Chunky Highlights 2021 with Sherry Ratay

This 90s hairstyle is making a comeback, and for a good reason.

If the term “chunky highlights” conjures some rather nightmarish memories of the late nineties when it seemed that striped hair was all the rage… you’re not alone. The term itself doesn’t exactly sound incredibly appealing. But there’s a reason chunky highlights are making a triumphant return in 2021, and it’s all about the technique.

How To Do Chunky Highlights

While the contrast between colors 20 years ago was stark, today’s chunky highlights feature lighter contrasts. While you still want the new color to stand out, go for a shade just a step or two up from the original color.

Then, you can add a few pieces here and there that are three or four steps up. This will create a pleasant and noticeable contrast without leaving your client’s hair full of stripes. This technique works incredibly well with chunky blonde highlights when you want to work up to a significantly lighter color.

Avoid Starting at the Roots

This is how chunky highlights end up looking like stripes. Instead, try starting with your first foil beginning at the scalp, then the next foil starts 1-2 inches further down the strand, then 3-4 inches down the strand of hair, and so on.  Depending on how chunky you want the hair to look is how many foils you will be putting in at that ONE section.  The more foils back-to-back (no hair in between,) the chunkier it will be. This will create a nice contrast and transition throughout the hair without looking unnatural.

Face Frame Chunky Highlights

Face frame chunky highlights can also be combined with an asymmetrical look. Instead of creating a solid line on either side of the face, 2021 chunky highlights frame the face with a bit more softness. Try out this technique: Create contrast with two or three foils instead of just one. The first will start at the root at the front. The following two will begin a bit lower down. This offers contrast without a harsh transition.

Training by Sherry Ratay

Need more reference training or interested in taking a course? World-renown celebrity colorist Sherry Ratay’s training courses teach you everything you need to know, step by step. Enroll today to take your skills to the next level!