The celebrity hairstylist whose predictions go viral reveals the 5 biggest colours for summer

Written by Morgan Fargo

Speaking exclusively to Stylist, leading hairstylist Tom Smith shares his predictions for the season ahead. 

If you can, cast your mind back to when expensive brunette first permeated your hair colour consciousness. A trend first predicted by leading hairstylist and Evo international creative director Tom Smith, the glossy dark shade of brown became an entire oeuvre of its own, spearheaded by celebrities such as Hailey Bieber.

Well, over six months later and with several more spot-on predictions under his belt (he also coined the rise of bottleneck bangs and the stacked bob), Smith now shares the five biggest summer hair colour trends of 2022. 

Speaking exclusively to Stylist, Smith introduces a new nuanced approach to copper, a neutral platinum blonde and the effortless highlighting technique that’ll let you stretch the time between appointments this summer. Read on.

1. Platinum-white 

Summer hair trends 2022: Platinum white on Gigi Hadid.

“As we head into summer, platinum-white gold is having a major resurgence. It’s characterised by a neutral cream shade – rather than too silver or too golden. We’ve seen this shade on extra-long sleek hairstyles. 

“Best described as white gold, it’s not as cool as a silver or ash shade but not warm enough to be golden. Platinum blonde can be high maintenance and an expensive colour to achieve, but this is just as luxe-sounding a shade too.

“Best left in the hands of an experienced professional, ask your stylist what it would take to get you to a white gold shade of platinum. In some circumstances, a couple of stages may be required to do so. 

“Expect five to six weeks of regrowth maintenance and be sure to invest in the best science-led haircare products, such as Olaplex No.3, and the K18 reparative leave-in mask. It’s really important to keep the moisture levels of your hair very high to keep the hair supple and shiny. My favourite moisturising hair mask is the Evo: The Great Hydrator.”

2. Copper contouring

Summer hair trends 2022: Copper contouring on Doja Cat.

“Following on from the hair-contouring trend we forecast in January, copper contouring ties two huge 2022 hair trends together: expensive-looking hair and shades of red. 

“Expensive blonde and brunette shades have been about meticulous levels of detail and dimension woven throughout the hair to play with light and shade, giving an expensive fabric-like quality to the hair. And, with the recent big focus on all shades of copper, strawberry blonde and auburn, it’s time that they get the ‘expensive’ treatment too. 

“Interestingly, most natural redheads have an extremely high level of variation in their natural hair colour, with some strands of the hair almost blonde and others a deeper auburn – this is part of what makes natural red or copper hair look so thick and lustrous. 

“Replicating this with hair colour requires a bespoke approach that places complementary shades of copper, strawberry blonde, mahogany and auburn throughout the hair, based on the structure of the haircut. I love seeing lighter or brighter tones placed around the face and through the ends to replicate the effects of the sun on natural hair.”

3. Herringbone highlights

Summer hair colour trends 2022: Herringbone highlights on Sarah Jessica Parker.

“Ever since the pandemic, it’s been wonderful to see more acceptance of natural grey hairs, with celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker leading the way when it comes to incorporating their grey hairs into their iconic hair colours. 

“Using a ‘herringbone’ pattern of highlighting – meaning various shades are woven in among the grey strands – gives the hair a finely balanced mix of warm and cool tones. This trend really celebrates grey hair by including them in a hair colour design, as an additional highlight colour.

“Ask your colourist to include your grey hair into your highlight pattern by adding a warm and a cool-toned highlight and mixing them throughout your hair in an irregular way. This doesn’t mean alternating each shade but scattering and diffusing the various shades around the irregular pattern of your own grey hair – grey hairs tend to arrive sporadically and scattered and some even cluster into streaks. Work with this pattern instead of fighting it for a hair colour design that is totally tailored to you.”

4. Jet black

Summer hair trends 2022: Jet black on HoYeon Jung.

“We started the year with a surge of inky, ‘off black’ transformations from celebrities like Olivia Rodrigo, Megan Fox and Maya Jama. And now, it seems the darkest shade is growing in popularity as we see more celebrities showcasing totally black hair. 

“This is a real commitment as the true black colour is actually very rare in natural hair – even the darkest of natural hair tends to be a very dark brown rather than true black, which actually tends to shine blueish.

“If your hair is already dark and you want to try the darkest of the shades, ask your stylist to use a semi-permanent colour that will be much easier to move away from in future. A permanent black colour (or even worse, a black box dye) may have you regretting trying this trend for years to come as it is incredibly stubborn to remove.”

5. Ripple highlights

Summer hair colour trends 2022: Ripple highlights on Kelly Rowland.

“Summertime always inspires people to go a little lighter with their hair colour. Between summer holidays and a more relaxed attitude, these months can mean longer between appointments.Therefore, ‘lived-in blonde’ is always a staple in summer hair colour requests at the start of the season. 

“This year, thanks to the ‘expensive blonde’ trend that surged through the first half of 2022, this year’s summer blondes are set to be even more blonde than usual. However, it’s key to make sure the outgrowth of the colour is soft and flattering – not harsh.

“Typically, highlights are woven in fine strands that melt through the hair, while balayage tends to be chunkier pieces painted away from the root. Ribbon highlights are a fusion of the two – larger slices of colour that are painted precisely in foil right up to the root. This is followed by a shadow root toner that blurs the part nearest the scalp to keep a modern, blended result and soft root as your hair grows.

“Ask your stylist for sliced highlights that blend all the way through your hair and then a second stage ‘shadow root’ toner. This stops the highlights from looking streaky and means they’ll grow out softly by blurring the part nearest to the scalp.”

Main image: Getty

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