45 Gorgeous Hair Highlight Ideas for Every Base Shade

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Written by Rachel Miller

Updated: April 15, 2024

Do you want to completely revitalize and refresh your look without getting rid of your natural hair color entirely? I’ve got one for you, gal pal: highlights!

Highlights add some much-needed color to your tresses without going overboard. Of course, you always have the option of heavy highlighting, which will eliminate most of your natural shade, or you can opt for “barely-there” highlights, which will add just a pinch of depth.

Whether you want bold and look-at-me highlights, subtle highlights, or land somewhere in between, here are the best highlight ideas for every base shade.

magnific 9qajSDI3ow4e0Q8QbBeE Sun Kissed Balayage Highlights on Sandy Blonde Hair

Those with sandy block locks who want that “just off the beach” aesthetic should choose a sun-kissed balayage. With this look, brighter pieces of blonde are strewn throughout your mane in a hand painted manner, ensuring an all-natural appearance.

#2. Lavender Streaks on Platinum Blonde

magnific lNmQ0YlMv3oHZx3UL2vo Lavender Streaks Highlights on Platinum Blonde Hair

Sure, platinum locks are known for their icy intensity – but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Give your platinum base a playful makeover by intertwining some lovely lavender streaks into the mix. Who doesn’t love to look whimsical?

#3. Smokey Grey Highlights in Jet-Black Hair

magnific UCI95pWIeQUOgTxKdseo Smokey Grey Highlights in Jet Black Hair

If you want to give your striking jet-black hair some mystery, smokey gray highlights are precisely what you need. The tame gray shade will play peek-a-boo among the black tresses, creating a look that’s nothing short of captivating.

#4. Fiery Red Highlights on Chestnut Brown Hair

magnific GrDmvYCn3R37U2iqfduH Fiery Red Highlights on Chestnut Brown Hair

Ready to be a redhead? Take a step in the red direction without becoming a full-fledged redhead by applying fiery highlights to your chestnut brown hair. The look is fierce and warming, a great pick for fall and winter months.

#5. Deep Teal Accents in a Raven Black Mane

magnific OcE1MheG1nz66LU5XMQ1 Deep Teal Accents Highlights in a Raven Black Mane Hair

If you’re someone who prefers to add unnatural and fun color to their hair, don’t worry – you can still go the highlight route. For this look, a sizzlin’ black mane is enhanced with deep teal accents for a unique and cool style.

#6. Strawberry Blonde Highlights for Golden Hair

magnific keYZWNQHqS6Nmb6y6NPC Strawberry Blonde Highlights on Golden Hair

Have you ever wanted to dupe people into thinking you’re a natural redhead? It’s simple, really: all you need to do is sprinkle some strawberry blonde highlights within your gorgeous golden hair. This look couldn’t look any more natural – and stunning!

#7. Rainbow Accents for Unicorns at Heart

magnific N1LWV0rZk82mYvbwb1l9 Rainbow Accents Highlights for Unicorns at Heart

Are you a unicorn at heart? It’s time to unleash your true self and show off a hair color that’s as magical as it is eye-catching! Apply the colors of the rainbow to your mane and enjoy every second of it. Be prepared to turn heads with this one, ladies!

#8. Midnight Blue Highlights in Dark Brown Hair

magnific ZceTCo8W0zXIQMdv9sm7 Midnight Blue Highlights in Dark Brown Hair

Midnight blue highlights are able to seamlessly blend in with dark brown hair for a look that’s utterly enchanting. So, if you have dark brunette locks and want something subtle that will cause a mesmerizing change, this is the color for you.

#9. Cool Silver Highlights in Ash Brown Hair

magnific ScUdQVIvIei0iMcG8YWN Cool Silver Highlights in Ash Brown Hair

Silver is all the rage for 2024 but it doesn’t work well with all hair colors. One hair color it looks absolutely fabulous on, though, is ash brown. Ash and silver pair together wonderfully for a contemporary and futuristic twist you’ll love.

#10. Toffee Caramel Highlights on Mocha Brown Hair

magnific xWthmXlYNUj844dDljNT Toffee Caramel Highlights on Mocha Brown Hair

Yes, this style is as beautiful as it sounds! Toffee caramel highlights blend majestically with mocha brown hair, creating an alluring, rich, and inviting style. We can’t help but notice how much depth and dimension those toffee caramel highlights add to the darker base!

#11. Natural Auburn Accents in Brunette Locks

magnific LcPjRwVfLyEiaUAW0Arw Natural Auburn Accents Highlights in Brunette Locks Hair

Adding red to your brunette locks doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, it can be quite subtle and lovely. The best way to do it is to opt for a more tame, natural auburn shade strategically accented throughout your brown tresses.

#12. Platinum Streaks for the Silver Fox

magnific gCFmB4ILZw7Gjcg1EGmI Platinum Streaks Highlights on Silver Fox Hair

It’s perfectly fine to show off your natural gray hair – in fact, we encourage it. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce it up a bit. Platinum streaks are the ideal match for silver, lightening things up for a more youthful approach that adds plenty of character.

#13. Rose Gold Ribbons on Blonde Waves

magnific nth50RvhlSVBSIW7AOPI Rose Gold Ribbons Highlights on Blonde Waves Hair

For women seeking a look that exudes femininity and grace, here’s the perfect trio. Start with blonde locks. Then, add a luxurious and dainty rose gold shade throughout. Finish with a set of soft waves to bring the look together and enjoy.

#14. Mahogany Highlights in Black Hair

magnific 6ZcgPmzyY48CvXqlhWVS Mahogany Highlights in Black Hair

Mahogany highlights are hardly noticeable, yet they make a significant impact. Mahogany strewn throughout black hair will not only create a desirable earthy richness, but the shade will lighten things up for a multi-dimensional finish.

#15. Chunky Chocolate Highlights for Brunette Curls

magnific Bn1PjL38psQxCLmNNLWF Chunky Chocolate Highlights for Brunette Curls Hair

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Your love for this decadent candy doesn’t have to stop at your taste buds. Chunky chocolate highlights on a brunette base add more dynamic and dimension for a gorgeous finish – especially when zhuzhed up with bouncy curls!

#16. Soft Beige Highlights for Dirty Blonde Hair

magnific 33i4p389OOrwngRgTyTb Soft Beige Highlights on Dirty Blonde Hair

Want to liven up your dirty blonde hair? Soft beige highlights are a great option! Soft beige will elevate your natural shade in a natural-looking way. It’s the ultimate “girl next door” hair color that should always be blessed with loose waves like these.

#17. Subtle Coral Highlights on Platinum Blonde

magnific 4myaPsOw6H2ATpClSYzg Subtle Coral Highlights on Platinum Blonde Hair

Platinum and pink are a match made in heaven. Don’t believe me? Then just look at this hair color! Platinum is the ideal base for a soft, coral-pink shade such as this. The result is fairylike, dainty, and unbelievably charming.

#18. Denim Blue Highlights on Ashy Hair

magnific VCg4IeOKKtwhQXTHgEhM Denim Blue Highlights on Ashy Hair

Denim is known for being a fashion staple of the 90s, and it’s making a swift comeback. That doesn’t mean it has to stop at your attire, though. Adding denim blue highlights to ashy hair is a great way to show off this blast-from-the-past fashion in a fun new way.

#19. Olive Green Highlights in Warm Brown Hair

magnific BSSORwiCMdvswbyImoMi Olive Green Highlights on Warm Brown Hair

I hear you’re into earthy tones. Well, lady, I’ve got good news for you. Olive green highlights on warm brown hair are about as earthy and distinctive as one could possibly get. Enjoy this unique blend, and don’t be shocked when everyone wants to know your hair color secret.

#20. White Snow Highlights on Raven-Black Tresses

magnific bCbog69LhRvXmmtkOUHe White Snow Highlights on Raven Black Tresses Hair

For women out there who want jaw-dropping contrast in their tresses, look no further than raven-black tresses adorned with a few look-at-me white snow highlights. Yes, you’ll look like a Disney villain, but who said that was a bad thing?

#21. Golden Copper Highlights in Wavy Brunette Hair

magnific msGJDwZSo9mzhk5rM2KV Golden Copper Highlights on Wavy Brunette Hair

Yes, brunette hair can indulge in sun-kissed highlights, too. They just have to go about it a bit differently – and this is the perfect example. Brunette locks are riddled with golden copper highlights for a look that’s 100% natural-looking and gleaming.

#22. Electric Purple Highlights for a Bold Look

magnific Fr4qeCcyIjzmrdcIHmNC Electric Purple Highlights on Bold Look Black Hair

Statement-making babes who aren’t afraid to step outside the “norm” will love this powerful style! Electric purple highlights are placed upon darker tresses for a wowing style destined to be a head-turner.

#23. Ginger Spice Highlights in Dark Brown Hair

magnific lhECamJ8nCZ4T2aaUZJY Ginger Spice Highlights in Dark Brown Hair

Sugar, spice, and everything nice – yes, this timeless phrase can definitely be used to describe this sensational hair color! Dark brown hair is a great base for ginger spice highlights. The results are warming and delightful, an excellent blend for fall.

#24. Creamy Blonde Highlights in Light Brown Locks

magnific cusXHwfVrpA8fm7X6ACr Creamy Blonde Highlights in Light Brown Locks Hair

Do you have light brown hair but want to know what it would be like to be a blonde bombshell? Step into the world of blonde locks by choosing creamy blonde highlights in your mane. This mixture will undeniably brighten things up without being too light and in your face.

#25. Icy Mint Streaks on Pale Blonde Hair

magnific 26yBVqyexh8OTXK1TuGJ Icy Mint Streaks Highlights on Pale Blonde Hair

Icy mint is undoubtedly one of those cool and contemporary shades everyone keeps talking about, but having a head full of this color can be a bit much. Settle for some streaks placed throughout your pale blonde hair and enjoy the interesting color in the best way.

#26. Mocha Highlights in Deep Black Hair

magnific VwdvaU0rdA4r8OME3VGJ Mocha Highlights in Deep Black Hair

Deep black hair tends to be one-noted. If you’re ready to add more dimension but still want to enjoy a darker hair color, mocha highlights are the obvious choice. They’ll add a delicious pinch of richness and depth.

#27. Peachy Pink Highlights for Blonde Bombshells

magnific 3VNdUKmKmaSzZAUw8dck Peachy Pink Highlights on Blonde Bombshells Hair

Unnatural hair colors can look elegant and feminine, and this is a great example! Bright blondes who want to add color to their mane while capturing a dainty err should choose these soft, peachy pink highlights

#28. Chestnut Highlights on Golden Brown Hair

magnific mGrFoSHjbMMHzFhOZxSG Chestnut Highlights on Golden Brown Hair

Sometimes, highlights are more about enhancing a base shade – which is the case for this color combination. Chestnut highlights immediately enhance golden brown hair in ways you never thought possible. Bring the blend to life with subtle, loose curls.

#29. Lemon Yellow Highlights in Light Blonde Hair

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Some women are sick and tired of the same old hair colors. Does that sound like you? Then it’s time to do something a bit wild, babe. If you’ve got light blonde hair, consider tossing in some bright lemon-yellow highlights. Yeah, it’s bold and different, but that’s never bad. Be daring!

#30. Rich Coffee Highlights in Medium Brown Hair

magnific u9eTDSpcOlTZc7bfJcva Rich Coffee Highlights in Medium Brown Hair

Blending darker and lighter browns is always an easy way to achieve a polished and sophisticated style loaded with depth, and this style is one of our favorite ways to get there. Start with medium brown hair, then add rich coffee highlights. So elegant!

#31. Vibrant Indigo Streaks on Dark Hair

magnific F30o9FLAuaqlXlWzD1h1 Vibrant Indigo Streaks Highlights on Dark Hair

Rocker babes who aren’t afraid of the limelight will love this blend. Vibrant indigo streaks on dark hair are undeniably show-stopping. With this hair color, you’ll have all eyes on you wherever you go. After all, it’s electrifying.

#32. Soft Lavender Highlights for Silver Hair

magnific 3i66shv7vmK1ZoKg5MWu Soft Lavender Highlights on Silver Hair

Blending two of the hottest hair color trends for 2024 is obviously a spectacular idea – and it looks terrific, too! Give your modern silver hair some playful attitude by tossing in soft lavender highlights.

#33. Dusky Pink Highlights on Medium Blonde Hair

magnific 8siPl1BGaxYrnfJcY8Yi Dusky Pink Highlights on Medium Blonde Hair

Let’s face it – pink will always look fantastic on blonde hair. But if intense colors of pink aren’t your thing, don’t worry – you don’t have to eliminate your pink reams entirely. Dusty pink is a very subtle shade of pink that will add a sense of romanticism to your aesthetic.

#34. Cherry Red Accents on Dark Chocolate Hair

magnific jy5zo33tSRQacl5icNXf Cherry Red Accents Highlights on Dark Chocolate Hair

Dark chocolate hair is stunning, but it’s missing that “element of surprise.” Well, ladies, you can utilize cherry red accents to create a standout aesthetic that’s certainly surprising and exciting. This fierce shade of red is hot, hot, hot!

#35. Bronzed Brown Highlights on a Dark Brown Mane

magnific TDds0tNk1OZ6gtzi7K77 Bronzed Brown Highlights on a Dark Brown Mane Hair

Is it time to refresh your dark brown mane? If you don’t want anything too drastic, some bronzed brown highlights can be a great choice. This color will gently refresh your style with depth and liveliness you’ll adore.

#36. Burnt Orange Highlights for Autumn Vibes

magnific m5Wg3v6XTfbQJWInfZVd Burnt Orange Highlights on Brown Hair

While fall-ready hairstyles tend to lean toward more natural shades, there’s certainly nothing wrong with indulging in a color blend that recreates the actual look of a sunset. You can do this by adding burnt orange highlights to your brown hair!

#37. Moss Green Highlights on Dirty Blonde

magnific 9mkOTc7mqSvKkt4yQMzm Moss Green Highlights on Dirty Blonde Hair

Becoming a fairy from the forest doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with this hair color, you can immediately transform yourself into a storybook character. Moss green on dirty blonde is earthy, cool, and interesting, ideal for nature-loving gals.

#38. Sky Blue Highlights on Light Brown Hair

magnific JbcvVsvDBqK3d6kcD0E2 Sky Blue Highlights on Light Brown Hair

Want to add a celestial vibe to your locks? Sky blue highlights on light brown hair are an easy way to do it! This unique hair color is definitely one you’ll need to add to your social media account using the hashtag #celestialvibe.

#39. Deep Plum Highlights in Dark Curls

magnific 4sdrL1kCLzvR4s8F9597 Deep Plum Highlights in Dark Curls Hair

Purple doesn’t have to be intense or overbearing. It can look quite sophisticated when done correctly, such as this. Deep plum highlights will add a touch of mystery and beauty to your dark her, especially when you have naturally tighter ringlets.

#40. Classy Pearl Highlights on Silver Hair

magnific xmfNGzBIQiGzVIcQjzKO Classy Pearl Highlights on Silver Hair

Silver may appear futuristic, but you can give your silver tresses a luxurious makeover by adding pearl highlights. This blend is captivating and classy, reserved for women who want to indulge in a fashion-forward yet refined appearance.

#41. Emerald Green Highlights for Black Tresses

magnific OiTRcy5xf4A5gLXLtJsI Emerald Green Highlights on Black Tresses Hair

Stunning, yet mysterious and intense, emerald green highlights on a black base is a blend that leaves a lasting impression. It’s certainly not a color you’ll find day in and day out, but it’s a shade you’ll fall in love with the minute you see it.

#42. Sunkissed Ombre on Long Blonde Locks

magnific femVNYBvGwoGWWK66Rg6 Sunkissed Ombre on Long Blonde Locks Hair

Hey, surfer babe. Did you just get back from the beach? When summer rolls around, there is no better time to dip your long blonde locks into sunkissed ombre hair coloring. It looks entirely sun-made and lovely.

#43. Zebra Stripes for the Adventurous Soul

magnific zrTKqfwnykJUKtW1fV2k Zebra Stripes Highlights on Black Hair

Adventurous souls need a hair color that will match their creative personality, and what better option than “zebra stripes?” Although undeniably different by nature, zebra stripes are a fun way to express your creativity with no limits.

#44. Ashy Charcoal Highlights on Jet-Black Hair

magnific JwgehYmlbEbReMDYc2mV Ashy Charcoal Highlights on Jet Black Hair

Adding a monochrome tapestry to your jet-black hair is a cinch: just add ashy charcoal highlights and call it a day. This hairstyle works well on any hair, but we can’t help but love the way the colors play together within loose waves.

#45. Cinnamon Highlights for a Spicy Look

magnific cfBghFRXqeukgXC3rYHN Cinnamon Highlights on Brunette Hair

Add some spice to your life with cinnamon highlights! Cinnamon highlights on brown hair will immediately cause a rich and warming effect for a hair color that’s beautiful, beaming, and completely ready for the changing seasons.

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