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.

Highlights for Long vs Short Hair

Some people believe that you can’t achieve a beautiful dimensional balayage in short hair. 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!

1. Long Waves with Caramel Highlights

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.

Caramel Brown Wavy Hair

2. Two Tone Long Hair

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.

Long Dark Hair with Golden Blonde Balayage

3. Long Brunette Hair with Blonde Face Framing

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.

Long Wavy Locks with Front Highlights

4. Long Wavy Hair with Dimensional Blonde Balayage

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.

Subtle Balayage on Long Loose Curls

5. Blonde Balayage on Long Straight Locks

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.

Long Layered Haircut with Blended Highlights

6. Chocolate Brown Babylights

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.

Icy Violet Ombre on Long Beachy Waves

7. Low-Maintenance Highlights for Long Hair

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.

Mid Shaft Highlights on Long Curly Hair

8. Berry Highlights on Long Brown Hair

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.

Curly Hairstyle in Rose Gold Tones for Thick Hair

9. Long Auburn Hair with Peachy Highlights

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.

Long Voluminous Style with Ginger Highlights

10. Icy Blonde Money Pieces on Long Dirty Blonde Locks

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 Choppy Layers and Icy Blonde Highlights


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