Best Highlights for Black Hair

African American woman with blonde highlights on black hair

Highlights are a perfect way to change your hair color without committing to an all-over dye job. They can instantly transform your look into one that you’ve only dreamed of, and they add dimension, texture, volume, and depth to hair as well as brighten your overall look without obscuring your beautiful black tresses. Plus, they come in just about every color you can imagine!

If you choose the right color, highlights can be worn as an everyday look to the office, every social occasion, or during specific seasons like summer or fall. However, with all of the different options to select from, it can be head-spinning to determine which color will best suit your brown skin and black hair.

You can always get some inspiration from celebrities like Rihanna, Megan Markle, Gabrielle Union, Rapper Lizzo, and Kelly Rowland. But still, it can get confusing. Hopefully, the stunning highlights that we’ve compiled below will give you the much-needed insight into looks you can play around with to stand out.

10 Best Highlights for Black Hair and Brown Skin

Here are the 10 best highlight options for women with brown skin and black hair:

1. Blonde highlights 

There is just something appealing about blonde hair. It makes one appear very charming yet very fierce—picture Beyonce.


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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)


Blonde comes in so many transitions; you will be overwhelmed with options. You can rock the ashy blonde, which is a fantastic look for someone with an underlying grey hue or a preference for dark roots. Or perhaps go for the platinum blonde, warm blonde, or the honey blonde that is sure to turn heads. You can even add some blonde streaks to your natural color or have a lighter shade with black roots. 

Blonde is pretty easy to play around with- you can go all the way with a full highlight, do a mid-length highlight, or even just highlight the tips of your tresses. It’s a popular choice for short hair, wavy hair, or just someone that wants to kick their style game up a notch with some platinum highlights. 

2. Brown highlights on black hair

Women at the office around a conference table

Brown highlights on black hair is a killer hair look for women who want the brightness of the highlights while keeping their hair black. The traces of either light brown or chocolate brown on dark hair takes a look to the next level. You just look confident, modern, and bold like someone who’s been in the office all day long.

The brown highlights are also a superb way of hiding those peeping grey hairs, as well as creating some thickness and volume.

3. Ombre highlights on black hair

African American woman with ombre hair highlights

Even though ombre has been on the charts as the trendiest hair color for some time now, there is no denying that it’s still in great demand. What we love most about ombre is that you have so many shades to experiment with – you have silver, blonde, burgundy, brown, and just about any color you can imagine.

You can achieve whatever look you fancy with ombre highlights, including elegant, dramatic, sophisticated, or laid back. For instance, you can choose the warm chestnut look, which is an absolute all-time love! Then take it up a notch by mixing it with the honey dips if you prefer to be more on the edgy side.

You will most certainly fall in love with ombre highlights for their beauty, low maintenance, and flexibility. And if you have damaged ends, especially on long hair, you will be thankful for how it camouflages the hair issues.

4. Blue or red highlights to spruce up black hair

Young African-American woman with red highlights in her black hair

If you want more of a color splash that oozes a dramatic effect, you can never go wrong with blue or red highlights. It’s the brightness of the colors against the black hair that is hard to ignore. So why not paint the town red – quite literally – with a dash of color.

5. Purple highlights can be magical

If you have a glossy look with a bounce of curls that sprout mid-way or quarter-way, purple highlights will instantly boost your style. You could even elect for pink highlights to accent your natural dark color and attain a unique look. 

Alternatively, you can choose to highlight your roots sparingly from the edges at the back of your ears in different intensities.

6. Light it up with orange

Light up your fair complexion and deep glossy black hair with fiery orange highlights for a bold goddess look. Even better, style with dense waves to make the orange highlights pop.

This is definitely the look that says, “I am ready to step out of my comfort zone.” Perfect for summer and fall.

7. Balayage highlights on black hair

A balayage technique can transform any dark brown hair into an impeccable look. Whether looking to remain subtle, appear elegant, be dramatic, or be a little adventurous, you can never go wrong with balayage.

Balayage highlights range from caramel, brown, purple, lavender, pinkish, blue, and blonde. Think of all the colors of the rainbow, and yes! You can get a balayage highlight in that color as well. Balayage looks fantastic on all hair types, whether straight, curly, or even short. Similarly, it looks fantastic whether worn up, down, or cascaded to the side. Pretty much any style!

Do you know what we love most about these so well-loved highlights besides the volume, the beauty, and the face-framing effect? That it requires very minimal salon touch-ups. Don’t we all hate how expensive these salon visits can be? 

8. Burgundy highlights on black hair

African American woman with burgundy/maroon hair in an office

Black and burgundy are a sure bet because the two colors pair so well. Burgundy is preferable for brown skin women with darker hues. It’s such a warm, sexy, and inviting color that it is sure to be eye-catching.

You can add the highlights from the front through the midsection or just towards the ends for a colorful glow, working for a stark contrast or subtle highlights.

9. Caramel highlights on black hair

To achieve a soft, subtle yet stylish look, you can choose soft caramel highlights. What’s more, you have different options to integrate the highlights. You can make the lights heavy and dense towards the end of the hair (or vice versa) or have alternating blends towards the midsection.

Either way, this hair look is extremely easy to maintain and looks fabulous for all occasions. The contrast goes a long way in adding extra pop and making your hair elegant, especially when it’s set with soft waves. 

10. Honey highlights on black hair

African American woman with afro with brown highlights

Adding soft honey highlights is a subtle way of adding a pop of color to your black tresses.

The blends give it an almost mirror-like appearance to your natural hair color. The only difference is that it has a sun-pop allure that is to die for. Whether looking for the most suitable transformation for the office or a day-to-day look, you can never go wrong with honey highlights.


Highlights are pretty easy to maintain. With proper hair care techniques, it shouldn’t take you much to retain the highlight’s color, sheen, and vibrancy. Be sure to always use a sulfate-free shampoo, and apply moderate heat when styling. 

There are plenty of different ways you can add highlights to your hair. You can start from the front through the midsection, towards the ends for a colorful glow, or to the base of the hair. It’s all about preference! Of course, there are many other highlight options to choose from, but these are the best for black hair and brown skin. If you’re still in doubt, seek the advice of your stylist for the best way to get a new look that is a great option for your hair type. Let them know if you want a subtle change, a gradual transition, or a bold look.

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