Even girls who like to be brunettes sometimes wonder if they should lighten their hair, at least a few strands? If you are in such thoughts now, consider highlighting ideas for dark hair from our selection

What is highlighting?

Highlighting is a coloring technique that involves lightening the hair in strands. The peculiarity of highlighting is that the dye is applied to the strands from the roots to the tips. Initially, this technique was used to give the hair a visual volume - this effect was achieved by the contrast between the background color of the hair and the shade of the strands.

Now they resort to highlighting in a variety of cases. This, for example, is one of the ways to create the effect of sun-bleached hair. Sometimes the emphasis is on lightening the strands of the face to make it more open and refresh the image. Sometimes, on the contrary, light strands are evenly distributed throughout the entire volume of hair - not only on the top layer, but also in depth. So get expressive play of shades. In addition, they also do color highlighting on dark hair - there are no restrictions, so it is not at all necessary to work in this technique only with natural shades.And if you are for the classics, pay attention to the Colorista Balayage cream paint from L’Oréal Paris.

Types of highlighting on dark hair with photo

There are different types of highlights, and most of them can be safely used on dark hair if you choose shades that match the background color.


Highlighting in its classic form implies the most natural lightening of strands with frequent alternation of new and primary colors. The strands are dyed from root to tip. To achieve a natural effect allows not only the choice of shade, but also a different volume of strands: some should be a little thicker, others a little thinner.

You can try this effect with Olia by Garnier.


This type of highlighting is different in that it does not use foil. The paint is applied to the hair and is not covered with anything. The dyed strands thus come into contact with the rest of the hair - and the result is even more highlights. In addition, dyeing without foil allows you to achieve a softer contrast - those who are for naturalness will like it.


The main goal of California highlighting is the effect of sun-bleached hair. They deviate from the rules of classical highlighting here: not all strands are dyed from the very roots - many lighten at different levels.

Back highlights

Usually, when highlighting, the hair is lightened. In the reverse, the strands, on the contrary, are slightly darkened. They do this for the same purpose as in classic highlighting - to achieve a voluminous color, decorate it with tints. The advantage of this method is that the strands do not have to be injured by bleaching. However, reverse highlighting is suitable only for those whose hair is not too dark.

Varieties of highlighting are also considered such now popular techniques as shatush (highlighting with an ombre effect) and balayage (multi-color shatush - it uses several close, but still different shades).


How to choose the right shades for highlighting?

The choice of shades largely determines whether highlighting on dark hair will be successful. To create an up-to-date, not trendy, old-fashioned look, try to avoid a sharp contrast between the original color and the lightening result.

It is also important to consider your color type. Golden strands will be in harmony with the warm color type, they can be added to the image by highlighting on brown hair (for example, light brown). And for those who have light brown hair with an ashy undertone, it is better to dye the strands in cold shades. By following this simple rule, you will get a beautiful natural result.

But if you want to make bright highlights, then the approach will be different. A cold blue shade can be combined with a chestnut color that has a warm undertone, and a fiery red color can be worn on a cold background - for example, on tar-black hair. Here, how good the shade of paint is to create a dramatic contrast plays a much larger role.


Fashion ideas for highlighting long dark hair

Ombre highlights

Contrasting highlights with very light strands against the background of dark hair are a reminder of the trends of the 90s and zero, which are no longer so relevant in coloring. Choose shades with which the contrast will be implicit, and in the case of long hair, add a slight ombre effect - additional lightening of the main shade closer to the tips. The natural result in this case is guaranteed.

Pastel highlights

Highlighting does not always mean choosing a “pure” blond for contrasting strands. Any shades can look interesting. Try pastel colors like lavender after bleaching. The effect will be fresh, unusual, but soft - just right for those who want change, but are not ready for radically bold experiments.

Highlights with soft contrast

How to make straight long hair visually more voluminous with highlights? Graduate with a soft change in length - this is the first step. To create the effect of volume, not only a haircut, but also coloring should work. Therefore, the second step is to lighten the strands. It should be barely noticeable, with a change of literally a tone or two. If highlighting is done on dark hair of medium length, styling with waves or curls will add expressive volume.

Highlights on medium length dark hair

Burnt highlights

To make your hair look like you spent a couple of weeks in the sun by the sea after dyeing, you need to work with levels - apply paint to both the top layer and the bottom strands. In addition, you should “move” the color along the length a little - dye not only from the very roots of the hair, but also from the middle down.So you will achieve a light natural negligence, the feeling of the play of sunlight on your hair.

Sparse highlights on dark hair

The larger the strands that lighten when highlighting, the more the image changes. Therefore, if you only need to refresh it, choose rare highlights for dark hair. A few highlights are enough to give your natural shade a new look.

Highlights on the face

Another way to transform without drastic changes is to lighten several strands framing the face using the highlighting technique. Many stylists believe that such staining has a rejuvenating effect. Framing with light strands gives the skin of the face radiance and freshness.

Highlights on short hair

Contrast highlights on dark hair

Ready to take a chance and make the difference between the base shade and the bleached strands more noticeable? So that the result does not disappoint, choose highlighting with a soft transition to lightening. The ombre effect will smooth out the contrast and eliminate even a hint of vulgarity.

Dark hair with soft pink highlights

Those who have cut their hair and are ready to experiment further can highlight with pastel strands. They can be, for example, pale pink. Try to bleach the strands and give them such a undertone. The pink pigment will gradually wash out, and 1.5–2 weeks after dyeing, you will get natural highlights with light strands.

There is a pink shade, for example, in the Colorista Hair Makeup line from L’Oréal Paris.

And how to use it, we showed in this video.

Highlights with bangs

Starting highlighting on dark hair with bangs, you need to make sure that as a result it does not stand out from the overall picture in color. How to do it?

If you have bangs on two sides (fashionable curtain bangs, or “curtain bangs”), everything is simple: grab a few strands from it and lighten in the same way as the strands of the main mass of hair. You can lighten bangs at different levels for a more natural effect.

If you have a strict graphic bangs with a straight cut, then when highlighting, you need to be more careful. Firstly, the highlighting itself in this case should be small. Secondly, thin strands of bangs will need to be dyed in a small amount, and not only from above, but also from below.

Highlights on dark hair at home

Highlighting is considered to be a rather complicated salon procedure. Of course, professionals cope with it masterfully and easily create a result, the quality of which is beyond doubt. Nevertheless, home highlighting is also possible. You can also deal with an oxidizing agent that will bleach the strands. Choose a convenient staining method - and go.

With a hat

This way is the least hassle. You will only need to put on a special hat with holes through which, prying your hair with a comb tail or highlighting hook, you need to pull out the thinnest strands of hair.Thanks to the cap, these strands will be separated from the main body of hair.

After pulling out the strands, you need to apply a bleaching or coloring composition to them. In the first case, the next step is toning - this will give the strands the desired shade.

With foil

Foil highlighting is a coloring method that cannot be done alone. In this case, the foil is used as a substrate for the selected strands. Hair is dyed on it with a brightening composition and wrapped in it to create a thermal effect. So the effect of the oxidizing agent on the strands is more aggressive. This method is more suitable for those who want to achieve strong hair lightening when highlighting.

Color recommendations

If you want a natural look, then the shade of paint should not be lighter than the original hair color by more than two tones.

Ideally, all coloring compositions should be from the same manufacturer. If the formulas "get along" with each other, then the risk of unwanted reactions is minimized.

Which products should I pay attention to?

Pay attention to these funds. According to the editors, they are one of the best.

  • Color Sensation bleach cream paint (E0, decolorant), Garnier

    A good choice for the first stage of home highlighting on dark hair. The paint is intended for those who do not know the techniques of staining professionally. E0 lightens hair up to four shades - more than enough to work with dark original shades. In order to maximally neutralize the negative impact of dye on the hair, rose essence was added to the formula: flower oil softens them and makes them silky.And mother-of-pearl in the composition gives radiance.

  • Colorista Effects Illuminating Cream Paint "Full Length Lightening" , L'Oréal Paris

    Another option for dark-haired girls. The paint is able to lighten strands up to four shades. L'Oréal Paris recommends using this dye in preparation for color highlighting with Colorista Washout balms. And if your choice is natural shades of blond, then a special balm from the Colorista Bleach set will help in the fight against yellowness; by the way, it is designed for 6 weeks of use.

Rules for hair care after highlighting

Since highlighting is most often carried out with bleaching of the strands, after the procedure, careful care will be required, despite the fact that this is less traumatic for hair coloring than lightening the entire volume.

How to act?

Wash your hair with shampoo for color-treated hair and use conditioner with the same formula. Firstly, such products slow down the washing out of the pigment after toning. Secondly, they are more gentle on the hair. After washing, apply leave-in care products to your hair, such as a balm with a moisturizing composition. This will further protect the color-treated hair before drying and styling. Suitable, for example, Elseve "Color Expert" from L'Oréal Paris.

Make a nourishing mask every week to keep your hair soft. You can practice such care more often (2-3 times a week). So you will avoid brittleness and brittleness of hair after dyeing.