Pin it on the pandemic, but ever since the first lockdown came to a close, hair salons have been reporting an increase in “proper haircuts”. Bobs, crops and even soft mullets have been on the up, and not just with trendsetting Gen Z. “We’re getting frequent requests for shorter haircuts from our more mature clients, especially bobs. At first, there was a sense of novelty to holding onto the longer hair they’d grown when salons were closed. Now, there’s an appetite for embracing a totally new look,” says celebrity hairstylist and salon owner George Northwood.
There’s no doubt that a flattering hairstyle can lift one’s cheekbones and chisel a jawline faster than a shot of Botox.
What’s different about hairstyling in 2022 is the bespoke touch. “It’s more modern and youthful to adapt a cut to your hair type and features – no one’s face is the same, therefore no two haircuts should be identical,” says Sam McKnight, who’s been at the forefront of high society hair since the 1980s.
He recently cut actress Jodie Comer’s all-one-length hair: “I razor-cut layers instinctively, concentrating on the areas that frame her face – this adds a certain softness that’s fresh and youthful.”
This type of prescriptive haircut means finding a hairdresser who knows what suits your specific hair type and bone structure. When you’ve found a stylist, a good starting point is a classic shape with ageless proportions. This equates to cutting in layers around your face, whatever length you decide on. “I styled Carla Bruni’s hair for Balmain’s spring/summer catwalk show,” says McKnight. “Her cut is a great example of an over-50s hairstyle with lots of layers, which lends softness to an otherwise unforgiving length that can drag the face down if it has no shape.”
Whether you’re committed to long hair or up for a radical chop, these new season hair updates will flatter at every age.
Short with long layers
A short cut looks especially good on grey hair, says Sam McKnight. “You need to consider the change in texture that happens when hair goes grey – it won’t necessarily hang the A short crop that incorporates longer pieces at the front combines the best of both worlds, with the face-sculpting structure of a short cut and the softness of longer tendrils that can be blow-dried with volume and slicked back, or swept loosely to the side.