17 Ways to Brighten Up your Look with Highlights for Dark Hair

From subtle to striking, we've got the trendiest options for you.

Throw out the rule book when it comes to highlights for dark hair. Highlight ideas for dark hair range from a few scattered highlights to thick, chunky highlights that make it almost impossible to see your natural hair color.

There are so many dark hair highlight ideas, that it’s hard to narrow it down! You can do foil, balayage, ombré, chunky—even old-school cap highlights. Dark hair with highlights can be blonde, red, blue or a combination too. Here’s a bunch to get you in the mood:

The Best Highlights for Dark Hair this Season

Highlights for Dark Hair ash blonde
Mix in ash blonde highlights.

1. Ash Blonde Highlights

Scatter a few ash blonde highlights throughout your hair.

highlights for dark hair subtle ombre
Make it face-framing.

2. Subtle Ombré

Try ombré highlights near your face, and only at the front of your hair.

highlights for dark hair honey and caramel highlights
Two warm tones together.

3.  Honey and Caramel Highlights

Go with two highlight shades: honey and caramel to create depth.

highlights for dark hair heavy blonde highlights
Thick highlights can change your look.

4. Heavy Blonde Highlights

Go blonde with heavy blonde highlights. To prevent color from going brassy, use a purple shampoo (they prevent both fading and brassy shades) like Bed Head by TIGI Dumb Blonde Shampoo.

Highlights for Dark Hair bronze highlights
Bronze warms everything up.

5. Bronze and Brown

Add warmth to dark hair with bronze highlights.

highlights for dark hair chocolate brown highlights
Chocolate brown is a warm highlight.

6. Chocolate Brown Highlights

Add subtle warm chocolate brown highlights to dark hair.

Highlights for Dark Hair caramel highlights
Highlights so subtle, they look natural.

7. Caramel Highlights

Add a warm tone to your hair with caramel shades. Keep those tones warm by using Catwalk by TIGI Fashionista Brunette Mask once a week.

highlights for dark hair balayage sun kissed
Paint it on. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

8. Sun-Kissed Balayage

Balayage is hand-painted highlights. A stylist can use a thin or thick brush to paint them on. Try the dark hair with highlights look with very thin, very blonde highlights near your face.

highlights for dark hair highlights undercut
Two hot styles look great together.

9. Highlights and an Undercut

Try very heavy highlights, like various shades of pink, leave your dark roots alone, and then have an undercut where your natural hue blazes through.

highlights for dark hair neon and dark green highlights
Playing with dark and light highlights.

10. Dark and Neon Green Highlights

Mix bands of neon and dark green highlights. Let your natural shade peep through.

highlights for dark hair blorange
From dark to bright. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

11. Blorange Ombré

Cast blorange shades through dark hair and finish off the style with a unicorn braid. Keep hair shiny with TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum.

Highlights for Dark Hair scarlet,red and orange highlights
Like a flame.

12. Scarlet, Orange and Red Ombré

Be on fire with highlights for dark hair that range in warm shades from scarlet to orange.

highlights for dark hair gradient highlights
A seamless red is always a fashion-forward option.

13. Gradient Highlights

Color goes from mild to intense at your ends.

Highlights for Dark Hair blue and green highlights.
Better than being a mermaid.

14. Colors of the Sea

Using the colors of the ocean as inspiration, this is a cool look that leaves only your roots and under hair untouched.

highlights for dark hair teal ombre
Dip Dye! Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

15. Teal Ombré

Only the mid-length to the ends are highlighted with a teal blue shade.

Highlights for Dark Hair cherry cola highlights
Go bold.

16. Cherry Cola Highlights

Use cherry cola to frame your face.

highlights for dark hair rainbow highlights
Be the rainbow.

17. Rainbow Highlights

Highlights upon highlights upon highlights! Keep everything shiny and glossy with TRESemmé Smooth & Silky No Frizz Shine Spray.

Need more color inspo? You’ll love Partial Highlights for Brown Hair: 7 Ways to Switch Up Your Look.