Black hair with highlights shows a dark base with accents of a lighter shade. Depending on the hair color technique, the result can be subtle, natural-looking, or dramatic with high contrast.
Hair artist Summer Rowan from Upstate South Carolina shares the top 3 questions you must consult with an expert first.
Does this go with your lifestyle? Will it complement your skin tone? Remember that some hues can look harsh on you.
Lastly, ask if it’ll fade and what it’ll look like in the long run. Learn tips and tricks on handling or avoiding the fading process.
“Hairstylists love giving you honest feedback. They can tell you if your chosen color might not be the best for you even though that’s what you wanted,” says Rowan.
Maintenance is paramount, and the products you’ll use at home matter. Color-safe shampoos and conditioners will keep the tone looking fresh and longer-lasting.
“I recommend a hydrating shampoo, such as Oribe Gold Lust or Sevens Kente Bond. It’s also vital to apply a hair mask once a week,” Rowan points out.
Adding highlights to your dark tresses can be a huge change. I think it’s best to bring your stylist some photo inspirations to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
For more ideas, here are pictures of the trendiest shades and styles for black hair with highlights!
#1: Stunning Deep Brunette with Subtle Highlights
When it comes to darker tones, this stunning deep brunette with subtle highlights is a must-try. If this hue is what you would like, you can just avoid taking the highlights too light. It can be helpful to make this color change in the salon rather than at home to ensure maximum impact and expert highlight placement.
#2: Ashy White Highlights on Black Hair
If you’d like to add pop to your silver highlights, please don’t hesitate to ask for a more violet ash hue. It’s a subtle way to add dimension and texture. It’s good to start with small streaks or flecks throughout the hair for an understated look. Or, go bolder with larger sections of lighter color. You can also use balayage techniques for more blended results. This technique requires special maintenance and upkeep. I think it’s helpful to discuss your desired outcome with a hair colorist before trying it at home. Use L’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Hair Color in Smokey Ash Brown for the best results. Just make sure you communicate exactly what you want beforehand!
#3: Black Hair with Thin White Highlights
How stunning is black hair with thin white highlights? Black and white color are some of the hardest colors to do and to keep looking fresh. Black color bleeds; white isn’t always achievable. It’s a tiny percentage of women whose hair can be white. One of the best ways to achieve this color is using white extensions. Using white extensions helps keep the integrity of your hair. Plus, you could change your hair color at every appointment.
#4: Brown Balayage Highlights with Curled Ends
Bring sparkle to your dark tresses with brown balayage highlights. Brown highlights will give a dimensional glow to your dark hair and are a great start to test out lighter strands. Show brown highlight styles to your stylist next time you are in to start your new hair journey.
#5: Short Black Bob with Indigo Highlights
If you want to be trendy, add a fantasy tone that will compliment your dark hair with deep indigo. Start this color by adding an entire head of babylights. Then, tone them down with a semi-permanent tone that will pick up the light nicely. Be sure to ask for a toning conditioner to keep this color vibrant. It will wash out quickly.
#6: Medium-Length Black Hair with Light Brown Highlights
When deciding on changing up your black hair, try adding in some light brown highlights. They will add some dimension and color to your style. I advise ensuring you look at many pictures with your stylist before dyeing your hair. This will help you determine what type of placement and tone would be good. With highlighting black hair, expect warmer highlights for your first session. Make sure you’re okay with warmer tones before proceeding.
#7: Multi-Dimensional Brunette Highlights
Have your black hair glowing with brunette highlights. Medium brown warm-toned highlights will bring lightness to your stands for a sparkling display. Curling your tresses will show off your multi-dimensional color.
#8: Low-Maintenance Lived-in Highlights
You can try a low-maintenance color with lived-in highlights. Highlights that are blended seamlessly into your hair require little upkeep. Balayage is great if you want to try out lighter strands without the upkeep of traditional highlights. Brown highlights will give your hair a multi-dimensional glow.
#9: Black Hair with Stunning Platinum Highlights
Wearing black hair with platinum highlights is a chic way to flaunt a dimensional color. It requires minimal maintenance if your tresses have a natural dark hue. These added streaks create an instant texture to your hair that’s sure to be eye-catching. Accentuate the platinum highlights on black hair daily by styling your tresses with waves.
#10: Subtle Babylights on Long Black Hair
Chocolate babylights on black long hair is a gorgeous color combination. The softness of the babylights painted on your beautiful black locks will have women wanting your hair. I recommend styling with waves, so you see the ribbons of dimension.
#11: Unique Black Hair with Red Highlights
Black hair with red highlights is a must-try for a different alternative to regular blonde highlights. If you’re a darker-haired woman, toning your hair highlights for black hair to a red tone is more achievable than ashy blonde highlights. Red highlights on black hair pull through warm colors, making a warmer tone an ideal option to maintain the hair’s integrity.
#12: Gorgeous Black Hair with Blonde Ombre Highlights
Black hair with blonde ombre highlights is an excellent way to create depth and lightness in your hair. An ombre technique is great if you have dark hair because it gives a gradient blend from dark to light that is low maintenance. Blonde ombre highlights on dark hair give brunettes high-contrast blonde highlights while leaving dimension and depth.
#13: Bright Honey Blonde Highlights on Black Hair
Honey blonde highlights on black hair are great if you’re a dark brunette needing some sunshine in your hair. Warm, golden, honey tones are an effortless hair color goal for naturally dark-haired women. Balayage and babylights are techniques your hairstylist can use to help you achieve the maximum lift and brightness when working towards lightening black hair.
#14: Beautiful Short Hair with Highlights
Short black hair with highlights is alluring and full of movement. Soft, warm-toned highlights give a beautiful blend to your dark brown or black hair. It would be best if you tried out a lob haircut with layers. This adds texture and makes toffee-colored highlights stand out.
#15: Subtle Highlights for a Dark Mane
Subtle highlights for your dark mane include the use of warm brown tones. Chestnut brown hues look stunning if you have black hair and give a subtle tone-on-tone coloration. Soft, rich, brown highlights in black hair are realistic and achievable for women with naturally black hair and are relatively low maintenance.
#16: Natural Highlights on Black Tresses
Perfect natural highlights on black tresses are warm blonde tones. For a soft, sun-kissed look on your naturally deep dark hair, opt for sandy golden hues over cool-toned highlights for a natural, realistic finish. Ask your hair colorist for golden, dark blonde highlights to frame your face along with hand-painted balayage that will leave dimension when coloring your hair and allow the honey-tinted highlights to contrast beautifully with your dark hair.
#17: Contrasted Black Hair with Chestnut Highlights
Black hair with chestnut highlights is a lovely way to add dimension to your darker hair. Adding a lighter shade with black roots creates a beautiful contrast and complements warm skin tones. This low-maintenance color combination is also less damaging to your hair.
#18: Soft Balayage Highlights for Black Hair
Balayage highlights on black hair are one of the best hair color ideas you’ll see here! If you are looking for a subtle dimension and don’t want a lot of upkeep, this look is for you. Adding these natural subtle highlights to your hair creates a soft dimension, and adding waves enhances this look.
#19: Trendy Black Hair with Blonde Highlights
A shade of sun-kissed blonde highlights on black hair is trendy and always looks staggering. The dimension it makes will add warmth and shine to your dark tresses. To keep brightness around your face and give yourself a youthful look, I recommend you ask your hairdresser for a money piece.
#20: Amazing Silver Highlights on Black Hair
Splashes of silver highlights on black hair create a deeper ashy tone and a smokey dimension. Highlighted strands on black hair can give you the coolest and most dramatic change. You can just jazz your hair with texture and waves to accentuate the silvery streaks.
#21: Smokey Ash Blonde Highlights on Black Hair
A few ash blonde highlights on black hair carry out a smokey effect—such a shade flatters cool and pink skin tones. You should use products with UV protection ensures black hair with blonde highlights lasts longer.
#22: Flattering Dark Hair with Sandy Brown Highlights
Beach waves on dark brunette hair are perfectly complemented with warmer highlights. The sandy brown highlights on black hair will show off your hair’s movement and texture. An ombre technique will allow fewer salon visits to touch up your roots.
#23: Darker Hair with Grey Highlights
Grey highlights on black hair give a cool, smokey effect to the hair color. You don’t need to go through a full-color transition to add radiance to your dark locks. Hints of grey look more natural and impressive, plus they can be matched with other hues such as blue. The accents give your tresses a lighter shade without going blonde. Using demi-permanent color for the root stretch and toner is ideal for girls who aren’t ready to commit. It will slowly fade, leaving the lightened balayage pieces to be toned again.
#24: Black Hair with Bold Pink Highlights
Black hair with pink highlights suits a loud and fun personality. If that’s you, try adding a vivid pink for a flirty but fiery touch on dark tresses. Most hairstylists recommend washing your hair with cold water so its vibrancy stays for a while. But if it fades, use the opportunity to try another color as it won’t need lightening.
#25: Feminine Dark Hair with Rose Gold Highlights
Dark hair with rose gold highlights is feminine and a little flirty. These highlights for black hair are great for adding dimension if you’re a darker brunette. Add curls to your ends, and they’ll appear stunning with any length of hair! If you’re planning to add highlights to your black tresses, don’t think that blonde is the only shade to go for. Streaks of rose gold are fun to wear, too.
#26: Black Hair with Easy Brown Highlights
Choose this black hair with brown highlights balayage for rich and dimensional hair while still looking natural and modern. The highlights complement a darker skin tone and natural hair color. This is low-maintenance light black hair for a woman who only colors 2-3 times a year. A balayage is perfect for the on-the-go girl, and the grow-out is super soft and leaves no harsh lines or roots to be touched up. Overtime highlights can make your hair brassy, so incorporating a purple or blue-toned shampoo into your routine keeps your highlights fresh and true to tone.
#27: Youthful Golden Highlights on Black Hair
Golden highlights on black hair are undoubtedly very sophisticated and versatile. Styling is a huge thing when it comes to high-contrast black hair with blonde highlights. The blend of golden highlights with ribbons of chocolate brown will accentuate the highs and lows of your hair. Keep the dark roots to allow your hair to grow out softer and more blended. You’ll need to start using sulfate and paraben-free shampoo to maintain your color. Plus, they will help keep your locks healthy and strong.
#28: Alluring White Blonde Highlights on Black Hair
White-blonde highlights on black hair can accentuate your wavy hair and cover gray hair. These white-blonde highlights on black hair are a silvery/ashy balayage. Those blonde streaks can emphasize the layers if you’re wearing layered hair. Aside from its beauty and dimension, you’ll love this black blonde hair trend if you have thin locks. These soft highlights make fine, natural dark tresses seem thicker and fuller. I highly recommend purchasing a deep purple shampoo to eliminate unwanted tones. You’ll also need to get a deep conditioning treatment done at least once a week to maintain the hair’s health. Consult your hairdresser for advice to see if your hair can achieve this look. Your hairdresser knows best!
#29: Black Hair with Vibrant Purple Highlights
Perk up black hair with purple highlights and let other ladies drool over it! The touch of purple at the ends will bring a beautiful color melt on your hair.
#30: Balayage Black Hair with Edgy Auburn Highlights
Try a lived-in balayage on black hair with auburn highlights. If you make it a wavy hairstyle, it will help to showcase the dimensional colors in your hair. This balayage of dark hair with auburn highlights is for women who want a low-maintenance color, only having to maintain it a few times a year versus every 6-8 weeks with traditional highlights.
#31: Cute Copper Highlights on Black Hair
Consider a copper foilayage with a textured bob cut for black short hair. The best thing about it is the pops of color being able to not have to get it touched up every 6-8 weeks. These copper highlights on black hair are achievable but know that blonde highlights are most likely not going to happen on the first visit while keeping the integrity of the hair.
#32: Black Hair with Unique Blue Highlights
Flaunt your black hair with blue highlights and get a unique dimensional color! The combo of black and blue shades will make your mane look richer while adding a different kind of radiance to it. To accentuate your new black hair highlights, styling hair with waves creates magic.
#33: Black Hair with Yummy Caramel Highlights
Caramel highlights on black hair bring out a rich, sultry brightness. If your hair color is warm, it will complement neutral and golden skin complexions. With soft waves and curls, the stunning dimension is emphasized even better. This black hair with caramel highlights makes a low-maintenance dimensional hair color. The depth is kept at the root, so you can get 4-5 months of color without having to get it redone. For most women, it can take multiple appointments and can be expensive. You need to talk with your hair colorist to see if this is the right caramel color for your hair type.
#34: Dark Burgundy Highlights on Very Dark Hair
Wear dark burgundy highlights on your black hair and own an edgy style! One of the best highlights for black hair is a reddish hue, creating an eye-catching result. The finish is so strong it offers additional flair to your long, wavy hair. You’ll need these burgundy highlights on black hair moisturized while avoiding oils to maintain their most vibrant state.
#35: Black Bob with Chunky Pink Highlights
A black bob with chunky pink highlights is the perfect way to add a bold interest if you have dark and sometimes dull-looking colors. The chunky pink highlights are fun and can bring brightness to your face. Dark hair can wash light-toned skin out and look quite harsh, so by adding pink, you can soften your overall look while still keeping the intensity of your black hair with highlights.