Summer Highlights For All Hair Colors


Summer is approaching, so naturally your thoughts are turning to lazy days at the beach, barbecues with your besties and of course, your summer highlights! What better time of year to lighten up and brighten up your hair? Nowadays there are so many highlighting hair options—balayage, babylights, color melt and more. So it’s a cinch to find a style and color palette for your hair, ranging from extreme to extremely subtle. The hair color pros at Matrix know everything there is to know about hair highlights, and here they share their tips and inspirations to help you find the summer highlights of your dreams!


Light Blonde Highlights or Balayage

Best if your natural hair is: blonde or naturally light brown

What your stylist will do: Lighten your all-over hair color to medium blonde if it’s not already that light. Then she’ll hand-paint lighter wheat and ivory blonde highlights on select sections, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends for the most natural-looking effects.

Hair care tip: Prevent these cool highlights from becoming too warm or brassy with regular use of a purple-toned shampoo. Twice a week should do it!



Honey Blonde Babylights

Best if your natural hair is: Light, medium or dark brown.

What your stylist will do: Weave fine strands all over and apply light golden and honey hair highlights. The colored sections will be wrapped in foil to process.

Styling tip: If you wear your hair straight and smooth, thin highlights that extend from roots to ends will be the most flattering choice.



Almond Hair Color Melt

Best if your natural hair is: Light, medium or dark brown

What your stylist will do: Color melting involves an artful and beautifully blended gradation of hair color, starting darker at the roots and gradually becoming lighter and lighter toward the ends. Your stylist will brush on the darkest maple hair color (or just maintain your natural shade) on top sections, then place the mid-range toasted almond hair color shade just below it and blend the two together with the side of the brush. Same thing between the mid-range toasted almond in the center and the lightest slivered almond hair shade on the ends.

Styling tip: Focus the emphasis of the curl formation where the color is lightest to play up movement and dimension.


@constancerobbins // @lesley_oneill // @lennystrand

Bonfire Copper & Auburn Balayage

Best if your natural hair is: Warm brown or red.

What your stylist will do: Who says highlights can’t be for redheads? This fiery color combo is ravishing! It starts with a warm auburn base color. Your stylist will then hand-paint lightener on the middle and end sections and top it all off with a vivid copper hair glaze.

Hair care tip: Keep your red hair color first-day vivid with shampoos and conditioners that are free of the sulfates and salts that can cause hues to fade too soon.



Pastel Highlights - Pink and Peach Hair Color

Best if your natural hair is: Dark, medium or light brown or blonde.

What your stylist will do: Highlights don’t always have to be “matchy-matchy.” A few fun slices of pastel hair color are the perfect summer accessory. If your hair is dark, it will have to be lightened so the delicate highlights show up. Then your stylist will bleach the desired highlight hair sections and gloss over them with luminous peach and pale mint hair color.

Styling tip: The twists and turns of a braid make the perfect showcase for summer highlights. Before braiding, mist your hair with dry shampoo to give it the texture it needs to hold the shape.


@constancerobbins // @jamiedanahairstylist

Rose Gold Balayage

Best if your natural hair is: light blonde to medium brown

What your stylist will do: The “It” hair color of the season, rose gold hair, is especially dramatic when it’s contrasted with richer, darker hair color. To get the look, your hairstylist will apply lightener to the lower half of your strands and lift your hair to a dark blonde shade. Then she’ll glaze everything with a rich, rosy shade of demi-permanent hair color, which will not only create the unique color on the ends, but also leave your hair looking shiny and feeling soft.

Styling tip: Keep summer humidity out of the picture by misting your beach waves with a soft hairspray that eliminates hair frizz and flyaways.



Ocean Blue & Purple Balayage

Best if your natural hair is: Deep and dark.

What your stylist will do: Let’s face it, dark hair color has fewer options than light when it comes to highlighting hair. These sea-inspired blues and violet hair colors offer fashionable flair. Your stylist will lighten select sections of hair, then brush and blend amethyst and cobalt color along the strands, blending carefully. She’ll finish with an overall sheer, clear gloss to seal in the color and amplify shine.

Styling tip: Keep the shine train on course by using sheen-enhancing hair treatment oils on damp hair before drying. 



Platinum Blonde Balayage - Tone on Tone

Best if your natural hair is: Blonde or light brown.

What your stylist will do: Highlights that are in the same shade range offer the dimension of traditional hair highlights without the contrast. Here the secret is a combination of ultra-light, icy cool and buttery warm tones.

Hair care tip: Daily care for highly lightened hair is critical. Ask your stylist to recommend gentle shampoos and conditioners formulated expressly for blonde hair colors.


@constancerobbins // @bellabaci7

Mocha & Caramel Face Framing Highlights

Best if your natural hair is: Medium or dark brown.

What your stylist will do: The highlights with the highest impact are placed around the face, and sometimes that’s all you need to brighten your whole look. Your stylist will create wide mocha or caramel highlights on the sections closest to your face, from the hairline to the ends.

Hair styling tip: A traditional roller set with heated or Velcro rollers will produce deep, glamorous waves—perfect for showing off face-framing highlights! Mist each section with a light-hold hairspray prior to setting the hair for flexible hold.