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SS24 trends with Tom Smith

We were intrigued by a conversation recently talking all things SS24 trends with Tom Smith. As a salon-based hairdresser who also travels extensively for education, Tom is also on speed-dial for many celebrity clients who need his skill to get them red-carpet, or campaign shoot ready! Putting all these facets of his working week together, Tom has become an accomplished trends forecaster and communicator. His ability to express trends, and where they come from, in language that helps you as a hairdresser is, we feel, invaluable. Let’s talk upcoming looks!

Trends talk: Spring 2024

Let’s start with a tricky one – how useful are trends for hairdressers? We know the opinion is divided. Tom is clear:”I think that visual words, and imagery are useful for consumers as they instantly conjure an image in the mind.” He explains how this is useful shorthand for conversation and ensuring you and your client are on the same wavelength.
This season, says Tom, is influenced by the overarching theme of this year which is a symmetry in cut and colour. No doubting 2024 is the year of the brunette. Blend this with a mood of subtle, soft sideswept hair, reeking of indulgence and luxury.

Cut & Style trends

Tom shared with us his six key cut and styling looks, comprising three which are achievable at home – under your suggestion as the hairdresser. And three which are cuts for a professional to execute. 

  1. Sideswept: This comes from people growing their hair in 20023 to achieve a more luxe vibe. Product wise, use powders and sprays to prevent hair being ‘too slippy’.

Tom says: “One of the most popular red carpet styles of late, side swept and asymmetric hairstyles have been seen again and again. The relaxed elegance of hair swept over one shoulder is extremely feminine, whilst looking undone and soft.”

2. Deep side-partings: ie more than a little off-centre, are key to achieving the ‘old luxury’ that is prevalent. It’s helpful when creating the seriously glamorous looks. Tom says: “For short cuts, bobs, longer styles and even fringes too. Intrinsically connected to the vibe of the side swept styles of longer hair, the deep side parting gives a drama to any style.”

3. Feathered layers: Tom says: “The flattering face framing they offer, combined with their practicality for trimming and keeping the more delicate hairline area tidied up make them a perfect choice for those wanting to maximise the appearance of fullness and health of their hair, whilst giving more versatile styling options.” It’s kind of like a nod back to the original ‘Rachel look’. 

4. Single strands: Hair updos with pieces left out have been around a long time but now we’re seeing a whole new level. This plays into the mood of ‘asymmetry’ and can be elegant and casual as you prefer.  Tom says: “When combined with a middle parting, this look becomes a bit more noticeably ‘designed’ while if done in combination with this season’s popular side partings you’ll find the look feels more effortless and incidental.

5. Halo silhouette: Mostly seen on textured hair at the moment, this is a strong look on Afro/Black hair, but equally lovely on curls and waves. Tom advises:”This crown-like shape is a statuesque, regal and confident shape which celebrates texture and volume. While ideal on more textured hair, smoother hair types can get a similar shape with rounded layers and voluminous blow-drying/curling.”

6. Hydro Bob: Hair which is hydrated, perhaps slightly wet-looking forward to a catch up, nourished and quite androgynous is great. A move on from the ‘boy bob’ we’ve enjoyed. Tom notes: ‘The shape can be tailored to the individual, working with their features to create a length that sits between lips and the mid-neck and then the use of styling product to give definition and hold makes it a great haircut for those who like their hair to feel controlled and refined. Tucked behind one or both ears this can be combined with springs popular side partings or single strands.”


Colour trends

This year is focussed on brunette colour tones, but it doesn’t come out of nowhere. Analyse the five key looks below, and you can see how we’ve arrived at them!

1. Oxblood Red: Think a Dua Lipa vibe, which started out light in tone, and is now going darker. We also need to move on from the love of copper we saw last year. Think super-rich, shine and not naturally occurring colour which is considered ‘fashion’ and is bold. You need confidence for this one! Tom adds: “The great thing about intense red tones are they are incredibly shiny which makes them a great option for those who wish to show off the health and vibrancy of their locks or who prefer polished or high-shine finishes.

2. Burgundy Brunette: A less bold take on the Oxblood Red, this is one of the best shades to make hair look really healthy. Tom has lots to add: “With Red being the statement-makers shade of the year, it makes sense that a more subtle and ‘natural’ version become popular for those wanting to keep things softer. Burgundy Brunette oozes richness, shine and gloss while reflecting red tones in the light. Great on all bases from mid to darkest brown, health and vibrancy is a welcome characteristic of this particular shade.”

3. Taupe Brown: This is the opposite of red, and more muted. It whispers ‘brunette’ but without shouting. A little hint of luxury – the ‘Elephants Breath’ of hair colour. Warning! It’s quite a challenge to maintain. Tom says:  “With monochrome dressing in fashion at an all time high, and tonal browns as popular now as they were in the early 00’s this taupe and mushroom inspired brown shade is a great option for those wanting to play with brunette shades but keen to keep away from warmth, red or chocolate tones. This is a whisper of brunette rather than a shout and connotes innocent, purity and minimalism. 


4. Crystal Clear: A global lightening service abut also a great way to celebrate grey hair, this is about giving depth and dimension to hair. Tom explains: “Not quite gold, not quite silver, but Crystal Clear boasts all the clarity of crystal with a neutral creamy tone. Ideal for those willing for the maintenance of all over platinum blonde, or for those with naturally white or pale grey hair, this tone being paler than most skin tones will provide definition and focus to the facial features and can really define the eyes, brows and lips.”

5. Syrup Blonde: Yummy and conjuring up the sweet and sticky edibles, Syrup Blonde is the most indulgent shade for clients wanting to go lighter. Tom sums up: “With undertones of gold, caramel and vanilla this is the most delicious shade. Warmer tones always appear brighter, healthier and shinier and so this tone direction is a fantastic choice for those who’s blonde may be feeling a little lack-lustre.”

Tom Smith trends

To keep up with Tom’s trend reports, follow him on @tomsmithhd on Instagram and on his site:

For more of the latest industry news click here


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