Hindsight Fashion: Frosted Highlights

12 Jan

Throughout the decades, teenagers have attempted to prove their coolness by wearing questionable accessories, hairstyles and items of clothing. Hindsight Fashion is a section about those trends that, in Hindsight, we probably wish we hadn’t worn.

In surveying the previous Hindsight Fashions to which this section has paid tribute, the Hindsight Letters Team noticed that there have been very few trends mentioned which are applicable to our male readership. This week, we decided to change that fact.

This week’s Hindsight Fashion is Frosted Highlights.

Frosted Highlights gained popularity in men’s hair styling during the late 1990’s. The term refers to the process of lightening only the tips of a man’s hair and leaving the roots the original shade.

The true intention of the two-toned nature of the style is unknown. My personal belief is this: In general, men do not wish to look like they have put too much effort into their appearance. It’s a delicate balance. They must look clean and stylish, but, take it too far and they risk looking self-involved. Perhaps neglecting to dye one’s roots is an attempt to send the message “I care, but not too much”. An attempt to bridge that gap.

The unfortunate part about using Frosted Highlights to make that statement is that most women have also highlighted their hair at some point in time. We know how much time and energy goes into this process. Mixing colour. Applying colour. Foil placement. Applying heat. Rinsing. Shampooing. Repeating. Etc. Not exactly a low-maintenance process.

Nonetheless, the Frosted Highlights trend exploded and was worn by men of all ages and walks of life. Bands from Blink 182 to N’Sync to NOFX all embraced the trend. My brother had Frosted Highlights. My highschool boyfriend had Frosted Highlights. Some of my teachers had Frosted Highlights.  But at some point, the style began to fade away. Men grew out their hair and cut out the highlights. Spiky hairstyles were brushed aside for more natural looks, whether longer or shorter.

I personally look forward to the day when this trend returns to the forefront of the hair styling world so that I can convince my husband to partake. It may not make him look low-maintenance, stylish or masculine. But the thought of him sitting beneath the blow dryer, hair all in foils, reading his US Magazine, fills my heart with joy. And for that, I am forever grateful.


If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!


5 Responses to “Hindsight Fashion: Frosted Highlights”

  1. Anna Walker January 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I really liked this trend…and N’SYNC, as well. But 98 Degrees was way better.

  2. patridew January 16, 2011 at 2:52 am #

    Those frosted highlights had a surprisingly long ride. I also have some strange memories of this trend as early as Rod Stewart, way back when. Hope to read of some more male trends in THL.


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