Best highlights for dark skin

Looking for the prettiest highlights for a dark skin tone? There's a wealth of hair color highlights for dark skin that will perfectly complement your complexion! Let's look at some of the different shades on offer...

Blonde highlights for dark skin

Dark skin looks fantastic with a few strategically-placed blonde highlights over dark hair. Some of your options involve buttery blonde or champagne sections placed where the sun would naturally hit the hair, to bring radiance to your face.

Light ash tips also look great when applied to the tips of dark natural hair. Ask your stylist whether you have warm or cool tones to your skin, which will help you choose the best blonde highlights for your hair.

Alternatively, if you really want to stand out, you could embrace some color contrasting with an all-over platinum look. We've heard that visible roots are now a popular hairstyle trend, so a few inches of grow-out is a look of its own!

Brunette highlights for dark skin

Here are the most flattering brown highlights for different dark skin tones:

Light brown skin: from caramel to dark honey and even vibrant cherry red, light brown skin is showcased with red and orange highlights, really making your complexion glow.

Medium brown skin: If you've got medium brown skin and cool undertones, the best highlights (and lowlights) for you are shades of coffee, chocolate or mocha. Or all of them, they sound like a delicious recipe!

Dark brown skin: Dark brown skin tones look incredible with deep red, and dark mahogany highlights. You could even throw in a hint of purple to add depth to your hair.

Bright hair colors for dark skin tones

Speaking of purple, why not step outside the box and away from traditional hair color highlights?

These days, hair colors are like make-up: you can play around with unlimited combinations from across the color spectrum. It doesn't matter if it doesn't look "natural", it's about expressing your creativity (helped by your stylist!) Get your imagination gears grinding with options from silver/gray highlights to bright pink tips or a more discreet dark blue that shimmers in the light.

Hair highlighting vocabulary 101

Struggling to understand the difference between foils, balayage, ombre, dip-dye and, the latest, "strandlighting"? They might all be ways to add a different shade of color to your hair, but it's important to know the difference when it comes to asking your stylist for a new look. Here are our simple explanations:

Foil: the traditional way to add highlights, where the hair is placed in aluminum foils, lightened, then painted the desired color. Stylists often apply a variety of shades to different foils to create a natural, sunkissed effect.

Balayage: Freehand painting of color, instead of using foils.

Ombré: a technique where the hair color is gradually lightened down the lengths. Most commonly seen in brunette-to-blonde versions. Sombré, as you'd probably guess, is the darker and more subtle version.

Dip-dye: literally where the hair appears to have dipped in a different color. The demarcation between the two shades is far more obvious that with a balayage, especially on a dark hair base.

Strandlighting: the most natural-looking of all hair color techniques, no matter what shade you go for. The hair is placed in foils, like with traditional highlights, lightened, then colored. Except the sections are made up of just a few strands each time (hence the name). We've seen examples of rose gold, silver and even rainbow strandlighting that you'd swear were from Mother Nature...

Remember to always care for colored hair using a color-protecting shampoo, conditioner and weekly hair mask!

Image credits: Getty Images, E+ - Nomad

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