Black hair with highlights | 2021 hair colour ideas.

Black hair with highlights 1

Hair trends and colours change with the wind, but some things never go out of style. Black hair is a classic that’s sexy, timeless and elegant all year round. If you’re rocking black hair and fancy a change that’s not too drastic, black hair with highlights could look amazing on you.

But what colour highlights look good with black hair? And how do you know which ones will suit you? We’re here with all the ideas and inspiration you need to find the look that’s right for you.

Why are highlights a great idea for black hair?

Highlights of all colours work really well with black hair as they can give dimension to any hairstyle while still being subtle enough to not overpower the original colour of your hair.

Black hair looks awesome with highlights because the contrast of the highlighter makes the colour stand out more compared to a really dark shade.

If you have naturally black hair, it can be tricky to dye it another colour. You’ll need to lighten it with bleach first which can be damaged and dry out your hair over time.

Highlights and especially half head highlights, are a great way of adding colour to sections of your hair without having to bleach your whole head.

Highlights are typically on top of the head and lowlights in front or underneath.

Black ombre hair is also a style that brings colour and dimension to your luscious locks.

What colour highlights look good with black hair?

The best colours to compliment black hair are:

Black hair with highlights ideas and inspiration.

Head over to our Pinterest board to check out the latest ideas and inspiration.

black hair with highlights collection pinterest board

What colour highlights will suit me?

What colour highlights will suit you depends on your undertones – things like your eye colour, skin tone and your natural hair colouring.

You can find out what hair colours will suit you with our quiz! Just click on the image below!

which hair colour suits me

You can also use our checklist below to find out your undertones and check whether warm or cool colour highlights will suit you.

If you have cool undertones:

  • Your skin tone is pink or pale.
  • You blush easily!
  • Jewel and pastel colours are so your thing.
  • The colour yellow washes you out and does not look good on you.
  • You have blue not green veins in your wrist.
  • Pearls and silver jewellery look awesome on you.

If you have warm undertones:

  • You have red or golden tones in your natural hair.
  • Your skin tone is golden, tan or olive.
  • You might have freckles.
  • You have green not blue veins in your wrist.
  • You suit bright or rich shades better.
  • Gold jewellery looks awesome on you.
cool or warm undertones infographic

#1 Black hair with caramel brown highlights.

black hair with caramel brown highlights instagram post

Blonde can be a touch too light to mix with black because you’ll need to bleach it more than once to get the right level of lift. This can damage and frazzle your poor gorgeous locks.

Caramel is a softer, more subtle alternative to blonde that’s warmer, super flattering and easier to achieve.

Caramel brown is a great complementary colour for balayage or ombre styles that add natural, golden, burnt toffee highlights to any look. Graduate the highlights from root to tip and add blonde just at the ends for a lighter look.

If a deeper brunette colour is what you’re after, chestnut is a smoother, low maintenance, high glamour brown colour that might suit you.

Best for: Warm undertones.

#2 Black hair with deep red highlights.

black hair with red highlights instagram post

Red is a fantastic colour to mix with black. From firey to pillarbox, red suits anyone with cool or warm skin tones thanks to the variety of shades you can get.

Deep red has a depth that tonally just looks fantastic with black. With deep red hair dyes, you can be more daring. Go for a full head of highlights to really create a multidimensional vibrant look.

Best for: Warm or cool undertones.

#3 Black hair with midnight blue highlights.

black hair with midnight blue highlights instagram post

Midnight blue is sultry and mysterious and adds a cool, sexy vibe to black hair. We love it for its unique, shimmering blue glow.

Keep the roots dark at the top and go for a balayage blue highlighted look. Ombre midnight blue also looks fabulous with black hair and you can even add some teal tips at the ends for extra pizzaz.

Best for: Cool undertones.

#4 Black hair with burgundy highlights.

black hair with burgundy highlights instagram post

Of all the purples, burgundy is our fave to highlight on black. It’s a rich, multidimensional colour that can draw subtle blue or purple shades and tones.

If you have naturally black hair, burgundy or a red wine colour can add a sheen and stunning warmth to your look. Go for this if you have dark or olive skin too.

Best for: Warm undertones

#5 Black hair with silver-grey highlights.

black hair with silver grey highlights instagram post

Silver and grey are modern, on-trend hair colour ideas right now. The good news is that they are some of the best colours to add depth and dimension to black hair as they are tonally from the same colour family of pigments.

Silver-grey can be almost platinum blonde in colour and demands the same kind of upkeep so make sure you’re up for it. A good silver shampoo will keep brassiness at bay.

Silver adds a metallic shine to black. Grey adds a more muted, matt highlight colour. Sprinkle silver-grey highlights around your hairline and temples to frame your face and make your eye colour pop.

Best for: Cool undertones

# 6 Black hair with fuschia pink highlights.

black hair with pink highlights instagram post

Pink adds fun and fabulousness to black hair. We love fuschia pink for it’s show-stopping contrast with black.

Pink highlights can be harder to maintain on black hair but the layered look is well worth the extra trips to the salon.

Feather your hair with this and lighter pinks to create subtle babylights or full on streaks. You can also mix in purples to make ribbons of colour that catch the light.

Best for: Cool and warm undertones.

#7 Black hair with copper highlights.

black hair with copper highlights instagram post

Another colour bursting onto the hair dye trend list this year is copper.

Part of the metallic family, copper is a warm, orange-red spicy colour that looks amazing on dark hair. It’s easily achievable too so you can expect shiny, great condition hair if you opt for a copper combination.

Be as intense as you like with copper, keeping the roots dark for a gorgeous grown-out look. Add slivers of blonde too for the summer months.

Best for: Warm undertones

The dos and don’ts of highlighting black hair.


  • Be sure to apply highlights evenly throughout your entire head of hair so that you don’t end up with any patches.
  • If you have dark brown or black hair, then choose a lighter shade for highlighting purposes.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of damage from over-processing; if there are none, then enjoy the new color!
  • DO use the right products – use shampoos without sulfates and opt for moisturizing conditioners instead.
  • When highlighting black hair, it is best to use a colour that closely matches the natural hue of your hair.
  • Get a good consultation with a stylist before you start any treatments.


  • DON’T highlight your whole head if you have dark roots or are going for a natural look.
  • Avoid using too many colours in one highlight job – this will only make your hair look messy and unprofessional.
  • If there are signs of damage from over-processing, take care not to overdo it with additional dye jobs – they can lead to more damage and breakage than before.
  • DON’T overdo it! Highlights should be subtle, not dramatic.