An unavoidable truth in the beauty world is that trends come and go. Take hair color, for instance. So often, lightening and brightening hair is the goal, especially during summer. Whether it's blonde balayage, ombré, or a peachy pastel hue, darker brunettes are seldom included in the highlight conversation, which could be a huge missed opportunity. What if you like the bold contrast? What if you're naturally raven-haired and bleaching it simply to be on trend just isn't feasible? Essentially, we're trying to say that dark can look just as amazing with highlights as blonde hair.
While coming to that conclusion is all well and good, our short stint on the high-school debate team taught us that we can't claim something without backing it up with support. That's why we went through Instagram with a fine-tooth comb, searching for the celebrities and expert hairstylists who have created our favorite dark hair with highlights. Spoiler alert: We found 21 variations. Whether you prefer soft and subtle highlights or bright and beachy ones, these looks are sure to inspire you to book a salon appointment, stat.
Aside from a few color switch-ups in the past couple of years, Kylie Jenner typically keeps a base of silky black hair (much like her older sisters Kendall, Kourtney, and Kim). In this photo, which she posted to her Instagram, it's clear to see the soft chocolate-colored highlights that undulate throughout her mid-lengths and ends.
Dark Ombré Curls
Black-ish and Grown-ish actress Yara Shahidi shows off her dark brunette color in our favorite way— with healthy, springy curls. We like how the top layers of her curls are subtly lightened from the black shade underneath. It's a natural ombré effect that looks stunningly effortless.
Nikki Lee is an expert colorist and co-owner of Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles. One of her many clients is pictured here sporting lighter locks subtly throughout her hair, and more prominently around her face. A beautiful way to shape your face, and give your hair some added vibrancy.
Lee is also responsible for this gorgeous ombré situation. We like how the color starts off dark at the roots—almost black—before transitioning to an auburn brown color at the ends.
Dark, Wine Colored Locks
Instead of mid-length hair, you could try a long, dramatic 'do, like Vanessa Hudgens and her celebrity hairstylist, Chad Wood, did here. Her waist-length extensions are expertly matched to her natural raven locks, and her natural color is expertly melded with a wine colored tint.
The Perfect Black/Brown Hue
Anderson posted this photo of beauty influencer of Amanda Steele on his Instagram account. We're definitely into this reverse ombré situation, which starts out as chocolate brown and steadily grows into a dark black shade.
Deep Brown-to-Black Ombré
Stephen Garrison is an expert colorist who works between New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Here's one of our favorite looks of his. We like how the dark brown/black color gets more intense as it moves further down each strand of hair.