What is Hair Frosting? Hairstylist Linh Phan Breaks Down the New Highlighting Technique


Salon pros, get ready to frost yourselves and your clients because there is a new highlighting technique taking the hair world by storm — and it’s totally set to replace the ever popular balayage.

Introducing hair frosting.

Not to be confused with the cringe-inducing frosted tips of the early aughts, frosted hair is a  fresher, more softer spin on sun-kissed hair that consists of lightened strands carefully sprinkled throughout darker hair in a manner that’s reminiscent of how frost settles on treetops, hence the name. “Hair frosting is delicately highlighted hair effortlessly painted in foils away from the scalp,” says Linh Phan, a hairstylist and Schwarzkopf Professional USA Digital Artists. “It gives a very natural and minimalistic look.”

So how does one achieve “frosted” locks? “To apply this [frosting] technique, you would weave individual strands of hair into foils, then add some thin teasy lights to the face frame and ends of hair,” Phan explains. He also adds that hair frosting can be applied to “any and every hair texture”(including curly and coily hair!) so, truly everyone can get in on the frosted look.

While the buzzy highlighting technique certainly has its similarities to traditional highlights and balayage, according to Phan, hair frosting is a much more subtle approach—one that’s “almost intended to go unseen and be mistaken for the person’s natural color,” he says. Maybe that’s why so many stars like Outer Banks’ Madison Bailey, Sofia Richie, Hailey Bieber, and Halle Berry can’t seem to get enough of this super-natural look lately. 

And, as it turns out, frosted hair is extremely low maintenance. In order to maintain the color, a touch up would most likely be required once every four months, says Phan. So, if you have clients who are interested in getting their hair frosted, here’s what they should ask for at their next salon appointment, according to Phan: “If someone wanted to try hair frosting, they should ask their hairstylist for thin, off the scalp highlights that are very subtle and blended.” 

Would you get your hair frosted? Let us know in the comments below!

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Camille Nzengung

Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor at The Tease, where she covers all things hair. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches.


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