The 90s Called: Frosted Tips Are Making a Comeback

Get ready for the return of frosted tips and big blowouts.

It’s all about a dose of the 90s on the hairstyle front, says Ben Barkworth, owner and creative director of JUSTB Salon, a pristine haircare spot in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. Barkworth knows a thing or two about hair. Recognized as one of the top colourists in North America, Barkworth is the winner of Contessa 2022 for Canada’s Top Men’s Hairstylists.

“Think: Leonardo DiCaprio, Backstreet Boys, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas,” says Barkworth of this return to the 90s (we can picture covers of Tiger Beat and Big Bopper magazines now). “Hairstyles involve more of a hard part, gelled front, and frosted tips are making a comeback big time. It will be more on the runway but will hit the mainstream,” he continues.

For those in the dark (AKA too young to remember), frosted tips was a massive hair trend for the guys in the 90s that involves highlighting only the ends of your hair. Often, copious amounts of gel was applied to the hair, which was then spiked up so that those tips could shine in all of their frosted glory. Today’s frosted tips, however, can take a more natural route and involve a variety of hairstyles and lengths.

We are, however, moving out of the long hair trend for men in general, says Barkworth. “Long hair kind of came and went really quick,” says Barkworth. “I think you’ll see – not long hair – but maybe a little bit of growth, especially with curly hair. But I don’t think we’re going to see long hair; I haven’t really seen it.” (Oh, and – in case you didn’t get the memo – the man bun is totally out, says Barkworth).

The general trend hairstyle-wise, however, is this return to the beloved 90s. “We do forecast based on previous generations; and, for a while there, we were focusing on the 80s, but now it’s about the 90s,” says Barkworth. “We’re definitely seeing the undercut, but we’re moving away from the mullet – which was more 80s.” Love it or hate it, the modern mullet returned for a hot second as of late, but it seems it will disappear with the summer air.

For the ladies, we can expect to see more 90s-style, voluminous blowouts with a lot of body and bounce, says Barkworth. Think: iconic bombshells like Cindy Crawford and Julia Roberts in the 90s. “This summer, we also saw a lot of lived-in blondes,” says Barkworth. “Generally, the trend has been a lived-in look with lots of dimension.”

We’re also going to see a lot more red-hot looks this fall on the ladies. “Coppers and reds are going to make a big splash again for females,” says Barkworth. “Strawberry blondes are going to be big. So are dimensional brunettes for fall – brown on brown.”

In terms of facial hair, we can expect it to stick around. “The mustache isn’t going anywhere,” says the celebrity stylist. While beards and stubble are now widely embraced – even on Bay Street – Barkworth says we’ll see more clean-shaven men. The full beard – in some cases, the bigger, the better – had its moment in the spotlight, but more men are now returning to a cleaner look, with bare faces or a light stubble.

If you’re looking to shake up your look for the season, JUSTB Salon is the spot to go for expert cuts and highlights – especially if you have no time to waste. Barkworth has invented his own proprietary line of highlight foils called FASTFOILS. Designed to decrease the amount of time spent at the salon – but reduce damage – FASTFOILS are an all-black colouring foil that holds heat more effectively than regular foils, reducing processing time by 25 per cent. The game-changing product earned him the title of Inventor of the Year at the Daytime Hollywood Beauty Awards.

Whether you opt for frosted tips (do it!) or a new copper look, you can expect to be in expert hands at JUSTB.

Erin Nicole Davis

Erin Nicole Davis

Erin Nicole Davis is a Toronto-based writer and actor. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies (at least, in pre-COVID-19 times). Follow Erin: @erinnicoledavis