Sonic silver hair is the insider colour that taps into TikTok’s fave Y2K aesthetic

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Sonic silver hair is the insider colour that taps into TikTok’s fave Y2K aesthetic


Another day, another hair trend breaking lose from the ‘90s/’00s archive. This time it’s the turn of ‘sonic silver hair’, which top hair colourist and Matrix colour ambassador Zoë Irwin has spotlit as the cool-girl shade to know – especially since the cooler colour pairs perfectly with the temperature of the current season.

What is sonic silver hair?

Essentially, it’s a soft silver hair colour that feels retro and futuristic in equal measure. “It’s a kind of beigey, soft silver,” explains Zoe. “We’ve seen a lot of greys previously,” she adds, but things are moving towards sheerer, glistening, glossier renditions: “as opposed to the heavy, ashy grey that became so mainstream [in the early noughties] that it just wasn’t cool any more. This is silver for a fresh audience, it’s a much more subtle, delicate tone,” she says.

“The trend is ultra sheer, has a high shine and is super iridescent. When you start to take hair this kind of beigey-silver colour, it becomes very futuristic, and anything that feels futuristic always has a soft modernity to it,” Zoe adds.

What inspired sonic silver hair?

The trend is rooted in ‘90s and ’00s trends. “Many of you will have seen the rise of something called Gen X Soft Club, which has been a huge TikTok trend,” Zoe explains. “Just to give you a little bit of background, it’s a re-emerging trend from the late ‘90s, early 2000s. We started to go towards a cooler palette – more beige tones, pale blue tones, lots of greens – and everything became really simplified. Gen X Soft Club is Y2K’s cooler, obscure younger sister. It’s less gaudy, it’s simplistic,” she adds.

One TikTok user, @fckboyfuneral, summarised the trend – noting: “The Gen X Soft Club aesthetic was prominent in the late ‘90s, early 2000s – that’s not the maximalist, pink, blinged-out kind of look [that was also popular at the time]. It was all about minimalist fashion, sterile design and urban city night life. It took that retro futurism and toned it all the way down to very muted colours – lots of blues, greys, greens – blurry city lights, if you’ve ever seen the 2 Become 1 video by the Spice Girls, it was exactly that.”

TikTok content

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TikTok content

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As for sonic silver hair – Zoe explains her choice of words. “The reason I called it Sonic Silver is because the iPod launched in 2001 and really changed the amount of music we listened to. We weren’t really referencing the past, the music of the time was really quite original. It felt like a sonic generation, it’s very much referencing the time,” she says.

It’s not lost on us that digital devices, like the iPod, were synonymous with futuristic silver shades too.

Who does sonic silver hair work particularly well on?

Rather than a safe bet, the trend offers a shade that’s a little more alternative. And even though it’s delicate and soft, the shade still feels gritty and has a daringness to it that warmer tones simply don’t – so this shade is for the rebels.





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