Beachy Highlight Ideas That Make Every Hair Color Look Sun-Kissed
Come spring and summer, who doesn't crave a little glow? However, we've learned better since our days sitting in the sizzling sun, slathering on baby oil and spritzing lemon juice for naturally lightened locks. We're more interested in keeping wrinkles, sun spots, and (most importantly) skin cancer at bay than catching UVs for the sake of tawny skin and hair. Luckily, you don't need to be fresh from your morning surf to get enviably kissed-by-the-sun tresses.
Beachy highlights have never been more attainable, thanks to balayage highlighting. The goal: sunny strokes of hair color that don't look too perfect and that hit those ultra-flattering spots around your face, towards your ends, and arbitrarily throughout the rest of your mane. It's not just for blondes, either — brunettes can stick with warm shades not too far from their base color or go with sparse, piecier blonde highlights.
No matter your hair color or tone, there are beach highlights made just for you. Here are 26 ideas to take right to the salon.
Dirty Blonde Sombré
Create a cascading blonde effect on brown-blonde hair by placing strokes of blonde where the sun naturally lightens hair: around the face and on the ends, with random strokes throughout the middle section. The soft fading effect creates a flattering ombré look.
Sunlit Honey Blonde
Go super warm-toned with a honey blonde color on a brown natural base. Balayage ensures it blends seamlessly.
Soft blended blonde perfectly complements this rich warm brown, and we're loving the bright pop of color it gives, especially around the face. If you want a sandier finish, start with a lighter brown base.
Keep your roots — and most of your hair — its natural brown for the most minimal upkeep, and add in major face-framing with blonde in a matching tone. In this case, a warm honey blonde complements a warm medium brown.
Rose Brown Balayage
The hottest new hair color for brunettes this year is unarguably stunning rose brown. It takes the rose gold trend and turns it into a rich, warmer shade that makes brown hair look almost metallic.
Blonde Money Piece
If you're a brunette on the darker end of the hair color spectrum that still wants to get in on the fun, ask for blonde face-framing pieces that are blended primarily into the frontside of your mane. It's just enough to brighten up the whole look without being high-maintenance.
Buttery Blonde on Caramel Curls
Nothing catches the light quite like sun-kissed spirals, and this curly angled lob focuses light buttery blonde close to the face with its light warm brown base.
Dirty Blonde Bob
This bob couldn't look more beachy if it tried. Blended warm blondes are mixed throughout to create the overall look that will only get more glowing with every step in the sun.
Heavier balayage can still look beachy when it's a rich, warm shade, such as this golden caramel. Since the base is a dark chestnut, the caramel helps achieve a sun-kissed look.
Shadow Root Blonde
You can still get the beachy look, even when staying more cool-toned. This cool brown base gets refreshed with cool blonde balayage.
Caramel Pieces on Chestnut Brown
Go super subtle with these natural balayage highlights that look anything but straight from the salon. Tiny caramel pieces are weaved into a robust chestnut brown bob and look absolutely perfect for summer.
Caramel and honey blonde are the perfect complements to a brunette base. Just ask these beautiful face-framing highlights.
Dirty Blonde Color Melt
This oh-so-subtle take on beach blonde is just the ticket for those who don't want to be revisiting the salon anytime soon.
If you're craving the naturally sun-kissed blonde from your youth, a cheery sunflower blonde more than fits the bill.
This blonde-brown shade favors the popular rose brown trend, but takes it a little lighter and adds a strawberry tint that's perfect for sunny days.
A warm cinnamon brown gets a sunny takeover with some golden and caramel piecey highlights close to the face. The dynamic look isn't subtle, but definitely looks pecked by the sun.
Baby Caramel Bronde
Give chocolate brown strands a subtle update with caramel bronde babylights throughout.
Honey Blonde Balayage
This style integrates very similar warm honey shades throughout the hair for an all-over sun-kissed look.
Apricot and Strawberry Blonde Balayage
Take your red hair to the beach with bright and bold balayage in a slew of warm red shades, ranging from copper to strawberry blonde.
Add some sun to dark chestnut brown with warm golden caramel color placed mainly on the ends, venturing higher in a few random spots to make it look natural. This rich wavy lob is a great way to go beachy on dark hair.
Platinum Blonde Balayage
A neutral dirty blonde base gets an Icelandic transformation with heavy ultra-light platinum around the face and towards the ends.
Chestnut Curls with Strawberry Blonde Ends
Stick with warm shades to get a striking, yet livable look that will grow out flawlessly. These curls get an awesome fiery blonde kick on the ends and near the face for all the glow.
Baby Stone Blonde
Meet the new platinum, and it's way less maintenance, so feel free to push back the touch-up appointment by a couple weeks.
Dark Ashy Brown with Beige Face-Framing
Keep the highlights looking laidback, despite being two very differing shades, by sticking with cool tones and using very sparse placement. Thin pieces frame the face, making it perfect for any season.
Ash Blonde Ombré
An ashy bronde base gets an icy pop of blonde, giving a unique look for spring and summer for neutral-to-cool-toned blondes. When the weather is heating up, take your locks a little cooler.
Lived-In Blunt Bob
This warm platinum short cut has bronde roots and a sandy middle section that makes the blonde ends look seamlessly blended.