Chunky Highlights

The Return of Chunky Highlights: 2024's Biggest Hair Trend

Chunky highlights are back in a big way this year as one of 2024's hottest hair trends. Defined by thick, bold strands of lighter hair woven throughout the darker base, chunky highlights create dimension and movement for an edgy yet fun look. As influential figures like Bella Hadid and Doja Cat have embraced chunky highlights, the nostalgic '90s trend has taken 2024 by storm.

chunky highlights


Why are Chunky Highlights Having a Major Moment?

So why have chunky highlights blasted back onto the beauty scene in such a big way?

  • Y2K Nostalgia. Like low-rise jeans and butterfly clips, chunky highlights are back as part of the ongoing early 2000's revival. Styles tend to repeat themselves every 20 years or so, and chunky highlights are a prime example of this cyclical nature of fashion and beauty trends.
  • Customisation. In an age of personal expression, chunky highlights allow people to put their own creative stamp on their hair. Far from subtle, chunky highlights let you play with colour in an eye-catching way.
  • Artistic Flair. Chunky highlights have an artful, painterly effect thanks to the bold blocks of contrasting shades. It's no wonder creative trailblazers have embraced chunky highlights as a way to amplify their aesthetic.
  • Low Maintenance. While fine highlight strands require frequent touch-ups to prevent regrowth, chunky highlights can go longer between appointments thanks to the thicker strips of colour. The grow-out tends to appear more seamless.

No matter the reason behind the trend revival, there is no doubt chunky highlights are dominating mane moves this year.

Types of Chunky Highlights

Ready to rock a set of chunky highlights? From the size of the strips to the chosen colour, there are a variety of ways to personalise your chunky highlighted style.

Solid Strips

Chunky highlights

The extreme end of chunky highlights features two to three large sections of lightened hair at the front framing the face, cascading through the mid-lengths and ends in random, face-flattering pattern. By limiting chunking to a few maximum impact pieces, you get a blend of high contrast and low maintenance.

Tons of Chunks

Chunky highlights

For a more dramatic, funky effect, ask for abundant thin chunks of lightener woven throughout all layers of the hair. Unlike traditional chunking techniques that use a comb to separate, this uses slices of hair hand painted quickly in foils with very little precision. The result is an artfully chaotic colour combination.

Crazy Colours

Chunky highlights

Tired of the usual blonde and caramel chunky highlights? Spice up your look with vibrant chunking colours like blue, green, pink, or purple. Intense shades like Manic Panic work best on pre-lightened hair.

Root Stretch

Root stretch

Just as it sounds, root stretch techniques focus concentrated highlighting around new growth at the roots and top of the head for a seamless, low maintenance look. Stretching the highlight from the scalp softens root regrowth.

Achieving the Chunky Highlight Look

Curious to try chunky highlights for yourself? Here is everything you need to know for getting the look:


Before lightening up your locks, have an in-depth consultation with your colorist. Discuss the overall results you want to achieve and how much maintenance you are willing to invest going forward. Bring inspiration images to help convey the chunky highlight dimensions, placement, and shades you prefer. This will help set you up for colour success.

Colour and Placement

Typically chunky highlights use two to three shades lighter than your natural base. Platinum and buttery hues tend to work well for creating striking contrast against darker bases. In terms of placement, chunky highlights tend to be concentrated around the face for maximum impact, working back through the mid-lengths and ends in more sporadic and blended strips.

Application Techniques

To create the signature thick blocks of colour, foils are a must. Your colorist will carefully paint the lightener onto selected strands before sandwiching them into foils to process. Using a comb to evenly separate the strands during application helps achieve the desired chunky effect.


As the contrast between the highlights and base grows, the chunky effect starts diminishing. To maintain the look, plan for touch-ups every 8 to 12 weeks. Use a purple shampoo to keep blonde tones bright and ask your colorist about options like a root stretch technique to extend time between salon visits.

When done correctly, few colour techniques make a statement quite like chunky highlights. Bold yet beautiful, this versatile look works on everyone from celebrities to your average beauty junkie. Expect to see chunky highlights continue dominating mane moves all throughout 2024 and beyond.



To book, please call Gusto Hairdressing Salon Covent Garden Salon on 020 7836 9163, or Oxford Street Salon on 0207 486 5044. Book online for our Covent Garden Salon, or Oxford Street Salon.

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