When one color isn’t enough, it’s two-toned hairstyles to the rescue. Within that realm, “peekaboo” hair is an eye-catching dye job that’s been gaining popularity. The double-hued look is categorized by a pop of contrasting color applied to the bottom section of the hair. It’s a sneaky little surprise that you may have missed save for a hair flip or high ponytail. In another example of the Y2K-era renaissance, celebs like Dua Lipa and Miley Cyrus are just a couple who have rocked the peekaboo hair color trend. In true rock star fashion, Cyrus has been effortlessly sporting a shoulder-length octopus shag that’s blonde on top and jet black underneath.
Inspired, Bustle asked a handful of hairstylists for their tips for rocking peekaboo hair if you’re a blonde. Celebrity and editorial hairstylist Britt White says the style, on blonde hair especially, is a low-maintenance, more affordable way to add a fun pop of color. Perhaps the best perk? “No one will see that it’s grown out for probably six months,” she tells Bustle. If you’re sold on the ease and want to throw it back to the late ’90s and early 2000s, scroll on for four ways to get in on the peekaboo hair trend.
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Try Out A Temporary Color First
Celebrity hairstylist and beauty influencer Justine Marjan says if you really want to take things slow, consider trying out the look with a temporary color first before you commit to the real thing. “There are several temporary color sprays and hair chalks that will give the effect without sacrificing the integrity of your hair,” she explains. Another non-permanent alternative? According to celeb hairstylist Jess Elbaum, you could experiment by using tape-in hair extensions. “[They] come in just about any color of the rainbow,” she says. “Those last a month to six weeks and are totally damage-free and easy to take in and out.” Her pro tip: “This look can be fun if you do a half-up, half-down look showing off the pop of color underneath.”
Go Bold For More Contrast
Whether you go with a temporary color or permanent dye, Elbaum notes that peekaboo looks are easier to achieve on blonde hair because there’s no need to bleach out darker shades to get that vibrant effect. Because of this, she says you have more of an opportunity to play around with rainbow hues. “In blondes, I love to see a fun color that stands out like a rose pink or teal green,” Elbaum says.
While blonde hair offers plenty of versatility, White notes that because blonde hair tends to be a mashup of many different colors due to highlights and lowlights, some softer shades may not pop as much (think pastels). More vibrant colors will offer more contrast, and they’ll last longer, “variating as it fades into different shades of whatever color you choose,” White explains.
Consider The Placement
So that it’s truly a glimpse of color, Nikki Lee, Garnier consulting celebrity colorist, says, “It’s better to have a solid veil of your natural hair over the peekaboo so that it doesn’t shine through too much or all blend together.” Lee says the placement is what makes a peekaboo blonde look special. Also worth noting? Atlanta-based hairstylist Keka Heron adds that the length matters when it comes to peekaboo color, too. “If your hair is long, it looks great in the back to show when you do a cute pony or topknot. For a bob, I prefer on the side, on a diagonal angle,” Heron says.
To that note, celeb hairstylist Kylee Heath suggests making sure your colorist makes clean sections that complement the shape of your haircut. “This will help to show it off and make sure it doesn’t look like an accident or color mishap,” Heath says.
Explore Styling Options
One of the great things about the highlighting trend, according to celebrity hairstylist Kat Thompson, is that you’ve got plenty of fun styling options. You can keep it discreet by wearing your hair down or really spotlight the color by parting your hair where the color starts — “think half-up styles,” she says. “It also looks great in braids or twists so you can see the multiple colors pop out.” Heath favors straight or smooth styling with peekaboo color, but “a little bend on the ends can be nice, too.” And soft waves that catch the wind are another great way to subtly reveal your otherwise hidden color — you know, for a true “peekaboo” moment.