Red Hair With Highlights | 10 Stunning On-Trend Ideas.

Evidence Based

Fact Checked

Have you ever wanted to add a bit of spice to your red hair? Or perhaps you’re a natural redhead looking for some new ideas on how to express yourself with your fiery mane?

Either way, adding highlights to red hair is a great way to switch up your style and take your look to the next level.

Here are 10 stunning on-trend ideas of what you can do with red hair and highlights.

10 on-trend red hair with highlights ideas

#1. Soft rose gold highlights

If you want something that is subtle but still adds a bit of pizzazz, add some soft rose gold highlights throughout dyed or natural red hair.

It will give you a warm, romantic look that is perfect for any occasion. Plus, this look pairs well with both light red hair and dark red hair! 

#2. Copper-blonde balayage

A copper blonde balayage is an awesome style for anyone who wants to add more dimension to their hair color without changing their natural base too much.

The copper-blonde balayage will provide just the right amount of contrast without being too overwhelming or too dull. If your base color is already ginger or orange-red, this will look awesome on you.

We love this multi-dimensional look for fall or summer.

#3. Bright ash blonde highlights

For those who prefer something more daring, try adding bright ash blonde streaks throughout your hair.

This cool toned look will definitely turn heads and make you stand out in a crowd! Just make sure that you use a good quality bleach so that your color lasts longer and doesn’t damage your hair too much

On a cool rose, dark auburn or natural red hair color base, they will brighten your complexion and look stunning.

#4. Dark red and caramel ombré

Another great way to give your red hair an extra bit of flair is by adding some caramel ombre highlights throughout it.

This look can be as subtle or as bright as you like, depending on how many colors you choose to incorporate into it! 

Caramel is a fabulous warm color to pair with red shades if you have warm skin tones.

#5. Auburn babylights

Babylights are always a go-to if you want your red hair color highlighted in a subtle yet flattering way.

If you’re looking for something that gives off an autumnal vibe, add some auburn babylights throughout your red hair!

This red-brown look will make any skin glow and eye color pop and looks ace as a face framing accent or money piece too.

Plus, it looks amazing when layered with other warm tones such as chocolate brown, golden blonde, ginger spice or cinnamon

#6. Burgundy lowlights

Lowlighting is all the buzz right now, so why not add some depth and dimension with burgundy lowlights?

A twist on highlighting red hair, this look provides just the right amount of drama while still being relatively understated.

The cool burgundy tones will look fantastic and really add contrast to any deep red, mahogany or wine hair color. Add in black and red lowlights for added drama.

#7. Strawberry blonde balayage

Add some strawberry blonde balayage to your red hair and bring new life into it!

Strawberry blonde is a hot hair color this year and it’s pinky-blonde tones look incredible on any vibrant red hair base.

This look will create a dazzling effect and can be styled in many different ways to make the highlights stand out.

#8. Golden honey highlights

If you prefer something warmer than strawberry balayage then try golden honey tones instead.

This color combination works especially well if you have naturally lighter colored red hair because the honey tones won’t be too overpowering against the lighter base color of your locks.

Blend honey with metallic copper tones for a fiery red head look.

#9. Black cherry red and auburn highlights

This dark and dazzling look is perfect for anyone who wants to add some extra depth and texture to their natural red hair.

The purpley tones of black cherry and auburn highlights will bring out the best in any red shade and make it look even more vibrant.

Plus, they provide a great contrast that really enhances the natural color of your hair.

#10 Cherry red and golden blonde balayage highlights

Finally, if you’re after a more natural-looking highlight then try cherry red and golden blonde.

This combination will add warmth to your hair without it looking too unnatural or overwhelming.

The subtle blend of the two colors looks beautiful together and is great for anyone who wants to create an effortless yet eye-catching, sun-kissed look.

Do I need to bleach red hair to get highlights?

If you’re thinking of adding highlights to your red hair, you might be wondering if bleaching your hair is necessary.

The answer depends on what look you’re going for.

If you want subtle, all-natural looking streaks, chances are you don’t need to use bleach.

Cooler toned reds, such as strawberry blonde and raspberry, pair great with deeper hues like chocolate cherry brown and caramel, while bright ruby tones blend superbly with golden wheat shades without need bleach.

However, bleaching is the best option for those seeking bright and bold highlights that make a dramatic statement.

Since red pigment already has a lightening effect, many hair colorists are able to create stunning highlights with a simple toner application.

This technique can be used on natural redheads or on those who have dyed their hair different shades of red.

Coloring your hair at home also works, but be sure to consult a professional colorist first if you’re worried about making a mistake.

Overall, it depends on just how high up on the drama scale you want to go!

What highlights go well with red hair?

Redheads have a striking appearance already – after all, red hair is quite rare – so choosing the right highlights and colors to complement it can make all the difference.

Try to avoid clashing with your hue and opt for shades that will bring out its natural warmth and beauty.

Warmer tones like honey, cinnamon, and copper, or cool ash blonde all look great against red hair!

If you’re looking for something a bit more natural, try subtle lowlights done in softer darker shades.

And if you really want to stand out from the crowd, experiment with a rich vibrant violet or bright copper-based red highlights. Just make sure to follow your stylists advice as these require some TLC to keep them looking their best!

Best color highlights for red hair

1.Honey

2.Cinnamon

3.Copper

4.Ash Blonde

5.Auburn

6.Burgundy

7.Strawberry

8.Golden Blonde

9.Black Cherry Red

10.Cherry Red

What highlight colors to avoid with red hair?

When selecting what highlight colors to avoid with natural red hair, it’s best to think of the hair color wheel

Red hair color is in red-orange-yellow hair family so any variation of these shades will likely look stunning on you.

Avoid pastels since they can wash you out and diminish the intensity of your fiery locks.

Cool toned hues are typically best avoided; however, don’t be afraid to take a risk with these colors since some shades like ash blonde and platinum can look immaculate on those with red hair.

As for other cool colors like gray and silver, these can be limiting when trying to find the right contrast and might wash you out.

Worst color highlights for red hair

1. Pastel colors

2. Cool toned hues

3. Gray

4. Silver

5. Neon colors

6. Muted Brown

7. Blues

How to care for red hair with highlights.

If you’re rocking a red hair look with highlights, you know the importance of keeping it looking fresh.

Not only do you have to think about maintaining your color and preventing fading, but also taming frizz and keeping moisture in your locks.

It can be a lot of work, but let us assure you – it’s worth it!

Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for keeping your red hair with highlights looking fabulous. 

Use the right shampoo and conditioner

The first rule of caring for red hair is using sulfate-free products!

Sulfates strip away natural oils from the scalp and can make your red look dull. Instead, use shampoos that are specifically formulated for colored hair so that you maintain the vibrancy without drying out your scalp.

When it comes to conditioning, always use conditioner after shampooing. This will help keep moisture in your hair while also maintaining its softness and shine. 

Protect & shine with heat-protectant spray

If you’re going to heat style (blow dryers, flat irons or curling wands) make sure to use a product that will protect against heat damage.

Heat-protectant serums or sprays can help shield against the high temperatures these styling tools require while also providing a glossy finish—it’s like two products in one!

Just squirt 2-3 pumps into the palm of your hand and distribute evenly throughout damp or dry hair before styling as usual.  

Avoid overwashing 

Red highlights tend to fade quickly after multiple washes so try not to overdo it!

Use a deep conditioning mask once a week followed by an overnight oil treatment at least twice a month to help keep the vibrancy of your locks.

This helps keep the locks hydrated and nourished and the hair color locked in.

Parting words

Whether you’re looking for something subtle or something bolder, there are plenty of ways to highlight your gorgeous red locks with modern twists on trend ideas like these top 10 picks above!

So don’t forget – if there’s one thing every fiery goddess needs it’s a little extra sparkle from time-to-time; whether through pops of rose golds or perfectly placed blondes tips alike…you’re sure to find whatever hue speaks most directly towards who YOU are as an individual.

So don’t hesitate when taking risks & embracing change within the realm of self expression & beauty alike! Happy styling everyone! 😉

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!