A hasty glance back on the best hairstyles of 2022 and we’ll find that TikTok spoilt us with a bevy of fresh looks and ‘90s throwback revivals like the shaggy wolf-cut, its thin-layered counterpart, the octopus cut, and its feathery alternative, the billowing butterfly cut.
Well, as we prepare to embrace fresh spotlighted styles in 2023, we can expect that some of these layered hairdos will be here to stay. Hint: one of them has got wings and is expected to take glorious flight.
The hairstylists that we’ve spoken to have also anticipated other 2022 classics to take on surprising twists, like the graceful version of a chunky “money style” and airier spinoff to long-time favourite balayage highlights.
So, if there’s nothing else you’re looking forward to in the year ahead, we’re sure you’ll buzz with at least a little bit of excitement when you check out these eight hottest hair trends that hairstylists predict are going to be in in 2023!
We speak to Director of Chez Vous J Lim, Director of Haarattic Max, and hairstylist Darren for their expert predictions on 2023’s trending hairstyles, as well as ask insights platform BEAUTYSTREAMS where we’ll be getting our #hairspo in the year to come.
Hair trends in 2023: Haircuts
Frame cut bob and lob
A bob is a blunt cut that ends around the jawline and a lob is, well, a long shoulder-length version of a bob (long + bob = lob). The sophisticated lob is a hair trend that’ll stand out in 2023, according to J Lim, Director of Chez Vous hair salon.
“Frame cut bob and lob frame and flatter the face while adding body and movement to the hair,” said J Lim, who spotted this hairstyle on stars like Khloé Kardashian and Megan Milan.
These styles are chic, edgy, and particularly great for framing the face – especially if you tuck one side behind the ears and do a deep side part.
Those with an oval and diamond face shape will rock these ‘dos best. “For women with a long face, have the bob end above the chin but below the lips to create the illusion of a more well-balanced face,” suggested the stylist.
This hairstyle’s one from the TikTok archives, and it’s none other than the beautiful and billowing butterfly cut!
“This layered look is inspired by [hairstyles from] the ‘90s, but the hair ends are not as fine or stripey as they were then. It’s characterised by shorter layers on the top of the head and through the crown,” detailed J Lim. “These shorter layers slightly resemble butterfly wings, hence the cut’s name.”
Since Singapore’s heat and humidity will cause a butterfly cut to look extra frizzy and unruly – J Lim attributes this to the thin layers and lack of weight in the hair to hold the style in place, the stylist suggests that you “opt for a style that is less layered, coupled with a Korean perm.”
His styling suggestions are: “After a Korean perm service [at the salon], twist and blow dry your hair to enhance the curls. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of Oribe Curl Gloss and run your fingers through the curls. This will help to reduce frizz and keep your layers glossy.”
Oribe Curl Gloss Hydration & Hold retails for S$76.90 on Amazon.
It seems like curtain bangs are a hair trend that’s here to stay in 2023. Why? This fringe style simply looks good on everyone, plus “it contours and makes the face look slimmer,” said J Lim.
Curtain bangs need no introduction, but J Lim characterises the style anyways. “Curtain bangs are face-framing bangs that sort of cascade down one’s cheek at a C-curved angle and they’re usually created through a perm or blow-styling service,” he shared.
Even though we often associate curtain bangs with “Korean” or “Hallayu”, they’re actually a modern twist on more retro styles like Brigitte Bardot bangs, according to J Lim. The difference is that “Koreans love to have it lightweight, texturised, and layered.”
Curtain bangs might look like an I-woke-up-like-this hairstyle, but the truth is that it requires a bit of styling to get right. The stylist’s advice is to use a velcro roller on the fringe after a blow-dry, spraying a little Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and letting it set for 15 minutes before releasing the roller.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray retails for S$119 on Lazada.
Soft perms for the men, not just the ladies
Korean perms were all the rage for the ladies in 2022, but this 2023, this loose-curl style is predicted to make a debut for all the men in the area!
Instead of cascading waves down the back, guys can wear the Korean perm soft and voluminous on the top of their heads. Director Max suggests wearing natural curls and soft volume on the top using a texture or wave perm, as well as pairing it with a down perm on the sides for a sleek finish.
Down perms, which relax the hair so that it falls flatter, are an increasingly favoured style, according to hairstylist Darren. “Down perms are getting more popular for men, especially among Asians, as it’s formulated to smooth down the hair that sticks out from the sides and back,” he explained.
“A down perm makes the hairstyle more elevated and natural without creating a harsh outline,” Darren continued. “The length is usually six to 10mm [and it doesn’t show] too much skin, making it a perfect face-framing style.”
Some Korean celebrities you might have spotted in this perm style are Gong Yoo, Lee Dong-Wook, Park Bo-gum, and Seo In-guk. It’s proof that these curls are an extremely versatile ‘do!
Speaking of Korean perms, if you’re searching for a fresh new way to wear curls in 2023, it’s time to consider adding outward-facing ones to your hairstyle vocab this new year.
“Outward curls can look very youthful, fresh and chic,” explored Darren. “The soft, wavy outward curls go well with many trendy hairstyles these days, such as a wolf cut, hush cut, and bob.”
Even though you can pair outward-facing curls with a myriad of trendy, TikTok-approved hairstyles, couple it with a short hairstyle like a bob and you’ll really switch up your look.
Director Max recommends getting a soft bob cut at any length from the jawline to the collarbone, depending on your face shape. Paired with the subtle texture from a light outward perm, you’ll rock a fresh and fashionable appearance.
The hairstylists have spotted this ‘do on celebrities like Hyun Ah and Charlize Theron and emphasise that this subtle twist is enough to elevate a typical wavy style!
Hair trends in 2023: Highlight styles
Fine weave face-framing highlights
We’re particularly excited to hear that a new kind of face-framing highlights will be rising to the ranks of “hottest hairdo” in 2023.
It means that we can finally replace our chunky money piece highlights – think of Jennie Kim’s icy blonde highlights that framed her face in Blackpink’s “How You Like That” music video – with ones that are fresh and elegant.
J Lim describes fine weave face-framing highlights as being “all about subtle placements of fine highlights to frame the face.”
He cites Jennifer Lopez’s hairstyle that she wore on Good Morning America as an example: feathery golden brown ribbons that cascade from her middle parting down to the ends of her hair, plus blending in with the rest of her darker brown mane.
“It’s a great way to add more brightness around the face while accentuating both the hair colour and facial features,” explained the stylist. Now, who could say no to that?
Balayage has been our go-to highlight technique in the past few years, but Airtouch balayage puts a graceful twist on this familiar style and it’s what we can expect to embrace in 2023.
“[Airtouch balayage] is unique in that it uses air, instead of traditional teasing and backcombing, to achieve a seamless blend of colours. To attain this, hair is parted into sections and highlighted using foils,” revealed J Lim.
Besides creating an air of elegance, Airtouch balayage is also useful for lightening dark-pigmented Asian hair. “It is more effective than the traditional free-hand techniques,” Darren offered.
“Asian hair is naturally darker with strong warm underlying pigments and usually requires more than one round of lightening process. The foiling method enables the lightening process for the second application to work more effectively.”
J Lim has spotted this highlight style on TikTok and Instagram, and he dubs this the “biggest hair colour trend that’s raging in major fashion capitals like Tokyo, New York, Taipei, and Shanghai.”
Whether you prefer to wear your hair straight or curled, an Airtouch Balayage lets you flaunt your highlights effortlessly. J Lim also notes that your hair will still look great after fading to a blonde base.
What we’re hearing is lower maintenance on our tresses!
Hair trends in 2023: Hair colours
Blackpink’s style-queen Jennie surprised with fiery copper hair in 2022, so it’s no surprise that hairstylists have anticipated auburn colours to make a bold statement in the coming year.
Ginger, specifically, is the shade that’ll be turning heads in 2023, predicted J Lim. “This hair colour enhances many Asian skin tones. It gives the appearance of younger and more radiant skin by reflecting light around the face with its warm tint,” he applauded.
For Max, auburn hair includes “anything from a bright red to a subtle copper, depending on the skin undertone”.
Again, the warm tones are what best bring flatter Asian skin. “The trick here is to choose the warm tones as it suits Asian skin and helps to bring out a natural sun-kissed glow.”
Since this hair colour enhances the redness on a person’s face, it’s suitable for everyone except those whose skin has underlying red tones or people with redness in their complexion due to skin sensitivity.
Where will we turn to for hair inspiration?
You guessed it: TikTok’s not just where we learn dance challenges, but also where we’re falling down the rabbit hole of best beauty hacks and the latest beauty – and yes, hair – trends.
“While YouTube has had a monopoly on beauty influence for a long time, it’s true that TikTok, the beloved Gen Z app, has become one of the most relevant and popular social platforms and a real inspiration for new hairstyles, products, and tutorials,” shared the insights platform, BEAUTYSTREAMS.
Even so, we won’t ditch getting our #hairspo from YouTube and the ‘gram too.
What’s really surprising is this: in this screen age of virtual makeup testing and other emerging beauty technologies, the metaverse could be where we explore next to discover another funky “curtain bangs” style of the future.
“New testing grounds like the metaverse could become a new favourite place to discover [fresh] hair trends and products as well as try [novel] virtual hair salon experiences,” revealed BEAUTYSTREAMS.
It’s hard to imagine that we might be enjoying an entire hair salon experience whilst sitting right where we are – not in a salon chair, but – in our own swivel chairs.