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?! Scroll down below to see the hottest ideas for short hair with highlights!

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Blue Highlights on Black Hair

Short Hair with Blue Highlights
Instagram @jasminblocherhair

These blue highlights on short dark hair look luminescent. Colorist Jasmin did an amazing job on this neck-length bob.

Brown Pixie with Highlights

Pixie with Highlights
Instagram @maria.ferrer.riggert

A naturally brown short pixie cut with blonde highlights offers amazing dimension and contrast. If you have thick hair, ask your stylist for an undercut to lighten in out a bit.

Pink Highlights on White Hair

Short with Pink Highlights
Instagram @tmcolour

Deviate from your usual highlighted short hair by having bold, pastel color accents on a ghostly white hue.

Black Hair with Ash Grey Highlights

Black Hair with Ash Grey Highlights
Instagram @mjjpersonalhair

There are still a lot of highlighting options on jaw-length hair. Switch it up with some ash grey short hair 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

Purple highlights in short hair is a gorgeous and edgy hue that isn’t for everyone. If you’re in your teens and 20’s this is a super attention-getting color combo.

Chunky Blonde Highlights

Blonde chunky highlights on short hair
Instagram @colormecrazywithxyzia

Adding highlights to short haircuts really showcases the cut and style. So next time you get a short a-line bob cut, considering adding thick streaks of hair to highlight like this one.

Curly Short Hair with Highlights

Short Curly Hair
Instagram @cassondrajoartistry

Highlighting short hair may be tedious and would need you to block your whole day off to achieve. Nonetheless, the results are fantastic on this short hairstyle and would make all the waiting worthwhile.

Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

Short Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
Instagram @michelleseattlehair

This brown hair with blonde highlights combo that we are used to never gets old, does it? Perfection truly is timeless.

Very Short Brown Hair with Dark Blonde Highlights

Very Short Brown Hair
Instagram @aarenmoorehair

Dark blonde highlights on very short hair will create a more dimensional look on an extra long pixie cut.

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

What’s great about this look?

A natural brunette short haircut with highlights creates blended dimensional color.

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 highlighted short hair is a classic bob that’s perfect for a woman of any age.

What’s your best advice for it?

Some women think short hair with highlights is easier to manage. Perhaps that’s the case for some 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.

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


What’s great about this look?

The color placement on this short layered hair with red highlights gives so much dimension to the haircut.

This was done using balayage highlights instead of using a traditional foil technique because you can have panels of red without looking too stripey at the root and to make it look more appealing as it grows out.

A dark canvas will really show off the vibrancy of the red highlights.

What’s your best advice for it?

When considering highlights for short hair, the first and most important thing is to consider the integrity of your 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  recommend upkeep of about 4 weeks to glaze the red to prevent fading. In between salon visits, home care is very important.

Use a sulfate free shampoo like 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


What’s great about this look?

It is a short graduated bob with ash blonde highlights that makes it more modern.

You can style it straight/smooth with a lot of volume at the roots but this cut would also look amazing with some beachy waves.

What’s your best advice for 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.

Highlights with short hair looks great with or without bangs. The ash blonde highlights are great for anyone who is dealing with grey. I always suggest a good purple shampoo to maintain the tone like  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


What’s great about this look?

This short bob with lowlights 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!

What’s your best advice for it?

A darker blonde makes a good candidate for lighter, cooler blonde tones. You can do a partial highlight and pull through a lowlight to match your natural color to add dimension.

Women 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 Highlights

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


What’s great about this look?

This short style is a dimensional caramel balayage highlights which have been cut into a beautiful short lob.

The short cut helps accentuate your face, and the color adds texture through the different caramel tones within the style.

What’s your best advice for it?

Short hair with highlights can complement so many women! The lob can be made to suit any woman 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.

Use 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.

Rose Gold Highlights

Rose Gold Highlights
Instagram @ktdelong

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


What’s great about this look?

Rose gold highlights in short hair that’s dark 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.

What’s your best advice for it?

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.

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.

Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

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


What’s great about this look?

These warm caramel highlights on short hair are for ladies whose goal is to go bright blonde. It brightens but with little damage.

These tones are perfect for women with medium to dark eyebrows and a tan complexion.

This short haircut is a one-length trim and some point cutting at the ends to create a long bob look without all the layers!

What’s your best advice for it?

This short hairstyle is great for any woman trying to brighten up their facial features with a few warm caramel highlights on brown hair 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


What’s great about this look?

Blue peekaboo Highlights for short hair that’s naturally a copper color offers a bold 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!

What’s your best advice for it?

This short hair is truly great for women who 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.

This particular short haircut works extremely well for someone with short 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


What’s great about this look?

Short dark hair with highlights cut into a graduated bob created volume and density making it easy to achieve a fullness in all the right areas.

The dark underneath keeps it looking dense while the highlights throughout keep it light and airy on top.

What’s your best advice for it?

This short hairdo 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 women with fine hair that wants a simple cut that’s easy to style every day.

Red Hair with Blonde Highlights for Older Women

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


What’s great about this look?

Short red hair with blonde highlights on a modern layered bob looks amazing.

The color placement is 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.”

What’s your best advice for it?

This is a great short hair and highlights for women over 70. It provides that age is just a number and you can always have fun with your hair.

If you have grey hair, 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.