With highlights hair regardless of its color and texture instantly gains more definition and dimension. Highlights come in a wide variety of colors and styles. As there are many ways to add streaks to your locks, everyone will find a look to their taste. If you have decided to give your current hair color a fresh touch and need some inspiration, you are sure to find it here. In the following guide, we have included every piece of information you need to know about highlighting your hair and backed it up with the most beautiful ideas.


What Is Hair Highlighting?

Highlighting is a popular hair coloring technique that implies adding streaks to your hair several shades lighter than your original hair color. As they look striking against the color of the base, your hair seems multidimensional. To create hair highlights, hairstylists usually employ a lightener, a hair dye, or a color.


Obviously, there are several ways to add highlights to your hair. They differ not only in the placement of highlights but also in the technique used to apply them. For your convenience, we have broken down the most common types of highlights below.

Full Highlights

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Full hair color highlights are arguably the easiest type for understanding. The color is applied starting from the roots all the way down to the tips. So, the whole strand is highlighted. This hair color style is a great option for anyone who wants to change the whole appearance of their hair. If you often sport updos or half-up hairstyles, full highlights are a great way to accentuate them. However, make sure the color is applied consistently.


Partial Highlights

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Those who are not ready to venture out for a full head of highlights yet can get away with partial highlights. This style features light streaks only on the top of the head and in its front. Typically, they do not go past the ear tips and do not involve the underlying strands, leaving them the original hair color. Partial highlights make your initial hair color deeper, so they are a failsafe option for women with fine and thin locks. Also, you can never go wrong with choosing these highlights for short hair, as they do not create a cheetah spot effect.

Face Framing Highlights

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Face framing highlights are one of the best ways to enhance your facial features. They bring out your most beautiful traits while drawing attention away from any potential flaws. One of the reasons why they are so flattering is because they are painted with your natural hair parting in mind. So, if you want to brighten up your face and give it a sun-kissed effect, go for this highlights hair look.



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Babylights are a more natural way to wear highlights. These are subtle streaks painted in your locks so that they only accentuate your base color while not making it striped. Because babylights look as if they were weaved into your hair, they are often called micro weaves. Apart from a sun-kissed appearance, they also offer you low maintenance because when your hair grows out, they still look pretty decent. The number of streaks and their thickness may vary, depending on your preferences. This also affects the cost of the service.


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Lowlights are very similar to highlights. This is also a technique to dye your hair by adding streaks of color to it. However, low lights are aimed at making your hair color deeper, not brighter. So for them, you need to use darker shades than the color you already have. In case you are up to a really fashionable and striking look, you can spice up your hair color with both lowlights and highlights.

Peekaboo Highlights

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For peekaboo highlights hair is dyed so that light streaks hid in underlying layers leaving the top and parting area intact. So, they are only visible when you move or wear a certain hairstyle. One of the benefits of peekaboo hair is that they do not require regular upkeep. You can visit your hairstylist once a month or even more rarely.


Chunky Highlights

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Chunky highlights were huge in the 90s and at the beginning of the 2000s. And now, similar to other beauty trends, they are making a huge comeback. They incorporate thick pieces of hair that create a striking contrast with your base hair color. There are no strict requirements for the thickness and frequency of chunks. You can start with few highlights to try on the style and increase their number on your next appointment.

Balayage Highlights

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Balayage highlights are exactly what they sound like. This is a combination of two popular hair coloring techniques – highlighting and balayage. This style takes the best of both – color melting of balayage and narrow light streaks of highlights. As a result, you get a gorgeous brightening effect that requires little maintenance.

Inspirational Ideas For Your Next Highlights Hair Style

We have covered the most common types of highlights. However, it does not mean that there are no other ways to achieve the look. Instead, there is a wide range of highlight styles for every preference. So, to infuse you with some inspo, we have picked out the most gorgeous ideas below.


Brown Hair With Highlights

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Brown hair with highlights is a very popular combo. Even though this hair color already looks gorgeous, highlights can beautifully spice it up. Besides, there are many ways to paint highlights on brown hair. You can accentuate brown hair with blonde highlights or try out caramel highlights on brown hair for a softer look. If you are into more unusual and bold hairstyles, then you may like brown hair with red highlights.

Highlights For Dark Brown Hair

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Highlights for brunettes are a great way to give their hair movement and definition. To create a pronounced contrast, consider lighter shades. If you are leaning toward a more reserved and delicate look, embellish your dark brown hair with highlights in deeper colors. No matter what style you are going to choose, you may rest assured that it will come out stunning.

Blonde Hair With Highlights

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Blonde hair with highlights creates an effect as if you have just turned back from a week-long vacation. Blonde highlights will give your mane a sun-kissed and breezy feel. This hair color looks especially good when you style your locks in relaxed beachy waves. Those who like to experiment with more flamboyant and bold colors should go for blonde hair with red highlights, which instantly draws all attention to you.


Black Hair With Highlights

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Highlights work for any hair color and black is no exception. Black hair with highlights always looks eye-catching and cutting edge thanks to the high contrast the streaks create with the base. Of course, you do not have to go with extremely light highlights. Black hair with blonde highlights may sometimes stand out too much. For a more subdued effect, complement your black hair with highlights in caramel, hazelnut, or chocolate brown. You can also try out unusual color solutions. Consider black hair with purple highlights or black hair with blue highlights.

Red Highlights

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What we really like about red highlights is that they will not let you go unnoticed. Red streaks match any hair color perfectly, from platinum blonde to raven black. Besides, there are plenty of shades of red to choose from. If you want to add a pop of color to your blonde hair, then consider rose-red or crimson. Black hair with red highlights is a classic color combo. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. So, you cannot miss it.

Blue And Purple Highlights Hair Ideas

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Similar to blue, purple highlights are gaining more popularity nowadays and no wonder. Purple pieces will make any hair color look out of this world. Yet, if you want to take it to another level, then go for blue and purple highlights in one look. These two shades pair nicely and result in a well-balanced hair color style.


Transition To Grey Hair With Highlights

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Highlights are a perfect option for those whose hair has started to turn gray but they are not ready to dye their locks completely yet. So, you can create a smooth transition to grey hair with highlights, thus disguising any signs of aging. Although a seamless transition would be easier to achieve on light brown hair with highlights, this trick works with both light and dark hair colors.

Highlights Hair Maintenance Tips

Knowing how to highlight hair properly is important, of course. But this is only half to success. You should also take care of highlights hair properly to maintain the color as long as possible. Follow these tips, which will allow you to postpone touch-ups:

  1. Do not shampoo your hair at least 3 days after you get highlights. Because the cuticles in your hair open when you dye it, shampooing it within 72 hours may wash out the color. It may take around three days for your cuticles to close, so make sure not to wash the hair during this period.

  2. Switch to no sulfate hair products. Sulfates remove moisture and oils from your locks, resulting in color fading. So, getting highlights means it is time to reconsider your shampoo and conditioner choices opting for sulfate-free alternatives.

  3. Do not wash your hair in hot water. Hot water opens your hair cuticles and the color becomes exposed. Use only warm or even cool water to both wash and rinse your locks if you want to avoid color stripping.

  4. Adjust the frequency of washing your hair. As the rule of thumb, the more often you wash your mane, the sooner you wash out the hair dyes. So, do not shampoo your hair more often than two or three times per week. To keep your strands fresh between washes, employ a dry shampoo.

  5. Protect the locks with heat protectants. Because your hair is chemically or color-treated, you need to additionally protect it from heat damage and UV rays while maintaining a decent level of hydration. Apply leave-in products as well as heat protectants before you use any hot tool on your locks.

FAQ: Hair Highlights

Do Highlights damage your hair?

Highlighting affects your hair in the same way as a semi permanent dye. So, it will not cause so much damage as bleaching the strands. However, your hair structure still can be altered from the inside, which results in dry and dull locks.

Does highlights make you look younger?

Hair highlights may actually erase several years from your face. Highlighting your tresses with light shades, especially if you place them near your face, will make a youthful and brightening effect.

Do highlights fade after washing hair?

In short, yes. The color, even if it is highlights, may wash off if you shampoo your hair right after the procedure. So, give your hair time to close the cuticles, which usually happens during 2-3 days.

How long does highlighted hair last?

The lifespan of highlights depends on many factors, such as your initial color and how light you want to go, how properly you follow an after care routine and many others. As such, highlights on dark hair may fade away faster than dirty blonde hair with highlights. Yet, on average, you will need to pay a visit to your hairstylist to touch up your highlighted hair every month or two.

How often should hair be highlighted?

So that the color looks decent, the interval between the appointments should not be longer than six or eight weeks. But, if you notice that your roots have grown out for almost 2 in., it may be a signal that it is time to book a new appointment.

On that note, it is pretty obvious that highlights hair will never go out of fashion. It provides you with so many benefits that once you try it, you will not want to get back to your regular hair color. Hopefully, our guide has given you full insight into the look and you already know what highlights style to ask your hairstylist for.

  • We spoke with the hair color pros for their insight on highlights. . Source