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What Is Money Piece Hair? All About the Highlight Trend Celebs Love

Photo by Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty Images

Beauty trends from the ‘90s and early 2000s are officially back with a vengeance—including some of those you thought we’d skip this time around. The latest surprising hair trend to crop back up in our Instagram feeds? The “money piece,” a.k.a. distinct, chunky highlights located right at the front hairline. But this time around, the look is going one of two ways: bold, two-tone styles you can’t miss, or more subtle Balayage highlights. No matter which style you’re after, we called on colorist Guy Tang to share more about money piece hair and how to get a look that works for you. Plus, we’re sharing celeb photos to inspire your “money” look—read on.

About the Expert:

Guy Tang is a colorist and #mydentity brand founder.

What is the money piece hair trend?

Simply put, it’s a highlight—but it has to be located in a specific spot to earn the distinction. “The money piece is a face-framing highlight created by highlighting the front-most pieces of the hair a lighter shade,” explains Tang. “This creates brightness and dimension around the face.” In other words, money piece highlights aren’t meant to look natural, but they can serve a purpose in addition to just making a trendy statement.

A colorist’s tips for a flattering money piece

This hair trend can be done on blonde hair, dark hair, and everything in between. “A money piece can be created on any hair type and hair color,” says Tang. Here are his tips to get it just right:

  • Choose your shade. “Since it is closest to the face, you want to make sure the tone of the money piece complements the skin tone,” explains Tang. You can work with your hairstylist to decide what shade is best for your skin tone. “I like to use the pages in my #mydentity swatch book and hold up different shades by the face to see what will complement best. This helps to visually see what tone will look best against the face,” says Tang.
  • Decide on the width. Like haircuts, every face shape looks different with different highlights. Plus, the wider the highlight, the bolder the final look. “You can adjust it to have it be thick or thin, depending on how much brightness the client wants.”
  • Blend it out. “The key to making the money piece look modern is to blend it well towards the root and ensure the tone of the money piece goes with the rest of the hair color,” recommends Tang. This way, your roots won’t look too drastic as they grow out (unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for).

Money-Piece Inspo to Bring to the Salon:

1. Honey Highlights

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

Beyoncé’s face-framing blonde money piece is a quintessential example of how to use the painted-on Balayage technique for this hair trend.

2. Retro Red

There’s no denying Bella Hadid's bright red streaks are straight out of the ‘90s. But with her layered hairstyle, the pieces are shorter—and therefore less dramatic—and keep the look fresh for 2021.

3. Sunkissed Strands

A lesson to learn from this more low-maintenance look: If you’re not sure you can get back to your colorist for upkeep, make like Kylie Jenner and go for pieces that are just a few shades lighter than the rest of your hair color.

4. Bold Orange

Orange may not be for everyone, but for those who love a bright hair streak, Rina Sawayama’s take combines the two trends flawlessly.

5. Babylights

If you just want to dip your toe into the trend, bring a photo of Into the Heights’ star Melissa Barrera’s pretty—and relatively subtle—hair color with you to the salon.

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About the author
Lindy Segal
Lindy is a contributor at IPSY, a beauty and lifestyle writer, and Real Housewives aficionado. She was an editor at People and Glamour, and her freelance work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Who What Wear, and Cosmopolitan, among other publications.
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Article Last Updated August 6, 2021 12:00 AM