Call The Salon—These Nostalgic '90s Highlights Are Making A Comeback

First things first—I think we can all agree that box dye disasters and home haircuts with the kitchen scissors need to be firmly left in lockdown. After all, nothing beats a professional touch and that feeling when you get to see your hair in the mirror. Your hair colour is all glossy, your strands are perfectly styled, you can hear angels singing… Yes, it's safe to say that I was overjoyed to get back into the salon chair when they reopened in April—and I'm not alone.


(Image credit: GETTY)

Zendaya's money piece creates a hair contouring effect.

With our desire for a professional salon experience, it’s no wonder that colourists are predicting that one of the biggest hair trends we’ll see this year is money-piece hair, an easy way to completely transform your look without chopping all your hair off or going for a full-colour transformation that demands a lot of upkeep. In actual fact, it requires minimal time in the chair and results in maximum time swishing your locks and admiring your brand-new colour. 


(Image credit: @rosiehw)

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley with a face-framing money piece.

What is this money piece we talk of? Well, in essence, it's a bit of a '90s throwback look that has actually been on the radar for a while now (it proved popular in 2020 and 2021, when Beyoncé, Bella Hadid, and Dua Lipa all jumped on the trend) but experts predict that this is the year that it will take off again. In 2023, Sofia Richie Grainge, Zendaya and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are just some of the celebrities who have worn the colour trend already, and as many follow where they are lead when it comes to hair and beauty, it won't be long until you're spotting it everywhere.

Ahead, keep scrolling for everything you need to know on this look along with some expert advice on trying the money-piece hair trend and tips on how to care for it at home.

What is the money-piece hair trend?


(Image credit: @sofiarichiegrainge)

Sofia Richie Grainge with a subtle blonde money piece.

Think of the money piece as bolder babylights—those fine, subtle highlights that create a natural, sun-kissed look. "The money piece is a section of hair around the hairline that lifts your complexion, highlights your eyes, and makes your hair colour pop,” says Beckie Eaton, colourist at Room 97 Creative. "It’s striking but subtle and gives your hair a luxurious and expensive finish. It also gives your hair a sun-kissed feel—just what we need when we can’t go away on holiday!” Honestly, book us in. 

So what do you actually need to ask for when you’re back in the salon? "A money piece is also known as a 'face frame,'" explains Corey Taylor, colourist at Noco Hair. "During your consultation, discuss with your colourist that you would like some lighter pieces around your face. Picture references are always a good idea because there are such a variety of looks.” 

It’s true. When you look, there are so many variations of the money-piece hair colour. You can err on the side of subtlety and go for amped-up babylights or opt for a '90s-inspired streak of bold colour. "The look can be done using foils or a classic balayage painting technique and can be as bold or subtle as you desire. Whether you prefer the old-school stripe or want more of a sun-kissed glow, this technique can be adapted to suit everyone," says Taylor.

Does the money-piece colour trend work for curly hair?


(Image credit: @BEYONCE)

Beyoncé took to Instagram to show off her sun-kissed take on the money-piece hair trend.

If you have curly or textured hair, this trend will work perfectly to frame your face. "Placement is generally the same [on curly hair], as the lightness is concentrated from a pivot point at the parting to brighten around the face,” advises Taylor. "The placement will change depending on the hairstyle— how you wear your hair and the existing cut, for example. If you have a fringe or heavy shaping around the face, this would alter the placement of the colour.”

Any hair colour works with money pieces, too, but for a luxe look, the best colours are within the warmer-toned family. "The best base is on blondes with honey or caramel tones, while warm browns and chocolate hues look great on brunettes,” says Eaton. 

How do you look after the money-piece colour trend at home?


(Image credit: GETTY IMAGES)

Remember when Bella Hadid was spotted stepping out in a bold take on the money-piece trend?

At-home care couldn’t be simpler. You just need to make sure you have the right coloured shampoos to prevent brassiness and the best conditioners to rehydrate the pre-lightened hair. "Use a product range specifically designed to care for lightened hair—for blondes, the Blonde Absolu range from Kérastase. Using a pigmented shampoo or mask will help to neutralise unwanted yellow tones,” says Taylor.


(Image credit: @NNENNAECHEM)

When it comes to maintenance, the money-piece style you’ve opted for will really dictate how often you need your roots coloured. Taylor says, "A chunky panel to the root will need to be touched up every four to six weeks, whereas a softer balayage technique away from the root can be left for months, as there will be no harsh regrowth lines.” And if you can’t make it to the salon, Taylor recommends L'Oréal's Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer or Color Wow's Root Cover Up as quick fixes in between visits. 

Shop the best products to care for money-piece hair: