What Is Checkered Hair Color And Why Is It Trending?

The checkerboard aesthetic has moved past flannel shirts. Now, you can wear it on your head! Hairstylist and Schwarzkopf Professional digital artist Linh Phan told POPSUGAR that people have been loving this hair trend, which combines the trends of color-blocked and "half-and-half" hair, because it's "unique and edgy."

The trend looks to be taking the place of last year's "Cruella" hair trend, which was inspired by Emma Stone's hair in the live-action incarnation of Cruella de Vil, POPSUGAR added. Though the two styles have similar color-blocking concepts, Cruella appears to be on her way out this spring. The checkered hair look allows for more freedom to play with different colors, making it more personalized to each individual.

With millions of views on TikTok, checkered hair has been taking social media by storm, with many people on the app even forgoing the salon to give themselves the new hairdo. But how are people achieving this look?

How to get checkered hair

The checkered hair look involves splitting your hair into sections and dying them, usually just two different colors. This technique gives the hair a stripe effect on opposite ends of the head, resembling a checkerboard when viewed from the top of the head.

If you're aiming to try this look at home, PureWow says to create four sections in the hair and color them in whichever shades you want. They also recommended using a hair mask to make your hair stronger and more vibrant. While many people have opted for four sections, some salon artists have gone for even more, with TikTok user @nyc.hairgoddess creating six sections in her black and white checkerboard hair video, which thousands of times. In her video, she called sectioning "the most important thing" to get right during the coloring process.

Other TikTok users like @xmeowclopsx have opted to make checkerboard hair extensions, using hair dye to paint the checkerboard print onto blond extensions to fit with whatever hair dye they are rocking, be it green and purple or even rainbow.

Why people love checkered hair

People have been obsessed with hair looks that involve meshing bold colors together for the past few years, with trends like "skunk hair" and "money pieces" making waves in 2021 (via PureWow). Checkered hair is yet another way to express yourself using multiple colors. According to Mane Addicts, two-toned hair trends also reference the iconic chunky highlights of the '00s, continuing the revival of many Y2K trends.

Checkered hair could also be said to continue the "plaid hair" trend, which hit the scene in 2018. The trend began with an Australian salon called Blondies of Melbourne. The salon owner Karen Lewis told Allure, "What truly inspired this look was my hunt for the perfect tartan miniskirt," adding, "I thought if I can't find it, I might as well just paint it on someone's head."

As opposed to checkered hair, the plaid style utilized horizontal stripes across the head and a few solid-colored strands laid on top to make the vertical lines of the plaid pattern. The checkerboard style elevates the best of similar contemporary hairstyles: The split design echoes Emma Stone's Cruella while the use of a variety of colors (like the plaid style) has helped this trend become the more casual, less structured version we see today.

Lately, hundreds of people have taken to Instagram to show off their checkered hair looks, with user @theportlandstylist writing, "Who's a fan of checkered hair? I am! So many stylist hacks with these color patterns!"