This season’s hottest hair trends — the bixie cut, the butterfly haircut and skunk stripe hair color — prove that the ‘90s hair trends are renewed and thriving. To best describe skunk stripe hair color, picture a heightened take on a money piece or halo highlights. Unlike those subtle variations of face-framing highlights, skunk stripe hair color rivals chunky highlights, making it uniquely bold and hard to ignore.
This color-blocking ‘do has made the rounds on social media, even being spotted on your favorite celebrities and influencers. Maybe it has something to do with the elements of nostalgia it instantly adds to your look or the way it allows you to play with hair color without having to dye your whole head. Regardless, skunk stripe hair is trending so if you find yourself wanting to don the look, take notes as we share how to get skunk stripe hair at home and how to care for it.
What is Skunk Stripe Hair?
The name speaks for itself — skunk stripe hair resembles a skunk’s two-tone tail, often sported as a thick, white streak of hair around the face or other part of the head to highlight your features. While a black and white color story is the most obvious take, skunk stripe hair can be donned in shades of platinum blonde, green, pink, blue, red and other colors
You may have also seen skunk stripe hair referred to as two-tone hair, as the trend features two contrasting colors with an element of color-blocking. Ultimately, this nostalgic ‘do is all about creating bold contrast and standing out so when it comes to limitations, well, they don’t exist.
What's the Difference Between Skunk Stripe Hair and a Money Piece?
The biggest difference between skunk stripe hair and a money piece is how chunky the highlighted piece of hair is. A money piece is thin ribbons of color that frame the face — it’s a bit subtle and usually a few shades lighter than your all-over hair color for a subdued pop.
A skunk stripe is a chunky highlight that starts at the roots and is carried through the length of your hair. It’s done with a bright shade of color like platinum blonde to create a stark contrast with the rest of your hair.
How to Get Skunk Stripe Hair
Skunk stripe hair can be achieved at home in as little as an hour with proper guidance and the right at-home hair dye tools Check out our step-by-step guide to achieving skunk stripe hair at home.
1. Stock Up on Bleach
If you have dark hair, you’re definitely going to need bleach to achieve a skunk stripe, no matter the color you’re doing it in. If you have light or bleached hair and you’re looking to rock a skunk stripe in a hue like pink, blue or purple, you may be able to skip the bleach in favor of semi-permanent hair color.
Head to the drugstore and grab the L’Oréal Paris Féria Hyper Platinum Advanced Lightening System Bleach in Extra Bleach Blonding. Follow the instructions included in the packaging before you begin.
2. Divide Your Hair Into Sections
This step is easily the most important part because you want your skunk stripe to be precise. To section your hair evenly, use a wide tooth comb to part your hair where you normally wear it. Skunk stripe hair is typically flaunted with a deep side part but it looks equally as gorgeous with a middle part.
After you part your hair, section off a one-inch piece at the hairline, on each side of your part. After examining the one-inch section, add more hair if you desire, we recommend adding hair in half-inch increments. The goal is to create even, precise sections of hair on each side of your part.
Skunk stripe hair is meant to be chunky and a bit more obvious than a money piece so keep that in mind. Once your hair is sectioned off, use a claw clip to keep the rest of your hair up and out of the way.
3. Apply the Bleach and Rinse
Apply the bleach to the sectioned-off strands at your hairline, according to the instructions on the box. Once you’ve applied your bleach, set a timer on your phone and rinse when finished.
4. Apply Toner or Hair Color
After you’ve rinsed out the bleach, it’s time to tone your hair or apply hair color if you’re opting for a vibrant skunk stripe. If your hair is light or already bleached, this is where you begin the process for your skunk stripe after sectioning off your hair.
For a blonde skunk stripe, tone your hair to remove the brassy tones with the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Cool Blonde or Silver White. This in-shower glossing treatment targets brassy, lackluster color in as little as 15 minutes while deep conditioning strands and enhancing shine.
If you’re eyeing a colorful skunk stripe, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color which comes in several head-turning shades like Burgundy, Metallic Blue, and Purple. This semi-permanent dye lasts four to ten washes, making it perfect for a momentary pop of color.
Editor’s tip: For a short-lived skunk stripe, try the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray. This one-day color allows you to get your ‘90s hair fix in as little as five minutes without any commitment. Hold the can four to six inches away from your hair and spray an even layer of color, allowing your hair to dry for a few minutes before touching up any strands you missed.
How to Care for Skunk Stripe Hair
The way you care for skunk stripe hair isn’t all that different than caring for any other color-treated hair. Check out our top tips to caring for your new chunky highlights.
1. Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
Your new hair care routine should include a system for color-treated hair like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care Bond Strengthening Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner. This shampoo and conditioner duo works to strengthen color-treated hair inside and out by reinforcing weak hair bonds. The bonus: It works for all hair types so you can use it on your skunk stripe and the rest of your hair.
2. Maintain Your Skunk Stripe With Purple Shampoo
If you’re sporting a blonde skunk stripe, curb unwanted brassy tones with a purple shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo. If you have brown or black hair, feel free to use the purple shampoo all-over. It will only tone the bleached parts of your hair and it won’t have much of an effect on your darker strands.
Follow up with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Conditioner. Use this purple shampoo and conditioning duo once a week to keep your skunk stripe ashy and vibrant.
3. Always Use Heat Protectant
Hot tools like your curling iron, flat iron or blow dryer are damaging to all hair types, especially hair that’s bleach-damaged and color-treated. If you’re going to use hot tools, always prime with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant or the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In. Offering heat protection up to 450F, they’ll smooth the hair and banish frizz to perfect your style while they protect your strands.
Another good tip is to use your blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron on the lowest temperature setting and only pass through each section of hair once if you can.
4. Incorporate a Hair Mask Into Your Weekly Routine
Whether you have natural hair, curly hair or straight hair, bleach can be very drying and damaging to your strands. Once a week, switch out your conditioner for a deep conditioning mask like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask. This mask restores smoothness, nourishes hair and provides intense hydration for all hair types, especially those with bleached and color-treated hair.
Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo Credit: IG@/bridanbro, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier
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