How Do I Choose the Best Highlights for Brunettes?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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To choose the best highlights for brunettes, individuals should choose shades that compliment their skin tones and existing hair highlights, while also considering the type of look they wish to achieve. Warm, natural blondes, like honey and caramel, can be used to soften a person's features and compliment their natural coloring. Soft reds can similarly be added to bring out existing tones already found in the hair. Bright platinum colors should be reserved for those who wish to make a dramatic statement with their hair.

Adding highlights to hair can change an individual's look without requiring the entire head of hair to be colored. Individual sections of hair are typically pulled from the top of the scalp and colored in shades lighter or darker than a person's natural or current hair color. This may be accomplished by pulling strands of hair through a slotted skull cap and adding dye to the top, or by sectioning off hair in individual foil wraps and setting it with the new color. Shades dyed lighter than the base shade are called highlights, while shades made to appear darker than the base shade are known as low-lights.


Highlights for brunettes can dramatically alter the way a person looks, and the one receiving the color should first begin by determining what type of look she would look to achieve. Those wishing to add eye catching drama to their hair can choose shades many degrees lighter than their base shade. Light brunettes to dark, almost black brunettes, can universally use a platinum blonde highlighting color to create rock star and movie star glamor.

Individuals who want a more natural effect can benefit by selecting shades that are only a few degrees different from their existing base shade. Honey, gold, and caramel colors, when used as highlights for brunettes, can each add depth, personality and style to a person's face and natural coloring. These shades, while less dramatic than platinum coloring, still tend to be much lighter than most standard brunette shades. Two colors can be added to the hair in different layers to compliment one another and bring out warm tones in the wearer's skin. Some brunettes may be able to use a more natural base highlighting color, such as caramel, and frost with a small amount of bright platinum to add visual interest to their hair.

Certain shades of red may also be used as highlights for brunettes. These colors typically range in the auburn to wine color families. Individuals can benefit from studying the natural highlights already found in their hair under natural sunlight, and using these tones as a base from which to select a dye shade. It is usually recommended that less hair be highlighted when using red tones than if using blonde, as the interspersed effect of the coloring can be lost in the darker shades when too much hair is dyed.


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