It’s natural to hear the words “frosted” and “hair” in the same sentence and suddenly find yourself inundated with flashbacks. Bad ’90s highlights and Sun-In accidents are often associated with the term “hair frosting,” but not in 2022. This updated version of the late ’90s trend offers a more sophisticated, soft take on the look, and is a great way to add a pop of lightness to your winter color.
Hair Frosting, Explained
The updated take on hair frosting is not what you remember from the ’90s and early aughts. Rather than lightening the ends of shorter lengths (a.k.a. “frosted tips”), frosted hair refers to intentionally placed highlights of a contrasting, complementary color.
The “frosting” acts as a way to draw light to specific areas of the hair, enhancing your “glow factor.” This means that you will usually see much of the lightness around the face, or in areas where you would like to enhance volume. These subtle, varying highlights will give off a natural glow while adding interest to darker winter hues.
How to Get Frosted Hair
The frosted hair trend, at its core, is still a form of highlighting. When working with expertly placed highlights, we always recommend visiting your stylist or local color specialist. Working with foils does require training and practice, and because the goal of this trend is to appear more natural, a seasoned hand will give you the best results.
Additionally, the hue of your highlights is incredibly important. You want to go with something that not only complements your skin tone but also complements your existing color. If you go too light, you can create a stripey “skunk” effect, whereas too dark will be barely noticeable.
Things to Consider Before Trying Hair Frosting
If you’re feeling frosty, there are a few things to keep in mind before taking the plunge. Like any blonding service, hair frosting will cost time and money. The amount will all depend on the current state of your mane and what you are going for. Those with darker hair looking to go super light will likely find themselves in the chair for longer, whereas those with lighter locks may be in and out.
It is also important to consider your level of commitment. If you would prefer to extend the time between touch-up appointments, ask your stylist to start the frosted areas further from your roots to allow for natural grow out. Less is more when you want something low-maintenance.
Hair Frosting Ideas
Now that you’re ready to hit the salon, here are some of our favorite takes on the trend for inspiration!
This beachy, deep blonde really stands out with the frosted money pieces around the face and baby lights scattered throughout.
This super icy version of hair frosting is perfect for those who prefer cooler tones and those who are going gray. The icy frosted strands around the face will help blend grays as they grow out.
Red Velvet Frosting
The hair frosting trend also looks great on warmer, auburn tones. This version incorporates a lot more traditional highlighting, but the super light, frosty strands are what will catch everyone’s eye.
Ashy and Bronde
Super ashy tones go hand in hand with the hair frosting technique. Keeping the lightness around the face, and sparingly throughout, brings a lot of brightness to your look without committing to a lot of coverage.
One of the best parts about the hair frosting trend is that it’s designed to look good against darker hues. Here is a perfect example that shows how chocolaty brownie hair really pops with the addition of frosted strands.
Like the frosted brownie look before, the key here is frosted strands. This bright blonde utilizes expertly placed frosted babylights throughout the hair and adds a shadow root to aid in outgrowth.
Blended and Subtle
Many examples of hair frosting rely on bolder chunks of color, but blended is an option too. If you prefer a more subtle frosted take, ask your stylist to incorporate more babylights throughout the crown of your head versus traditional foils.
Looking for some more winter hair color trend ideas? HERE are 13 hair colors guaranteed to warm you up this season!