From hot hair rollers, grungy make-up, thin brows and brown lip liners—all sorts of ’90s beauty trends are making a huge comeback this year, and now... *cue drumroll*—frosted hair is trendy again! Inspired by Justin Timberlake’s iconic frosted hair from his NSYNC era, this nostalgic hair colour trend is being revived by celebrities and influencers all over.
So, what does the modern iteration of the frosted hair look like?
Think chunky, light-coloured and face-framing highlights with a bouncy voluminous blowout. Instead of the stark white tips that were sported by people in the ’90s, this look is way more understated and entails subtly blending lighter chunks of hair into your existing haircut. The hair frosting technique integrates blended lowlights and highlights to give your hair a subtle dimension and volume, making it easily wearable for autumn and winter—and the ‘ice queen’ vibe it exudes is a bonus, too!
Conceptualised by Stuart Marsh, award-winning colour director at a premium salon, Taylor Taylor London, hair frosting includes bleaching individual strands of hair to a cooler shade of blonde all the way from root to tip. The surrounding darker strands are left as is. This technique creates a ‘salt and pepper’ effect and allows light to bounce off your hair in all the right spots. The juxtaposition between the intertwined light and dark tresses closely resembles the snow frost that settles on top of trees—which is what gave us the phrase ‘hair frosting.’
Several celebrities including Hailey Bieber, Sofia Richie, Kaia Gerber, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Halle Berry have jumped on the frosted hair bandwagon, and have been sporting the soft, multidimensional look out about town and while on vacation. This hair trend has the ability to create full layers of colour with an intricately detailed finish that never appears overdone. It’s the best aesthetic for you if you want an easy, muted and manageable cut and colour without high commitment, since it’s designed to blend into your natural hair colour.
If you’re looking for some inspiration just take a peek at Bieber’s mushroom-brown hair colour, which blew up on the internet last year. It incorporated blond babylights peppered throughout her head with lighter face-framing pieces for a “frosted” look. Chopra Jonas’ recent hair makeover also makes a strong case for this throwback trend.
How do you describe this technique at the salon?
All hair stylists and colourists would recommend bringing along tonnes of inspiration pictures to your consultation and hair appointment. Once you’re there, ask your stylist to incorporate ‘cool tones’ to contrast your naturally dark base colour and request for a more subtle and muted effect rather than a conventional, chunkier and disconnected effect produced by broad foil highlights. To customise your look even further, ask the salon to strategically place the frosting to help draw attention to a particular area or increase the appearance of volume through optical illusion. Play with light and shadows and you’ll be golden. The hair frosting technique of 2022 is all about dainty softness—and it’s already a rage this season.
Seamless regrowth and negligible maintenance is a huge plus point for this colouring technique, since there’s no stark difference or contrast visible between the previously coloured hair and the new growth thanks to the scattered and diffused placement of the hair frost. Frosting also works on all hair types and colours, as the tones, hues and techniques can be tailored to fit your base hair colour and cut, and it looks good on everyone, TBH.