Chop, chop … Why unique haircuts are in vogue for 2022 | Fashion

hair trends in 2021 ranged from “shallot” – a shaggy mullet preferred by Miley Cyrus and Rihanna – to buzzcut, as seen in Iris Law and Adwoa Aboah. But this year it is a technique, more than a style, which is increasingly in demand in salons. The phrase you need to know is: “instinctive cut”.

This technique is not for the faint of heart. It involves a hairdresser who cuts freehand, based on his thoughts on a client’s face shape, hair type, and product routine. This is different from the typical first “image” approach, where a client shows a picture of a celebrity with a haircut they want. With the instinctive cut, the goal – and the aspiration – is a hairstyle as unique as the wearer.

George Northwood, whose famous clients include Alicia Vikader, Rachel Weisz and the Duchess of Sussex, practices the instinctive cut. The result, he says, is that “the client will emerge from the chair with hair that works especially for them; rather than with a reproduction of something that doesn’t look or feel good ”.

Law of the iris
Iris Law’s trendy cut was one of the hair trends of 2021. Photograph: Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images for Kering

Jacqueline Kilikita, the senior beauty editor of feminist website Refinery29, recently wrote about the trend, saying she first encountered the phrase on websites of trendy hairdressers like Northwood, Adam Reed and Hare & Bone. She pioneered the technique herself at The Hair Bros. “They cut inches off my lengths, layering and shaving as they went,” she says. “The result was a cut that perfectly integrated me and I love it. Since then I have not smoothed my hair – huge for me, as I did it every day – because the cut allows me to embrace my natural waves. “

Kilikita says the growing popularity of this technique can be seen as part of the pandemic’s wider impact on self-image. “We want low maintenance hair that will look easy in real life and on Zoom,” he says. “For many, being isolated has allowed us to be more authentic ourselves, and the instinctive cut means embracing individuality.”

Northwood says more and more customers are becoming aware of the technique, which is in line with other trends: “Now that personalization is more common, everyone seems to have higher expectations. The bespoke style responds to the needs of the individual and rarely disappoints. “

A good relationship between client and hairdresser is essential. “The most successful hairdressers will have an immediate instinct for what will work best for their client,” says Northwood. “Without this, the outcome can be safe or, at worst, unsuitable.”

wavy hairstyle
“The most successful hairdressers will have an immediate instinct for what will work best for their client.”

However, showing pictures can be useful. “Bring photos of the haircuts you love so the stylist can get a feel for your aesthetic,” says Kilikita. “While they probably won’t reference those images when cutting, they are likely to take elements of the style – a fringe or layers – and make them unique to you.”

Northwood warns: “Not all hairdressers are aware of what instinctive cutting is, so I recommend that you ask your stylist to follow her instinct. Make sure you offer a parameter in the form of images that you like, to make sure both of you are in similar territory beforehand. “

Tom Warr, the Academy Director of London’s Blue Tit salon chain, doesn’t use the term “instinctive cut”, but encourages trainees to think on their feet when presented with a photo: “If someone shows you a photo of a real sharp bangs and you notice they have a huge cow lick, it’s something you might want to talk to the client about in terms of expectations. “

Warr uses images to give him an idea of ​​his client’s ideas and dislikes. “I like to see if I understand their personality [so] there will be a lot of ice-breaking questions, trying to get to know them, ”he says. “You’re evaluating their atmosphere. This can help loads with the final result.

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