Dark hair with highlights: 8 Of the best A-list examples

Get ready to steal their celebrity secrets!

If you didn’t already know, dark hair with highlights has become one of this season’s hottest trends. But we’d forgive you for not having noticed it right away: because many women who rock this look, have done so in a very subtle way.

From cool contrasts to sun-kissed warmth, there’s wide spectrum of hair hues that can lighten, brighten, and add a new dimension to dark, same-colour locks. And the people working this trend best? The celebs, of course! So, to gain some seriously hot dark hair inspiration, check out the 8 A-list stars who’ve made their manes pop with some nifty highlights.

Dark hair with highlights: Celeb inspiration


dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Lily Aldridge long brown balayage
Dark hair with highlights: Lily Aldridge. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock


If you haven’t tried the balayage hair technique in your dark tresses yet, then you need to get yourself to the nearest salon – like, right now! What makes this colouring technique so great, is that the dye is applied free-hand, so that the highlights have an uber natural finish to them.

Having seen a huge rise on popularity throughout 2016, it is no surprise that the A-list gals have been quick to embrace this colour-enhancing technique. Top stars such as Jessica Biel have long been big fans of balayage, and with Angels such as Lily Aldridge and Gisele Bündchen sporting the look, it’s no wonder the technique has become almost as famous as the women wearing it!

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Mirande Kerr short wavy bob
Dark hair with highlights: Miranda Kerr. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Golden blonde babylights

If you’re looking to really brighten your dark hair this season, then natural, sun-kissed babylights could be the answer. Giving just the right amount of lift to brown base colours, babylights are a very subtle way to incorporate highlights into your mane, that make for an unimposing way to frame your face!

But if you’re finding it hard to imagine what these delicate highlights actually look like, just turn to Miranda Kerr – with the combination of golden-blonde highlights and a stunning wavy lob, she gives her appearance an effortlessly youthful finish.

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Alexa Chung wavy bob ombre
Dark hair with highlights: Alexa Chung. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Golden tips

Chic, stylish, and perfect for adding warmth to your complexion, working your grown-out curls with just a hint of gold at the tips will add great depth and dimension to your cut. And the lady flaunting this ‘do best? Alexa Chung, of course!

Pulling off this trend with ease, Alexa is often seen rocking this look with a highly-textured mane, which you can recreate with a simple spritz of Toni&Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray in your lovely tresses!

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Drew Barrymore long ombre hair
Dark hair with highlights: Drew Barrymore. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock


Ah, ombre! Having first piqued our interest a few seasons back, this colouring technique has only gone from good to great, with more and more people jumping on the ombre bandwagon.

Derived from the French word meaning ‘to shade’, the technique involves gradually lightening the hair from the mid lengths to the ends, leaving a stunning, yet understated contrast to your base tone. And as you can see from Drew Barrymore’s look, ombre works especially well with long, straight locks!

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Lauren Conrad long wavy blonde hair
Dark hair with highlights: Lauren Conrad. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Dirty to platinum blonde

Now, don’t think that highlights have to be kept subtle or worked in small quantities, because that just isn’t the case! We’re here to tell you, that there is a whole host of bright hair colours – from dirty blonde to platinum blonde – that can be rocked in with the ombre technique.

So, if it’s a bigger and bolder look you’ve set your heart on, then do as Lauren Conrad has done and incorporate multiple tones of blonde throughout your mane, but keep your roots their natural shade!

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Alessandra Ambrosio short brown hair
Dark hair with highlights: Alessandra Ambrosio. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Razor thin caramel highlights

On the other end of the colouring spectrum, are these razor-thin caramel highlight, as demonstrated by mega-babe Alessandra Ambrosio. Great for injecting warmth and interest to dark hair, these highlights are utterly effortless to rock, since the combination of varying tones and thin placement makes for an au naturel finish!

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Elizabeth Olsen long wavy hair
Dark hair with highlights: Elizabeth Olsen. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock


If you’re on the fence when it comes to trying out the ombre trend, and just want a look that gently lifts your appearance, then why not ask your hair stylist to incorporate sombre highlights into your cut, instead?

This luscious colouring technique give less contrast than other highlights, by ensuring the colour at the roots remains soft, while the chosen add-on hues are melted seamlessly into your strands. And, as we’re sure Elizabeth Olsen would attest: once you go sombre, there’s no turning back!

dark hair with highlights: All Things Hair - IMAGE - Salma Hayek long brown ombre hair
Dark hair with highlights: Salma Hayek. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Mahogany highlights

Cool, edgy, and perfect for adding an eye-catching dimension to your locks, Salma Hayek shows us all how amazing mahogany highlights are for lifting and enhancing your dark hair. And unlike most highlighting techniques, this one works specifically for ultra dark tresses, since the look incorporates brown hues that appear bright and warming against your base tone!

Editor’s tip: Tempted to pop in some brightening highlights to your dark mane? Then don’t forget to use a wash and care duo that’s been specially formulated for coloured hair, like the Dove Colour Care Shampoo and ConditionerThis lovely wash and care duo will ensure your colour stays vibrant for longer!


Now, if these celebrity dye jobs have convinced you to try out a new look for the season ahead, then why take a quick spin at our Highlights and Hair Colours pages? With every hue under the sun – and plenty of stunning style inspiration – you’ll soon find the coloured ‘do of your dreams!

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