"Ripple" Highlights Are Made For Summer

  • One of summer 2022's biggest hair-color trends is going to be "ripple" highlights.
  • The style is low-maintenance, making it perfect for extending the time between salon trips.
  • Get inspiration for the new blond hair color and learn what to ask for at the salon.

Warmer weather is upon us, meaning it's time to start booking your summer hair appointment to get your cut and color ready for the new season. Whether you're a minimalist with your hairstyle or like to go big and try out one of the latest hair-color trends each year, there's something for everyone — including those looking to transition their "expensive blond" color to a more summer-friendly look with "ripple" highlights.

It's pretty standard to want to go lighter in the summer with your hair color, but most people also don't want their schedule to be ruled by touch-up appointments at the salon. "Therefore, a 'lived in blond' is always a staple in summer hair-color requests at the start of the season," says Tom Smith, celebrity hairstylist and international color creative director for Evo Hair. However, the "expensive blond" trend that ruled in the winter and spring is going to require a bit of updating to make it more low maintenance for beach season. "The key is you want to be sure the outgrowth of the color is soft and flattering and not harsh."

That's where the new "ripple" highlights hair-color trend comes in: the look combines traditional highlights, which are "woven in fine strands that melt through the hair," with balayage, which includes slightly heavier color at the ends of the hair, for a whole new look. "Ripple highlights is a fusion of the two — larger slices of color but painted precisely in foil right up to the root," says Smith. "This is followed by a shadow root toner that blurs the part nearest the scalp to keep a modern, blended result and a soft root as your hair grows."

Not only are "ripple" highlights, as seen on stars like Hilary Duff and Blake Lively, super flattering, but they also grow out nicely, requiring fewer trips back to the hair salon. When you see your hairstylist, Smith says to ask for "sliced highlights that blend all the way through your hair" and for "shadow root toner" to be applied just before the highlights start. This "has them grow out softly by blurring the part nearest to the scalp," he says.

Get inspiration for the "ripple" highlights hair-color trend ahead.