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45 Best Hair Color Highlights to Turn Heads

Hair color highlights are ideal for women that have a stunning base color and just need to enrich their mane. Also, highlights are a perfect choice when you don’t want to damage your hair and lose its natural luster.

From sun-kissed balayage to funky rainbow hues, highlights are the ultimate way to level up your mane game. So, let’s explore the magical land of hair color highlights that’ll have your tresses turning heads left and right!

How To Highlight Your Hair

Ready to rock some fabulous highlights? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve that stunning, highlighted look at home.

But if you don’t consider yourself an expert, we recommend you consult a hairstylist and let a professional handle this. The DIY route can lead to hair color disaster.

Step One: Choose Your Desired Highlight Shade

how to highlight hair - choose shade

Before you dye your hair, you must know what shade you want your highlights to be. Do you want your natural hair to be just a few shades lighter? Do you want bright blonde highlights? Will you dye your highlights a fun color after you’ve lightened your hair?

The answers to these questions will determine which type of hair dye you purchase, how long you leave the product on your hair, and how many sessions it will take to get the color you want.

If you are interested in bright blonde or bleaching your hair to add fun, bright colors, it will likely take you multiple sessions to highlight your hair. If you lighten more than a few shades at a time, you can permanently damage your hair.

Step Two: Plan Your Highlighting Strategy

Before you dye your hair, you should devise a game plan. Most people want small highlights throughout all layers of their hair, but maybe you want something fun and different.

You don’t want to realize that you don’t know what you want after you’ve already started dying your hair. Being indecisive can lead to vastly different amounts of time that product was in your hair and can cause damage.

Step Three: Prepare and Apply the Hair Dye

how to highlight hair - add highlights

Once you’ve planned everything and gotten your product, it’s time to dye your hair. You should go through your hair in sections, pulling the hair that you will highlight away from the rest of your hair.

A popular choice for maintaining separation as you go is to wrap the product-coated hair in aluminum foil. Follow all product instructions on the box or container, and do not leave bleach in your hair for longer than 40 minutes.

How to Take Care of Your Highlighted Hair

To make highlights last longer, follow these basic steps:

  • Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo made specifically for color-treated hair and wash your hair three times a week. Use dry shampoo for refreshing in between washes.
  • Deep condition your hair regularly with a moisturizing treatment that contains natural oils and emollients.
  • Take hair supplements or eat nutrient-rich foods to promote healthy hair growth.
  • Avoid excessive heat styling and harsh chemicals that can damage your hair and cause fading.
  • Be gentle when detangling your hair and use a microfiber towel or wrap to dry your hair. Consider using satin pillowcases or head wraps to avoid hair damage during sleep.
  • Visit a professional hairstylist regularly for touch-ups and avoid doing highlights at home as the results may not be what you expect.

Hair Color Highlights

Whether you go for blonde hair color highlights that enlighten your hair or gorgeous brown lowlights, you will transform the tresses in one of your best accessories. If you are ready to make the change, scroll down, and find your inspiration in these mesmerizing hair color highlights.

1. Bob with Highlights

short hair highlights

Get a bob haircut if you want to obtain a magnificent short hair with highlights. Create a middle part and let the bangs gorgeously frame the face. This hairdo will glamorously fir any outfit, especially a strapless dress that shows off your neckline and shoulders.

2. Highlighted Long Hair

long hair highlights

Long hair with highlights will look fabulous because you can style a loose French braid for the top and secure it in a gorgeous rose look-alike updo.  Keep the rest of the mane on the back, curled with an iron for a fabulous effect.

3. Blonde Highlights for Medium Hair

medium hair highlights

Medium hair highlights look fantastic if you choose to straighten your hair with an iron. Swoop your bangs on one side and take the top hair and pin it in the back with a floral accessory.

4. Dark Hair with Blonde Highlights

dark hair with highlights

A dark hair with highlights that really stand out is ideal if you want to style a gorgeous hair crown. Start from the forehead and using a French braid, build your updo around the head. Secure the two braids at the nape with some bobby pins.

5. Platinum Blonde Highlights

blonde hair highlights

Style blonde highlights and a few lowlights to recreate this marvelous look. If you don’t want to damage your hair when dying the whole mane, you can always wear a wig to recreate the look above.

6. Caramel Highlights

caramel highlights

Caramel highlights are so trendy, and everybody loves them. On your natural brown hair, create wide highlights and use a conical iron to build curls for only half of the hair.

7. Blonde Highlights for Curly Hair

curly hair highlights
Instagram / latiyacurls

This is one of the best curly hair highlights ideas, and we’re sure you will adore it as much as we do. Layer your ringlets and opt for a blonde shade for the highlights. They will brilliantly blend with your natural brown hue.

8. Purple Highlights

straight hair with highlights

Go for a bob haircut with bangs that you can swoop on one side and style straight hair with highlights. Opt for a vivid purple shade, and your hair will gorgeously stand out.

9. Caramel Highlights for Brown Hair

brown hair with highlights

A brown hair with highlights that beautifully falls on your back is something you will love to have, and it’s not even that hard to pull off. To style your mane, go for messy loose waves that will provide a lot of texture.

10. Highlights for Natural Hair

Natural hair with highlights looks impressive if you select a blonde hue that will contrast the dark natural shade. Use moisturizer to maintain your coils well-defined.

11. Pop of Color

pixie hair with highlights

These colorful hair highlights are sure to turn some heads. The hair is chopped in a round pixie-bob with an asymmetrical side-swept fringe covering the forehead. Cover the strands in deep blue, orange, platinum, and vibrant red hues for a pop of color on the head.

12. Babylights

highlighted hair with braid

Try babylights to keep the look soft and subtle. They are fine and delicate compared to conventional highlights and blend perfectly with the remaining mane. Go for a light blonde hue to shine through the medium brown tresses when styled in an elegant side braid.

13. Highlighted Front

money piece highlights

Make jaws drop wherever you go with this bold hairstyle. The front fringe is dyed in a bright neon green tinge to contrast sharply against the remaining aqua blue tresses. Add loose bouncy curls for a funky appeal. Regular touch-ups are however required to keep the colors vibrant.

14. Fiery Red Curls

partial highlights

African-American ladies can flaunt their kinky afro curls with pride by adding highlights to them. Go for a Deva haircut to layer the coils perfectly around the face and add a fiery red tinge to the black mane appearing midway to the ends, creating a two-toned appeal. It can’t get any hotter!

15. A Touch of Platinum

full highlights
Instagram /

Tired of your boring milky blonde mane? Avoid damaging the hair with excessive exposure to chemicals by considering these platinum highlights. Ask the hairstylist to blend them perfectly with the hair adding a soft glow to the face. Top off with loose waves.   

16. Teal Stripes

chunky highlights
Instagram / dianadoodle

Nothing can go wrong with teal! Separate chunky strands all over the head and color them in this vibrant shade to keep all the eyes on you. The shade pops with both a light and dark base shade and can be limited to the front only creating luscious money pieces.

17. Multi-Tonal Highlights

Multi-tonal highlights involve using more than one shade to highlight the hair. Take this style as an example where a light golden brown mane has vivid streaks of blonde and dusty rose pink creating a gorgeous mix of light, medium, and dark strands. Natural curls take the look to another level.

18. Play with Pastels

pink hair highlights

Pastel hair shades are soft and delicate yet playful at the same time. Go for a straight-cut bob at chin length with wispy curtain bangs at the front and liven it up by adding pastel pink, blue, and yellow as chunky stripes all over the head. Dreamy isn’t it?  

19. Vibrant Hues

shoulder length hair with highlights

Get noticed from a distance with this eye-popping hairstyle. Blonde ladies can keep all the attention on their faces by adding hot pink, black, orange, and teal hues on the front. Try out peekaboo highlights too by dying the underlayer with similar vibrant colors.

20. Honey Drizzle

light brown highlights

Keep it low-key and elegant by adding a drizzle of honey blonde all over the hair. Opt for an ashy brown base to make the highlights really shine through. Finish off with loose curls with a middle or side parting, tousling the locks on one shoulder for a carefree appeal.

21. Gray Grace

hair highlights with lowlights
Instagram / tammyzhairboutique

Embrace those greying hairs with utmost grace by trying out a grey balayage. The silvery grey streaks appear just behind the roots at the top and concentrate while reaching the ends creating a soft dark to light gradient. Top off with U-shaped layers and loose curls. Voila!

22. Blonde Moment

hair highlights with babylights
Instagram / allbyalexusg

When thinking about highlights a blonde shade is what always comes to mind. Stay on the conventional side by dying the hair in a warm toffee blonde hue and adding fine streaks of light golden blonde to set the look on fire. Leave the tresses straight or add subtle waves. Your choice!

23. Ashy Streaks

highlighted hair

Still reluctant to try hair color highlights? Check out this simple and stylish look. Chop the locks in a short A-line bob with a deep side-parted fringe. Separate out a few strands and color them in a dull ashy blonde tinge to contrast softly against the black hair.

24. Bold and Beautiful

blue hair highlights

Here is another idea to turn your hairstyle into one of a kind. Dye the tresses in a rich cobalt blue hue with a hint of aqua blue in between and add blinding streaks of hot pink on the top. This look however requires effort to maintain.

25. Just a Hint

dark hair with highlights

Those who want to spice up their boring long mane without compromising its length can lighten some of the strands to stand against the dark brown base. Add sandy blonde highlights on the front only resulting in a minimalistic style that won’t be overlooked.

26. Balayage Highlights

balayage highlights

Balayage highlights are ideal for any skin color or face shape. Maintain your roots in a dark shade and gorgeously transit to a beautiful grain blonde. Go for waves and curls if you want to obtain more volume.

27. Ombre + Highlights

ombre hair with highlights

Go for a layered haircut with bangs that you can swoop on one side. Create an ombre hair with highlights and your hairstyle will pop wherever you go.

28. Balayage Highlights for Brunettes

brunette hair with highlights

When you are one of the lucky ones that have a long thick mane, give the texture of your strands with some blonde highlight that will beautifully blend with the rest of the hair. This way, you will obtain a brunette hair with highlights to remember.

29. Gray Highlights for Women Over 50

gray hair highlights

Gray hair highlights are the perfect option for women over 50 that already started to lose their hairs pigment. You can also add a purple tint that will make the bob hairstyle look modern and cool.

30. Blonde Highlights for Asian Girls

asian hair highlights

Hair highlights look great on Asian women with dark tresses that want to give their hairstyle a gorgeous glow. Style peekaboo highlights and dye a thick strand from your bangs to recreate this fantastic look.

31. Pink Purple Highlights

Burgundy highlights will gorgeously match your medium haircut with bangs. Opt for layers and waves to obtain more dimension and a look that will shine everywhere you go.

32. Thin Blonde Highlights

full highlights

Full highlights will make you look breathtaking. Layer the hair and use a conical iron to pull off some loose ringlets. With this hairstyle, you will forget about your old dull look.

33. Cooper Highlights on Brown Hair

Layer your hair to obtain more volume for the tips and go for copper highlights that will provide an amazing texture. Let your whole gorgeous mane fall on your back.

34. Dark Purple Highlights

purple hair highlights

Black hair will amazingly frame your features and make your green eyes stand out. You can also opt for dark purple hair highlights to make your waves and curls stand out. Match your lips and nails with your hair.

How Long to Wait Before Washing Hair After Highlights?

35. Pink and Blonde Highlights

pink hair highlights
Instagram / rachelturleybeauty

Go for a dark blonde hair color and style pale and electric pink hair highlights. Make them thin if you want to give your tresses great texture. As for the volume, waves are very trendy and will provide that dimension.

36. Rainbow Highlights

multi color highlights

If you want to stand out everywhere you go, multi-color highlights will make any blonde hair pop. Opt for pale purple, pink, and green, and you’ll get an impressive rainbow effect.

37. Dark Plum Hair Highlights

plum hair highlights
Instagram / hairby_alexfranklin

Plum hair color highlights are mesmerizing, provide a lot of texture, and are ideal for women who want a breathtaking shade. Get your hair a blunt cut and style a few loose waves. Wear the whole mane on the back.

38. Blonde Highlights on Ginger Hair

red hair with highlights

If you have pale skin and blue or green eyes, red hair with highlights will get you an eye-popping look. Cut your hair in a bob, slightly wave the mane, and wear your hair on one side.

39. Auburn Hair Highlights

auburn hair highlights
Instagram / hairartstudiosg

Such texture and elegance! If you want to have tresses like the one in the image, auburn hair highlights are certainly something do go for. Cut your long mane in a V-shape and style curls only for half of your hair.

40. Dark Mahogany

Mahogany highlights will undoubtedly provide an imperial hue to your black strands. You can also go for waves that you can style using a straightening iron.

41. Rose Gold Highlights

rose gold hair highlights
Instagram / beauty.bydama

Rose gold hair color highlights are simply astonishing and will provide a shade that is hard not to notice. That magnificent hue gives a floral touch to your hair, and you will develop such a beautiful texture.

42. Silver Blonde Highlights

silver hair highlights
Instagram / lettyshairdesign

Silver highlights are very popular at the moment and if you want to look trendy, this is a look that you should certainly try. If you are a woman over 50, this new hair color will make all those gray threads beautifully blend with the rest of your tresses.

43. Long Wavy Hair with Highlights

wavy hair with highlights

Wavy hair with highlights will transform you into a modern princess. Keep the mane falling on the back and take two long strands from the bangs for building two twisted braids that meet in the back, in a half pony.

44. White Silver Hair with Highlights for Women Over 50

white hair highlights
Instagram / thebeautymark.19

When you are a woman over 50 and struggle with gray strands, embrace your new shade and style white hair with highlights. You will obtain a gorgeous modern look that will make even younger girls jealous.

45. Long Black Hair with Highlights

black hair with highlights
Instagram / hairbyaurora

If you think your hair looks too dull with just a simple dark shade, upgrade your hairstyle with a black hair with highlights. Maintain your tresses long and layered and go for thin blonde highlights that will beautifully blend.


Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about highlighting your own hair.

When to wash hair after highlights?

You can wash your hair immediately after highlighting it, but remember that the more often you wash your hair, the more damage you do to it. If you add fun colors to your hair, frequent washing will make the color fade more quickly.

Can hair highlights be removed?

No. Hair highlights can be darkened with dyes similar to your natural hair color. While this does not remove the highlights completely, it can make them unnoticeable.

Can hair highlights cause hair loss?

Somewhat yes. Highlighting does not cause permanent hair loss, but if you misuse the product as you lighten your hair, you can cause hair breakage and damage. Deep conditioning can help mitigate some of this damage.

Hair highlights vs. streaks — are these similar?

Yes, both are the same base idea. However, highlights are generally thinner strands of hair that look more natural, whereas streaks are typically thicker and bolder.

What is the difference between balayage and highlights?

Balayage hair is a gradient hairstyle that you apply to the upper or lower parts of the entire head. Highlights are small streaks of color applied vertically to only some of the hair.

Hair color highlights can change your whole appearance, and they are not as damaging as dying your whole head or bleaching. Also, they can take your hairstyling game to a whole new level, and you have a lot of options: thin or chunky highlights, full, or colored in vivid hues that will make you stand out. You just need to find the right mix!