Adding highlights to long hair can enhance its natural beauty and create a multidimensional look that catches the eye. Whether you prefer natural-looking highlights or bolder, more vibrant colors, there are countless ways to incorporate highlights into your long locks.
In this guide, we’ve gathered 20 inspiring ideas for long hair with highlights, ranging from subtle balayage to statement-making color combinations. Read on for stylists’ considerations and color inspiration.
Some people believe that you can’t achieve a beautiful dimensional balayage in short hair (the myth we have busted earlier). Others, on the contrary, suggest that it’s not worth getting highlights, more so considering all the efforts for heathy length retention and the high price of the service for long hair.
But how does the process and the price of highlights differ for long and short hair? We have asked our consulting colorists, and here is what they think:
Brittany Pavao: I wouldn’t compare long hair to short hair. It really all depends on the desired result and also the density of the hair. Someone with thicker hair will take longer to work on along with more product. I always switch up my developer when working around the head to protect the integrity of the hair, using a lower developer along the hairline. I also will use lightener with a bond builder or a protective treatment to keep the integrity of the hair intact. My pricing does not change based on the length of the hair, it goes off of the hair condition and the desired look.
Norma Blaque: Whether the hair is short or long, I consider how much product I use, how much time (think sectioning, length and density) I will spend, and how light they want to take their hair. This is what determines the price. For example, client “A” has short densely jet black previously colored hair and wants a solid platinum hair color, and client “B” has extra long thin light brown hair and wants babylights at the crown. This will take me the same amount of time (3 hrs) and would cost approximately $350 each. It’s not a one size fits all. It’s strategically calculated based on their current hair condition and their targeted result.
Of course, getting those gorgeous highlights require a good investment of time and money, especially when your hair is thick and compromised, but the styles below will surely convince you the highlights in long hair are well worth it!
Beach waves are a great way to blend layers in long haircuts, giving your hair a more natural and effortless look. Highlight your base brown shade with golden or caramel tones to make your tresses shiny and dimensional.
It’s important to choose a hair color that complements your skin tone and natural hair color to achieve the best results. Consider highlighting your naturally dark base with golden blonde tones to bring out the warm undertones in your complexion.
If you want to add some accents to your long brown locks, consider implementing some front highlights to frame your face and bring dimension to your hair color. This will transform your thick mane and provide you with a new delightful style.
Blonde highlights and loose waves can add a playful and flirty touch to your look. Use a straightening iron or a curling wand to slightly curl your strands, thus emphasizing your dimensional hair color.
Long layers offer versatility and can be styled in many ways, from a sleek and polished to a tousled and beachy vibe. It’s all about finding the right styling techniques and products that work for your hair type and desired look.
Brown balayage is a great option for brightening up your long dark hair, but it’s not all low-maintenance, Any Hunt, the creator if the hairstyle point out. Make sure to always check with your colorist with maintenance and after care. “I always recommend a blue shampoo to neutralize any unwanted orange tones, and Finola blue shampoo is one of my favorites,” stylist says.
This beautiful hairdo looks especially gorgeous with a trendy blonde balayage. Getting partial highlights lets you skip lots of salon visits for root touch up. You can achieve this style by creating loose waves with a curling iron, then gently separating them with your fingers for a more tousled and effortless look.
If you want to add more color to your wavy locks, it’s not necessary to dye the whole mane in a single color. Better adopt the incredible berry pink highlights that shine in multiple yummy shades in the sun.
Adding layers to long hair can create movement and texture, and the mix of auburn brown and rich copper and peach blonde tones can add depth and dimension to the overall look. Perfect for pale skin tones and accentuating the appearance.
Platinum blonde shades ideally match cool brown and dirty blonde hair color, so if you are thinking about implementing highlights or lowlights in your style – take this color combo into account. Ask your hairstylist to add choppy layers to your long locks to enhance the structure.
Long layered haircuts are very popular these days. To recreate this style, enhance your face-framing layers with subtle highlights in a golden blonde hue or a lovely sun-kissed hair effect.
Adding highlights in tones complementary to the base color and skin tone results in a stunning yet natural look. Using color and layering, a skilled hairdresser can make your thick hair look lighter and more dynamic.
This look is perfect for those who want a high-impact hairstyle and are ready to commit to proper hair maintenance. Long blonde locks look astonishing on their own, but subtle rose ribbons bring that special accent capable of making people fall in love with this style!
Adding blonde balayage highlights or to your long, layered haircut can definitely bring life and dimension to limp tresses. Keep the roots natural to create an impressive style without making it high maintenance.
Wavy hair looks stunning with lots of layers as it adds movement and texture to the hair. But you can make this look even more delightful with a subtle balayage, which enhances the dimension and depth of the waves. Simple yet mesmerizing!
Endorse your natural dark hair color with violet and lavender tones, mixing them in trendy ombre to recreate this charming look. Complement this amazing coloring with loose curls to showcase all shades of your catchy, vibrant balayage.
Adding a super soft placement of face-framing highlights adds the right amount of lightness to make your eyes sparkle. Make the highlights stand out using strategically placed lowlights and root smudge.
Natural strawberry blondes can also have balayage. Any Hunt recommends pairing the hue with golden blonde tones, as adding super ashy color to your naturally warm hair will look unnatural and may wash your complexion out.
Adding a highlighted balayage effect with extensions is an amazing technique to mimic the effect of a balayage without causing distress to already weakened hair, Amy notes.
Perfectly blended dark blonde highlights in long hair can add dimension and depth to the overall look. They offer a natural and subtle effect that complements a wide range of skin tones and hair textures.
Long hair with highlights is a timeless and versatile way to elevate your look. From subtle and natural to transformative and vibrant, the possibilities are endless when it comes to highlighting long hair, allowing you to showcase your unique personality and style.
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