I Tried "Root Beer Float" Hair & My Highlights Have Never Looked Better

Ad failed to load

There are so many ridiculous beauty trends out there inspired by the most random things, from squiggle makeup to La Croix locks. It's hard to keep track. But for every out-there trend, there's always one gem, and for me, 2018 is all about root beer float hair. Now, before you roll your eyes at me for assuming I just doused my locks in sugary-sweet soda, let me explain what the trend really is.

Root beer float hair is a color technique inspired by the sweet soda-shop dessert and it was dreamed up by celebrity colorist and dpHUE Creative Director Justin Anderson. You may have already heard of the root beer hair and cream soda trends, but root beer float hair is what you'd get if you put the two together. When you mix the warm, caramel colors from root beer and the soft blonde hues from cream soda, you get a gorgeous blend of highlights that make for the perfect brunette balayage. (Balayage is a highlighting technique where colorists paint the hair to create a natural ombre effect.)

While I already had some blonde (albeit super grown-out) streaks in my hair, Anderson convinced me to freshen up my locks with the brighter and warmer-hued highlights. I have gone blonde before, and it did not end well, so I was a bit skeptical to go any lighter than what I already had. But if anyone was going to make me blonder, there's no one who can do the job better than Justin Anderson, the unofficial king of blondes. Anderson is responsible for some of the most enviable blondes in the biz, including Miley Cyrus, Kristin Cavallari, and Erin Andrews. My hair was literally in good hands.

Ad failed to load
Before my 'Root Beer Float' hair transformation

Another thing I was worried about? Going too red. But Anderson assured me, a little caramel isn't a bad thing. "Every girl is always afraid of red, because no one wants red, brassy hair, but the thing that a lot of brunettes should realize is that a little hint or undertone of red is always nice because it looks good on [most brunette's] skin tones," he explains to me. "You would never want to be too ashy. It's kind of like that in-between, but you still want warm, caramel, honey tones with a bit of the brighter poppy blondes."

While it might have a crazy name, the root beer hair trend (which has been seen on the likes of Selena Gomez and Olivia Munn) is actually a super natural look for brunettes. "Even if [you] spent a lot of time in the sun and it lightened naturally on its own, there would still be some of those warm highlights," says Anderson. "You always want to think about a little kid's hair and how it reacts to the sun — you still want to keep some of that warmth in there. Nothing too ashy, nothing too pale. There will be a few pieces that will frame your face that are a little bit lighter, but overall, we want to have those warm, golden tones."

Ad failed to load

Needles to say, I was sold.

To begin the color transformation, Anderson and his assistant Aleksey Bishop lightened my hair using a mixture of bleach and Olaplex, a product that is often used during color or bleaching treatments to help rebuild broken hair bonds. After spending about 20 minutes painting the lightener formula all over my hair, my head was pretty much covered in foil. After heating the foils up with a blow dryer and letting the bleach really soak into my hair, it was time to rinse. This was where the color magic came in.

Ad failed to load

Anderson applied a mixture of red and blonde glosses onto my newly bleached strands to achieve that warm and buttery root beer float hair hue.

Ad failed to load

It was strikingly red — almost like ketchup — but when it was massaged into my hair and then rinsed out, the result was warm, golden blonde highlights.

I was absolutely obsessed.

Ad failed to load

Even though it was much blonder than I was used to, it still looked natural and totally reminded me of that sweet and yummy ice cream dessert

Ad failed to load

To maintain my root beer float hair, Anderson advises that I use an at-home gloss, like dpHUE's Color Boosting + Deep Conditioning Treatment in Golden Blonde, to keep my highlights rich and warm, as well as an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse between shampooing my hair to strengthen my locks, while also keeping my color strong.

dpHUE Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment, $30, ULTA

Ad failed to load

If you want to try out the root beer float hair trend, Anderson suggests telling your colorist you want to keep your balayage nice, warm, and glossy with pops of blonde going through.

It's also suggested you treat yourself to an actual root beer float afterwards to celebrate your delicious new 'do.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Here Are The Exact Steps To Take If You Want To Travel All The Time & Work Remotely

When I first decided I wanted to become a digital nomad — someone who travels non-stop while working remotely — I was terrified and unsure if I would actually go through with it. I worried my work would suffer from all the travel and time zone change…
By Suzannah Weiss

Here’s Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In April

As the virtual shelf life for non-original Netflix programs grows shorter and shorter, fans of the streaming service are bidding woeful goodbyes to their favorite titles left and right. So, for those who need some time to prepare, here's everything l…
By Angelica Florio

11 Ways To Stay Positive When Dating Feels Like The Worst, According To Matchmakers

With every first date that leads to nowhere or every non-relationship that ends up being a waste of your time, finding love can seem far from possible. It can also be pretty rough on your self-esteem if you continually put a lot of effort into dating…
By Kristine Fellizar

7 Ways To Celebrate Your 30th Birthday That Are Feminist AF

Turning 30 is a pretty major milestone; it's one of those birthdays where large parties, floods of presents and many bouquets from besotted admirers seem to be in order. And as a woman and a feminist, I'm here to offer some additional 30th birthday i…
By JR Thorpe

Is Amazon's Alexa Making Our Relationships Weird?

Earlier this year, I started dating a guy who was in a very codependent relationship with Alexa. Alexa helped this guy (I'll call him "Paul") decide where to eat dinner and reminded him to work out. Alexa handled his to-do lists, restocked his toile…
By Sophie Saint Thomas

You Can Get Too Faced Mascara & Tarte Lipstick For HALF OFF At Ulta This Month

It's finally here! Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale runs from now through Saturday, April 7 and is the retailer's epic "event" of the year. The promotion features "Beauty Steals," which means 50 percent off specific products for a single day. It also in…
By Amy Sciarretto

7 Things My 20s Taught Me About Toxic Relationships

I'll be turning 30 in less than a week, and while I'm trying to get all the habits of my twenties out of the way ASAP, I'm also reflecting on the what I learned over the past decade. And top of the list is the lessons I learned about toxic relationsh…
By JR Thorpe

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

Finger Piercings Are Trending & The Internet Is Very Divided About Them

A new "accessories" trend is asserting itself on Instagram and it's subversive, non-traditional, and so darn precious. It also looks a tad painful but the end result is worth it. Dermal diamond finger piercings are a thing and they may make actual ri…
By Amy Sciarretto

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck