Red and Black Hair: Ombre, Balayage & Highlights

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Red and black hair colors
Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Red and black hair styles are when black hair is colored red, exposing some black hair. The most common ways to color black hair red are by highlights, ombres, and balayage. This color style is a new creative solution to transforming a simple black mane. Women all over-utilize this modern color match to accomplish a romantic, dramatic look with great depth and perspective.

All you need are red-streak designs or a multi-color scarlet ombre to own a bold or soft look, depending on how you wear this blend. Also, don’t forget to consider a shade that will suit your complexion, and take note of the maintenance reds will require!

Before your next hair appointment, check out these trendy photos of red and black hair color ideas!

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#1: Brown Red and Black Hair

This one’s a charming take on sweet, rosy red highlights against dark black hair. Notice how beautifully the red-brown hair highlights complement the black hue of the base to accentuate the waves, making them look soft yet glamorous!

Y2k-Inspired Black and Red Skunk Stripes
Instagram @mysticalooks

#2: Y2k-Inspired Black and Red Skunk Stripes

This red and black highlight, inspired by the Y2K style, is a fun throwback to the early 2000s. This particular color combo is bold and fun. To maintain this color, wash your hair with cool water. Use professional products suitable for colored hair. Also, regular visits to your stylist are needed for color refresh.

Black Cherry Cola Color
Instagram @locksbylaurynn

#3: Black Cherry Cola Color

You must try this black cherry cola color if you’re partial to deep red tones. Every redhead should try a cherried hue at least once!

Magenta Red Highlights on Black Hair
Instagram @michelle.zapanta

#4: Magenta Red Highlights on Black Hair

One cool way to get a magenta-red balayage without all the upkeep is to get it on black hair! The contrast is stunning and looks cute on simple wavy hair.

jet black and red ombre on mid-length hair
Instagram @aaashleee

#5: Jet Black and Red Ombre on Mid-Length Hair

If you already have naturally dark hair and want to incorporate fire into your look, this red and black hair melt is for you! This ombre hair color is easy to maintain when you keep the shade low and close to the ends.

Two-Toned Red and Black Color Block
Instagram @georgeeblancoo

#6: Two-Toned Red and Black Color Block

A two-toned red and black color block is the latest trend in dyeing your hair. If you decide on this look, avoid washing your hair in hot water. It will keep your color fresh and avoid color bleeding.

Half Black Half Cherry Red Long Hair
Instagram @chrissiearia

#7: Half Black Half Cherry Red Long Hair

Half black, half cherry red long hair is a fun, edgy way to invest in your style. To have a half-and-half, your hair should be able to take red tones and lift for red tones. Ask your stylist if a half-and-half color is right for you.

#8: Red Balayage with Black Roots

If you are looking for a sultry dark look this season, you can always count on a black to red ombré for a showstopper. My best advice is to start this with a double process, lifting mids and ends with foilayage. And when nearly ready, apply a demi-permanent root color rinse and blow dry. Following this step, mix a custom red tone and allow to process for best longevity and tonality. The next appointments will be depositing color and no lifting. So, the cost and time will be much less than the first initial appointment.

#9: Black Hair with Red Dip-Dye

This black hair with red dip dye looks divine! Ladies with neutral and warmer skin tones can rock this hair color. Remember that the red strands need a little emphasis, especially if the locks are straight. Styling the ends with waves and curls will do the trick.

Black with red streaks for curly hair
Instagram @hairvolutions

#10: Black with Red Streaks for Curly Hair

Black and red streaks for curly hair are the ultimate contrast combo. With a darker base ombre, you will enjoy the low maintenance of having a vibrant color on the ends. However, the initial color service will require some bleaching.

Celeb Luxury’s Viral Colorwash offers high-quality red shampoos. You can use them to keep the vibrancy of your red and black curly hair every week. The more often you use it, the more vibrant it remains.

#11: Red and Black Split Dye for Long Hair

Amp up the usual red-to-black ombre hair with this red and black split dye instead to achieve an edgy-looking style! Black and red shades complement each other very well. A trend like this isn’t for women who hate returning to the salon. It requires root touch-ups to maintain its funky style.

#12: Half Red Half Black on Straight Hair

Lovin’ this unique half-red, half-black hair? If you do, you must also be into some unique, rocking fashion trends! No matter what chop it pairs with, this color will surely bring out an eye-catching appearance. Jazz it up with a braid and create an outstanding style.

This half red half black is a fun color created by stylist Oksana of New Zealand. It’s perfect for women who can’t decide which shade they want more. Also, keep in mind you can change the parting to however you want for a different look each time!

Such red and black hairstyles will suit most women. “However, this isn’t for women with naturally light regrowth; as they grow out, it would be harsher. A good color-safe shampoo and treatment helps. Use heat protection from those heated tools to protect the color,” Oksana advises.

Beautiful Rose Gold Highlights on Black Hair
Instagram @hannahgodown

#13: Beautiful Rose Gold Highlights on Black Hair

Do you want to amp up your medium black hair with highlights? This gorgeous blend of a super dark base and hand-painted rose gold pieces makes the style pop with contrast and depth. This red-black hair is an easy style to recreate and maintain.

dark red highlights on black hair color
Instagram @shmoakin_hair

#14: Dark Red Highlights on Black Hair Color

If you wanna keep your natural hair yet add edge to it, consider putting pieces of dark red hair dye all over. They might not be visible at first glance, but they surely are effective in accentuating your waves and adding a little brightness to your black hair with red highlights.

#15: Dark Black Hair with Bright Red Highlights

Painting your black hair with flaming red highlights can have a truly stunning impression with the contrast it gives. It’s an easy way to get a taste of the redhead life without doing too much maintenance to keep it.

Intense Black with Auburn Highlights
Instagram @lindsaymkco

#16: Intense Black with Auburn Highlights

Sometimes, going subtle with a red and black ombre hairstyle is the best way to go! Beautiful streaks of a reddish brunette or dark brown hue will lift the hair fabulously for a livelier look.

#17: Black to Copper Red Ombre Hair

With the darkest at the roots and finishing up with vibrant tones at the ends, this red and black ombre hair is perfect for the woman who wants red hair but in a natural way. What’s great about this copper red ombre on black hair is that it allows the natural roots to grow without any harsh lines.

Maroon-Red Highlights on Black Hair
Instagram @elissawolfe

#18: Maroon-Red Highlights on Black Hair

This deep red color inked on soft, shiny jet-black hair works awesomely on a freshly chopped lob or any haircut or length. If you’re willing to give your black and red hair the upkeep it needs, you’ll rock this one out!

two-tone black and red hair color in balayage
Instagram @hairbykael

#19: Two-Tone Black and Red Hair in Balayage

Two-toned black and red hair has a vibrant shade, especially with a spritz of shine spray. So, to all brunettes out there, there is no need for a full blonde to achieve a bright hair color. This will do.

This two-toned hair is a rich red wine balayage on a black base with dreamy loose waves, a hair gem made by stylist Kaeleigh Burke of New Jersey.

“Ladies, if you want some red in your long hair, first and foremost, this black and red balayage is a high-maintenance color! You will want to come in every 6 weeks for a glaze to refresh the color! You’re also going to want to wash your hair with cool water to keep your cuticle sealed and help that red not to run out,” Burke emphasizes.

Only wash your hair 1-2 times a week to preserve the color, and use sulfate-free and silicone-free products. Use a dark pillowcase or sleep with a towel on your pillow so the red hair color won’t bleed. Burke adds, “Ask your stylist to make you a custom conditioner to use at home between visits!”

#20: Black to Wild Cherry Ombre

This is a red-to-black ombre with some balayage tendencies in how it blended out up top. The big chops contrast red and black and flat iron curls. Ladies need to keep in mind that this will be fairly high maintenance. Black contrasts highly with any regrowth that’s not also black. So, get the roots retouched periodically and the red if it fades.

Take your stylist’s recommendation on where the red starts. Some face shapes look best, starting more at the temples, some at the cheeks, and others at the chin. Understand that what will make you look good might look different on someone else. Listen to your stylist and discuss with them what will be the best placement and shade of your black and red dyed hair.

Bright Highlights Red and Ash Black Hair
Instagram @ashalily

#21: Bright Red Highlights on Ash Black Hair

This is a cool ash black base color and pops of vibrant bright red highlights. “There’s a lot of contrast between the colors in this style,” says style creator Ashlyn Warren from Texas.

This red and black hair color can be worn on all types of hair. Warren states, “Generally, it works best on women who like loud and bright colors! Vibrant tones such as these black hair highlights last longer on women who don’t wash their hair daily. As with any red hair color, use color-safe products when washing and styling!”

#22: Reddish Purple Plum Babylights on French Roast Black

This black and red balayage hair is so much fun. It’s full of dimensions with hints of red and violet, giving the perfect purple plum color ideal for the fall. Although red and black hair styles look amazing and will make you stand out in a crowd, there is usually a lot of maintenance. This red hair with black roots tends to fade more quickly than natural colors, so be prepared to visit the salon every 4-6 weeks to keep it looking fresh.

Ginger Highlights on Black Hair
Instagram @brookeabbate

#23: Ginger Highlights on Black Hair

This black with red highlights is paired with a stacked A-line bob. The color is chocolate brown with auburn highlights. “This is great for brunettes wanting to add some depth and dimension to their color, especially for the fall season,” states Brooke Abbate, a stylist from Tulsa, OK.

Abbate suggests, “Find an excellent stylist who will consult with you and find out what styles and colors will bring out your best features.”

#24: Brownish Red Highlights on Natural Black Hair

This red balayage on black locks base color is the natural hair color. Highlights were added with a balayage technique, so it looks natural, and the growing out stages are not severe. The color is flattering on many skin types, and because it’s a balayage, it will look good as it grows. This is also great for ladies wanting red hair with highlights.

I suggest that women considering this color must realize that red is one of the hardest colors to keep fresh-looking hair. It fades the fastest, so if you are considering it, you have to be willing to go in and get it refreshed every 6 to 8 weeks. This re-toning service is about an hour long. Also, if you tend to have red undertones in your skin, going red may not be for you.

Burgundy Highlights on Short Dark Hair with Side Bangs
Instagram @brandimariecos

#25: Burgundy Highlights on Short Dark Hair with Side Bangs

This dark hair with dark burgundy highlights has an edgy, dimensional vibe, designed by hair artist Brandi Marie of Denver. The color is paired with layered short hair with bangs for extra spice.

“The best part about it is the density of the red highlights on black hair. It features a high-density foil to make sure the overall look is 50% red,” she points out.

Black Long Tresses with Crimson Red Highlights
Instagram @prettyodd.studio

#26: Black Bob with Crimson Highlights

This black hair with crimson highlights is a multi-tonal color. For ladies wanting these highlights for black hair, you need to be willing to invest in the right home care products to keep it bright and vibrant. Red and violet tones are high-maintenance. They are prone to fading faster than other colors. Use a color-safe shampoo with a color-depositing conditioner. Also, wash every second day at most and use cool water. It does make a difference. Hot water is very hard on the black and red hair color.

Black and Burgundy Ombre
Instagram @scarlet.fox.hair

#27: Black and Burgundy Hair Ombre

Go for black and burgundy hair, that is an ombré alternative. Plus, it wasn’t bleached prior to the hair coloring. It wasn’t the pretty blonde hair, nor was it blended. The best part about this red balayage on black hair is the seamless lines created, especially regarding natural vs. fashion colors. If your hair isn’t already bleached, I advise that you must be lifted pretty light for the colors to hold on to. Also, maintenance is a priority.

Hair colors don’t discriminate. This black and red ombre hair color for women can be done on those who want a little more pop color. But, if you’re one to wash your hair every day and not care and want it so bad because it looks cool, this may not be the color for you.

Copper Highlights on Black Hair
Instagram @hairbybritny

#28: Copper Highlights on Black Hair

These are warm, dimensional copper highlights on black hair! The natural base was kept for low maintenance, so stylist Britny Bassett of Virginia created a balayage.

“This red and black tone isn’t good for all skin tones, so that’s a factor that should be discussed during a consultation,” Bassett points out.

Red and copper tones tend to fade faster, so usually, you will need to return for toner appointments to keep it fresh. You’ll need to invest in products that are safe for colored hair. Red and black hair colour ideas like this need a good balance of treatment.