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Best Highlights For Your Hair Color This Summer

It’s time to lighten up. Your hair that is. And while most of us have been shading up over summer since the junior high practice of lemon spray and copious amounts of sun, highlights–just like fashion–do experience cycles. After years of chunky threads and ombre gradations, the natural look is back and better than ever.


“Summer is here and sun-kissed looks for all shades of hair is so hot right now,” says Bruno Racine, CEO of The Loft in Ottawa. ”We’re stepping away from the ombre technique, which created subtle roots and coloured tips; now it’s all about framing the face with a different subtle colour, like coming back from a beach vacation. It’s a perfect soft summer look.”


Beware though, lest you look dated. Unlike past highlights, today’s approach focuses on the hairline, brightening your overall look. ”The different colour tones are more obvious without being chunky or stripey–it’s less harsh, more authentic,” says Racine, who adds that, “for a more drastic change, I go even lighter at the perimeter of the mane while introducing fine highlights throughout the whole head.”


Best of all–and not always the case–this trend works for all levels and shades of colour, as evidenced by the slew of red carpet beauties Racine name-drops below. “This look works so well on all of them thanks to the right choice of shades that complement their skin tones and strategic placement of colour according to their hair cut and texture,” he says. Read on to find the best look for you.


Brown Hair:

Besides Jessica Alba‘s always on-trend tresses, Racine looks to the ever beachy Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, and Madeleine Stowe, now seen coming back in a big way on TV’s Revenge. “I like to soften and brighten the looks of dark brunettes by highlighting them with a warm, lighter icy chestnut, which completely controls any brassy underlying tones,” says Racine, who notes how Stowe’s light brown frames a more subtle contrast. “Dark honey shades, like Jennifer Love Hewett’s, and soft caramels, like Olivia Wilde‘s, are also favourites.”


Blonde Hair:

For blondes, Racine points to the queen of blonde ambition, Madonna, a back-to-her-roots Emma Stone (yes, she’s really a blonde and not a redhead, though we prefer her as the latter), and True Blood‘s Anna Paquin, with her warm beige blonde and lighter natural beige framing. “I love icy cool beige blondes like the shade Emma Stone is wearing, and the honey blonde base contrasted with a light golden beige blond, which Madonna is showing off,” he says.


Red Hair:
For those with red hair, Racine recommends Alyson Hannigan’s rich base with intense copper highlights, and Julianne Moore‘s more natural golden copper all-over colour. “It’s a classic!” 


Get more hair color inspiration–check out our summer hair gallery on Pinterest!


Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images


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