Popsugar January 3, 2022



Flannel — For Your Hair? Yep, This Cozy Hair Color Technique Is Currently Trending


  • "Winter flannel" highlights is the hair-color trend taking 2022 by storm.
  • This highlighting technique adds both color and dimension to the hair.
  • The style is an update to a technique we already know and love, the traditional balayage.

Flannel has long been a winter staple and go-to to layering piece in wardrobes for years, but what if we told you that you could wear flannels outside of the quintessential button-up? According to experts, "winter flannel" highlights will be one of the hair-color trends you can expect to see everywhere in the new year — and it's not nearly as out there as it sounds. In fact, it's a cool new twist on the traditional balayage technique.

"This look creates ribbons of color while still maintaining dimension," Lorena Martinez, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, previously told POPSUGAR. "These chunky highlights and money pieces frame the perimeter around the face and look great styled with a round brush for movement."

While the technique itself is impressive, one of the best parts about this color is its versatility — it can work on different styles, as well as textures, of hair: "[It] works well with curtain bangs or face-framing layers, and traditional layered haircuts that complement the bold contrast," Martinez said. Anyone with kinky or coily hair can take a page out of Beyoncé, Ciara, or Elaine Welteroth's books for inspiration as to what the color can look like, whereas people with straight or wavy hair can look to Jennifer Aniston or Jessica Alba.

Interested in the trend but confused on what to ask for at the salon? We've got you: "Create this [look] with a traditional balayage where it really showcases each piece rather than the overly saturated 'balayage' that we commonly see," Martinez said. "Ask your colorist for ribbons that pop and to leave a lot of background color to ensure the color stands out."

If you want to bid adieu to one-dimensional hair color while still playing it safe with a trend that is almost guaranteed to work, flannel highlights might be just what you're looking for. Click ahead for some inspiration to take with you to your next salon visit.

Auburn Winter Flannel Highlights

Flannel highlights aren't just for one hair color or type. This depiction of the trend features bold auburn money pieces that add dimension while also playing up the natural hair color.

Ash Blond Winter Flannel Highlights

The ash blond color is the star of this transformation. Not only does this look have the traditional balayage and money pieces that are essential to flannel highlights, but the color also play with tone. Some of the highlighted pieces are lighter than others.

Subtle Blond Winter Flannel Highlights

Curly hair can take part in this trend too — just take Ciara for example. Note how the money pieces at the front of the hair are the lightest color of blond and seamlessly blend with the rest throughout the hair; perfect if you want a more understated take on the trend.

Honey Blond Winter Flannel Highlights

Want to make your natural brown hair color pop? Try a honey hue with your highlights, which is close to the dark shade but still adds contrast.

Golden Brown Flannel Highlights

The flannel highlights here are dispersed evenly throughout the hair — a key trait in the traditional balayage technique — and some of the more dramatics pieces are at the top of the head (and will directly frame the face).

Blond Winter Flannel Highlights

These blond highlights follow the same rule of thumb. The naturally dark hair color is elevated by the ribbons of color throughout the entirety of the head and the lightest pieces directly framing the face.