20 Best Black Hair with Red Highlights for Eye-Catching Contrast

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black hair with red highlights
Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Black hair with red highlights is a dark hair color with shades of red streaks painted on the strands. If you’re one of those gals down to spice up your mane, this fits the bill!

We have many highlight options that flatter different skin tones and eye colors. A pop of a vibrant hue exists, such as rose and bright crimson, and deep, warm shades like wine and burgundy exist.

The tricky part is deciding how to apply these streaks to your tresses. Would you choose full highlights for extra depth and dimension? Or would you opt for the partial ones to accentuate and brighten up your facial features?

Oakland-based pro hair colorist Nikki Foster shares her golden rule about this craze. “A balayage technique would be a perfect way to start,” she states. “That way, it creates a soft hairstyle and will help keep the warm tones as an excellent base to add the red too.”

“Refresh the color every four weeks to keep its richness and vibrancy,” says Foster. She also suggests using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner with UV protection. Red pigment quickly fades when exposed to any heat, which is inevitable.

Above all these things, be smart enough to ensure that the integrity of your locks is there. Foster wants you to check whether your hair is strong enough to achieve the look you’re going for.

Before your next hair color appointment, check out these photos of the most popular styles and ideas for flaunting black hair with red highlights.

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Red Peekaboo Highlights
Instagram @arelee

#1: Red Peekaboo Highlights

A red peekaboo adds a bright, edgy, and colorful pop to subtle dark red hair. Vibrant, cherry red tones stand out beautifully against black hair. If a bold underlayer of red isn’t your thing, try adding finely woven red highlights underneath your hair to shake up your hair color.

Red Chunky Highlights and Medium Feathery Layers for Black Hair
Instagram @kutsbykass

#2: Red Chunky Highlights

The style is inspired by ’emo dream hair’ and its bold, distinct colors. This color technique features chunky highlights in the fringe, enhanced with a vivid red tone. The style uses contrasting black to frame and highlights the vivid red. The black and red tones enhance the style’s edgy, sassy, and bold character.

#3: Mahogany Red Highlights

Are you tired of blonde highlights? Try mahogany red highlights! Mahogany is a fabulous color choice for women with an olive complexion, but it looks great on everybody. Keep those warm tones looking great longer using a red-colored conditioner like Aveda’s ‘Madder Root’ conditioner.

Maroon Red on Black Hair
Instagram @glam.with.em

#4: Maroon Red on Black Hair

Try maroon red on black hair for a subtle but beautiful hair transformation. A dark base will blend seamlessly into the maroon-red color. Adding warm tones will add dimension and shine to your hair!

#5: Subtle Dark Red Balayage Highlights

Try subtle dark red balayage highlights if you want contrast on your brunette hair. The ribbons of red will add depth and dimension to your locks! Style your hair with waves to show off your new black and red hair tones.

Bright Burgundy Hair Highlights
Instagram @vurvesalon

#6: Bright Burgundy Hair Highlights

Consider bright burgundy hair highlights if you want to stand out! Highlights of a rich burgundy will pair perfectly with a deep dark base. If you have a warm skin complexion, this hairstyle is perfect.

Deep Red on Black Hair
Instagram @hairbybrittb

#7: Deep Red on Black Hair

A deep red on black hair is ideal for women with tan skin tones. A deep red balayage on black hair will instantly give a glowing complexion. Try Alchemy by Davines for copper hair to maintain these rich red tones as a home treatment between salon visits.

Mix of Red and Blue Accents on Medium-Length Mane
Instagram @locksbylauryn

#8: Mix of Red and Blue Accents on Medium-Length Mane

If your medium-length black locks need vibrancy, a mix of red and blue hues can do magic. Not too bright like blonde hair, but the streaks are sure to add liveliness to your look. Highlighted hair like this appears prettier with added volume, so opt for a layered chop styled with waves.

#9: Dark Burgundy Highlights

Burgundy highlights look beautiful over dark hair. The combination of burgundy and black hair appears vibrant under the sun and more subtle indoors. The red color, even this black with dark red highlights, is known to fade out quickly, so make sure to use color-safe, sulfate-free products like Simply Organic’s hair care products.

#10: Wine Red Highlights for a Dark-Haired Girl

Wine-red highlights on dark brunette hair are on the cusp of going bold yet toned down. They work great on skin tones that are both warm and cool. With a naturally dark base, the grow-out will easily be hidden. However, with a lighter base, you must do touchups every 6 weeks to keep the red hair color.

#11: Cherry Red Hair Highlights

Cherry red hair highlights can make an ombré pop even more. Ask your stylist to use red all over your hair to create a cherry tint over your dark base. This red black hair dye idea is a fun color you can keep up at home using oVertone haircare products for your weekly or bi-weekly washes.

#12: Copper Highlights on Black Hair Color

Copper red hair highlights give warm brightness to a dark base and are sure to flatter women with brown eyes. Copper is easily the most low-maintenance color in the family of reds. You can do some easy lights or foliage on dark hair to diffuse the base color and create a seamless grow-out.

#13: Subtle Red Highlights on Short Black Bob Hairstyle

Black hair with subtle red highlights works beautifully with warmer skin tones. With this type of highlights, you can still maintain professionalism with a hint of fun color. You may still be able to achieve a subtle red with no bleach, depending on your natural color level or if your hair has been previously colored or not. And hey, these partial red highlights would look awesome on a short bob cut!

Black hair with red highlights underneath
Instagram @sunnyglamroom

#14: Black Hair with Red Highlights Underneath

Opt for red highlights on black hair because a red tint underneath can have a beautiful effect yet be somewhat subtle. Getting a peekaboo highlight will help you achieve this. It will require some bleach and tone coloring, but overall this black hair with red underneath is low-maintenance.

#15: Black and Bright Red Ombre for Long Hair

A black and bright red ombre works great with naturally dark hair. You will likely need to bleach out the ends or find a great red high lift meant for dark hair to get those ends bright red. You can use a red-enhancing conditioner or shampoo to keep the vibrancy of the red. You must do root touch-ups if you’re naturally lighter or have grey hair.

#16: Ideal On Jet Black Hair

Red highlights are ideal on long jet black hair, adding an easy-maintenance, fun flair to any woman’s look. It’s perfect for a virgin mane as it won’t need to be lifted to a damaging level.

For this black with red highlights look, colorist Laura Wojcik of Pennsylvania did a chunky weaved balayage. “I wanted to create a ribbon-like dimension while leaving most of the dark base there. The highlights are feathered up to the roots using a slight tease, leaving the blend seamless,” states Wojcik.

Light red highlights on black hair
Instagram @sammmmirae

#17: Light Red Streaks

Light red streaks on dark tresses create a funky and fresh tone, perfect for fearless ladies. Stylist Samantha Bujarski of Ohio is great at creating hair color ideas such as these highlights in black hair.

She notes, “I did a partial highlight with four hair sections for this color. I also did a root touch-up for maximum coverage and a refresh of the existing color throughout the ends.”

To maintain her bright red, Bujarski used the Pulp Riots Fireball.

#18: Purple and Red Highlights

Purple and red hues are best worn around the face. These colors create a natural blush on the face because they’re warm colors. This colored hair was created using a color melt technique, according to stylist Boonhan Yap of Malaysia.

He notes, “This color is ideal for ladies with darker hair, as it doesn’t require extreme pre-lightening.”

Color-care regimens are recommended to boost the tone’s shine. Yap explains, “So, you might have nice, fresh pink hair at the journey’s end.”

auburn highlights on Dark Tresses
Instagram @dimension7pdx

#19: Auburn Strands on Dark Tresses

Auburn strands on dark hair are low-maintenance that allow for a natural grow-out. Stylist Madeline Qi from Oregon created this reddish shade.

She explains, “I used a freehand balayage technique on natural hair where I fully saturated the ends and teased the top area for a seamless blend. I used framar film to keep the hair insulated until I lifted it to a level 8 to achieve this auburn color.”

If you like lighter accents on your locks, request black hair with ginger highlights from your stylist.

#20: Red and Blonde on Natural Curls

Red and blonde on curly hair are great for women who want to flirt with a luscious copper shade before making a full-on commitment. Consider strawberry blonde as an in-between tone. This tone will enhance tan and pale complexions. To enhance the hue and manage the curls, use a moisturizing mask such as the Olaplex no. 8 as a weekly at-home treatment.