apply our makeup and wear our hair often requires an updated approach.

When it comes to personal appearance, one of the best ways to shake up a look is to embrace a new hairstyle – especially a fun new colour.

In terms of hair trends, pioneer in the field of technical hair colour, treatments and advice, Scott Cornwall, says the pandemic has caused an initial pause in evolving hair trends. Below, he talks us through why this is and what trends to look out for as we move further into the spring and summer seasons.

How the pandemic has affected hair trends

According to Cornwall, a pause in hair trends has happened for two reasons.

“Firstly, with the operation of so many fashion businesses affected by closures or restrictions, it was not possible for many of the predicted 2020 hair trends to come to fruition as they had been expected to,” he said. 

“Secondly, because of lockdowns, working from home and curbs on socialising, so many people simply stepped away from regular hair colour treatments and were happy to allow their hair to simply grow-out unattended.”

However, Cornwall says it’s now becoming the shared opinion that ease of restrictions and freedoms is going to bring with it an almost post World War 1, 1920s explosion in desires for glamour, colour and dressing up. This is because after so long indoors dressed down and casually, it is only natural that late 2021 and early 2022 will bring a new wave of fashion and vibrancy.

Hair colour for women

“For hair colour, the biggest change is going to be a very noticeable departure from darker balayage and into lighter, brighter full colour effects,” Cornwall said. “During the pandemic, many people with balayage and ombre hair colour effects found they did not need to colour their hair, however a point was reached whereby those lightened ombre/balayage areas either grow out or are cut away.”

While previous years have seen a love of highly natural, subtle colour effects, 2022 will bring an explosion (and return) of lighter block and super clean, cream and white, blonde hair colours. With such a break in hair colouring, many people have healthier, stronger hair that can take additional lightening. Therefore, base colours can go lighter than they have previously been able to, while the blonde hair remains strong and shiny.

According to Cornwall, accent colours to light blondes will also be key.

“With hair lightened to an almost block level using either freehand or heavily highlighted techniques, the next step will be the tone and shade of blonde,” he said. “Platinum, cream and ivory blondes will obviously be popular, but other blonde hues will include deep biscuit golds, roses, blue silvers and ultra-cold ash. Accent colours can be interchangeable, but the key will be retaining a crisp light base.”

Pink has also evolved into a mainstream hair colour shade, and this will now remain in the hair colour pallet indefinitely, he added. Whereas pink was once regarded as a shade of the bold and brave, now the colour is as acceptable as platinum blonde.

Furthermore, brunettes will see more variety in shades, ranging from cold ash to galactic pink sheens. Ultimately, whether someone is light or dark, they will want their hair colours to pop and will lean away from the highly naturalistic shades of the past five years and more towards well maintained polished colour looks that appear well maintained and sharp.

Hair colour for men

“Lastly, 2021-2022 is going to see men fully integrating into hair colour fashion,” Cornwall said. “Lockdowns have given men a chance to grow out facial hair and experiment with different hair lengths and looks. Guys are now wanting to express their fashion interests using hair colour and hair styling too.”

Unlike female colouring, men’s hair colours tend to lean towards the cool based. Lightened blondes will be metallic platinums, silvers and ash, whereas grey shades will be enhanced or exaggerated with grey colouring methods.

“Also, many more men will be wearing their hair longer due to lockdowns enabling the passing of the tricky (growing out) stage that most men cannot usually stand to obtain longer hair. Without realising it, many men have now found their hair is longer and they like the look.​”

BD recommends the following hair colour brands: Scott Cornwall, ClairolColourless, Schwarzkopf LIVE Colour, Kiss1000 Hour and Victoria Beauty.