19 Chic Short Hair with Highlights to Show Your Colorist

Best short hair with highlights

Short hair with highlights is any haircut that is neck-length or shorter, with pieces of hair painted with lighter hues against a darker color base. This is surely the most effortless and fun way to spice up a dull hair!

Short Hair Highlights Tips

Sported by fashion icons, Vanessa Hudgens, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus, cropped hair with strategically placed highlights is guaranteed to leave a fabulous impression.

What should be on top of your mind when planning to own this hairstyle is your face shape and skin tone. Short locks might be tricky to perfect because it depends on a number of things – your facial features, hair density, and hair type. Matching the highlights with your complexion should be noted as well.

Plus, there are different techniques to do highlights. If you want a natural-looking dimension and longer time in between salon visits, a balayage is the way to go. You can also tweak the intensity of your highlights depending on how much contrast and brightness you want!

What more could you ask for from this super versatile style?! Head down below to see the different latest versions of short hair with highlights!

Blue Highlights

Short Hair with Blue Highlights
Instagram @jasminblocherhair

A highlight job as fine as this makes your hair look like a solid ultramarine color. Way to go, colorist Jasmin!

Pixie with Highlights

Pixie with Highlights
Instagram @maria.ferrer.riggert

An excitable haircut with an edgy color job! Here, a shaggy do enhances the cut and color completely.

Pink Highlights

Short with Pink Highlights
Instagram @tmcolour

Deviate from your usual highlighting norms by having bold, pastel color accents on a ghostly color.

Black Hair with Ash Grey Highlights

Black Hair with Ash Grey Highlights
Instagram @mjjpersonalhair

You can still do so much with your jaw-length hair. Switch it up with some smoky highlights and big curls for a tasteful take on short hair.

Dark Brown Hair with Purple Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Purple Highlights
Instagram @pinkhairedstylist

Mulberry highlights in brown hair may be the underdog color combo that you need.

Chunky Blonde Highlights

Blonde chunky highlights on short hair
Instagram @colormecrazywithxyzia

After having an a-line cut, grab thick streaks of hair to highlight to get that dolled-up look.

Curly Hair with Highlights

Short Curly Hair
Instagram @cassondrajoartistry

This color job may be tedious and would need you to block your whole day off to achieve. Nonetheless, the results are fantastic and would make all the waiting worthwhile.

Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

Short Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
Instagram @michelleseattlehair

The base hair-highlight combo that we are used to never gets old, does it? Perfection truly is timeless.

Very Short Brown Hair

Very Short Brown Hair
Instagram @aarenmoorehair

Add more body to you chop by giving it a more dimensional look. The highlights certainly do that job for you.

Wavy Hair with Light Brown Highlights

Wavy Hair with Light Brown Highlights
Instagram @jcoolhair_

Q&A with style creator, Jocelyn Cool
Senior Stylist @ Cloud 9 Salon Spa in Tempe, AZ

How would you describe this look?

This is a classic dimensional color – a very natural brunette with blended highlights. Having the highlights blended is lower maintenance than the traditional highlights. It’s a look for the gals who do not want to be in the salon as often.

This haircut is a classic bob. Any age group could wear this look. I used a 1″ curling iron and Bumble and Bumble texture spray to hold this style.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Some people think short hair with highlights is easier to manage. Perhaps that’s the case for some people but short hair does take more effort into styling. The natural dimensional highlight looks like it’s a very low maintenance hair color, but I would still recommend every 8 to 12 weeks to get the highlights touched up.

I feel that any age group could wear this look. Also to keep your color maintained I would recommend a quality salon shampoo. My favorite shampoo and conditioner is the Bumble and Bumble quenching shampoo and conditioner – very lightweight but very moisturizing for all types of hair.

Layered Hair with Red Highlights

Red Highlights
Instagram @colorbyry

Q&A with style creators,
Ryan Thormo – Hair Colorist, and Lenny DeNovellis – Owner & Stylist
@ Finale Hair Salon in East Setauket, NY


How would you describe this look?

I really love the color placement of this look because of all the dimension it gives the haircut. After consulting with my client, we decided to balayage her highlights instead of using a traditional foil technique because she liked the idea of having panels of red without looking too stripey at the root and to make it look more appealing as it grows out. My client’s natural hair color gave me a beautiful, dark canvas to work with and it really shows off the vibrancy of the red highlights.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The first and most important thing is to consider the integrity of their hair and make sure it is healthy enough to highlight. After any highlighting service, I suggest using a moisturizing conditioner or mask to prevent breakage. I like to recommend upkeep of about 4 weeks to glaze the red to prevent fading. In between salon visits, home care is very important. I always suggest using sulfate free shampoo. I like the Gemstone Shampoo and Conditioner by R+Co since it locks the color in. Using a color depositing shampoo about once a week and always rinsing the hair with cool water should also make the color last longer and keep it looking as vibrant and rich as when you left the salon!

Ash Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Joanne Dirracolo
Hairdresser @ Joanne Hair Design in Brampton, ON


How would you describe this look?

It is a graduated bob – classic and timeless yet the icy blonde highlights make it more modern. My client, Katie, loves it styled straight/smooth with a lot of volume at the roots but this cut would also look amazing with some beachy waves.

Any advice for someone considering it?

A bit of advice on short hair with highlights would be getting yourself a good round brush, your favorite volumizing product (mine is “Blow it up” by Short Sexy Hair) and a little hairspray to finish with. This cut works great for most hair types and with the right length can be worn by all fave shapes.

Short hair with highlights looks great with or without bangs. The icy blonde highlights are great for anyone who is dealing with grey. I always suggest a good purple shampoo to maintain the tone. My favorite is Redken Colour Extend Blondage – leaving it in the hair for a few minutes once a week will help keep that icy tone between salon visits.

Short Bob with Lowlights

Q&A with style creator, Caitlin Sue Ryan
Stylist @ Changes Hair Design in Haslett, MI


How would you describe this look?

To me, this look has quite a few elements that make it both trendy and low maintenance. I don’t believe in “finding a cut for your face shape” so much as I believe in finding a cut that makes you feel confident! Depending on your hair texture, shorter cuts with fewer layers are typically easier to wash and go.

More layers require more styling. Texturizing can take a haircut to a new level by allowing the hair to bounce and flow with every strut! Because this beautiful lady’s hair is naturally straight, we prepped with a volume mousse and blow dried, focusing on adding volume to the crown and top. We finished with a flat iron wave, which I find to be a very easy way to curl or wave shorter length hair.

Any advice for someone considering it?

My client is naturally a darker blonde, which makes her a good candidate for lighter, cooler blonde tones. We did a partial highlight and pulled through a lowlight to match her natural color to add dimension. Clients looking to recreate this look should consider their hair history! Lighter blondes are often created in multiple processes if you have dark or previously colored hair. Short bobs can be very low maintenance and stylish, especially for students or anyone who can’t spend more than 10-15 minutes styling their hair.

Caramel Balayage

Q&A with style creator, Maddie
Qualified Stylist @ You’re Gorgeous Hair and Beauty in Geelong, Australia


How would you describe this look?

This look is a dimensional caramel balayage which has been cut into a beautiful short lob. The short cut helps accentuate the clients face, and I love how the color adds texture through the different caramel tones within the style.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Short hair with highlights can complement so many clients! The lob can be made to suit any client by lengthening it or adding some texture throughout.

The color is more for the warmer skin tones as warm hair colors will complement the warm tones in the skin.

Products I would recommend for this style is a heat protectant and a product with a bit of hold so the wave in the hair will hold longer. Following up with a lightweight serum or cream (depending on brand) to add shine and finish the look.

Ask your stylist about how this look can work for you!

Rose Gold Highlights

Rose Gold Highlights
Instagram @ktdelong

Q&A with style creator, Katie Delong
Stylist @ Parlour in Cincinnati, OH


How would you describe this look?

This look is great for so many reasons. The color gives such a bold statement with loads of contrast. The placement and technique will give a softer less noticeable regrowth line as it grows out resulting in longer time between appointments. This short textured cut is a breeze to style. You honestly can’t mess it up! A little volume mouse and a blow dryer finished with a light shine pomade and you have a perfectly tousled look.

Any advice for someone considering it?

If you are looking for a bold statement with low maintenance, short hair highlights are the way to go. The highlights will grow out seamlessly resulting in a few trips to the salon and more money in your pocket. I would recommend going home with a custom color conditioner to keep the rosiness of the highlights. This client is an artist/mom of two so this look is great for her to show off her unique personality but requires little fuss which means more time to tend to the little ones.

Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Sydney Ramey
AVEDA Graduate / Hairstylist @ Vintage Beauty Salon in Round Rock, TX


How would you describe this look?

I love doing warm honey highlights on my clients whose goal is to go bright blonde. It brightens but with little damage. These tones are perfect for someone with medium to dark eyebrows and a tan complexion. I finished this look with a one-length trim and some point cutting at the ends to create a long bob look without all the layers!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for anyone trying to brighten up their facial features with a few warm highlights and frame a rounded face!

Peekaboo Highlights

Peekaboo Highlights
Instagram @amystevie84

Q&A with style creator, Stevie
Stylist @ Aim & Ailie Hair Boutique in Evanston, IL


How would you describe this look?

How I would describe this look is creative with a purpose. My favorite thing about this look is the juxtaposition of tones. Copper (orange) and navy are two opposing colors that pair so well with each other. The navy is a neutral that pairs with everything like a great pair of jeans!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is truly great for anyone especially those who want just a touch of edgy in their life. Doing panels or peek-a-boos is a great way to add a splash of unnatural hair color without being too over the top. I don’t think rules exist anymore with who can wear what. I do know that this particular haircut works extremely well for someone with fine hair.

Be prepared for a moderate level of maintenance to continue wearing a look like this. If you’re thinking about maintaining the length and color as is for a while, you will need regular haircuts (anywhere between 4-8 weeks). Coppers need to be refreshed in that time frame as well. Dry shampoo is your best friend. The less you shampoo, the longer the color will stay vibrant.

Dark Hair with Highlights

Dark Hair with Highlights
Instagram @hairlover603

Q&A with style creator, Crystal Imperato
Senior Stylist @ The Upper Hand in River Oaks, TX


How would you describe this look?

This look is a great way to make fine hair look fuller. The graduated back creates volume and density making it easy to achieve a fullness in all the right areas. The color was done in a way to accent the shape of the cut. The dark underneath keeps it looking dense while the highlights throughout keep it light and airy on top.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This cut is more of a high maintenance style. I recommend getting a reshape every 4-5 weeks to keep the shape sharp and polished. This is a great cut for that client with fine hair that wants a simple cut that’s easy to style every day.

Red Hair with Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Melissa Capone
Hairstylist / Colorist @ Hairology Suite in Mount Sinai, NY


How would you describe this look?

This look is fun but still pretty and soft. It’s a modern layered bob, but I focused on color placement to accentuate the layers and frame around the face. The combination of warmth from the copper base color and the coolness of the blonde highlights really give it a look that “pops.”

Any advice for someone considering it?

This client is actually 70 years old! Proving that age is just a number and you can always have fun with your hair. Because she is significantly grey though, the root touchup requires being done every 4-6 weeks so I wouldn’t say this is a low maintenance color. You would also need to use the right color shampoo and conditioner to order to maintain the color and prevent fading.