When it comes to switching up my hairstyle, I can get a little shy. In fact, I’ve had the same hairstyle (long, bleached, centre-parted) for nearly 10 years. And what’s really quite funny is that despite the fact my hair has looked the same that whole time, the techniques I find myself asking the hairstylist for have varied drastically over the years. First I was asking for ombré, then balayage and now it tends to be something along the lines of “babylights but kind of balayage and don’t forget the root stretch, please?” Yep, navigating the world of hair colour can be quite the minefield. And frankly, I’m a little fed up of the same old, same old.
Luckily, there’s a new hair colour trend on the block and it’s set to spice things up a little. That’s right, it’s the '90s chunky highlight. But before you start experiencing flashbacks of zebra-like orange stripes courtesy of your favourite box dye, fear not. This year, the chunky highlight has had a bit of a makeover. Combining the original concept with other techniques such as balayage, babylights or face-framing, the humble chunky highlight is back—and I’m kind of loving it.
Whether you fancy keeping things chic and brassy for the winter months or lightening everything up with some icy streaks (if so, I highly recommend Redken Blondage Express Anti-Brass Mask, £25, for keeping yellow tones at bay), there’s a style of chunky highlight for you. Keep scrolling for some serious chunky highlight inspiration…
Slightly chunkier flashes of platinum dial Eleonora's warm blonde hair up a notch and honestly, I'm not totally sure that chunky highlights have ever looked this cool.
Subtle but still very effective, Alexis's slightly thicker sections of caramel colour blend perfectly with warmer brown tones to create the ultimate winter 'do.
Loose beach waves combined with chunky highlights around the face? Beyoncé, you have outdone yourself.
Sitting somewhere between a chunky highlight and a normal one, these face-framing lights provide the perfect compromise for those that want to dip their toe into the trend.
Kim's chunky highlights might look subtle, but those light streaks teamed with a choker is the stuff that 90s dreams are made of.
Dialling existing balayage up a notch by colouring slightly thicker sections of hair is likely the most wearable way to wear this new trend, and I'm not complaining.
Caramel tones in a sleek, straight bob? J.Lo, I salute you.
Forever the go-to for highlight inspiration, Sarah Jessica Parker demonstrates perfectly how the chunky highlight trend can blend seamlessly with other balayage techniques for a slightly more statement look.
Subtle this hairstyle is not, but that's not to say it's still not insanely cute. This is an example of chunky highlights being used to frame the face in its most extreme circumstance, and I'm loving it.
Everything about the contrast between the brunette and blonde tones in Maria's hair is so right.