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Hair highlights easily add another dimension to the mane, especially when it comes to making natural dark tresses look lighter and voluminous, and letting you boast a little extra “swish” with each step.

Depending on your chosen style, highlights can also strategically brighten your features, visually lengthen your face, and give you a sunkissed glow. Play it right, and you’ll even get to experiment with striking colours with zero fear of going overboard.

Here are 20 types of hair highlights to inspire your next mane refresh, from popular balayage and face-framing highlights to newer “skirt dye” and babylights styles. Check out the best colour combinations to go with brown hair too!

Hair Highlights Styles

Lightline Highlights

hair highlights - babylights

Photo source: Pinterest

For those wanting to switch up their style without a drastic colour change, light line highlights are an elegant choice.

Also known as babylights or shooting star highlights, this subtle dye style features slim ribbons of colour cascading down the hair like a waterfall.

As dark-coloured manes can often look heavy and one-dimensional, hairstylists recommend using these slight streaks to effortlessly outline the strands, adding a sense of lightness and volume to the hair.

On straight hair, these highlights also emphasise the hair’s straightness, making your mane look silkier and shinier than usual.

Fringe Highlights

hair highlights - black hair

Photo source: momo/Instagram

Airy bangs, baby bangs, blunt bangs – you name it, we know it. But there’s a fresh way to elevate your bangs style without snipping at it at the salon, and it’s none other than with a fringe highlight.

For fringe highlights, choosing a close-to-skin shade like a “milk tea” beige can help to lighten the look of your bangs, letting you flaunt airier-than-airy Korean bangs.

Paired with hidden or peekaboo highlights, these highlights also strategically frame and brighten up your face.

Face-Framing Highlights

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Photo source: mojkahair/Instagram (left)

Made popular by BLACKPINK’s Jennie in 2020, face-framing highlights are still trending today. For a bold Y2K style, wear these highlights in chunky streaks and bright shades, similar to how the K-pop idol wore hers – blonde against jet-black – in the group’s “How You Like That” music video.

If daring dashes of colour aren’t your style, a few tweaks will let you wear face-framing highlights in a more subtle, sophisticated fashion.

Instead of a vibrant hue, choose a colour that’s only one or two shades lighter than the rest of your hair. Then, dial down on the chunkiness by asking for slimmer ribbons of colour that blend with the rest of your mane.

Falling along both sides of the face, these highlights are useful for adding brightness to your features!

Hidden Highlights

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Photo source: Pinterest, by_hamiyou/Instagram

Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold and brilliant colours when you get hidden highlights at the salon!

These highlights are usually bright and vibrant, veiled by a top layer of darker, natural-looking hair. As the coloured locks only peek out from behind the ears and are balanced out by the top layer of hair, you’re free to choose any shade without worrying about it clashing with your skin tone.

Hidden Ribbon Highlights

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Photo source: mojkahair/Instagram

Put a twist on hidden highlights and you’ll be sporting this cool, streaky, ribbon-dye style.

Instead of an entire layer of single-tone highlights, keep it interesting with chunky strips of colour that alternate with the locks of your natural hair. As there are more contrasting dashes of colour with this ‘do, your mane will look bolder, edgier, and more daring than with traditional hidden highlights.

Sweep your hair into a half-up or ponytail to show off your highlights to the fullest!

Balayage Highlights

Photo source: mojkahair/Instagram, Ruler Hair Salon

An all-time favourite at the salon for a reason, a balayage lets you flaunt a multi-dimensional gradient from top to tip of your mane whilst cutting down on trips to the salon!

Balayage looks more natural because a hand-painting technique is used to create varying degrees of lightness. Since balayage boasts a full and smooth gradient, it lets you grow out your roots seamlessly without needing to rush back down to the salon for an urgent touch-up.

Even if they’re serious about keeping their tresses salon-fresh, customers generally wait as long as three to four months before their next appointment. Our pro-tip for growing out your balayage effortlessly? Pick a colour that’s close to your natural hair shade!

Single Bold Highlight

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Photo source: hi_sseulgi/Instagram

Red Velvet’s Seulgi wears a natural jet-black mane on most days, except when she needs an extra pop of colour to top off an exceptionally daring style.

Here, she’s sporting an electric blue streak that stands out against her dark mane but take a leap of faith and choose other striking shades like ruby red, emerald green, or bright pink – it’s totally up to you.

Earring Hair Highlights

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Photo source: LIT STYLE麻雀/Xiao Hong Shu

Don’t confuse “earring” hair highlights with face-framing ones. Unlike face-framing streaks that begin at the hair’s parting, these highlights extend from just behind the ears, visually lengthening the face like dangly earrings do.

Spotlighting only a small splash of colour in contrast to the rest of your hair, this dye style gives you the freedom to experiment with colours – regardless of whether it’s everyday wearable “milk tea” beige or statement-making electric blue.

“Hardly There” Highlights

brown hair with blue highlights

Photo source: akira.fukuoka_/Instagram

Less is sometimes more, as we’ve learnt from the first style on the list: babylights. Only, instead of starting from the top of the head, “hardly there” highlights visually begin in the middle and are hidden beneath an outer veil of hair for a far more mysterious vibe.

The tricky part about these highlights is picking two colours that blend together seamlessly and yet stand out. Here, the creamy brown shade perfectly complements the dusty blue for a soft, sophisticated style.

Chunky Hair Highlights

hair highlights asian

Photo source: Pinterest

Compared to traditional hair highlights, these ones boast thicker chunks of contrasting colours and make a much more daring statement.

We’d definitely recommend choosing striking rockstar shades like metallic blue, neon green, or bright pink; the last one will surely pay tribute to Avril Lavigne’s iconic blonde hair with pink highlights!

Sunkissed Highlights with Layers

hair highlights korean idol

Photo source: _imyour_joy/Instagram

Follow in Red Velvet Joy’s footsteps and it’ll look like the sun’s always shining on your side with “sunkissed” hair highlights.

The blonde strips are the thickest at the roots and then taper down into slimmer ribbons at the tips of the hair, thanks to a layered haircut. Just like that, you’ll earn a lasting bronzed and restful glow.

Korean “Airy Cut” with Underlights

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Photo source: acmee_juju/Instagram

The Korean “airy cut” has been one of the season’s hottest hairstyles thanks to its cloud-like lightness, wispy waves, and feathery layers.

Even though the haircut looks breezy enough on its own, weaving in a lighter shade of colour can further elevate the ‘do to new plumy dimensions. Easily, these highlights will emphasise the many layers of the “airy cut” and take even more weight off the ends of your mane!

“Skirt dye” Highlights

brown hair with highlights (1)

Photo source: 南宁色彩发型设计 可可, 李李李李li/Xiao Hong Shu

Bring a surprising splash of colour to your hair with “skirt dye” highlights, a style that’s been trending on Chinese social media platform Xiao Hong Shu.

These teasing hair highlights only brush the very ends of the hair, electrifying your style whilst allowing you to keep your mane unbleached and healthy.

Take a natural brown with burnt brick red colour combination, or deep chocolate brown hair with fiery orange highlights – you’ll only need to bleach the tips of your mane to achieve these looks.

Or, you can take the “skirt dye” style into mystical realms by pairing platinum blonde with moss green or potion blue hair. Check out these “skirt dye” highlights for more colour ideas!

Tail Hair Highlights

hair highlights - tail dye

Photo source: 昆明沐羽Hairsalon天卓/Xiao Hong Shu

Tail hair highlights boast manga main character energy, making them perfect for pairing with an edgy Japanese hime cut.

The highlights cover a large area of the hair, usually starting from shoulder length and extending down to the ends of the hair. Contrasting colours are also used in this highlight style to visually “cut” off the hair at mid-length, creating more blunt lines and adding to the choppy feel of a hime cut.

brown hair with highlights

Photo source: Sunsettt/Xiao Hong Shu

To further distinguish the layers of your Japanese hime cut, consider combining tail hair highlights at the longer layers of your hair with “skirt dye” highlights at the shorter sections.

Colour Ideas: Brown Hair with Highlights

Highlights can be used to put the cherry on top of a full head of coloured hair, such as pink highlights on a platinum mane or yellow highlights against electric blue tresses.

Still, what we really love about highlights is that they also powerfully elevate natural hair, allowing anyone to keep the rest of their mane healthy whilst boasting a new style.

That’s why we’re listing colour ideas for brown hair with highlights. Even if you’re dyeing the rest of your mane brown, you’ll get to keep it free from bleach with these colour combinations!

Ashy Hair Highlights

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Photo source: taeyeon_ss/Instagram

K-pop idols are bringing black hair back, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t switch up their jet-black mane with some highlights once in a while. Here, Taeyeon wears her black hair with ash-brown hidden highlights in a sophisticated style.

Although ash-coloured hair requires quite a bit of upkeep to maintain its deep smokey hue, your top layer of brown or black hair will balance out the colours even after they fade and let you wear your ash-dyed locks for a longer time.

Milk Tea Highlights

brown hair with highlights

Photo source: akira.fukuoka_/Instagram

If you haven’t already heard, “milk tea” hair colours are overtaking ashy tones. Their soft, creamy shades give off a just-as-sophisticated style, yet have warmer hues that’ll complement rather than wash out your skin tone.

“Milk tea” highlights go hand-in-hand with brown hair and recall creamy milk topping a warm cup of coffee. Besides “milk tea” beige, you can consider other milky tones, including “milk tea grey” and “rose milk tea“.

Sakura Hair Highlights

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Photo source: akira.fukuoka_/Instagram

Pink might look rather striking on an entire mane, but pairing brown hair with pink highlights will let you flaunt your favourite shade in a subtle, everyday-wearable style!

Chestnut brown hair will look good with warmer coral pink highlights, while creamy brown hair goes better with dusty ribbons of pink.

Peachy Highlights

brown hair with highlights (4)

Photo source: akira.fukuoka_/Instagram

BLACKPINK Jennie’s orange hair took the world by storm and made us realise how well peachy orange shades complement fair skin tones.

If you’re not ready to dye your entire mane a fiery orange, tone it down by matching your brown hair with subtle peachy highlights. The reddish hues in both colours make brown and orange a match made in highlights heaven.

Lavender Highlights

brown hair with highlights (5)

Photo source: akira.fukuoka_/Instagram

Wear the colour of royalty by combining brown hair with purple highlights. Warm brown mixed with a deep purple will boast a regal vibe, whereas a lighter brown matched with milky lavender gives a fresher, sweeter effect.

Mossy Green Highlights

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Photo source: CY/Lemon8 (left)

Since the forest is a blanket of bark browns and mossy greens, wearing brown hair with green highlights mimics the earthy landscape for a pleasing, natural look.

Where to Get Hair Highlights in Singapore

Check out the best hair colouring salons in Singapore to get your highlights done!

Related read: 18 Best Hair Colouring Salons in Singapore for All Budgets