Wait, What Is the Scandinavian Hairline and Why Does Everyone on TikTok Want It?

scandinavian hairline trend a photo of sofia richie
Instagram: @sofiagrainge

Although the ‘Expensive Brunette’ hair trend will always have a special place in my heart, I’m starting to see the appeal of brighter colors, thanks to an influx of lighter hues coming up on my TikTok feed lately. Whether it’s variations of light brown highlights or creamy platinum shades, it seems blondes are having another moment in the sun this summer. Most recently, a hair coloring technique called the ‘Scandinavian Hairline’ is making a comeback and I think it’s going to be the highlight of the summer. I spoke to celebrity hairstylist Jenna Perry, who shared everything you need to know before jumping on the latest trend—plus, all the salon secrets to maintaining your new look at home. 

Meet the Expert

Jenna Perry is a celebrity hairstylist and owner of Jenna Perry Hair Studio in New York. She has a decade of experience in coloring, styling and cutting hair. Perry is behind some of the trendiest looks on clients like Emily Ratajkowski, Maude Apatow, Karlie Kloss and Bella Hadid.

What Is the Scandinavian Hairline?

The Scandinavian Hairline is a coloring technique that brightens up just the baby hairs around your face (aka along the hairline) to give you a natural, sunkissed look. Also referred to as ‘Scandi Hair,’ it makes your hair appear lighter without having to bleach your entire head. Drawing heavy inspiration from the Nordic region, Scandinavians are often seen with naturally bright blonde roots due to their frequent exposure to the sun, especially during the warmer months. Although it’s going viral right now, Perry notes this technique has been around for years. “I’ve been doing this for my blonde clients for years now, especially in the summer. I like this technique because it adds a youthfulness to their hair and brightens things up around the face,” says Perry. 

What’s the Difference Between Money Piece Highlights and a Scandinavian Hairline?

The bleaching techniques might be a bit similar (i.e., just brightening up a few sections of hair around the face), but the results are starkly different. As Perry explains, “A money piece is a more solid streak of blonde, whereas the Scandi hairline offers a softer silver color around the face to enhance a sun kissed glow.” Moreover, a money piece highlight is usually a larger section or chunk of hair that’s lightened from root to tip, so it really stands out against the rest of your natural hair color. Meanwhile, the Scandinavian Hairline focuses on lightening the finer strands along the hairline and blends in more seamlessly with your hair. To summarize, money piece highlights offer a more stark contrast, whereas Scandinavian Hairline highlights are subtler. 

How to Achieve the Scandinavian Hairline

Look, you could bleach your hair at home. But this technique should ideally be done by a professional hairstylist. This is because you’re dealing with the most fragile baby hairs, which are more prone to breakage. When asking for the Scandinavian Hairline, tell your stylist you’re interested in soft face-framing highlights or babylights near the hairline. Also, come prepared with multiple images of the look, so that you and your stylist are on the same page. 

The technique is usually done at the shampoo bowl, where the stylist will start sectioning off parts of the hairline. Next, the bleach is either foiled or painted on. For Perry, she prefers painting the hairline and baby hairs directly using a stroke of the brush. She believes this method offers a more natural look and a cleaner application overall. However, it’s entirely up to your stylist and/or the salon’s practices. Whether they paint or apply foil to the area, the lightener is left on for about five minutes or less before getting rinsed out.

Who Should Try the Scandinavian Hairline Trend?

If you’re a natural blonde, the Scandinavian hairline trend is a surefire way to take your hair to the next level. It can add brightness to your locks and because the highlights frame the face, it enhances your features and brings out a natural glow without having to step foot in Denmark, Norway or Sweden (though I wouldn’t mind booking a trip to see where the inspo came from). 

However, the trend isn’t just limited to our blonde friends. The technique can be modified for all hair colors. If you’re a brunette, consider adding caramel or blonde highlights on brown hair for more dimension (though Perry suggests applying color along the roots using a light shading method, so it blends in nicely). Meanwhile, those with red hair can try adding copper or strawberry blonde highlights. 

How Do You Maintain the Scandinavian Hairline?

According to Perry, upkeep is crucial with a Scandinavian Hairline. You should plan for touch ups every ten to 12 weeks depending how quickly your hair grows. Aside from frequent visits to the salon, your wash and styling routine is just as important. Invest in a color-treated shampoo that minimizes brassiness and preserves the vibrancy of your Scandi hair. Also include a nourishing conditioner and a leave-in treatment that helps strengthen strands, lock in moisture and prevent any further damage. 

Who’s ready to jumpstart their Euro summer yet?

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Beauty & Cultures Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, NY Native

Chelsea Candelario is a Beauty & Cultures Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the...