Barber Trends to Look Out For in 2022

New year, new…trends? 

Yep, by now you probably already know the deal. 

If you’re a barber, you know that the entire world of cosmetology is constantly changing and evolving (that’s half the reason the industry is so fun, right?). So it should come as no surprise (even if you’re a newbie in the industry) that the new year brings about a whole new list of upcoming trends.

And of course, putting stock into every trend that flits in and out of favor isn’t the right way to go about your barbering career—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to what’s hot and what’s not. Why? Because trends, even though they sometimes start out as temporary fads, can sometimes blossom into the new, big thing in the industry, and if you’re not paying attention and trying to hop on the bandwagon of a happening new part of the barbering industry, you could miss out on some serious opportunities.

So, how exactly are you supposed to stay on-trend and in the know when everything is constantly changing? With National Association of Barbers. 

At NAOB, we’v got your back when it comes to the latest and greatest.

What does that mean for you? You don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out the hottest trends—we’ve got a roundup for you right here, right now.

So, take a scroll through, see what’s on the agenda for this year, and start paying attention to what you should take notice of. 

The 2022 Barbering Trends You Need to Know About

Mulling the Mullet 

Yep, we’re talking about the mullet again—and who knows when this look is going to stop being a trend. We saw the inclusion of the mullet starting strong in 2020 and it’s only become more and more popular as we’ve all said YES to upcycled looks from the 70s, 80s, and 90s over the course of the last few years. 

When it comes to 2022 mullets, you’re going to see requests for lots of texture and cuts that are easy to style from home—one of the most popular is the bi-level mullet, especially with men. 

So, while brand new trends are definitely popping up this year, we wanted to start out with the reassurance that the mullet is—obviously—here to stay with no plans on leaving anytime soon. 

Bleach Galore 

Like we mentioned, we’re all really upcycling popular styles from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It was only  a matter of time before the frosted looks came back. Gen Z especially is loving this bleached style as a statement look, so don’t be surprised when you see younger folks coming in asking for a very bleached color on a grungy-but-fun cut. As always, make sure if you’re trying to take your clients’ hair to a white-blonde, you’re providing them with the tools and hair care they need to avoid breakage and copper tones. 

Fresh Faced 

Believe it or not, we’re seeing the bearded look trending downward and the fresh-faced look gaining popularity pretty rapidly. Does this mean the era of the beard is over? Not a chance. But you will likely see more clients coming in requesting fresh-faced looks to show off their bone structure. Think clean-shaven, short stubble, and very close-shaved styles. 

Buzzcut Season 

We know what you’re thinking—the buzzcut is so mid-2000s. You’re not technically wrong, but we’re definitely circling back to a return (a super-heavy return, mind you) of the buzzcut in both men’s and women’s styling fashions. What does that mean for you, as a barber? Get ready to start getting requests for solid, timeless buzzcuts again. 

The buzzcut is a vivid, punk look that’s only going to be amplified by the choice to bring in bleached colors (like we talked about earlier) and neon greens, pinks, yellows, and more. It’s likely you’ll find folks wanting to stand out from the crowd a bit in 2022 (now that we’re mostly returning to normal, social interactions), so be prepared to get a lot of buzz requests. 

If you’re sort of out of practice on this cut, we recommend revisiting your technique, because this cycled-look is coming back with a vengeance—you’re going to want to know how to deliver an A+ buzz. 

Totally Tousled 

We’re predicting a total toss-out of polished looks and a tag-in on the tousled, casual look. Think about it, for the past few years, we’ve all been pretty limited in our social interactions and where we go—AKA, our coiffed looks took a backseat. Now that we’re returning to normal, people aren’t willing to give up that casual, tousled look they’ve grown accustomed to—they just want it with a little more pizzazz. 

Get ready to try out some tousled looks on your male and female clients—whether as a mullet, shag, or just a casual curly look, this is going to be a highly requested style. 

Do you have some insight of your own to share? Got the inside scoop of what’s hot and happening in 2022? Good! Share that knowledge with the rest of the barbering community right here, right now. Drop a comment in the reply section below to let your fellow barbers in on what’s going on in 2022.

Want to stay up to date on year-round updates and trends? Make sure you subscribe to NAOB right here, right now so you never miss a beat.  

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