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The ‘mallen streak’ is the hair condition-turned-highlighting-trend we’ll all be wearing this summer

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Anyone else sick of going into the hair salon and asking for the same old balayage?

Don’t get us wrong, we love the iconic highlighting technique, but if you’re looking to shake things up a little this summer (without going as far as rose gold or rainbow hair), the ‘mallen streak’ could satisfy your sunkissed hair cravings.

The new highlighting trend has been inspired by people with a condition called poliosis and is all about celebrating individuality.



Sam Burnett, Owner & Creative Director of Hare & Bone, gives us the low down…

What is a mallen streak?

“It is when melanin (pigment) is not produced in a cluster of the hair, and therefore appears as a white or lighter streak,” says Sam. “This can also be found in eyebrows, eyelashes and facial hair.”

From hair condition to highlighting trend

Those with natural mallen streaks have a condition called poliosis, which while harmless in itself, can be a signal of other health disorders (such as thyroid disorders or inflammation conditions).

Mallen streaks can be dyed over if desired, but lately many are choosing to keep the look or even enhance it further with highlighting.

“We’ve seen a celebration of individuality in fashion of late, with models like Winnie Harlow not only celebrated for her modelling talent but also for her individual look, which in Winnie’s case is caused by the skin condition vitiligo”, says Sam.



“I feel this has started to also impact people in terms of the individuality of their hair. Instead of people covering up something like a mallen streak to conform with trends of old, people feel they can be braver and show off their individuality, and in turn, empower people to embrace what they have been gifted with.”

How people are wearing the mallen streak

Natural mallen streaks can appear anywhere in the hair, and the same unique placement is now being produced in salon for those who want a bespoke look.

“It’s a similar concept to highlighting, but instead of a small localised area it’s a bigger section of hair”, says Sam. “It will also be toned similar to a highlight but this toner will help to remove and mask any unwanted pigment leaving the hair white similar to a mallen streak.”

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We’ve so far spotted the colour trend in pairs (with two streaks framing either side of the face), a solo side-fringe streak, and even the full-on Cruella De Vil half ‘n’ half.

Whether it’s God-given or bleached, we love that this unique hair condition is being celebrated by all.



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