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20 Fun Ideas for Black Hair With Highlights

Highlights are an easy way to give your black strands some dimension.
December 09, 2022

Black hair
is striking on its own, touted for its rich, luminous and monochrome color. But what many fail to recognize is that it looks equally as gorgeous with highlights. When you have ultra-dark hair, it’s easy to believe highlights are off the table, but this hair-brightening technique isn’t solely reserved for sun-kissed brunettes and natural-looking blondes. 


Whether you want to add depth to your black hair or simply perk up your shade without committing to all-over color, highlights are the perfect solution when you want to switch up your look. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out these 20 gorgeous highlight ideas for black hair.

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1. Black Hair With Silver Highlights 

Gone are the days when silver and gray strands were something to stress about. Besides giving your black strands a vibrant, metallic pop of color, silver highlights are a great option if you’re already going gray. If not, they’re totally achievable with bleach and permanent dye or with a temporary hair color spray like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Silver


2. Black Hair With Cherry Red Highlights 

The combination of black and deep cherry offers a playful, cherry cola-inspired hair color. If you want the deep red highlights to blend seamlessly with your black hair, look for a colorist who specializes in the balayage technique to subtly brush on vibrant hints of crimson color. This technique not only looks less chunky than traditional highlights, but it’s much less maintenance.

If you want to test out cherry red highlights before you head to the salon, pick up the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Red.

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3. Black Hair With Platinum Blonde Highlights 

If you want to give your black strands a grungy twist, platinum blonde highlights are sure to do the trick. Pairing your jet black strands with platinum highlights will create a bold contrast, giving your hair extreme dimension. Since this hair color requires bleach, it may be best to leave it to the experts.


On the other hand, if you’re confident in your hair dyeing skills and want to DIY your platinum blonde highlights, reach for a hair color bleach like the L’Oréal Paris Féria Hyper Platinum Advanced Lightening System Bleach in Hyper Platinum


4. Black Hair With Chocolate Brown Highlights 

If the sun-kissed brunette hair flooding your timeline has you envious, get in on the look with gorgeous, chocolate brown highlights. The trick to achieving beautiful black hair with sun-kissed-looking brown highlights is to opt for chocolate tones that will closely resemble the way the sun would naturally lighten dark hair. 

Of course, you can go lighter on the brown spectrum, just keep in mind that the more contrasting the color combo is, the less natural and sun-kissed the end result will look.


5. Black Hair With Mahogany Highlights 

It’s clear that anything that resembles a copper, mahogany or auburn hair color is having a moment. As one of the year’s hottest colors, it looks amazing when incorporated with black hair to create a deep, rich hair color. If you want to get it at home, try the L’Oréal Paris Féria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color in Rich Mahogany.  

6. Black Hair With Navy Blue Highlights 

Another subtle highlight option for black hair is navy blue highlights. While navy blue is a unique, fun hair color to experiment with, it’s not a major contrast from black hair, making it a great choice if you’re looking for something muted. Plus, the result rivals a gorgeous blue-black hair color with a glossy, luminous finish. 

Head to the salon to get navy blue ribbons of color added to your tresses or DIY the look with the L’Oréal Paris Féria Midnight Bold Multi-Faceted Permanent Hair Color in Cosmic Azure


7. Black Hair With Caramel Highlights 

Playing with various undertones is a great way to add an eye-catching element to your hair color. For a sweet touch, give caramel highlights on black hair a try. We particularly love this pairing when done with the balayage highlighting technique, as it places caramel highlights throughout the hair for beautiful dimension without an overly stark contrast.

We recommend heading to the salon to get caramel balayage but the good thing is, this lived-in color grows beautifully and doesn’t require routine touch-ups like traditional highlights. 


8. Black Hair With Cool-Toned, Ashy Balayage 

Another hair color idea practically made for people with dark brown or black hair is cool-toned balayage. Rather than creating golden blonde streaks as you would with traditional balayage, this technique involves lightening strategically-placed strands for ashy, subtle and natural-looking highlights. Once hair is highlighted, it’s toned one more time to give your strands a cool-toned, subdued blend of color. 

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9. Oil Slick Hair 

This edgy hair trend was definitely thought up with dark hair in mind. Inspired by the mix of magenta, purple, cobalt and green colors reflected in puddles of gasoline and oil on the pavement, oil slick hair is the perfect option for those with black hair who want to sport some rainbow hues. Head to the salon to get the metallic mix of colors that beautifully resembles an imperfect oil spill. 


10. Black Hair With Sombré Highlights 

A softer take on ombré, sombré is an excellent choice if you want lightened ends but are hoping to avoid the stark contrast that an ombré hair color produces. The key is to pick a shade that’s just a few shades lighter than your current color to create a gradual, subtle transition. 

11. Black Hair With Rose Gold Highlights 

Adding rose gold hair color to any base shade instantly gives a romantic twist to your strands. Add some softness to your black strands by testing out rose gold highlights with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Rose Gold


12. Black Hair With a Blue Money Piece 

Face-framing highlights like a money piece is great for brightening your features. To get in on the look, opt for a money piece in a flattering turquoise blue hue to frame your features and create a vibrant pop against your inky black hair. 


13. Black Hair With Pastel Blue and Gray Highlights 

Consider adding a soft and playful element to your rich hair color with pastel blue and gray highlights. The cool-toned shades are flattering against black hair and the lighter colors add a bright contrast to your overall hue. Give the look a go with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Pastel Blue and Silver.

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14. Black Hair With Pastel Purple Highlights 

Speaking of pastel hair colors, black hair with pastel purple highlights is striking and provides gorgeous dimension. This trendy color is all about keeping your roots dark and transitioning them into a striking lilac hue. 

This isn’t for those looking for a subtle hair color because the combo of black hair and purple highlights make for a bold statement. See what all the hype is about — for a day — with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Pastel Lavender.


15. Black Hair With Raspberry Highlights 

While neutrals might be more your comfort zone, you’d be surprised to see what a perfect complement raspberry highlights can be for your black hair. This rich, mid-tone shade combines red, pink and purple ribbons of color and makes for a gorgeous addition to shiny, black tresses. Give it a (temporary) go with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Color in Raspberry.


16. Black Hair a Mint Green Skunk Stripe

Black hair paired with a mint green skunk stripe pays a vibrant homage to one of the hottest ‘90s hair color trends making its way back into the fold. The green skunk stripe does wonders for framing the face and in contrast with your rich, black hair color, it’s sure to stand out. 


For a temporary, green skunk stripe that lasts until your next shampoo, try out the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Pastel Mint.

17. Black Hair With Emerald Green Highlights 

If you’re into vivid, gemstone hues, you’ll love sporting emerald green highlights. The bright kelly green hue is super vibrant and flattering on all skin tones, plus, it’s a super cool way to give your color a completely custom twist. 

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18. Black Hair With Copper Highlights 

If you’re down to play with warm tones, but want to keep it fairly neutral, copper highlights are for you. This red-orange hybrid shade features hints of brown and red to add depth and brightness to your strands. The end-result is an edgy yet sophisticated hair color with dimensional, warm-toned ribbons that will make your hair look anything but basic.

19. Black Hair With Burgundy Highlights 

To liven up black hair and add some spice to your look, go for burgundy highlights. If you’re unsure about how long you’ll want to sport this vivid shade, take it for a test drive with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Burgundy. 

20. Black Hair With Gold Highlights 

If you want to brighten up your hair with metallic ribbons of color, gold highlights are the only acceptable answer. They’re customizable, universally flattering and the metallic hue is a gorgeous complement to your glossy black hair color. Get the look with L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Gold.

Next: Mane Changer: 5 Ways to Add Rich, Oxblood Hair Color to Your Look

Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo Credit: iStock

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