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What color blonde highlights for red hair?

Highlighting red hair can seem tricky, but it’s definitely doable with the right color choices. Blonde highlights in particular can look amazing on red hair when done correctly. The key things to keep in mind are the existing hair color, skin tone, and of course personal style preferences.

Choosing a Shade

When choosing a blonde shade for red hair, it’s important to consider the depth and tone of your natural color. Darker reds like auburn tend to look best with caramel or strawberry blonde highlights. Brighter copper red hair can handle brighter shades like pale golden blonde. Just avoid going too light or ashy, which can make red hair look dull or muddy.

It’s also essential to factor in your skin tone. Those with fair or pink-toned skin can get away with lighter blonde shades. Warm medium to olive skin looks better with honey, buttery or beige blonde tones to complement the complexion.

Placement and Application

In most cases, subtle highlights blended throughout the hair tend to look more natural on redheads. Face-framing highlights around the hairline and sides of the face will brighten up your complexion. You can also do a smattering of highlights throughout the top and mid-lengths of the hair.

It’s best to start with fine, wispy highlights and build up if you want more contrast. Keeping the regrowth soft and blended as the highlights grow out is crucial to maintain a natural look.

Using a balayage or handpainted highlighting technique will produce the most seamless results. Foils can work too, but sometimes leave obvious regrowth lines on red hair.

Best Blonde Shades for Red Hair

Here are some of the most flattering blonde shades to consider for red hair:

  • Buttery blonde – A rich, warm tone great for medium to olive skin.
  • Honey blonde – A versatile golden shade that flatters most complexions.
  • Strawberry blonde – A mix of red and blonde that complements light red hair.
  • Beige blonde – A muted, earthy tone that works with darker reds.
  • Champagne blonde – A soft yet bright shade for fair skin.


Blonde highlights require more regular maintenance on red hair compared to subtle lowlights. Plan for touch-ups every 6-8 weeks to refresh the highlights and blend regrowth. Use purple shampoo and conditioning treatments to prevent brassiness. Avoid over-washing and use heat protectant to keep highlighted red hair looking shiny and healthy.

Consultation is Key

The most important part of getting great blonde highlights on red hair is an in-depth color consultation. A skilled colorist will take your hair’s current color, texture and condition into account. They’ll also consider your complexion, eye color and sense of style. Bringing photo inspiration pictures is highly recommended. With the right consultation and application, blonde highlights can make red hair pop beautifully!

Before and After Photos

Here are some stunning before and after photos of blonde highlights on red hair:

Before After
Dark auburn hair before highlights Auburn hair with caramel blonde highlights
Copper red hair before highlights Copper hair with golden blonde highlights


Blonde highlights can be gorgeous on red hair when customized to complement the existing color and complexion. A qualified stylist along with proper maintenance are key to making blonde and red hair color work harmoniously together. With the right considerations, blonde highlights can give red hair a beautiful boost of dimension and vibrancy.