There are plenty of beauty trends that we wish would have stayed in the past, and up until recently, chunky hair highlights held their rightful place on that lengthy list. But staying true to the trend of modernizing antiquated methods, money piece highlights are further proof that we should never be too quick to castaway seemingly fossil fads.
However, unlike the ash-blonde, blocky highlights that dominated the 2000s, money piece highlights take up far-less space, and create a far-less drastic contrast in hair hues. Marked by two notable colored sections in the front of the hair, with gentle highlights in surrounding areas, the look, as seen on celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyoncé to name a few, is here to give older methods like balayage some serious competition.
But there are quite a few things to consider before getting money pieces. These include finding a knowledgable colorist, determining how light is too light, and of course, discovering the appropriate styling needed to optimally frame your face. That's why, we tapped two money piece experts and celebrity stylists to break down each aspect of the color trend. Check out what they had to say.
Money Piece Highlights: What Are Money Pieces?
"The 'money piece' refers to a coloring technique in which the front hairline is lightened to frame the face and freshen your overall hair color," Andrew Fitzsimons, hairstylist to Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, tells TZR. He says that the look is a more refined take on color jobs of the past. "Think of it as a less dramatic version of Ginger Spice's face-framing blond. Rather than a dramatic shift in color, it's your color, lightened."
Money Piece Highlights: Face-Framing Benefits
"This brightens the entire look of your face," Christopher Kyle, a Baltimore-area hairstylist, says of the trend. "By elevating normal highlights or ombré techniques to the front of the hair, rather than all over, creates a more more sensual and refined style." And Fitzsimons agrees. "By focusing the lighter shade at just the front of the hairline, it creates an immediate frame for the face in a subtle yet head-turning way," he says. He also insists that it also lends benefits to hair health. "It's a great way to refresh your look and lighten up your color without damaging it overall," he says. "Due to the amount of hair being processed being far less than traditional highlights, the maintenance is a lot easier than lightening all of your hair. Anything that's easy to maintain in 2020 is going to be a winner, which makes money pieces even more of a must-have."
Money Piece Highlights: How They're Achieved
While the state of the times has brought out everyone's inner hairstylist, seeing a knowledgable colorist who understands dimension for this style is key. "There's a misconception with face framing that the front, underlined levels of money-pieces are processed higher, but really, all the hair is lifted evenly and then toned separately." In other words, the two most pronounced pieces don't undergo a completely different coloring process. Instead, the sections are simply toned to reach a lighter color, which keeps the money pieces and highlights throughout the rest of the hair somewhat cohesive. "This creates symmetry while keeping the front bold and pronounced."
Yet another reason to go to a professional is ensuring that the pieces are just the right size. "You don't want the money pieces to be too large or too small for your individual face shape," Fitzsimons says. He also adds that you don't want to create too sharp of a contrast in hair color. "You definitely don't want the color to end up being too dramatically different from your natural color," he includes. That said, while differences in color are clear, finding someone who knows how to strike a balance between separation and continuity is imperative. "No one wants ultra chunky blocks of color in the front. Everything needs to marry and be a seamless as possible," Kyle says.
Money Piece Highlights: Yes, You Can Have Money Pieces With Protective Styles
If you're not ready to color your own hair, good news: The style looks just as incredible on protective styles. And even better, you don't actually have to be a hair color specialist to make these styles work. Simply create three to five braids or twists on each side with a brighter color, and incorporate a few more strands around the rest of the head.