Springtime seems to be finally setting in, which means that seasonal hair trends are ramping up. It’s customary to want to go lighter during the spring and summer months, and the latest highlighting craze is perfect for that sunny, beachy look. Hair frosting, a buzzy new take on balayage, has been making the rounds on Instagram and is slowly becoming one of the most sought-after hair color trends for spring.

Stars like Hailey Bieber and Sofia Richie have opted for the look, which offers a more natural-looking effect than traditional highlights. “Frosting is simply the softest, most subtle highlighting technique, often done with surface hair painting,” Shvonne Perkins, lead educator at Madison Reed, tells GLAM. An adaptation of existing highlighting techniques, Perkins says stylists will select smaller sections of the hair — sometimes just a few strands at a time — to achieve the “frosted” look.

“Pieces are alternated between being painted on the mid-strands and some going all the way up to the root,” she explains. It should look like the sun just picking up on select bits of hair with dimension.”

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What should you ask for at the salon?

Because the term “frosting” may elicit images of the overly bleached ends that were popular in the late 90s and early oughts (i.e. frosted tips), Perkins recommends bringing in a photo of what you’re looking for to be sure that there’s no confusion. “Frosting is a term that we are re-purposing now with this modern twist,” Perkins says. “Look for very soft, barely-there highlighting effects.”

She also adds that these types of highlights can work for both brunettes and blondes. “[Hair frosting] is totally appropriate for both brunettes getting caramel highlights and blondes with lighter brighter pieces,” Perkins says.

What kind of maintenance is required for hair frosting?

If low-key hair looks are your thing, you’re in luck. “The great thing about this approach is that upkeep is minimal,” she says. “What clients will want to focus on is keeping up the tone.”

For at-home toning, Perkins recommends the Madison Reed Color Therapy Mask, which will help keep your color balanced and fresh. “And with any lightening service, I always recommend adding strength back into the hair with the Madison Reed Bond Building Cleansing Treatment,” she says.

Hair frosting inspiration:

Need photos to bring to the salon? Have a scroll through these gorgeous inspiration pics and feel free to bookmark to your heart’s desire.

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