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What color are honey highlights?

Highlights are a popular way to add dimension and warmth to hair color. Honey highlights in particular are natural looking highlights that blend seamlessly into brunette, blonde, and red hair colors. But what exactly does “honey” mean when it comes to hair color?

What are Honey Highlights?

Honey highlights are a versatile highlighting technique that can be customized to your unique hair color and complexion. The term “honey” refers to the warm, golden tone of the highlights. Honey highlights tend to look like the natural sun-kissed highlights you would get during the summer months. The color typically ranges from dark blonde to light brown with warm golden undertones. This provides a beautiful contrast against darker brown or black hair colors.

Compared to bleach blonde highlights or brighter chunky highlight looks, honey highlights have a subtler, more natural appearance. The color is not too light, so it blends in with your base hair color nicely. The warm golden tones are flattering on many different complexion tones as well.

What Hair Colors Look Best with Honey Highlights?

One of the biggest benefits of honey highlights is their versatility when it comes to complementing different base hair colors. Here are some of the best hair colors to pair with honey highlights:

  • Brunette hair: For dark brown or black hair, honey highlights help add dimension and create movement. The warm tones help prevent the highlights from looking too brassy.
  • Blonde hair: On light to medium blonde hair, honey highlights create subtle sun-kissed accents. They can help tone down brassiness or mousy tones in blonde hair.
  • Red hair: Honey highlights blend beautifully into strawberry blonde, auburn, and red hair colors. They can accentuate the warm undertones while creating depth.

The key is maintaining a good balance with the underlying hair color. Honey highlights should be close to or slightly lighter than your natural shade. Going too light can look harsh, while staying too close to your natural color will be barely noticeable.

How are Honey Highlights Applied?

There are a few techniques your stylist can use to achieve honey highlights in your hair:

  • Foil highlights: This is the traditional highlighting method using foil strips to isolate strands of hair which are lightened with bleach or hair color.
  • Balayage: The hair color is painted directly on the surface of the hair with a brush and without foils.
  • Ombre: The highlights begin darker at the roots and graduate to lighter ends.

The application method will depend on the look you are trying to achieve. Foil highlighting tends to create bolder, defined streaks of color. Balayage results in softer, more seamless highlights. Ombre highlights create a dramatic fade from dark to light.

How to Maintain Honey Highlights

Maintenance is important for keeping honey highlights looking fresh. Here are some tips for maintaining the color:

  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner to keep the highlights from fading too quickly.
  • Use a hair mask or leave-in conditioner to keep highlighted hair conditioned and prevent brassiness.
  • Protect hair from sun exposure to avoid fading.
  • Get a gloss or glaze between full highlight appointments to refresh color.
  • Schedule full highlight touch ups every 6-8 weeks.

With proper maintenance and upkeep, you can keep honey highlights looking beautiful and natural-looking for months.

Honey Highlight Ideas

Ready to add some honey highlights to your hair? Here are some beautiful honey highlighting ideas and color melt inspiration:

Look Description
Warm honey balayage Buttery warm honey hues painted through medium brown hair for a sunkissed look.
Honey caramel highlights Rich honey and caramel tones woven through dark blonde hair.
Honey blonde highlights Bright honey streaks contrasted against an ash blonde base.
Honey bronde A gorgeous blend of honey and bronde shades melted together.
Honey ginger highlights Warm golden honey highlights hand-painted onto red hair for added dimension.

No matter your base color, there is a beautiful way to incorporate honey’s warm golden radiance into your look!

Do Honey Highlights Damage Hair?

Like any hair coloring process, highlights require some chemical processing that can potentially lead to damage. However, there are ways to minimize the risk:

  • Use Olaplex or a similar bonding treatment during the highlighting process to reinforce and protect the hair strands.
  • Avoid over-highlighting or taking highlights too light. Stay close to your natural color.
  • Use the balayage technique instead of foils if your hair is more fragile or prone to damage.
  • Deep condition hair weekly and use leave-in treatments to keep highlighted hair conditioned.
  • Trim hair regularly to remove any split ends and minimize breakage.
  • Be patient! Only touch up roots every 8-10 weeks to limit repeat processing.

While no hair coloring is completely risk-free, following these tips will help keep your honey highlights looking healthy and minimize unnecessary damage.

How Much do Honey Highlights Cost?

The cost for honey highlights can vary depending on where you live, the salon or stylist, and how much hair needs to be highlighted. On average, you can expect to pay:

Highlight Service Average Price Range
Partial Highlights $100 – $150
Full Highlights $150 – $250
Balayage Highlights $150 – $300

Factors like hair thickness and length will influence the final cost. Maintenance touch ups every 6-8 weeks will be cheaper than the initial highlight placement. Investing in honey highlights is worth it for the warm, dimensional locks you’ll get to show off!


Honey highlights deliver natural-looking warmth and dimension to dark to medium brown hair colors. The warm golden hues provide a beautiful contrast and complement most complexions. When done with a subtle balayage or ombre technique, honey highlights can mimic the sun-kissed color you’d get during summer. Proper maintenance and aftercare is important for keeping the highlights fresh and minimizing damage. But the end result is gorgeous dimensional hair that looks healthy and beautifully sun-kissed.