Online searches predict 2022 hair trends

From Y2K comeback styles to rebellious haircuts, online search results are showcasing changing hair trends.  

Based on online search data, the Y2K hair look — particularly space buns popularized by celebrities and TikTok — is still on its way up. Other ascendant styles driven by Gen Z are shaggy “rebel” haircuts. As a result, brands are getting on board with marketing around these social media-driven, expressive styles. 

According to Pinterest’s 2022 “Pinterest Predicts” report released on December 7, “puff” hairstyles are set to continue to gain traction in 2022. After showing up on a wide range of celebrities over the years, “space buns” saw searches double on the platform, while similar terms are also growing. Searches for “two puffs natural hairstyles” went up 65%. “High puff hairstyles,” grew 165% and “natural bun hair styles” increased 160%.

“We initially saw space buns taking off at the end of 2020, with the ’90s making a comeback,” said Sharon Pak, co-founder of INH Hair, via email. The brand sells a space buns extensions kit, inspired by a customer who had posted a photo wearing a set of its individual buns in a double style. This prompted followers to comment with requests for a space buns-dedicated product. “It carries e-girl energy, except this time around, it’s a fun and fresh way to switch up the do. TikTok has been a big influencer.”

“Rebel hair” is also a big trend predicted by Pinterest for 2022. Searches for “mullet hairstyle” grew by 190%, while “shaved head dye designs” grew 12-fold and “short hair mohawk” doubled. Bob-cut wigs saw a tripling in searches, while “octopus haircut” searches also doubled.

“I’ve seen so many requests for that shag haircut. I love cutting a mullet, and I tend to get a lot of people sent to me for a shag/mullet haircut,” said celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis. Ellis also recently did a space buns style on his client Tinx. He personally hasn’t seen octopus hair requests yet. “The octopus haircut looks like a version of the shag, but it’s not blended with the layers.”

Google’s top hair searches of 2021 also had a rebellious streak. In an email, the platform listed “wolf cut hair,” which was popularized by TikTokers such as Danielle Marcan, among its top hairstyles, along with “skunk stripe hair,” “fluffy hair” and “hair tinsel.” Pop culture also had a clear effect on searches, as “Squid Game red hair” was among top queries. 

Trends often hit the mainstream once they are seen across social media influencers and celebrities. Space buns, a staple of late ’90s- and early 2000s-era pop stars, have been on the rise for several years among celebrities and influencers, recently sported by JLo and Ariana Grande. 

Popular hair terms can serve as an SEO boost for brands that feature trending styles on their sites. Brands such as Schwartzkopf and L’Oréal Paris have already capitalized on top search terms, offering space buns tutorials on their websites. 

INH’s space buns set “has seen great success in our lineup, especially during festival season,” said Pak. “The love and interest have been fully organic.” 

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