Basic Hair Colors Are Out. Try Adding Red Highlights For Extra Warmth And Flair

Copper hair has been trending for a while now, but in 2023, all shades of red are going to be big. While dyeing your hair with just one color is cool — getting highlights is an easy way to add more dimension to it. The eye-catching nature of red makes it the perfect color for adding visual interest to hair. 

However, picking the right shade of red is what tends to scare many away from experimenting with this bold color. "Your skin color and eye color need to be the number one thing taken into consideration," celebrity colorist Jill Buck tells Byrdie. "As a stylist, I like to look to the flecks of color in my clients' eyes as a good indicator of their natural undertones. The warmer and lighter bright reds complement someone with a fair complexion, and more neutral and deeper red shades are good for darker complexions." As always, doing plenty of research before you settle for a style is something we advise, which is why we gathered 25 different ways you can add red highlights to your hair.

A red money piece is ultra trendy

Last year the red money piece hair trend slowly found its way into mainstream looks — and this year, we predict it will be even more popular. While most people opt for a blond money piece, a more unique way to approach the trend is to choose red. Since the bleached section will be dyed red anyways, you won't have to lift your hair color too much, which will definitely result in less damage. And if you already have lighter hair, there won't even be a need for bleaching.

Face-framing red highlights add warmth to your face

If a money piece is too dramatic for you, you can achieve a similar effect by getting some face-framing red highlights. If you want to bring some warmth to your face, opt for a warmer copper shade instead of a classic bright red.

Red highlights are perfect for a darker hair base

Even though red highlights look incredible on everyone — especially if you find the best shade for your skin tone — it is mainly those with darker hair that will love this trend. Getting blond highlights on dark hair can often give a bit too much contrast, whereas red is definitely eye-catching without that dramatic change in shade.

A red ombre is very low maintenance

We get it — not everyone wants to get classic highlights, especially since they need to be redone every couple of months. Luckily, there are different ways to approach this trend, and one low-maintenance version of red highlights is to simply get a red ombre. With this, there's no need to upkeep your roots.

Red highlights look incredible with braids

If you're rocking braids, adding some highlights or getting a balayage in your favorite shade of red will perfectly enhance them. Adding dimension to the color of your hair will help the braids stand out even more, as their intricate pattern will be much more noticeable with two colors.

Cooper tones work well with a golden blond base

Those who prefer a more natural shade of red will be happy to hear that copper is still going strong. In particular, if you have lighter hair, copper will blend into your base more seamlessly, making it much less noticeable when your roots grow out. Because of this, getting copper highlights on a blond base is a low-maintenance color technique.

You can do red highlights in a very subtle way

Since red can be very overwhelming — after all, it is a hair color that immediately puts you at the center of attention — some people are afraid to give vibrant red highlights a chance. However, it is possible to go subtle with red highlights by getting a small amount of highlight just on the top layer of your hair. And then, if you end up liking them, you can get some more!

Red underdye is funky and unexpected

Highlights have been popular for decades, but nowadays, there are so many more options to add color to your hair. If you dare, dyeing the lower half of your head will give you an incredible pop of color when you rock an updo. However, the red will only slightly peek through when your hair is down.

Chunky highlights give a nostalgic '90s vibe

The '90s and early 2000s are having a significant influence on fashion and beauty in these past couple of years, and that trend seems to be here to stay — at least for now. If you want to explore red highlights in a nostalgic way, opt for chunky ones that definitely won't blend into your base!

Red highlights with a root shadow look stunning on dark hair

Getting a root shadow is like the lazy girl's hack to having incredible hair. Instead of having your highlights start at the base of your head, they actually start a couple of inches lower, giving the appearance that they have already grown out — except it's done on purpose. Ask your hairstylist to start the highlights a bit closer to the root around your face and then 1 to 2 inches from your roots on the rest of your head.

Red ends are an easy way to explore this trend

Remember when dyeing the ends of your hair in a vibrant color was all the rage? Well, that trend seems to be coming back, and it provides a great way to explore a fun color without much commitment. If you get sick of it, you can always cut your hair 1 or 2 inches.

Ultra-thin highlights blend seamlessly into your base

Even though chunky '90s highlights are on-trend, getting supper thin ones is always popular — as that trend is timeless. Getting thin highlights is more time-consuming, but the end result is so worth it because the red ends up looking very natural and subtle.

A red layer is fun and unexpected

A cool and unexpected way to add some red to your hair is to get one layer of your hair colored in a vibrant shade. Have your hairstylist section off a thin layer all around your head, and dye it in a red that you like. It's like getting highlights, the red will peek through, but it's much more unexpected.

Red highlights emphasize curly hair

Curly hair is a perfect candidate for red highlights — especially if the base is a darker color. It's no secret that highlights can enhance the visibility of a curl's pattern, but bleaching your hair a lot can also damage it and actually mess with how the hair curls — leaving it more frizzy and straight. Since it isn't necessary to bleach the hair to a light blond, a lot less damage is done to it.

If you have bangs, add red highlights to them, as well

Those with bangs can still hop on the red highlights trend — as long as they make sure the bangs are included. Think of it this way: You always want highlights to enhance your face, which is why getting them throughout your bangs is important.

Strawberry blond highlights are perfect for blondes who don't want to go darker

If you're a blond and getting copper highlights is still a bit too dark for you, then go for strawberry blond ones. The color is essentially a slightly darker blond with red and pink undertones. It will blend seamlessly with your hair and give you a stunning reddish sheen in the sunlight.

Add red and black highlights to a blond base for a seductive look

Even though this may not be everyone's cup of tea — red, blond, and black can look stunning together. Depending on what your base is, getting highlights in the two other shades will give your hair so much dimension, making it appear much fuller than it actually is.

If you already have red hair, you can still get red highlights

Those who already have red hair might think that they'll have to sit out on this trend — but that couldn't be further from the truth. If you have dark red hair, get highlights in a lighter shade, and if you have light red hair, get dark red lowlights.

A maroon shade is a unique way to explore this trend

The best part about this trend is that there are so many different shades of red, there isn't anyone who can't find a color that suits them. Copper and a classic deep red are the most common choices, but if you think neither will look good on you, opt for a maroon shade — a cool red that can look a bit purple in different lights.

A red balayage needs no upkeep for months

A balayage is like the baby of an ombre and a highlight because it sort of combines the best of both worlds. It gives you the same look as highlights would, but since it doesn't start at your roots, it requires virtually no upkeep except refreshing the color of the highlights with a hair tint once it washes out.

If you dare, go with plenty of intense red highlights and natural roots

Those who know that red will look great on them should go all out and get plenty of red highlights — so many that your hair will essentially be mainly red. You might wonder why you should do this and not just dye your whole head red. Well, having some of that natural color peek through at your roots will help your hair look great even when it grows a couple of inches.

Mix and match multiple shades of red for plenty or texture

Since red is such a fun color, there's really no need to settle for just one tone. To achieve an even more unique look, ask your hairstylist to give you highlights or lowlights in two or three different shades of red. The end result will be funky and eye-catching.

Red highlights pair beautifully with purple

We already mentioned that maroon is a great choice if you want a more purple red, but if you want to take it a step further, opt for red and purple highlights at the same time. Yes, this is definitely a super bold choice, but it's also a perfect way to spice up your hair and make it more fun for spring and summer.

Gray hair is the perfect canvas for this vibrant trend

A gray base essentially works with highlights of any color, which means that getting red is also an option. You can opt for any style, but an ombre or balayage tends to look best. And because your hair is already gray, there won't be any need for bleaching because the red will be visible on your base.

Copper highlights look stunning on brown hair

Even though brown is a great base for vibrant red highlights, copper ones will always be a safe choice. Ask your hairstylist to give you thicker, face-framing copper highlights and a couple of thinner ones in the back for a modern look. This is an easy way to jump on the copper trend without committing to dyeing your whole head.