This Questionable '90s Hair Color Is One Of Summer's Biggest Beauty Trends

Celebrities like Bella Hadid are bringing the money piece highlights back.

How to Do Chunky Highlights in 2021
Photo: Getty Images, bellahadid/Instagram, beyonce/Instagram

As Gen Z continues to discover beauty trends from decades past on TikTok, another vintage hair color is making a comeback.

Money piece hair is an updated version of chunky highlights, a controversial, polarizing hair color trend that was popular in the '90s. If looking back at Middle school and High school photos has made you swear off this style of highlights for good, celebrities like Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, and Bella Hadid might just convince you to revisit the look.

Mark DeBolt, celebrity colorist and co-founder of Mark Ryan Salon in Manhattan says money piece highlights are all about the '90s, which he exclaims, are back. "The money piece is all about having more dramatic color," the colorist says, referencing Gwen Stefani's No Doubt days. "It's exciting to add a dramatic movement of color to the sections framing your face. I think TikTok also played a big role in youth culture influences for this trend."

"I think we will continue to see it, especially in the summer, it adds so much impact without having to lighten your whole head," Rachel Bodt, Matrix brand ambassador and colorist adds.

How to Achieve Money Piece Hair

While the look is typically achieved with a bleach blonde chunky, face-framing highlight for a bold, contrasted look (like Beyoncé), it's not the only way to lean into the money piece highlight trend.

"The great thing about a money piece is you can go super blonde or if you are a brunette and want to try it you can keep it more honey or soft brown in tone, it's really about the placement," Bodt says.

How to Care for Money Piece Hair

The caveat is like classic chunky highlights, money piece highlights are high maintenance to maintain. The good news is if you go a little too long between touchups with your colorist, your grown-out roots can give your look a grungy vibe — another iconic '90s trend.

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"Keeping this look very touched up would be high maintenance, but in reality, it served a nod to grunge culture and really looks cool with a dark root coming in," says DeBolt. "It's important to use products designed to care for color-treated hair. The front sections are more fragile, so using thermal protectant products is a must."

Bodt seconds that. She recommends avoiding hot tools on the area, when possible, or lowering the heat setting to prevent damage. The colorist also suggests incorporating bond-repairing products in your haircare routine to keep colored hair healthy and shiny.

"Anytime you lighten your hair you want to make sure your at-home haircare products have protein, moisture, and include some kind of bonding treatment. This will ensure strong healthy hair," Bodt says. "I recommend Matrix Total Results Unbreak My Blonde as it has citric acid which helps repair broken bonds."

Ahead, see how celebrities and influencers are leaning into the money piece highlights trend.

01 of 09


Chunky Highlights

Of course, Bey was ahead of this nostalgic hair trend. She added two chunky caramel highlights to her ash brown base back in the summer of 2019.

02 of 09

Bella Hadid

Chunky Highlights

Blonde highlights aren't the only option. Take Bella Hadid's fiery red streaks, for example. "For a redhead or deep brunette, perhaps it coral, copper, or rose gold," DeBolt says of the color alternatives for brunettes.

03 of 09


Lizzo fully leaned into the '90s references when she added her caramel money piece highlights to her hair. She paired her curls and swirly baby hairs with a Baby Phat jersey.

04 of 09

Dua Lipa

Chunky Highlights

Along with embracing lived-in, grown-out roots, Dua Lipa shows off the contrast between her platinum money piece highlights and black base by pulling her hair up into a high bun.

05 of 09


Chunky Highlights

The singer flipped her curls to the other side, giving her money piece highlights an entirely different look.

06 of 09

Irene Kim

Chunky Highlights

If you want to try a rainbow hair color without dyeing your entire head, a money piece highlight is just as much of a statement. Here, influencer and fashion designer Irene Kim added teal streaks to her jet black bob.

07 of 09

Brittany Xavier

Chunky Highlights

Expect to see the combination of a lob, beachy waves, and money piece highlights like influencer Brittany Xavier's look all over your feeds this summer.

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Sofia Richie

Yup, money piece hair can be subtle too. Sofia Richie added face-framing highlights a few shades lighter than her dark blonde base.

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Jennifer Hudson

The combination of a blunt A-line bob and chunky caramel highlights on Jennifer Hudson screams '90s – and looks ridiculously chic.

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