Shawn Chia of Chez Vous: Hideaway shares some of his insights on what have so far been 2022's biggest hair trends—from the chicest haircuts to the most requested hair colours

Settling on the right hairstyle or hair colour will surely require some form of professional advice. While it is always tempting to go for the latest Korean hair trend that you spotted on your favourite Hallyu star, perhaps it is best that you sit on that thought for a bit or seek guidance from an expert—like Shawn Chia, associate director of Chez Vous: Hideaway. The veteran hairstylist, who is highly sought after by editors and regular clients for his hair colouring mastery, knows what’s in and what’s out this year in terms of hairstyles.

And now that Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are easing (hurray to no masks outdoors!), what does Chia hope to see more of in Singapore?

“Go blonde. Damaging? Yes. But, going blonde is strangely liberating for many. It’s definitely a look you must try at least once. Not forgetting that it looks really chic,” Chia says.

“Of course, we are not asking customers to try going for platinum, as that will most probably cause your hair to break. A medium beige or ash blonde will be head-turning enough!”

Below, he shares with Tatler Singapore other key trends to look out for and maybe try for yourself in 2022.

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Falling Stars Highlights

“These falling stars highlights are trending at every top hair salon in Seoul, Tokyo and even Shanghai. We were surprised to see highlights becoming the go-to hair colour style in these fashion capitals, this season. After all, highlights have taken a back seat ever since balayage took the world by storm in 2010.

It has been 10 long years since we saw highlights making such a strong comeback. We are excited about it, for very good reasons.

In 2022, it is all about falling stars highlights. Just like the name suggests, the highlights are placed to mimic stars falling across the sky. These highlights add texture and body to our hair. And they look equally gorgeous on hair that is tied up or let down. Whether you are working in the office or out partying, there’s a look that you’ll fall head over heels for.”

Airtouch balayage

“For balayage hair colour styles, the trend in Asia is moving towards airtouch balayage. The airtouch technique is unique in that it uses air, versus traditional teasing and backcombing, to achieve a seamless blend of colour—like a crossbreed between balayage, ombre and highlights. To attain this result, hair is parted into sections and highlighted in foils or clear film, as opposed to the freehand techniques.

Why will we see more and more of this style in 2022? The reason is that traditional freehand techniques used to create balayage and ombre colour styles is not as effective on Asian hair. That’s because Asian hair tends to contain darker and warmer melanin. Thus, freehand techniques used in conventional balayage are unable to lighten the hair effectively when compared to the airtouch technique. Where the latter saturates the sections of hair in lightener and seal them in foils to enable effective lightening.

Moreover, whether customers prefer to wear their hair straight or curl, airtouch balayage looks equally good, unlike conventional balayage. Conventional balayage tends to look good only on hair styled via a curling iron.

With more hairstylists in Asia adopting this technique, this trend will definitely gain greater traction. Even now, many customers are loving this style of hair colours.”

Sakura Hair Colour

“In November 2021, K-pop star Lisa from Blackpink debuted a sakura pink bob haircut, reigniting the public’s love for rose-pink shade. Many customers requested this stunning hue during Chinese New Year!

We guess this is going to be a hit because this colour portrays optimism, hope and love, things we all probably need and wish for after two years of the pandemic.”

Read more: Blackpink’s Lisa Adds a Twist to the Preppy Fashion Trend

Blunt Bob

“When Hallyu actress Jun Ji Hyun sported a blunt bob last winter, we knew this was going to be a big hit among women in South Korea (and even the world). Guess what? We were right! Many customers in Singapore have begun requesting this haircut along with the soft rebonding service. In fact, [we spotted many women] wearing blunt bobs that are bleached blonde at ‘It’ places within South Korea such as Hannam-dong and Seongsu-dong—as observed by our management team during their VTL trip to South Korea.”

Beige is the new Ash

“In recent years, cinnamon beige and foggy beige (or Milk Tea Blonde) have been the go-to shades for many who seek to achieve a [lighter] hair colour in Japan, Taiwan and China. Unlike traditional golden blondes or ash blondes, beige rarely washes out a person’s complexion—making it a top favourite among those in the know. In fact, it is ultra sophisticated-looking.”

Curtain Fringe over Bottleneck Bangs

“In Singapore, most customers get their hair inspirations from Seoul—widely regarded as the fashion capital of Asia. Bottleneck bangs are not trending in Seoul as it tends to “close up” one’s face, highlighting any flaws we might have. Moreover, Asian features are not as sharp and contoured as compared to people in the West. Thus, bottleneck bangs are not that well-received.

“For Singapore’s context, curtain fringe is the Asian version of bottleneck bangs. This hair trend is popularised by the Koreans and not surprisingly, it is still trending in 2022. Based on our management’s observations when they headed to Seoul in December via the VTL, at least five out of 10 women in South Korea were wearing the curtain fringe. Curtain fringes are parted down the middle or off-centre, often framing your face on both sides for contouring and slimming purposes without “boxing-in” the face. It also gives the wearer a feminine vibe, soften our feature, and it looks great when tied up too.”

Korean Pixie Bob

“This tucked-behind-the-ear short haircut is perfect for working professionals who want to look classy without looking overly serious—unlike those precision clean line Bobs and pixie haircuts popularised in the west. This cheery-looking hairstyle is a crossbreed between a bob and a pixie haircut. Hair is texturised with layers at the crown for greater body and lightness. It is the go-to haircut right now in Seoul for women who wish to sport a short haircut. Despite it being a short haircut, it still looks feminine, soft and approachable—traits that are embraced by many customers.

All you need is to mist your hair with sea salt spray before blast drying them. Easy peasy!”

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