From dresses to tresses, 2022 is all about good trims, colour + the best of you


Words: Lesego Ntsime | Images: Getty

Whether you’re toying with the idea of the ‘big chop’, experimenting with some colour, or growing it out naturally this new year, let your hair be your introduction to a breath of fresh air or an entirely different life.

This year is all about having fun as you manoeuvre through different ways of expressing yourself; cloning previous versions of yourself by going back to classic ‘dos, shapeshifting through your premium selection of wigs, or even going reptilian à la Rihanna’s mohawk circa 2013.

After all, change as one of life’s constant and natural phenomena is inescapable. Willingly or with reproachful resistance, we are gripped by its current as it transports us in and out of phases.

Of the innumerable agents of change, hair is unequivocally one of the most intimate. In the way it emerges from us yet exists as something on its own. In its ability to speak for us, it can often make a statement before we do.

Although riddled with a complex history, hair and identity have always been inextricably linked. Woven into the fabric of time, hair has invariably been pivotal in the construction of social and personal identities.

Before globalisation, each society determined hair trends and assigned meaning to hairstyles differently. The interconnectedness of the world - realised through developments in technology and media - birthed global hair trends. Since then, every decade has been synonymous with its presiding hairdo. From Irene Castle’s iconic bob in the 1920s to the defiant Afro in the 1970s.


Whereas it was previously used to denote one’s role in society, hair evolved to confront matters that affected marginalised groups. Women opposed the status quo with short hair as they sought life beyond the home, and the natural state of black people’s hair rose from their heads to reject Eurocentric standards of beauty.

If our identity is fluid and ever-changing, so must our relationship with hair, right?

The connection between hair and identity has undergone significant change over time. Our sense of self has transcended the roles we assume and the things we have acquired. Identity is less what we do and more who we are.


Self-discovery is a lifelong journey. There are concealed, dormant and unknown parts of ourselves we’re yet to meet and each version of ourselves ought to be accompanied by a new hairdo (someone tell Rihanna we’re taking notes).

As Rihanna has shown us over the years, daring to change your hair can serve as a marker of different eras of the same person.

Let's take a walk down memory lane:

pixie cut
hairstyle inspo

Hair is a vessel for change and a lesson on impermanence. Change is nothing to fear and everything to welcome. Start over, reset, and reinvent yourself. If 2020 (onwards) has taught anything, it’s that we don’t have to hold onto things (or hairstyles) we’ve long since outgrown.

The last two years have been a firm reminder that we aren’t in control much, but we certainly have autonomy over our life experiences and the ways we choose to express them.

Perhaps then, we should tweak Coco Chanel’s quote to read; “A person who [changes] their hair is about to change their life.” We all know that feeling of walking out of a hair salon with a new hairdo with an unrivalled and unparalleled feeling of a confidence injection.

Looking for something completely different to your usual mane?

celeb hair inspo

For a new hairdo that keeps your hair loved and protected, Harper’s Bazaar lists Bantu Knots as one of the best protective hairstyles of 2022, while Allure has these three hair trends on the radar for 2022:

  1. Intricate cornrows: A maze on your mane
  2. Accessorise. Accessorise. Accessorise. Think headbands, clips, jewellery
  3. Sleek ponytail; from voluminous to braided

Alternatively, consider British Vogue's hair trends for 2022, below:

  1. The bob - from classic to Alexa Chung’s edgy chop
  2. Showstopping knotless braids - micro to jumbo, and extra-long too
  3. All things curly. Go big or go bigger à la Tracee Ellis Ross

If you’re going the au naturale or braids route, make anything with Shea Butter your best friend for nourishment and moisture.

That expensive finish we mentioned earlier? Achieve that with a keratin treatment mask for an enduring shine. And for those exceptional curls, a conditioner that protects and enhances them goes a long way.

For whatever reason you’re changing your hair, know that switching it up is no small thing. It’s a radical act of stepping into something new. But even new things require some love and TLC.

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