Why choose just one bold hair color when you could have two? That’s exactly what skunk stripe hair is all about. This daring hair color trend has its roots in the ‘00s, but it feels equal parts throwback, modern, fresh, and punky. Skunk-dyed hair is definitely a cool girl look that’s here to stay through 2023, with way more than a few prominent celebrities rocking the ‘do. Here’s everything you need to know about the trend, including how to pull it off yourself.
What is skunk stripe hair?
One look at a skunk—yes, as in the cute black and white animal—and you’ll see how skunk stripe hair got its name. If you’re a purist, skunk stripe hair is a mixture of jet black and platinum blonde (just like a skunk!), but there are so many avenues to take this hair color trend. Think lime green and black, purple and blue, gray and black, or orange and brown.
Where do you put skunk stripe hair?
The trend color blocks two contrasting colors together, sometimes as stripes on either side of the face, sometimes as a clearly divided half and half, and sometimes as a top and underneath layer.
Want to try out skunk hair yourself? Start by scheduling an appointment with a colorist. Make sure to bring in a few inspirational photographs and explain your vision. For even better results, allow your stylist to offer some input. They’ll have insight into what colors to choose, where to place the stripes of color, and even how to cut your new hair to elevate the look.
Is skunk hair high maintenance?
As is the case anytime you color your strands, skunk-dyed hair requires some upkeep. It’s best to schedule a touch-up appointment about once every six to 10 weeks to refresh your color at the roots, tone, and brighten.
You’ll also want to add some nourishing products to your regimen to keep your hair looking healthy between appointments. Start with a shampoo and conditioner duo formulated specifically for color-treated hair, such as L'Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Color Shampoo and Conditioner. Used together, this duo helps newly-dyed hair look and feel softer, shinier, and more vibrant.
For an extra treat, you can also use Matrix Keep Me Vivid Color Velvetizer Protectant Leave-In after shampooing and conditioning. This non-sticky balm protects your hair against damage caused by UV rays and heat to keep your color looking vibrant.
How do you get skunk stripes out of your hair?
Schedule an appointment at the salon once you’re ready to transition from skunk-dye hair to a new look. This is the best way to go from A to B without worrying about potentially damaging your strands or looking too funky.
Your colorist will create a customized game plan, which may involve dyeing your light hair dark again (or vice versa), stripping the color, or going in with more color to create a more subtle contrast. Ultimately, how you transition depends on the new look you want to achieve.
25 Skunk Stripe Hair Colors to Try Now
Here’s some skunk hair inspiration for your next appointment!
Gray and Black
We’re all about embracing our grays, so we want to work with them, not against them. A silvery skunk stripe is a genius (and chic) way to blend grays around the hairline and temples.
Brunette and Blonde
Here’s proof you don’t need jet-black hair to pull off the skunk dye hair trend. A medium to dark brunette paired with platinum blonde creates that striking contrast, too.
Color Block Black and White
Experiment with different placements of your stripes to make the trend your own.
Turquoise and Dusty Blonde
Keep the mermaid vibes going year-round with these diagonal turquoise chunks.
Black and Lavender
This color combination puts an ever-so-slight twist on the classic skunk hair. Instead of a pale blonde or platinum, it places thick silvery lavender stripes throughout.
Chunky Skunky Highlights
Feeling nostalgic? These highly contrasted streaks are reminiscent of the chunky highlights we saw in the 2000s.
Pink and Brunette
We’re always thinking pink! The warmth of pink on either side in front is super flattering on many skin tones.
Pink and Cool Blonde
For a subtle take on skunk stripe hair color, consider this look, which combines an ashy cool blonde on top with a bubblegum pink layer underneath.
Cropped Brunette and Gold
Here’s proof you don’t need a long mane to rock skunk stripe hair. Color is one of the easiest elements to play around with if you don’t have much length.
Silver and Green
Keep one side a silvery gray and the other a rich and inky green. You’ll definitely turn heads wherever you go with this style.
Half Black and Half White
Try a split personality skunk hair look by dyeing half your hair platinum blonde or silver while making the other side dark.
Black and White Over & Under
This twist on the half-and-half look puts dark hair on top while painting the underlayers a platinum blonde. Also known as peekaboo hair color, it makes for a fun surprise when you wear your hair up.
Caramel and Mocha
Feed your sweet tooth with a caramel stripe on mocha hair. While it’s less dramatic than other skunk-inspired looks, it helps add brightness around the face if you have dark brunette hair.
Copper and Golden Blonde
Copper has been in the spotlight for a few years, and it’s not going away anytime soon. If you have naturally red hair (consider yourself a unicorn!), a golden blonde skunk stripe lets you try a new look without dyeing your whole head.
Dark Copper and Gold
Copper and Blonde Peekaboo Color
Yep, we’re still riding that copper train. Like black and white peekaboo, copper and blonde are another iteration of this trendy hidden color placement.
Rainbow and Black
It’s hard to be unhappy when you have rainbow colors in your hair. Rainbow pairs well with any base color, but we adore how it pops against black.
Pastel Rainbow and Gray
Who said gray can’t be fun? A more muted take on the above, a pastel rainbow is just what you need to take gray to the next level.
Pink and Gray
A modern gray complements a pink hue perfectly. If you don’t want too much gray around your face, ask your colorist to add some on the lower layers of your hair instead.
Red and Balayage
Transform a classic balayage into something a bit more edgy. A red skunk stripe adds a surprising it-factor to the otherwise everyday look.
Yellow and Black
A full-blown yellow hue paired with jet black is ideal for embracing warmth. You could do the classic money piece or try a half-and-half look.
Peach and Burgundy
Dark and Light Blue
Speaking of fashion colors, shades of blue are especially stunning on those with cool undertones.
Inverse Dark and Light
If you prefer a lighter look, consider making your stripes a dark color—like black or brunette—while the rest of your hair is a light shade like platinum.
Blue and Black
Keep things feeling electric with blue stripes on either side. If you wanted, you could start with platinum and then dye them blue when you’re ready for a change.
Header photos: @lorendoeshair