"Poptarting" Is Going to Be Summer's Biggest Hair-Color Trend
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Between the resurgence of claw clips and lip gloss, we just can't let go of the '90s. Another example of that: the new "poptarting" hair color. No, it has nothing to do with the breakfast food you might have scarfed down before hopping on the bus for school, but it will fill you with nostalgia and take you back — just with an elevated, more grown-up twist.
Here, we're breaking down everything you need to know about the poptarting hair-color trend, including what it is, how to maintain the look at home, and photos you'll want to screenshot for your next salon appointment.
What Is "Poptarting" Hair Color?
By now, you're probably familiar with "chunky highlights" — the high-contrast hair-color trend seen on Jennifer Lopez and Dua Lipa — but you can think of "poptarting" as its cousin. It's similar but by no means the same.
"Poptarting is adding a pop of color or panel of any contrasting color to the rest of your hair," Shelley Gregory, colorist and L'Oréal Professionnel ambassador, tells POPSUGAR. Unlike chunky highlights, which are always placed vertically on the head to give a striped look, poptarting can include horizontal placement, a single strip of color, or layers of color for a "pop" or peek-a-boo effect.
Poptarting can be done with bold colors like red, purple, and pink, or you can use contrasting natural shades of brown, blond, and even black. The key is to "always make sure the color you choose is a stark contrast of what the panel or pop will be next to," Gregory says. "If you have medium-brown hair, a bright pastel or neon pink would pop really well with it." The possibilities are endless, and it's a great way to add a bold twist to your look for summer.
Gregory highly recommends you see a professional to get the "poptarting" treatment and to bring reference photos when you do. "How we see color and placement is all so subjective to your style."
How to Maintain Poptarting Hair Color
Post-salon visit, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind to ensure your color stays vibrant and fresh all summer long. "Always use hair care that will help keep the colors bright and not let them bleed onto each other when washing your hair at home," Gregory says. "I would recommend L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Mask ($45) because it helps your color last longer and it gently removes metal from the hair — metals cause breakage and dryness."
We also recommend using a color-depositing hair gloss, like the DpHue Gloss+ Semi-Permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner ($35), and a toning shampoo and conditioner to keep the color looking like you just stepped out of the salon.
Keep scrolling for "poptarting" hair-color inspiration to bring with you to the salon.