Hair color trends come and go with every passing season, but the desire for low-maintenance hair is seasonless. One effortless hair color trend that has been in and out of the scene since the ‘90s is the dark brown money piece highlight technique, in which a colorist adds an accent of color to the hair that directly frames the face. “The money piece trend is a way to accentuate the face and frame the perimeter with a pop of color,” shares Robert Siebert, VP of Educations for Aloxxi.
If you’re in need of a seasonal update but shy away from all-over color salon visits, money piece highlights are the perfect solution. That’s likely why it’s been embraced by hairdressers, celebrities, and TikTok, as the hair color trend offers a fresh look without the fuss of any all over color makeover. The 2022 version works on every hair hue, from warm blondes to moody brunettes and blacks, and although the look is best known for utilizing blonde highlights, present day iterations have redefined the trend to include as many colors as the heart desires. You can either opt for ultra-fine silvery highlights, go bold with neon colors, or have a classic streak of chunky blonde — it’s completely customizable.
And as for the upkeep, it’s entirely up to you whether you want to maintain the highlight with gloss treatments every eight weeks, or let it naturally transition into the rest of your hair as it grows out. But no matter what color you go for, or hairstyle you wear, you are guaranteed to stand out with the face-framing money piece trend.
Ahead, TZR spoke to several celebrity colorists to share their favorite iterations of the look, as well as the best products to maintain the color.
Rusk Hair’s global artistic director Laura Gibson recommends considering your skin’s undertones and natural hair tones before deciding on what sunset-inspired money piece to sport. “You want to pick shades that will flatter and complement your skin tone, not compete with it.” And Rubyna Kim, StyleSeat hairstylist and colorist agrees. “For those with darker hair, orange- and brunette-toned shades are popular as they complement well with darker base shades,” the expert tells TZR.
Hailey Bieber recently showed off her subtle version of the money piece look that features the faintest hint of gold. This minimalist look can work on any hair type and texture, but keep in mind that “may have to change how thick the highlight is depending on the density of your hair and how dramatic you want the money piece to be,” Gibson says. “Someone with curly texture may need to have a thicker money piece so it shows up more, but for someone with fine or straight hair, you may not want to go as thick — unless you want to have a more dramatic money piece.”
If you are leaning into a bolder look but not quite ready for neons, silver highlights might be the perfect happy medium. The best part about this color is that it can be applied to all textures of hair. “For straight and wavy hair, a face frame combination of weaves and slices is the way to go,” says Siebert. “For highly textured hair, a combination of slices and chunky highlights work best.”
Green With Envy
For 2022, Matt Swinney, global creative director of Rusk Hair, is seeing greens, blues, fuchsias and other fashion-toned money pieces showing up regularly. For these bolder colors, he recommends going for a touch every 5-15 weeks and utilizing a good color care shampoo and conditioner like RUSK PUREMIX Fresh Pomegranate Color Protecting Shampoo and RUSK PUREMIX Fresh Pomegranate Color Protecting Conditioner weekly.
For a subtle beach glow vibe, Min Kim, L’Oréal Professionnel global ambassador and colorist, recommends the honey money piece. The highlight shade is also great for people not ready for a full commitment, since, depending on how subtle you get it with the thickness and additional highlights, it can nicely blend in with your natural hair color. In terms of maintenance, Lorena M. Valdes, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, highly recommends a good heat protectant if you want to blow dry, flatiron, or curl your hair. “The hairline tends to be one of the most overworked sections in the hair so with [lighter] colors, you don’t want to over dry or damage your hair,” Valdes tells TZR.
Min Kim describes the mushroom brown money piece as a cooler version of a neutral that can range from a beige blonde to a dark ‘ShoomBrown’. “This is typically the color you will see on celebrities who trade in an allover highlight for a money piece pop,” the expert shares. And because she believes healthy hair is the foundation of all things color, the stylist recommends the L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Mask to prevent breakage when coloring the hair and to maintain the integrity of the color post salon visit.
The classic lived-in blonde highlight is the color that started the money piece trend, and it looks great on a range of hair colors and textures. Robert recommends racking Aloxxi INSTABOOST Color Conditioning Masque through the hair in the shower and leaving it on for five minutes before rinsing out to maintain the bright, brilliant blonde color. “This masque will provide a high degree of moisture, conditioning, and strengthening while infusing the hair with color,” he tells TZR.
Reddish Golden Brown
“Typically money pieces tend to be one to two shades lighter than your base color, adding a point of interest around the face,” shares Swinney. If your hair is a deep brunette, a golden shade of reddish brown will compliment the tone and look more natural. For maintenance of the brown money piece, the expert recommends a leave-in conditioner like Fig Replenishing Leave-In Conditioner, to help maintain the integrity of the dyed hair. “Money piece sections usually take a beating between coloring and heat styling, so they can always benefit from a bit of extra conditioning.”