With hair streaks back in style, it’s only right that chunky highlights make a comeback, too. Sure, blended highlights have their place, but there’s something about a high-contrast look that we (and the beauty world) can’t get enough of. If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to go bold with your hair color, this trend may just be your match. Ahead, we share six options for chunky highlights—including chunky blonde highlights—to add some standout dimension to your mane.
What Are Chunky Highlights?
Before we dive into six chunky highlight ideas, let’s talk a bit about what chunky highlights are. This trend is all about taking larger sections of hair (think one-inch width) and highlighting them to create a high-contrast look. The goal is to create a piecey—or chunky—look, as opposed to traditional foil highlights that are applied in much smaller sections for a more blended appearance. Chunky highlights can either be applied all over or focused on your face-framing strands.
6 Chunky Highlight Ideas To Try
If you’re ready to give chunky highlights a try, we’ve pulled together six popular color options worth trying.
1. Chunky Blonde Highlights
Why we love them: One quick Google search and it’s clear that this may just be the most popular take on the trend. We particularly love chunky blonde highlights on a darker base, allowing them to stand out even more.
How to get the look: Have your colorist paint large highlights throughout your mane. Depending on your starting color, you may need more than one bleaching session to achieve the blonde color you’re after.
Editor’s tip: To keep your chunky blonde highlights brass-free, make sure to stock up on purple shampoo and conditioner, like our L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner.
2. Chunky Chocolate Brown Highlights
Why we love them: This hue is ideal for any brunettes who want to try the chunky highlight trend, but don’t want to steer too far outside of their comfort zone. You’ll still get that dramatic definition but with a more subtle contrast between shades.
How to get the look: Ask your colorist to lighten your highlighted strands to a rich, chocolate-brown hue.
3. Chunky Red Highlights
Why we love them: Red highlights are a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, not to mention they’re totally on-brand for fall and winter. The color is also flattering across the board when it comes to base colors—whether you’re working with blonde, brunette, or even black locks.
How to get the look: Book an appointment to bring this vibrant hue to life. If you want to test the waters before committing to a permanent mane change, use the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Red to DIY them.
4. Chunky Burgundy Highlights
Why we love them: A take on the red highlight trend, the burgundy shade takes things down a notch with rich reddish-purple coloring. We love chunky burgundy highlights against a dark base.
How to get the look: Have your colorist bring your burgundy hair color dreams to life.
5. Chunky Copper Highlights
Why we love them: Metallic shades will always be a favorite of ours, and chunky copper highlights are a wearable take on the trend.
How to get the look: Once again, you’ll want to turn to the pros for this one. Have them add shimmering copper throughout your hair.
6. Chunky Ash Brown Highlights
Why we love them: Those with a cool-toned base will find that chunky ash brown highlights are the perfect match. We also love them mixed throughout a neutral brown base to veer toward the cool side.
How to get the look: Your colorist will need to lighten thick sections of hair throughout your mane. Then, ask them to tone it to get that cool, ashy brown color.
Next up: As we said, chunky highlights can be placed throughout your mane or focused at the front of your hair. If you’re interested in the latter, here’s Your Guide to Face-Framing Highlights.