25 Prettiest Hair Highlights for Brown, Red and Blonde Hair

Golden blonde highlights on long hair and tan skin

Adding highlights to your hair is one of the simplest things you can do to really change up your look. Below, I’ve put together some photos of this year’s most popular highlights for your inspiration. Whether your base hair is brown, red, black or blonde, you’ll find a gorgeous look for you!

Turquoise Green

Turquoise Green Highlights
Instagram @hecktorsalonpremiere

Blue-green clearly show through the black curtain hair and teases anyone to try out this daring color.

Dark Royal Blue

Dark Royal Blue Highlights
Instagram @mon1cabeauty

Streaks of rich blue in black hair makes for an interesting combination. The added curls really rounds up the whole look.

Pastel Pink Highlights

Pastel Pink Highlights
Instagram @xcellent_kevin

Your magical hair looks amazing but why not make it more enchanting with soft waves! Plus enjoy easy upkeep by keeping your roots natural.

Ash Blonde

Ash blonde highlights
Instagram @xcellentbeautysalon

One of the many versatile looks a blonde can have is this ash gray ombre on lengthy waves! The gorgeous subtle highlights also create a dynamic look to the hair.

Subtle Ashy Blonde

Subtle ashy blonde highlights
Instagram @donebyvonne

This high maintenance ultra cool girl look is ideal for those who wanna be edgy and classy at the same time. Looks best on people with fair skin tones and blue, gray, or green eyes!

Peek-a-Boo

Peek-a-boo highlights
Instagram @stubbsdreads21

For the adventurous who wants to add a little creativity to their look! This combination of a warm red and a cool deep blue matches awesomely with this sassy shoulder-length cut.

Light Brown

Light brown highlights
Instagram @vanaglory

A multidimensional highlighted lob that anyone can rock! Keep your natural hair color while adding dimension to your straight hair with this ash brown highlight technique.

Dip Dye

Dip dye highlights
Instagram @xmandyleex

One of the biggest trends of this decade is the dip dye which amazingly adds fun and edge to anyone who tries it! Reveal your playful side with this subtle yellow dye while looking super modern with a grey hair!

Burgundy Red

Burgundy Red Highlights
Instagram @paintedbyelisabeth

Highlights don;t always mean bright light colors. For this one, colorist Elisabeth made sure to showcase the deep wine streaks on black hair.

Strawberry Blonde

Strawberry blonde highlights
Instagram @doris.vukoja

Try this awesome beach waves with a blunt end cut colored with this sweet shade of blonde. If you have a tan skin then this hue will work best for you!

Ombre

Ombre highlights on straight shoulder length hair
Instagram @ms_bui

It’s a challenge to create an ombre with straight hair, but this grey shade proves how it can be easily and beautifully done. A plus when your natural color is black as it blends in without effort when it grows out.

Golden Blonde

Golden blonde highlights on long hair and tan skin
Instagram @lj.sharman

These smooth highlights are ideal for sprucing warm colored hair. They provide dimension and texture especially when the light hits those long golden waves.

Honey Blonde

Honey blonde highlights
Instagram @samihairmagic

A sweet blend of honey and chocolate done on any hair type and length looks perfect on warm complexions. Place those light honey highlights at the bottom and add in some pretty huge waves to give depth and volume to your hair.

Sun-Kissed

Sun-kissed highlights
Instagram @nataliedmakeuphair

These trendy and sassy highlights can absolutely do a lot for anyone’s hair of any length and type. When done in a subtle ombre, they can add the dimension and texture that you’re wanting.

Rose Gold

Pretty rose gold highlights
Instagram @frankieglitz

Undeniably one of the most sought after looks this season is this super pretty dusty rose color that works perfect for fair tones and light brown eyes like hers. Wear it with jaw-length beach waves and end up feeling light and flirty and ready to turn heads wherever you go!

Platinum Blonde

Q&A with style creator, Camila De Oliveira
Hairstylist & Makeup Artist @ Camila’s Hair Studio in Coral Gables, FL

How would you describe this look?

This hair color to me is platinum blond, as it’s not too white and the hair color still has a tint of beige. The haircut is long layers with a face frame. She also has a long bang. The hairstyle is done with a curling wand and we run our fingers through to give more of a beach wave curl.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The maintenance is about 8 weeks alternating between partial and full. Products that should be used are Redken bonder protein mask for at least 4 weeks, then alternate to hydrating shampoo and mask. I also recommend hydrating leave-in that also has thermal protection and SPF Redken one United 25 benefits. Avoid flat iron on this type of hair.

Dark to Ash Grey Ombre

Q&A with style creator, Maryann Nguyen
Senior Stylist @ Princeton Salon and Spa in Buford, GA


How would you describe this look?

This look is considered a silver/grey balayage ombré. The best thing about this look is the seamless blend from a dark root to a smokey silvery grey. I just love it everything about it! It’s even more beautiful after it’s been curled with a wand, giving it a more soft, lived-in beach wave look. The cut is a V-cut with long layers and face-framing accentuating the look as a whole by adding movement, texture, and body.

Any advice for someone considering it?

There may be multiple sessions involved in getting this color. Be patient, and be aware that your hair may lift differently than others. The hair has to lift to a pale yellow (the inside of a banana) in order to achieve this color.

Grey is a fashion color, so be sure to use color safe shampoos and conditioners. Toning every so often may be needed to add grey tones back in once it fades over time. However, the Celeb Luxury Viral grey shampoo would be very useful for a color like this to keep its longevity without having to get it re-toned every time at the salon. Use hair masks in between sessions because the hair may feel brittle and will need moisture to be put back in, especially for those who use heat styling (i.e. blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons).

Purple

Purple highlights on black hair
Instagram @cole_hairr

Q&A with style creator, Nicole Mulder
Colorist / Curly Hair Expert @ Behind the Curls at Salons by JC in Round Rock, TX


How would you describe this look?

This look has purple teasy lights. I created light long layers and styled her curly hair in a smooth finish using a flatiron.

Any advice for someone considering it?

To get this look your hair would need to already be in a pretty healthy state. You would want to use a color shampoo at home such as Celeb Luxury’s Viral shampoo to keep the purple color vibrant. You would also want to use a color protecting shampoo that is also moisturizing. It would be good to use a heat protectant when using heat and to get a strengthening/moisture treatment once every month or every two months.

This look can work for just about anyone as long as they like having fun with vivid colors. It’s a subtly trendy look that can be playfully fun.

Platinum

Platinum highlights
Instagram @hairbyshellee

Q&A with style creator, Shellee Hughes
Master Stylist @ Syrra Salon in Charleston, WV


How would you describe this look?

This cut is a textured pixie with a longer side bang!

Any advice for someone considering it?

It’s easy to style using a texture paste or spray wax or whatever you have at the time!

The side bang softens the look. The color is gorgeous! I smudged her root and pulled down matching baby lowlights into her heavy highlighted summer blonde hair.

This particular client is very active. She needed an easy style that could go from day to night in just a few minutes.

Ash Brown

Ash Brown Highlights
Instagram @judy.mai.hair

Seeing silver? Seeing black? Well, this color has both! A versatile color for everyone wanting to try something new but want to stay in the comfort zone.

Caramel Streaks

Caramel highlights on dark hair
Instagram @dmariehairnyc

Spice up those long wavy layers with some luscious honey streaks so you can look sexy and flirty by just simply letting that lovely hair down!

Q&A with style creator, Danielle Golburgh
Colorist @ Vidov Salon in New York, NY


How would you describe this look?

Hair like this reminds me of a supermodel’s hair – that’s the best way I can describe it. Walking down the street, everybody turning their heads kinda hair. That perfect blend of drama and effortlessness that a lot of woman are looking for today.

My absolute favorite thing about this color is that, using the bayalage technique, we were able to achieve these bright caramel and honey pops that give so much drama and movement without taking away from the beautiful, natural rich brown base color. This is what balayage does for brunettes.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Balayage is really for someone who wants to have that wow factor without all the maintenance of standard highlights. It’s perfect for brunettes wanting to dip into the fabulous world of blonde but still want to feel like a brunette.

Understand that every shade of brown is different, every skin tone is different, and every texture is different. Bring some pics of looks that inspire you to your color appointment, but trust your colorist’s eye, and be flexible in your vision.

Learn how to style your hair with a wave to really highlight the dimension that you get with this type of color (wands are my favorite and the easiest to use). There are so many tutorials out there along with advice on easy cheats to help you achieve that effortless beachy look.

Auburn Red

Give texture to your deep red lob by adding highlights and waves to it for a voluminous effect. This shade of auburn is ideal for those with medium warm skin tones.

Q&A with style creator, Erin Shellabarger
Hairstylist / Make-up Artist @ The Young American Salon in Tustin, CA


How would you describe this look?

It’s a vibrant multidimensional red with violet undertones. It is a layered lob with lots of texture. I always love to have multiple colors in a style. It makes your hair look thicker and reflects more light.

Everyone wants thick shiny hair!  And all the different tones make it so much fun to style. You can change the look with curling it or wearing it straight and changing the part. It has so many different options.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Have fun! Use a colored conditioner to keep the red vibrant. I used Alter Ego’s Passion Mask in Red (Amarena). This is a necessity. Reds are a little more maintenance, but this will ensure you look great until you see your stylist again.

This cut will work for all hair types, and I love styling it with Alter Ego Volume Primer first because it gives weightless airy volume. Second, I use Alter Ego’s Hedged, which is a texturizing creme, to give all the separation and definition to the style.

This color and cut are bold but classic. It follows the trend of vivid hair colors but is not out of the natural reds, just kicked up a little. I love to keep the current color, but not everyone can have pink hair. So the bold color will definitely help you stand out but in a gorgeous way.

Cherry Red on Dark Brown Hair

This delicious blend of rose red and rich dark brown is ideal for any cut or style – wavy or straight, long or short. If you have a medium cool skin undertones, this will absolutely look perfect on you!

Q&A with style creator, Kate Breedlove
Independent Stylist @ Meece & Co. in Avon, IN


How would you describe this look?

This is a ruby red balayage/ombré. My favorite thing about this look is the flowing layers that add so much texture and really makes the color pop.

Although this was styled smooth and sleek, the layers definitely provide the perfect tousled beach wave look, which seems to be all the rage this year!

Any advice for someone considering it?

For anyone possibly considering this look I would say go for it! The textured beach wave look that the layers achieve is one of the hottest trends out there right now.

The color technique is also great for those who can’t make it into the salon all the time.

This look can allow for up to four to six months grow out time, and you will never see the line of demarcation (where your roots grow in) like you will with highlights.

For all who like to have their roots done, they can still continue to do so with root touch-ups while the balayage continues to grow out!

Silver Strands

Silver highlights
Instagram @_hairbyclaire_

Silver is without a doubt the new blonde color everyone wants these days. Don’t be afraid to blend it with your natural brown roots by adding some highlights for a smooth transition.

Q&A with style creator, Claire Henderson
Hairstylist @ Alchemy Salon in Orlando, FL


How would you describe this look?

This look is a balayage with silvery tones on the ends which I definitely love!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Silver tones can be achieved on anyone. It just requires patience and possibly several visits to the salon. The darker the hair, the longer it will take to get there. And it definitely requires maintenance.

If you can’t get your hair touched up every 6-8 weeks, but you’re wanting to keep the silver tone, maybe this isn’t the look for you.

Bronze Copper

Bronze Copper Highlights
Instagram @houseofexcellencehairsalon

Seasonal hairstyles are in right now. Luckily, having glossy ginger hair happens to be a fall trend.