15 Looks That Prove Chunky Highlights Are the Coolest Hair Trend of 2020

When it comes to switching up my hairstyle, I can get a little shy. In fact, I've had the same hairstyle (long, bleached, centre-parted) for nearly 10 years. And what's really quite funny is that despite the fact my hair has looked the same that whole time, the techniques I find myself asking the hairstylist for have varied drastically over the years. First I was asking for ombré, then balayage and now it tends to be something along the lines of "babylights but kind of balayage and don't forget the root stretch, please?" Yep, navigating the world of hair colour can be quite the minefield. And frankly, I'm a little fed up of the same old, same old.

Luckily, there's a new hair colour trend on the block and it's set to spice things up a little. That's right—it's the '90s chunky highlight. But before you start experiencing flashbacks of zebra-like orange stripes courtesy of your favourite box dye, fear not. This time around, the chunky highlight has had a bit of a makeover. Combining the original concept with other techniques such as balayage, babylights or face-framing, the humble chunky highlight is back—and I'm kind of loving it.

Whether you fancy keeping things chic and warm-toned or lightening everything up with some icy streaks (if so, I highly recommend Redken Blondage Express Anti-Brass Mask, £25, for keeping yellow tones at bay), there’s a style of chunky highlight for you. Keep scrolling for some serious chunky highlight inspiration…

Alexis Foreman
Chunky Highlights: Alexis Foreman

Photo:

@ALEXISFOREMAN

Subtle but still very effective, Alexis's slightly thicker sections of caramel colour blend perfectly with warmer brown tones to create the ultimate winter 'do. 

Janka Polliani
Chunky Highlights: Janka Polliani

Photo:

@POLLIANI

Janka's thick chunks of caramel blonde give off serious cool-girl, beauty vibes.

Kim Kardashian
Chunky Highlights: Kim Kardashian

Photo:

@ANDREWFITZSIMONS

Kim's chunky highlights might look subtle, but those light streaks teamed with a choker is the stuff that '90s dreams are made of. 

Symphony Soto
Chunky Highlights: Symphoni Soto

Photo:

@SYMPHANISOTO

Tonal streaks through thick, curly hair can create the illusion of even more volume and texture. I am loving this.

Lotte Williams
Chunky Highlights: Lotte Williams

Photo:

@ASOS_LOTTE

Lotte's face-framing chunky highlights (otherwise known as 'rogue blonde') are seriously on-trend right. And seriously cool, too. 

Celeste van Joost
Chunky Highlights: Celeste van Joost

Photo:

@CELMATIQUE

Everything about Celeste's look is goals. The popping pink eye, the butter-soft skin and, of course, the light streaks through her hair. 

Jennifer Lopez
Chunky Highlights: Jennifer Lopez

Photo:

@CHRISAPPLETON1

Caramel tones in a sleek, straight bob? J.Lo, I salute you.

SABINA SOCOL
Chunky Highlights: Sabina Socol

Photo:

@SABINASOCOL

Chunky highlights, but make then French-girl chic, right? Sabina's stretched roots and chunky streaks of bright blonde are at the top of my inspo board right now. 

Chic Ama
Chunky Highlights: Chic Ama

Photo:

@CHICAMASTYLE

Chichi's contrasting blonde streaks take the blunt bob to whole new heights. 

Adenorah
Chunky Highlights: Adenorah

Photo:

@ANNELAUREMAIS

At first glance, Adenorah's blonde lengths might not look obviously highlighted. However, her face-framing icy blonde streaks totally fresh up her balayage. I'm taking notes.

Beyoncé
Chunky Highlights: Beyoncé

Photo:

@BEYONCE

Loose beach waves combined with chunky highlights around the face? Beyoncé, you have outdone yourself.

Anna Winck
Chunky Highlights: Anna Winck

Photo:

@ANNAWINCK

A contrasting streak of blonde through brunette hair? I'm all in if it looks this good.

Brittany Xavier
Chunky Highlights: Brittany Xavier

Photo:

@JUSTINEMARJAN

Turns out I'm not just taking notes from Brittany on how to master TikTok, I'm totally here for her contrasting highlights, too. 

Maria Macfarlane
Chunky Highlights: Maria Macfarlane

Photo:

@MARIAMACFARLANEE

Everything about the contrast between the brunette and blonde tones in Maria's hair is so right.

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