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How to Get Blonde Highlights on Dark Hair

These tips will help you master the multidimensional look.
July 13, 2022

Blonde highlights are an excellent option if your hair is looking dull or if you’re simply in the mood to switch things up with your hair color. They instantly illuminate your complexion — no matter your skin tone — and they’re totally customizable, making them a great choice regardless of whether you’re looking for a big change or something subtle. 

But if you have dark hair, you might be wondering how to make blonde highlights work for you. Perhaps you’ve seen people with dark brunette or even black hair try to rock blonde highlights and they just didn’t seem to pull it off. The truth is, mastering blonde highlights on dark hair can be trickier than if your starting shade was light, but it’s certainly possible. 

So ahead, we’re sharing what you should know before getting dark hair with blonde highlights, how to get the look, and how to care for your new hair to keep it in prime condition. 

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What Highlights Will Go With Dark Hair?

There are no rules when it comes to pairing your base shade with blonde highlights, but taking the undertones of your hair into consideration can help ensure that your highlights look flattering. 

If you have dark hair with warm undertones — think deep caramel, chocolate or even dark reddish brown — you’ll want to opt for warm-toned blonde highlights. For your highlight color, choose buttery blonde, golden blonde, or pearl blonde.

If you have cool-toned hair — think mushroom brown, bluish black or mahogany — cool-toned blonde highlights are for you. Opt for highlights that are platinum blonde, ash blonde or silver blonde

By matching the undertones of your base shade and your highlights, you’ll ensure that the highlights are flattering rather than creating too much contrast that could lead to clashing. 

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How to Lighten Dark Hair 

Remember that in order to achieve light blonde highlights on your dark hair, you’ll need to lift your hair color with bleach first. We recommend heading to a salon to have a professional lighten the sections of hair that you’re planning on highlighting because to avoid as much damage to your hair from the bleach as possible. 

Because your base shade is dark, it could take a few sessions to get your highlights perfect. After your hair has been lightened, your stylist will tone the sections to achieve your highlights in your desired shade.

How to Care for Dark Hair With Blonde Highlights 

The process of getting gorgeous dark hair with blonde highlights doesn’t end at the salon — it just begins there. In order to maintain your look, you’ll need to properly care for your hair at home using products that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair among other things.

1. Use Color-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner 

First, be sure to use shampoo and conditioner that are safe on colored hair. We love the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Shampoo with Essential Oil and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Conditioner with Essential Oil because their gentle formulas that won’t strip your color — in fact, they were created with UV filters to protect your color from fading. 

2. Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage

Using hot tools can cause your hair color to fade in addition to damaging your strands. Be sure to protect it when heat-styling by using a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant. The lightweight texture protects your strands from damage without weighing them down.  

3. Use a Hair Mask 

Another great way to keep your color looking vibrant and toned is to use a hair mask, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask, which helps to revitalize color. It contains UV and anti-fade filters to preserve your color, and all you have to do is distribute it through damp hair and let it sit for five minutes before rinsing it out.

4. Use an At-Home Hair Gloss  

You can also enhance the tone and shine of your hair with an at-home hair color gloss, like the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Clear. In just fifteen minutes in the shower, this toning gloss corrects brassiness, enhances shine and deeply conditions your hair. 

Next: Partial Highlights vs. Full Highlights: How To Tell Which Is Right For You

Written by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo credit: IG/@createdbyami

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