Bright Hair Color Is Cool In 2022: It’s All About “French Glossing” & “Frosting”

Bright Hair Color Is Cool In 2022: It’s All About “French Glossing” & “Frosting”

PHOTO: COURTESY OF JACKIE KURSEL.

Refinery29: The thing about hair color is that the “trends” tend to be cyclical and a little boring if you consider that the hair growing out of your head can be bucketed into one of the base categories: black, brown, blonde, red, gray, or white. Still, there are degrees of variation and, of course, colors that fall out of the natural spectrum and come from bleach and hair dye.
What’s fun is that in 2022 the “trends” (as they were) are less about the colors themselves and more about the new techniques, exacting placement, and the way that they speak to the general feeling of the time. Ahead, we break down the top hair-color trends upcoming for 2022. Scroll through and consider your hair and what you want to do with it in the new year.

Bright Color

If you’re considering going brighter with your color, now’s the time to do it big and go coppergolden peach-tinted, or a periwinkle purple (like Pantone’s 2022 color of the year, Very Peri). According to celebrity hairstylist and Leonor Greyl ambassador Trace Henningsen, the color itself is yours to decide, but brightness is the vibe. “Mood boosting colors will leave you with a vivacious appetite for joy and positivity, instantly giving you strong appeal and inciting feelings of optimism,” she says.
It doesn’t need to be a salon appointment either; you could try an at-home color kits from IGK or Madison Reed. Or a less-dramatic option: a color-enhancing conditioner from dpHueLeonor Greyl, or the one from KeraColor that went viral on TikTok.

Hair Frosting

Hair frosting
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GRAHAM NATION
Hair frosting is like the grown-up version of babylights, where the bleached strands are carefully sprinkled throughout the hair, almost strand by strand (visualize snow falling atop a tree). “Frosting typically uses small, cool-blonde tones to contrast the darker base color,” colorist Stuart Marsh tells R29. “It’s easy to maintain, as it’s designed to blend into your natural hair color.” Stuart says that hair frosting creates a really soft, multidimensional look. “The results can create full layers of color with a detailed finish that never appears ‘overdone.'”
This visual — Madison Bailey styled by hair pro Graham Nation — is a good example of hair frosting, blonde over brunette. Other celeb examples of the vibe include Halle BerrySuki Waterhouse, and Dakota Johnson — all hand-colored by Tracey Cunningham.

French Glossing

French glossing
PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAYBELLE MORGAN
Less of a color trend and more of a shine-enhancement, “French glossing” is another salon service on the rise. L’Oreal Paris-affiliated salons offer the treatment, which is similar to a traditional in-salon hair gloss, offering both depth and shine.
Refinery29 contributor Maybelle Morgan experienced the new treatment and described the process: “Permanent hair color is applied to the roots, while an ammonia-free gloss is distributed through the mid-lengths to ends using a gradient technique, which brings out different tones in your hair and lends lengths a modern, ombré effect,” she explains. According to L’Oréal, the result is “Seamless, light-reflective color that screams Parisian chic, like adjusting the brightness on a computer screen.”

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Hair Contouring

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An evolution of the “money-piece” highlights, hair contouring is all about highlighting the baby hairs that frames the face in a soft and delicate way. “The hair contour is softer than a money piece, it’s not a color block, so it’s there’s lower contrast,” explains hairstylist and colorist Tom Smith. “The benefit is that is lightens the strands around the face and into the hairline, and it lifts the face. ”

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The style has already started to take off on TikTok, with the hashtag for #haircontouring amount millions of video tutorials — and it’s easy to see why. Not only does this look frame your face nicely, but it is also fairly low-maintenance as you’re sectioning off only the front pieces of hair. “To achieve this look simply ask your hairstylist for a lift around your face that’s a shade or two lighter than your natural color,” offers Smith, adding: “You’ll be right on trend.”

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Fashionista: Why Melted-Caramel Highlights Feel So Right For Fall

Fashionista: Why Melted-Caramel Highlights Feel So Right For Fall

PHOTO: JEREMY MOELLER/GETTY IMAGES

Fashionista: If you have naturally dark hair and are feeling an itch to try something brighter, you may think that blonde is the only option. While a buttery balayage can give that sun-kissed effect in the summer, come mid-September, it’s a warmer, more subtle melted-caramel color that everyone’s asking for.

According to colorist Chad Kenyon, a caramel tone — think pale brown with flecks of gold or cinnamon — is the prettiest middle ground between blonde balayage and chocolate brown. “Caramel tones look amazing on girls with darker hair that want to go lighter without going blonde,” explains Kenyon. “The end result is so fun for fall because it’s multi-dimensional, and often reads as glossier than a bleach blonde.”

Ahead, find your visual guide to melted-caramel highlights, plus up pro tips on how to ask for it at your next appointment.

If you have a deep base color and want to add a lighter tone without committing to single-process, take a cue from Kenyon and try a subtle caramel-maple face-frame highlight.

If you’re trying to wean yourself off blonde highlights, ask your colorist for a light brown or dirty brunette. Colorist Lauren Burke recommends a golden caramel. “You can go super pale with tones of brown, and still get that brightness and dimension that reads more natural on dark hair,” she says.

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Colorist Tom Smith, out of London’s Billi Currie Salon, calls a light brown with red undertones “gingerbread caramel,” which is what you’re seeing with the piece-y babylights here.
For the most low-maintenance introduction to caramel color, keep the palest golden-brown tones focused around the face or at the ends of the hair, like this blended tone on London-based actress Jade Ewen. “You’re looking for a combination of warm brunette shades with pops of light pieces,” explains colorist Chelsea Bulte.
Here’s another example of that warm gingerbread caramel color on curls on NYC-based model Eden Amare. If you look closely, you can see the subtle tones of rust on the ends.

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The cool part about caramel highlights is that a soft brown next to a dark brunette base makes your natural color appear shinier. Burke recommends a balayage blending technique for the most seamless shade transition. For visual, use this stunning closeup of model Lorenza Izzo, colored by Aviva Perea.
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