The times may have been mighty rollercoaster-y lately, but the good news is that as of press time, we’re only, uh, 80+ days away from spring! (Looking at the bright side is one of our resolutions, FYI.) Just like how this season of new beginnings heralds a new circle of life in nature, it’s also the best time for us to debut a radical new hue—such as some stunning red hair with highlights and glosses—to set us apart, and set the tone for the fashion school year ahead.
Scroll down for a gamut of our favorite red hair with highlights looks—12 to be exact, because you’ve got a whole year of ideas to play with! Now all that’s left is a color-safe system, the occasional purple shampoo and you’re good to go:
Red Hair With Highlights: 12 Fun, Confident New Looks for the Upcoming Year
Y’all have seen this blonde-orange hybrid blow up on social media recently, and we’re all over it. This pretty spinoff of last year’s massive rose gold trend is perfect for red newbies: More of a light peach than full-on scarlet, it eases your eye into those reddish tones, with less of the upkeep too. The kiddie pool of red hair with highlights, blorange allows you to play in the shallow end—and what a pretty, sunset-like end it is—before going for a more intense fix.
February: Red + Peach Ombré
Can’t choose between a robust red and a pretty pinkish/peachy hue for Valentine’s Day? Get a color that gives you both. Not as jarring as it sounds in the slightest, this feminine hue is similar to having freshly dyed roots and ends that have been slightly ashed out by the passage of time. In other words, a bit sexily lived-in, which is a dainty yet trendy look to sport during the tail-end of the winter months, as it gives a last-minute rosy glow to your countenance. Looks fab over candlelit dinners too, wink wink.
March: Copper with Honey Highlights
Urge in the sunnier spring season with an equally confident hue. A light copper hair color is just the thing to match with a wardrobe full of transitional neutrals; bright honey and caramel highlights do their job to keep your look sharp and on-trend. For maximum impact, try styling your hair in a directional shoulder-dusting length, paired with some chic bangs—the weather’s letting up, so it’s time to put that beanie to rest.
April: Copper with Ash Brown Waves
Romance is in the air, and we’re hair-flippin’ our way down the street! Which is a really enjoyable thing to do, by the way, if you’re sporting a lush, sophisticated hue such as copper and ash brown. And since we can’t rule out the effects of that flirty spring fling, this particular combo of red hair with highlights (ideal for those with cooler undertones) neutralizes any unwanted redness around your features, leaving you instead with an allover bright, perky flush.
May: Bright Copper Balayage
If you’ve always wanted hair the color of freshly minted pennies, then this shade is for you. Rev it up with a balayage process in a similar shade—perhaps one to two shades lighter or darker, depending on your stylist—and you’ll end up with a rich, super-sexy, multi-tonal red that also looks more natural. Note: May weather is one of the mildest and most neutral of the year too, meaning more time for you to enjoy this shade in its least frizzed-out or sun-bleached form.
June: Chocolate Mauve
Remember this look? Yeah, it’s still going strong. This lovely mix of brown and reddish purple gave a whole, adult new spin on wearing alternative hues. Chocomauve is an understated shade that’s highly forgiving on most skin tones; and like blorange, it’s also a gateway shade for those not quite into the shock factor that red hair with highlights can bring. Great for a mid-year refresh, mauve can lend your regular brown hue that pop of color it needs just in time for summer.
July: Rooty Orange
A zesty, edgy color that’s in step with the summer vibes, an orangey hue (done up in a cute high ponytail that conveniently keeps you fresh in hot weather) is a cute color to try. Dark roots maintain a street-style flavor, while the neon lengths and ends go well with the fun mood of the month, all the while retaining a low-maintenance feel. A purple hair mask, like Catwalk by TIGI Fashionista Violet Mask for Blondes, helps keep brassiness at bay.
August: Grown-Out Copper
High summer calls for a straightforward color that’s also easy to maintain, and a tiny, copper bob with hints of grown-out roots aces that gritty/pretty look in one go. Ladies who want an edgy red hairstyle, or those flirting with going the darker route from red, can try this moody look as the fall approaches.
September: Bright Auburn
Welcome fashion month with a bang with a sophisticated auburn hue with shiny balayage highlights. The clean tones of a cool auburn-copper mimic the crisp new breeze brought in by the new season. For an extra touch, ask your stylist for a fresh gloss to bring out the dimensions in your shade, which can breathe new life—and a healthy-looking smoothness—into your colored strands.
October: Scarlet + Purple
A two-toned hue made of scarlet roots and darker, maroon-mauve ends is on-point during this month, when most people can benefit from the extra boost of color to their complexions. Robust without overpowering, this combination of red hair with highlights done on the roots is called a reverse ombré and is best suited for those unafraid to explore the darker side of the red family without going all out.
November: Dark Auburn
Cozy campfires and Thanksgiving gatherings call for a hue that’s as natural as it is rich. A deep, multi-faceted auburn checks all these boxes and then some, as it gives the right shot of color to your features without going crazy on the streaking, which can seem out of touch this time of the year. Curls with just the right amount of lowlights best exemplify the dimensions in this hue.
December: Brown to Bright Red Ombré
The end of the year is a moody time for most, and a shade that brings together this melancholy mood with the bright, chipper holidays pays good homage. An ombré that starts darker at the root and gradually brightens up to a holly-red orange at the tips is in step with the tune of the December party season, not to mention provide a lot of styling peek-a-boo opportunities with your holiday updos. It also gives you the opportunity to decide whether to grow your color out or to continue on the redheaded path—but that’s for 2018 to see!
Want red hair care tips? Check out the best way to care for your new color.