January was all about the 'octopus' haircut, combining lots of layers at the base of the neck that fan out really prettily and resemble octopus tentacles. Come February, we were all obsessed with the 'butterfly' cut, which blended shorter top layers into a series of longer layers for a wispy effect.
With 2023 right around the corner, you can expect a multitude of shiny new cuts and according to top hairstylists, there's something for everyone.
Here's all the haircut inspiration you need for the new year.
The Curve Cut
Hair may be getting shorter (see: the 'boyfriend bob'), but long hair is going to have a serious moment, says Expert Stylist Tyler Moore on behalf of Live True London. "Layered cuts especially are going to be more and more popular in 2023. The 'curve' is the perfect cut for letting your hair grow out while still maintaining a bit of shape and style. It's achieved by cutting the hair in a 'U' or 'V' shape with plenty of layers, giving the illusion of shorter hair at the front if desired."
On close inspection, this beautiful cut by Master Stylist Lindsay De Los Santos on Instagram looks like two styles in one, but the layers blend everything together perfectly.
"Bobs never really go out of fashion," says Neil Moodie, editorial hairstylist and founder of Neil Moodie Studio in Spitalfields, "but what changes each season is the length. At the moment the best length to have is to the jaw," hence the j-ob (jaw-length bob). Take inspiration from this blunt cut by hair artist @brianacisneros on Instagram.
"This bob varies in terms of texture and shape, celebrating everybody's natural hair." During fashion week, Moodie spotted the jaw-length bob in many guises: very slick and with a center parting, texturized, curly, tousled, wavy, and even with a bang. "Either way," says Moodie, "the length was the same," right up to the jaw and no longer or shorter.
The Ultra-Short Afro
"We're going to see a lot of close-cropped Afros coming into 2023," says Moore, much like this cut by Hair Artist Charlotte Mensah on Instagram. Moore suggests choosing a length of around 1 inch to maintain versatility and allow for some styling if desired.
The Double-Edged Bob
Also referred to as the 'bullet bob' by Tom Smith, trend forecaster and stylist, this haircut evolves out of the trending, wispy cuts we've seen of late, including the wolf cut, mullet, and the shag. Smith says that it isn't a classic bob, rather a mid-length haircut, which merges outgrown curtain bangs with a layered bob shape. "It's a two-layered bob haircut," Smith explains, "and it has the balance of a mullet — typically lengthier and a little more heavy toward the back — but it keeps some texture and detail around the face."
Smith recommends asking your stylist for a choppy, layered bob that skims your shoulders, then some shorter, more detailed pieces of hair resting along the hollow of your cheeks for a contouring effect. It shouldn't take too much effort to style, either. Smith says it works best with lived-in texture and recommends air-drying your hair with a generous amount of leave-in conditioner, like Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother. If you want more movement, Smith suggests adding bends or waves with a pair of straighteners on low heat once your hair is dry.
The Shaggy Bowl
"Each year we see a modern spin on '70s style," says Moore, "and in 2023 we expect to see modern iterations of the bowl cut." But, adds Moore, it'll take a cue from more of a shag style. "This cut is slightly rounded and adds both soft dimension and movement to the hair," like this cut by artist Yo Alexi Kruiz on Instagram.
As we go through 2023, we will be watching a cultural shift, says Blue Tit's lead educator for Afro and textured hair, Pashcan’el Mitchell. "More people will embrace their amazing Afros and stunning curls. The vibe is go big or go home, with twist outs to create texture and finger curling to get those curls to pop." There's a curly shape out there to suit everyone, says Mitchell.
First spotted on SS23 runways, Moodie says the 'super bowl' is a nod to the late '60s mod cut, with a 2023 spin. "The outline of the haircut boasts softer edges but has a textured layer throughout the top section so it's more versatile," like this cut by Yo Alexi Kruiz on Instagram. It can be worn to the side, says Moodie, or even slicked back off the face, thanks to the length. "This is a move on from the mullet that was big this year."
We're not done with the '70s, says Mitchell, who thinks we're going to see plenty of bold shapes. Seventies blow-dries with lots of volume are quite literally going to be huge, as are big curls. Mitchell suggests investing in a volumizing spray, such as Big Sexy Hair Powder Play, and if you really want to dial up the volume, Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Hydro-Texturizing Hair Mist, and DevaCurl SuperMousse Coconut Oil Infused Volumizer, for the best '70s blowout, ever.
Also known as the C-shape haircut, this style is so expertly layered, each section of hair looks as though it is joined up at the ends. Look to Layered Haircut Expert Ryenne Snow who added in some face-framing strands and styled with a blow-dry. If you're not a pro with a hairdryer, let your hair dry naturally (use something like JVN Complete Air Dry Cream) and embrace your natural texture. A look like this is as beautiful worn shaggy as it is polished.
The Barely Bang
Somewhat inconspicuous, the barely bang occupies a space between a full fringe and curtains. It's light and airy and complements all hair lengths, from medium, super long, to bobbed. This is hairstylist Sal Salcedo's signature.
The Top-Heavy Shag
The octopus haircut is making way for the top-heavy shag. "This is 2023's alternative to the popular shag-mullet styles we saw take over 2022," says Stephen Buller, cofounder of Buller and Rice. "It's heavily textured, with shorter layers on top which maintain volume and texture. The longer lengths have a softer, separated effect." Buller says that this style sees more hair around the sides, unlike the mullet, but it's slightly more blended and seamless so it's perfect for someone who wants to create volume.
"This is a great style to release weight from wavy, naturally textured hair," explains Buller. It may not be the best on fine hair, as it could make it a little too wispy. To maintain and style this cut, Stephen suggests using salt spray on towel-dried hair. Let it dry naturally or use a diffuser. Lastly, finish with texture spray to add volume and hold.
Mitchell suggests accentuating a curly cut with a soft fringe, like this style posted to Instagram by Award-Winning Afro and Textured Hair Specialist Michelle Thompson. It's not quite a full fringe, nor is it the aforementioned barely bang, but the slightly wispy vibe adds dimension to thick, curly lengths.
The Belle Bob
The evolved French bob is twice as beautiful (hence the name). The short, jagged ends are complemented by softer internal layering to create movement, texture and natural volume, says Buller. Adding a soft, layered fringe with a curved edge will really make this style stand out. It's chic, with a nod to the trending '70s bangs we've been seeing everywhere, adds Buller.
Even better? "This bob is perfect for low-maintenance styling and is best left to dry naturally or dried using a diffuser," says Buller. "What's more, this style works on most hair types, especially those with waves. It will add volume to finer hair in particular."
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.