hair frosting

Move Over Balayage, Hair Frosting is the Taking Over in 2022

Hair frosting is the highlighting technique that's quickly taking over other types of lightening methods.

We’re going to take a good guess that one of the first thoughts to come to mind when you heard hair frosting was the iconic frosted tips from the ’90s. That’s not a bad guess, but luckily this highlighting technique is a bit different.

Hair frosting is a highlighting technique where individual strands are lightened to a cool-toned blonde, which creates a frosted look. Lately, a wide variety of hair colors and coloring techniques have been gaining a lot of popularity lately. This makes sense seeing that many people use their hair color as a way to express themselves. In a recent survey conducted by All Things Hair, we found that 63% of participants use their hair color as a way to represent their personality and 37% of people do not. As people change and switch up their style or aesthetic, it’s no surprise that their hair color changes to represent this.

hair color self expression graph
A majority of people use their hair color as a form of self-expression.

Ready to try a hair color that allows you to express yourself too? Keep scrolling to learn more about this trend and find out how to ask your stylist for it.

Hair Frosting 101

Whether you’re not sure how to ask your stylist for hair frosting or you’re eager to learn more about the trend, we’ve got you covered!

What is Hair Frosting?

girl with hair frosting
Hair frosting highlights. Photo Credit: @mystiquehairstudio

The process is a highlighting technique started by London-based hairstylist, Stuart Marsh. This technique is done by bleaching individual strands of hair with a cool-toned blonde hue. This creates a contrasted salt and peppered look throughout your hair, which can easily be blended within your base color. The goal of the look is to resemble how frost settles on top of trees, which is where it earns the name. The lightening technique is all about achieving a soft, blended look that still has a touch on contrast.

Hair Color Inspiration Infographic
Most people find hair color inspiration from family and friends.

As new coloring techniques, like hair frosting, become trendy, we can’t help but think where most people are getting their hair color inspiration from. In a survey conducted by All Things Hair, we discovered that 20% of people gained inspiration from their friends and family and 18% of participants looked to their hairdressers and professionals for inspiration. However, coming in at a close third place was celebrities with 17% of the participants saying this is their top source for hair color inspiration.

We can’t blame them, changing your hair color can be a major decision, so we’re not surprised a majority of people turn to those they’re close with and trust for a decision like this.

Hair Frosting Vs. Traditional Highlights and Balayage

girl with blonde hair frosting
Brighten your hair with hair frosting.

Frosting differs from traditional foil highlights since the traditional method is done by lightning the hair about two shades lighter than the base color. This also leaves your hair with an overall chunkier look. However, hair frosting is always done with a cool-toned blonde color.

You may also be wondering, “How is hair frosting different from balayage?” While balayage can include blonde shades too, this is done by hand painting the highlights throughout the hair, giving strands an all-over blended, sun-kissed look. Plus, with balayage, you can opt for darker shades, like copper or lighter brunette hues.

How to Ask for This Highlighting Technique

girl with frosted hair
Hair frosting on dark blonde hair.

It can be a bit daunting to explain what exactly you want to be done to your hair, so it’s always helpful to bring reference photos. When asking your colorist for hair frosting, explain how you would like highlights done on individual strands that are muted, cool-toned blonde to contrast your hair color. Let your colorist know you want to achieve a muted, blended look as opposed to traditional chunky foil highlights.

How to Maintain Frosted Hair

Using the correct type of shampoo and conditioner is crucial when it comes to preserving your color. For an everyday wash, use a shampoo and conditioner set that’s formulated for colored hair. We love Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo and Conditioner because it keeps your strands vibrant for up to 40 washes.

However, about once every other week, it’s a good idea to use purple shampoo to help avoid your highlights from turning brassy. SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner is a great option because it uses purple rice water combined with wild orchids and sweet violet extract to help strengthen your hair and restore shine.

Are you excited about the hair frosting trend? Share your looks with us on Instagram @AllThingsHairUS

Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.


All Things Hair on Instagram