Just when you thought you’d seen all of the Y2K hair trends make their return, yet another makes it way on your social media feeds. Chunky highlights have already come back around (particularly in the form of money piece highlights), but an even more playful interpretation is currently trending: skunk stripe hair. Unlike the money piece trend, which involves face-framing pieces, skunk stripe hair has a bit more flexibility — and it’s a whole lot bolder.

“Skunk stripe hair is a panel of bleached hair wherever the wearer wants to make this creative statement,” Tina Outen, session stylist and celebrity colorist tells GLAM. “It can be hidden underneath, peeping through the back of the hair or face-framing.” The stripe of dyed hair is meant to mimic a skunk’s two-toned fur, but it doesn’t have to be limited to platinum or gray. Celebrities like Billie Eilish and SZA have put their own spin on the skunk stripe hair trend, experimenting with bolder colors like neon green.

Why is skunk stripe hair trending?

Like many trends from the 90s and early 2000s that have made a resurgence, skunk stripe hair is an excuse to play around with your look. “I think it’s so popular because it’s a fun way to experiment with the contradictory aspects of both dark and platinum hair,” says colorist Bianca Hillier. “If you tend to wear your hair up, it’s also a creative way to blend the two colors together with an updo or even braids.”

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“The 90’s are everything at the moment,” Outen adds. “The panel also allows the wearer a chance to experiment with the rainbow color obsession without having to commit to bleaching all of their hair.”

skunk stripe hair

What should you ask for at the salon if you want to try skunk stripe hair?

If you’ve decided to take the plunge into skunk stripe hair, the experts agree that communication is key in achieving the best result. “Ask your colorist and stylist to talk together,” Outen says. “You need both of their inputs on where the most flattering panel for your face shape and skin tone should be. Not everyone suits the brightly bleached blonde next to their skin tone or has the quality of hair around their hairline to take the strength of hair bleaching. You want this statement color to be fun and a joy to express confidently without the worry of suitability and hair damage.”

In addition to an honest conversation, Hillier adds that it’s always best to come to the salon with photos of what you have in mind. “Come prepared with photos of what you want to achieve as well as a verbal description to best ensure you and your colorist have the same vision in mind,” she says.

skunk stripe hair
Rae Ann Coto

What kind of upkeep is required for skunk stripe hair?

As with most hair color trends, some level of maintenance is required to keep your style looking its best. Rae Ann Coto, colorist at FEKKAI SoHo Salon says that the upkeep will vary depending on the type of look you’re going for. “If you like the rooty look, then you can either let it grow out or touch it up on the 8-10 week scale,” she tells GLAM. “If you want to keep the color fresh and to the root, touch ups will have to be done on a 4-6 week schedule. If you have a bold color like pink, you will have to reapply the color every few weeks to your ends as the color fades out.”

Hillier adds that an at-home treatment is helpful for keeping color-treated hair healthy and fresh. “Treat your hair regularly with the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector, which contains patented bond building technology to ensure the integrity of the chemically treated hair,” she says.

Skunk stripe hair inspiration:

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