The 4 Rules of Coloring Your Hair in 2022

Hair color trends are constantly changing. One year it’s all about the beachy bronde (that’s shorthand for brunette blonde), the next it’s all about the money piece highlight. And while the life cycle of these trends is short-lived, there are a few key principals of coloring your hair in 2022 that remain consistent. We’ll walk you through them ahead.

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1. Add dimension

For foolproof color—regardless of whether you’re blonde, brunette or a redhead—you need to add dimension with some highlights. These lighter strands will help break things up so your hair isn’t one tone, which can look flat and unnatural.

How to ask your stylist for it: Ask for a few, well-placed highlights where the sun would hit, like the front of your face and ends, which tend to be lighter.

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2. Keep some shadow at your roots

Along those lines, if you just want to make a subtle change to refresh your look for fall, you can simply build on what you already have. In most cases, this simply means toning down brighter highlights to a slightly deeper hue (for example, deepening sunny blonde strands to a softer caramel), and keeping some shadow at your roots, which prolongs your time between appointments.

How to ask your stylist for it: Ask to keep some shadow at your roots and to tone down your overall color by a shade or two (pending your preference).

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3. Keep it all blended

Remember the aggressive ombré look that was everywhere in 2010? It’s had a major glow up in the last few years. As noted earlier, having some dimension throughout your hair is key to keeping things au courant—no matter the color. To achieve this, you want to have both darker and lighter pieces, but there’s a fine line between the aggressive two-toned strands from before and the soft, blended look that we’re after in 2022. And that fine line lies in the thickness of your highlights.

How to ask your stylist for it: As Rubyna Kim, a hairstylist and colorist at Style Seat told us, “Ask for babylights, which are finely woven highlights that add subtle dimension to your hair, so the overall effect is more natural looking.”

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4. Try red (but don't forget to add contrast)

And if you want to hop on the hottest color trend of the moment, 2022 is the year to try red. All variations of it. Not sure how bright to go with the fiery shade? Those with fairer skin tones tend to look best in a light copper or a strawberry blonde. If you have medium to olive skin, you could go for a rich copper or coral, and if you have darker skin, try a plum or burgundy. No matter how red you go, don’t forget to keep some contrast throughout.

How to ask your stylist for it: When it comes to making a bigger color change like this, pictures really are worth a thousand words. Bring a reference photo and talk through what you like about the color to make sure you’re on the same page before getting started.

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Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...