20 Stunning Examples of Summer Hair Highlights to Swoon Over Right Now
We wait all year long for summertime to arrive. Not only for the peach cobbler, fried green tomatoes, and extra late sunsets—the calling cards of summer in the South—but for the footloose and fancy-free attitude that takes over. Our brains get to head on a metaphysical surfin’ safari, and that has us feeling like it's time for a fresh new set of highlights that let us live our best sun-kissed lives, even when we’re far from the shores.
Everyone deserves to feel brand-new and boogie-ready ahead of the hot season. And for that, we’ve got all the inspiration, from caramel-kissed brunettes to honey-dripped blondes to punchy standouts like rose quartz-inspired brown and sunlit copper red. You won’t be left wanting for a hot new hair color for summer. Get to scrolling, pinning, and swooning—these are the most stunning summer highlights to inspire your best look yet.
Baby Butter Blonde
Look like you've been catching those summer sun rays even when you've been stuck inside. Golden blonde highlights and lowlights blend for that coveted beachy look.
Subtle Golden Ombré
Lighten up your brunette locks without having to commit to an allover hair color change. Chocolate brown melts down into a soft caramel-golden blonde for a low-maintenance new look for summertime.
Rose Quartz Brunette
This might be the most fun update for brunettes to rock this summer. Get it...rock? Rosy-hued chocolate brown hair, coming right up.
Let the sun work for you with these shine-boosting golden babylights on classic brown hair by stylist Natalie Anne. It makes you look absolutely lit from within.
Blonde Shadow Root
Brunettes can still go blonde without having to commit to monthly touch-up appointments. Behold: the shadow root. It blends the blonde color of your choice seamlessly into roots to ensure a grow-out phase that doesn't look awkward.
Chocolate Brown Balayage
Give dark brown hair just a touch of lightness for summer with chocolate-chestnut brown balayage. Focus midway down to the ends to keep things low maintenance.
As if red hair needed a boost to really thrive in the summertime...well, a little strawberry blonde in the mix never hurts, seen here by colorist Jade Federico.
Sandy Platinum Blonde
Platinum blonde can be casual and wearable enough to transcend seasons, especially when mixed with sandy blonde lowlights to create a cohesive lived-in look.
Cream Blonde Ombré
Or cool things down a notch with brunette roots that melt down into ash blonde balayage, which happens to look just like how cold creamer curls down in a glass of iced coffee. Mmm.
Milky Way Brown
We're taking things intergalactic with this multi-dimensional cool-toned brunette that has us dreaming of the starry night sky.
Golden Blonde Balayage
If we could capture any song by The Beach Boys in a hair color, it'd be this sun-kissed blonde with sass to spare. Ask for highlights and lowlights in shades of golden-honey blondes.
Berry Brunette Curls
Step outside the usual hair color spectrum with a berrylicious shade of reddish purple hair color over a brunette base.
Golden Brunette Babylights
For something that oozes sun-kissed in the summertime, try a honeyed brown hair color that catches all the sunsets á la stylist Katie Cartwright.
The most flattering way to slowly embrace your natural gray roots is by going in for a round of silvery gray highlights that blend the growing gray roots into the midway-to-ends section of your hair length.
Ice Bronde Balayage
Cool tones pop on a summer tan like nobody's business, and this color in-between blonde and brunette is calling our name. (Peep that money piece framing the face in ice blonde!)
Do something way more summery than basic caramel brown highlights with rosé brown instead. Seriously, it's like trading in your old car for a beach bike complete with a cute basket and little bell.
If you're a brunette dreaming of being a blonde, this will help you meet in the middle for a glowy summer look that won't have the roots coming in hot.
Imagine all the warmth and richness in a range of chocolate brown, caramel, honey, and golden blonde mixed into one melt of a hair color. And then take that imagination straight to the salon, courtesy colorist Ashlee Allen.
This coppery take on mocha brown is the spiciest thing we've seen all day. Ask for heavier copper red strokes around the face and towards the ends to really ramp up the flatter factor.
Caramel Blonde Curls
Coating the ends of your curls in a rich shade of golden caramel color instantly reinvigorates any hairstyle for a new season.