Thanks in part to Olivia Rodrigo, 2021 felt like the year of déjà vu. And it's looking like that same nostalgic energy will seep into 2022, too. This winter, stylists are predicting a revival of popular hairstyles from years past. But considering nostalgia is at an all-time peak right now (it's officially reboot season, y'all!), this shouldn't come as a surprise. It only makes sense that same longing for the past would shape 2022's biggest haircut trends.
Per the experts, all the best hairstyles from the '90s and early 2000s are metamorphosing into the 2022 versions of themselves (insert 'caterpillar to butterfly' clip joke here)—and these looks have never been so much fun. Think: funky up-dos, (almost) every style of bang, looong layers, and evolved braids. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Fortunately for these reboots, there is no Rotten Tomatoes score to dread, either. Whatever makes you and your hair happy is certified fresh. And just like that... embracing these haircut trends became a whole lot easier (and less intimidating). Here are some ideas to get you started.
Long '90s Layers
Long '90s-era layers are always a good idea. When styled, they look bouncy and fresh. But even when left to air dry, there's something so pretty and soft about this look. (Good news if you're anything like me and hate blowdrying your hair.)
Marwa Bashir, stylist and R+Co collective member, explains the no-fuss trend: “I think the long '90s layers will be here to stay [with] more French-inspired, effortless hairstyling." (Quick, someone tell the Emily In Paris producers before Season 3 filming starts.) Bashir adds, "I love the idea of less is more for 2022."
Bobs are back, baby! “I’m seeing a mid-length, blunt '90s style bob trending," Clariss Rubenstein, stylist and R+Co collective member, says. "Somewhere above the shoulder and below the chin."
Fair warning: bobs—even when they're mid-length—can be tricky to perfect. Turn to a hairstylist you trust to make sure your chop will be as flattering as possible.
Choppy Y2K Hairstyles
Like Lizzie McGuire, I believe that butterfly clips are the best way to zhuzh up any hairstyle. Lucky for me, these festive accessories are making a comeback in 2022, and they're not the only Y2K hair trend that's gaining popularity this year.
"Up-dos, antenna bangs, spiky knots, butterfly clips—they’re back," Justin Toves-Vincillone, professional hairstylist and Authentic Beauty Concept Advocate, explains to Byrdie. So why not get a choppy haircut to fit these retro vibes? A low-maintenance, Y2K-esque chop that can be easily styled with some of the decade's best hair accessories is both seasonally appropriate and on-trend.
Bangs are always a go-to in the winter. "Over the colder months as humidity drops, many find bangs to be more manageable," Sarah Cunningham, stylist and owner of Uplift Haus Studio, explains. According to her, a French bang—or French fringe, if you're feeling chic—is one of the most requested styles this season.
"It's a heavy baby fringe with a bit of texture," she adds. In other words, this look is perfect for anyone hoping to embrace cozy, French-bookstore vibes this winter.
If you've been on TikTok recently, you know that twee—and Zooey Deschanel, aka twee's queen—is making a big comeback. So it only makes sense that Deschanel's signature hairstyle is also on the up and up.
“I feel like a heavy bang will be popular for 2022," Anthony Campbell, stylist and R+Co collective member, explains. "A lot of women will be asking for a heavier [bang]," whether it's straight across, blunt, or side-swept.
The motto for 2022? New year, even better hair. "The textured hair movement is elevating very fast, and 2022 will be full of these highly evolved hairstyles," Toves-Vincillone tells Byrdie. "Classic braiding techniques are evolving. We’re seeing everything from micro twists to jumbo braids with bright and shiny hair accessories to seal the deal."
Whether trying out these protective hairstyles involves a cut or extension (or both!) is up to your specific hair and goals. These looks are completely customizable, perfect if you want to embrace a more individual look. Toves-Vincillone adds, "You can choose to use your natural hair or incorporate hair extensions to add volume, length, and even color. Accessories"—um, did someone say butterfly clips?—"are also a great way to express yourself and add some drama to these hairstyles."
If you're not ready for a bolder bang just yet, you can ease into it with a feathered bang style. "As the '90s fashion creeps back in, we also are seeing a lot of long feathered bangs," Cunningham says.
The good news? When styled with a middle part, these wispy feathered bangs look a lot like the ultra-trendy curtain bangs. The even better news? These feathery pieces are more adaptable than curtain bangs, so they don't require a middle part!