There’s a new aesthetic in town and it’s here to dethrone 2022’s Clean Girl Aesthetic – Vanilla Girl Aesthetics is all about luxe, cosy minimalism. It leans heavily on easy-going, cosy, tactile textures and airy, neutral colours like white, beige, cream, and of course, vanilla. The textures and colour tones are carried into hairstyles with relaxed, simple styles scooped up into claw clips, left loose with wafty curtain fringes or soft waves and curls, or tied into laidback ponytails.


2022 was the year of the Clean Girl Aesthetic, which is characterised by gold jewellery, and glossy lips, while your hair will likely be slicked back in a claw clip, bun, or pony. The trend has amassed nearly 2 billion views on TikTok, largely in part to tutorials on how to achieve the look.


The opposite of the Vanilla Girl is the Succubus chic aesthetic, defined by Three main components: dark or black hair, bleached or plucked thin eyebrows, and hollow cheeks. This aesthetic comes as a shift away from the focus on wellness, skincare, and the ‘clean girl’ look, towards a messier and undone look aesthetic. 


How does this trend affect hair services? Every aesthetic has a hairstyle to match, so with that, these trends push new hairstyles and colour trends. It’s no surprise colours like Alpine Blonde, Coconut Blended Balayage, and Targaryen Blonde are trending in the midst of the rise of the Vanilla Girl era. These trends also are a forecast for consumer behaviour – voluminous hair has led to the popularity of products such as the Dyson air wrap blow dryer, hot rollers, heatless curlers and layered haircuts.


Have you seen this in your salon chair? We want to know from you? 



What is gatekeeping and what does it mean in the hair industry? Gatekeeping is defined as the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something, and to understand why it is happening in the hair industry one must first understand what product gentrification is as the catalyst for gatekeeping.


Gentrification can be seen as the erasure of culture in exchange for inclusivity – in this case product gentrification can be seen as the erasure of a foundational target audience in business for inclusivity. Why is this a topic worth talking about? Last week there was a considerable debate spanning on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram about Mielle organics – a well-renowned black-owned hair care company. On December 29, Tiktoker Alix Earle, who has more than 3.5 million TikTok followers, recommended the hair oil in her 2022 Amazon favourites video claiming she saw “tremendous hair growth” in just a month, and thus the “Alix Effect” was born, causing the Mielle Organics rosemary mint scalp and hair strengthening oil to sell out within minutes and a price jump from $9.99 to $29 on Amazon.


This effect has left many black women uncertain of where to source their already scarcely supplied haircare products, and fearful that this newfound love for Mielle organics by a wider audience demographic will cause the business to “sell out” on the loyal customer base on the pursuit of business expansion. In June 2022, Mckinsey released its Black Representation In The Beauty Industry Report, revealing that Black Americans “show an affinity and preference for Black beauty brands and are 2.2 times as likely to conclude that products from those brands will work for them.” However, as the report adds, “only four to seven percent of beauty brands carried by specialty beauty stores, drugstores, grocery stores, and department stores are Black brands.”


So why is gatekeeping so crucial for natural hair care products?  Treasure Tress, a Black-British hair care subscription company reported in their Textured Hair Trend report, “47% of those with textured kinky or curly hair confirmed that they do not feel as though any of the top 10 hair care companies cater to their hair type.” The same report also states that products for naturally textured hair are “more expensive, more difficult to access, and are used more frequently than products for those with straight hair; resulting in an increased cost to the consumer.”


So the real question is, what can be done to stop hair care gentrification, but still, allow black-owned businesses to grow and expand without the fear of selling out on their loyal customer base? Additionally, what solutions can be implemented by industry leaders to stop the need for gatekeeping whilst cultivating more diversity and inclusivity within the industry and the products being produced?



Hair and scalp care are about to get more scientific, holistic, and ayurvedic this year – ancestral traditions will inspire new routines, while the cellular and scientific approaches to scalp care are on the merge.


The beauty industry loves science-backed superfoods which is why we are seeing a 360 approach to beauty routines incorporating diet, skincare, and hair care. Sea moss, cloves, and Ashwagandha are just some of the buzzy new ingredients to know.  


Thanks to wellness culture and TikTok, where #ashwagandha has 429.2 M views, #seamoss has already reached more than 235.9m views and #cloves have 135.7M views. Interest in these ingredients is driven by the multitude of beauty and holistic wellness benefits they can deliver ranging from easing anxiety and depression to antimicrobial, antiviral, anesthetic, anti-parasitic, and antioxidant properties.


Biology class is back in session this year, and it’s all about a cellular approach to scalp care. Microbiome is going to be a keyword to remember for scalp care, but what is it? A microbiome is a community of microorganisms that can usually be found living together in any given habitat, in this case, on the scalp. Microbiome-friendly formulations will be in demand to undo the chemical and environmental damage to hair as well as soothe flaking, itching, and irritated scalps. 


There are already brands focusing on this new scalp care approach such as sustainable startup Sk*p’s shampoo and conditioner featuring its proprietary G-HoneyBiome – bio-fermented honey. Jupiter, a DTC hair care brand that launched Its new Daily Scalp Essential Supplement is said to balance the scalp microbiome and encourage healthy hair growth. UK-based The Nue Co is tapping into 360° holistic haircare with inner and outer sets of a pro- and post-biotic scalp serum and daily nutrient-dense supplement, designed to be used together to reduce hair loss and support growth.


It is safe to say there is a lot to be excited about this year when it comes to innovation and product advancement in hair care. We will be on the lookout for more microbiome and holistic products popping up and following these trends.



We are so lucky to work with some of the best hairdressers in the industry that are on top of their game and we are always on the lookout for new talent emerging. This year, we want to do something different – we have created for the first time ever #KITDVLPMNT

Our founder Karrie has worked with numerous talents, taking them +30-80K following in roughly six months. What can KIT do for you? We can help define your objective, create a clear plan for execution and together pursue a higher echelon of work and growth.

If you are interested in joining the application for this select team of five. Here are the criteria you need to be selected:


   Are you:

  • Working in the hair industry
  • Under 7 years of experience
  • Keen to take your career to the next level
  • Love digital and social media
  • Undeniably shit-hot at what you do


Do you want to:

  • Grow your profile
  • Know your brand
  • Develop your network
  • Become part of KIT members

Click here to submit your application, deadline is 1st February 2023