The Money Piece: The Trick That Makes Hair Color Look Instantly More Expensive

side by side of two women with long hair and a money piece highlight

A few years back, my hair color maintenance routine consisted of bleaching my entire mane every four weeks. These days, however, I take a more low-maintenance approach to hair color. I’ve always relied on balayage to keep my blonde bright while limiting my trips to the salon. However, thanks to Instagram, I discovered a highlighting technique that adds instant brightness and requires even less upkeep: money piece hair. 


If you want your color to look like a million bucks while keeping your maintenance routine to a minimum, it’s time to try the money piece technique. We tapped Ryan Pearl, Redken brand ambassador and celebrity stylist, to tell us exactly how to get the perfect money piece.

Good hair day by @cassderosa.

What is a money piece for hair?

Money piece highlights are a modernized version of the face-framing highlights that were everywhere in the ‘90s. To create money piece hair, your colorist will apply hand-painted highlights to the strands framing your face starting at the root. This adds a pop of color and brightness to your mane while accentuating your hair color, complexion, and facial features. 

To achieve this look, your colorist will paint highlights onto the strands framing your face using a shade that’s lighter than your allover color. Your money piece highlights can be any color you desire, so you can opt for a blended, natural look or something with a bit more contrast. For those looking for an extra bit of panache, ask your stylist for a thicker money piece. Pearl adjusts the foil placement depending on what the client is looking for.

“Usually, for an extra pop, I will do three foils back to back to get a heavy money piece and less than that if I’m going for a softer look,” Pearl says.

While the money piece is popular for salon blondes, this technique can work to add brightness to any hair color. 

Why is it called money piece hair?

The money piece got its name because the technique is known to make your hair look more expensive. 

Good hair day by @laurenelise.studios.

How do you section your hair for a money piece?

To achieve a money piece, your hair can be sectioned in a few different ways. You can create a deep side part and ask your colorist to paint your money piece highlights on the heavier side of your part. If you prefer a middle part, your colorist can create money piece highlights on each side of your face frame. 



How do you maintain money piece hair?

While the money piece is low-maintenance, you’ll still need to upgrade your hair care routine to keep your salon color looking its best. First, swap your shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated for color-treated hair. We recommend Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner. This lightweight, sulfate-free system treats color-treated hair from the root to the core to the tip. 

For salon blondes, keep your color brass-free with a purple shampoo and conditioner system like Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo and Conditioner. If you’re lightening your naturally brown hair to achieve a money piece, opt for a blue toning system like Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo and Conditioner

On the days when you have a little more time, add the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask to your routineCGiaZArpjdUask does double duty as a hair treatment and care extender specifically designed for color-treated hair. 

Good hair day by @alihooper_bixiecolour.

Who should try the money piece?

Even though it may seem like the money piece is a technique reserved for the photogenic influencers of Instagram, it’s actually very attainable for everyone. Your colorist can customize this look to cater to your preferences while still ensuring you reap the brightening benefits of this technique. Whether that means you want a money piece that helps you stand out from the crowd or a thinner, more subtle highlight, anything is possible. Simply consult with your stylist beforehand to ensure you get the results you’ve been looking for.

If you need money piece inspiration before you head to the salon, keep scrolling for seven of the most stunning ways to try the trend. 

The Best Money Piece Ideas To Try Now

Good hair day by @shear_envytupelo.

Platinum

If you’re obsessed with ‘90s hair, you’ll love these chunky platinum money piece highlights paired with a light brown base. 

Good hair day by @coloredbycaitlin.

Money Piece With Balayage

We love the way this ash blonde money piece effortlessly blends with balayage. 

Good hair day by @michael_young_hairstylist.

Copper With Blonde Money Piece

Add an extra bit of brightness to your copper hair color with a warm blonde money piece. 

Good hair day by @malloryje.

Sunkissed

If you want to warm up your complexion instantly, ask your colorist for sunkissed blonde money piece highlights. Pro tip: Opt for a more rooted look to fake the appearance of actual sunkissed hair. 

Good hair day by @diana.bernal.blondes.

Dark Brown With Caramel Money Piece

Give your dark brown hair (and your skin tone) a subtle glow with a caramel money piece. 

Good hair day by @artistrybyabby_.

High-Contrast Money Piece

If you want a money piece look that makes a statement, go for high-contrast. Ask your colorist to paint bright blonde money piece highlights onto a dark brown or black base color. 

Good hair day by @mirandak_kolors.

Colorful Money Piece

When it comes to money piece highlights, there’s no rule that says you need to stick to neutral shades. You can choose two fantasy hair colors to create your money piece look. We’re obsessed with this magenta hair color paired with bright yellow money piece highlights. 

Interested in trying a money piece? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you. 

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