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50 Under Hair Color Ideas: Trendy Ways to Make Underlights Work

by Sherri Owens

Underlights are currently having a moment. The good news is that there are plenty of under hair color ideas for you to choose from!

Naturally, you are going to need some help navigating this colorful landscape and I'm here to help. I have worked for many years as a colorist, learning how to create both natural and bold looks.

Check out the underlights ideas that are sure inspire your next look!

Can You Dye the Underside of Your Hair?

Yes, you can do this. It is actually a very popular trend at the moment. You can dye the bottom-most layers of your hair even if it is only an undercut.

When dying the underside of your hair, you can choose to just do the middle section at the back of your head. Or, you can have the colored strands all around the bottom layer.

It is up to you to decide how visible you want these strands to be. Some prefer them to be completely hidden while others prefer if at least the tips of the colored strands can be seen.

Keep in mind that when you curl your hair or style it in a similar manner, the colored underside of your hair can be viewed.

What Is It Called When You Color the Underside of Your Hair?

This style has a few different names. Some stylists may refer to it as underlights. In fact, this appears to be one of the most common terms.

However, these are just as likely to be known as peekaboo hair or peekaboo highlights.

It is important to describe this look to your stylist instead of just referring to it by its name. Terms such as these are often used interchangeably and, as such, your stylist may get the wrong idea.

To prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to be armed with some images as well.

Underneath Hair Color Ideas

Here are the under hair color styles that you should consider:

Subtle Underlights

If you are looking for an alternative to highlights but still want to keep the overall look quite natural, then subtle underlights are the way to go.

Here, the blonde highlights complement the natural brown hair perfectly. As such, the contrast is a lot more minimal, resulting in a softer and warmer look.

Bicolor Trend Hair Underlights

Image by @itxaso_perruqueria via Instagram

Wisp Hair Underlights

Image by @coccole.estilista via Instagram

This is another great example. When the hair is curled, the natural hair shade and the underlights blend seamlessly together:

Color Block Hair Underlights

Image by @estudiok__ via Instagram

The key here is to ensure that the underlights are only a few shades lighter than your natural color. It is also a good idea to match cool tones with other cool shades and warm tones with other warm colors.

Think about the shade of highlights that you would get if you want a seamless look and use this color for the underlights.

High Contrast Underlights

If you're not the kind of person to play it safe, then high contrasting highlights are the way to go. Here, the two shades can be at opposite extremes of the color spectrum. As such, the underlights can be very dark or very light in contrast to the natural hair color.

Black hair with platinum blonde underlayer is certainly a bold look!

Black Hair With Platinum Blonde

Image by @mundocreativa via Instagram

A hazelnut brown with white blonde hair can be just as much of a statement:

Hazelnut Brown With White Blonde

Image by @marieaxelle.n via Instagram

Here is a unique twist on this trend. The top layer is a fiery red and the bottom hair is a blend of blonde and brown underlights.

While this is quite a daring look, note that tips of the underlights are a brown that blend perfectly with the red. This ensures that while your hair is down that the underlights are practically invisible.

Fiery Red and Blend of Blonde Hair Color

Image by @beccalynn_beauty via Instagram

Red Underlights

Red is one of the more popular highlight colors so it is only natural for it to feature in underlights quite so often.

Bold Red Under Hair Color

Image by @dotfashionsl via Instagram

This is an absolutely stunning under hair color idea. You have shadow highlights followed by brandy and maple which have slight orange undertones. Thus, the red underlights blend in perfectly, adding just the right level of brightness to the look.

Brandy And Maple With Slight Orange Undertones

Image by @dorene_kersey via Instagram

If you like a soft, natural look, here is an excellent idea. Not only does the red complement the dark hair beautifully, but the underlights are done in narrower sections. The overall effect is a lot more subtle.

Soft Natural Red Highlight For Darker Hair

Image by @lorfly via Pinterest

Of course, when it comes to red hair, sometimes you just have to go big. If you are looking for bold underneath hair color ideas, check this out. This fiery shade offsets the brown in the natural hair color to perfection!

Bold Red Underneath Hair Color

Image by @Saramohammedseif via Pinterest

Purple Underlights

As with purple highlights, there are two options with purple underlights. You can choose a more understated look or go all out with something bold.

If you are looking for barely noticeable purple underlights, here are a couple of underneath hair color ideas to consider:

A Little Touch of Purple Color Highlights

Image by @alextellostudio via Instagram

Pure Violate Hair Colour

Image by @antoniomartinezhair via Instagram

Intense Purple Under Hair Color

Image by @lee.coif via Instagram

The trick is to choose shades of purple that blend in seamlessly with the natural brown tones and black hair color. It is also a good idea to ensure that the underlights are only a few shades lighter than your hair color. They stand out less this way.

This look is soft in a very different way. Although the lavender shade is in direct contrast to the black hair, it doesn't stand out as much as it is a pale, pastel hue:

Lavender Shade Under Hair Highlight

Image by @kevinhairsalon via Instagram

In case you don't mind going all out, then here is some inspiration:

Pulp Riot Velvet Under Hair Highlight

Image by @colormania via Pinterest

Blue Underlights

Blue underlights are most likely to be paired with black hair. This is because the colors pops so well against dark hair.

A darker blue creates a gorgeous stormy look:

Gorgeous Stormy Darker Blue Highlight

Image by @integralisbeautys via Instagram

Here, the color is both light and electric at the same time. If you want to go for a startling effect, this is a great look to go for:

Underlights with Blue Chunky Highlights

Image by @vvloppezz via Instagram

Royal Blue Underlights

Image by @Tayraye0331 via Pinterest

Despite being a brighter color, the powdery hue still works incredibly well with the blackness of the natural hair color:

Brighter powdery hue blue hair color

Image by @kevinhairsalon via Instagram

Blue Hair Color Tribe

Image by @hygge_estilistas via Instagram

Of course, blondes can have just as much fun with blue underlights as any anyone else. If you do have lighter hair, though, it is best to go with a pastel blue. This creates a positively angelic effect:

Icy Blonde with Teal and Baby Blue Hair Color

Image by @mlankford22 via Instagram

Be aware that blue hair dye - particularly darker colors - has a tendency to fade out quickly. Due to this, it is a high-maintenance look.

To ensure that you don't need to go to your hair stylist every few weeks, look for a blue with undertones that suit your skin color. This way, even when the under hair dye fades, it will still work with your current style.

Pink Underlights

Pink is equal parts punk and pretty so it is a great underlights idea.

Under Light Pink For Blonde Hair

Image by @sandra.hairstyle_ via Instagram

Want something soft to go with your baby blonde hair? Then consider a pale hue. This pink is so light that it practically blends into the rest of the hair:

Pale Hue Pink for Baby Blonde Hair

Image by @claudialari823 via Pinterest

Look at how beautiful these pink underlights go with this blonde do. What makes it work so well is that the ash blonde hair is balanced out by this dark yet vivid color.

Pink Underlights for Ash Blonde

Image by @coutancessaintalgue via Instagram

Pink highlights and brown hair go so well together that it's only natural to make this color work as underlights too.

Here, the dark pink complements the dark brown hair color really well. At the same time, it's just light enough to brighten her skin tone:

Dark Pink Highlights For Dark Brown Hair

Image by @birdsofparadyes via Instagram

This pink may not be as natural, but see how well it works with dark hair? If you look closely, you can see that the under hair dye closer to the roots is lighter and it gets darker towards the tips. This helps the ends blend in well with the natural hair color.

Dark Pink Under Hair Color

Image by @salon.pro.es via Instagram

If you didn't think black hair and pastel pink worked well together, here are peekaboo highlights that prove you wrong!

pastel pink highlights for black hair

Image by @ayumi.whitetree via Instagram

If you are looking for pink hair shades to brighten up your look, here are some images to inspire you:

Pink Highlight For Black Straight Hair

Image by @w_ilfried via Instagram

Dark Pink Under Hair Color For Teens

Image by @laisbof via Instagram

Vibrant Pink Highlight For Blonde Hair

Image by @marieaxelle.n via Instagram

Green Underlights

Green is definitely one of the more unusual options for underlights. However, it is a great option if you want to take a break from safer shades.

If you have dark hair, a forest green is a beautiful shade to try. It blends in beautifully and pops especially well with shades of brown:

Forest Green Highlight

Image by @LunarTidesHair via Pinterest

Of course, there is no harm in going a little lighter, particularly if you want to make a statement:

Light Green Underlights for Coffee Brown Hair

Image by @banybagliani via Instagram

If you have lighter hair, this is still a look you can rock. In this case, an aquamarine green - a cross between blue and green - may be better suited to you:

Teal Under Hair Color

Image by @ viacolourloft Instagram

Emerald Highlight for Brown Hair

Image by @hairby_bre__ via Instagram

Underlights on Short Hair

You can absolutely get underlights on short hair, but be aware that the effect can be a little different than with long hair.

If you have bob length hair or a little longer, your hair is likely one length. In this case, you can have hidden underlights like this style:

Iris Blue with Beige Brown for Bob Length Hair

Image by @number76 via Pinterest

Many shorter hairstyles tend to be graduated though, which means that the layers underneath may be longer or simply more visible. In this case, you will get an effect such as this:

Fire Engine Red Under Hair Color

Image by @axelleb.coiffure via Instagram

Of course, this is style is beautiful. However, if you have shorter hair, be aware that the underlights will be constantly visible.

Therefore, if you have school or work to consider, you may want to go for a more natural color.

Take this look, for example. The underlights are done up in a much darker shade than the original color. Despite this, the overall effect is quite natural. This trend is great if you want to add warmth to lighter tones as well.

Dark Brown Highlights on Short Hair

Image by @danielle_gorgeoushair via Instagram

Multiple Underlights

Who says you have to stick to just one color? You can use two or more colors or shades to take this look to the next level.

There are a few different ways you can do this. The simplest is to have parallel highlights, with one or more colors alternating with the others.

You can also have a gradient or ombre look. This is when you start with a dark or lighter shade at the base of the hair. Then, depending on the shade you have chosen, the colors get progressively lighter or darker going down the shaft.

Blue and purple are a popular combination. This jewel toned effect is absolutely gorgeous:

Gorgeous Blend of Blue and Purple Jewel Tone Highlight

Image by @nwpierce via Pinterest

Here electric blue and blonde is thrown into the mix:

Unicorn Hair Highlight

Image by @thereddoor.salon via Instagram

This is great inspiration for gray tinted hair

Multiple Hair Highlights For Gray Blonde Hair

Image by @danielle_gorgeoushair via Instagram

If you're looking for something a little punk, why not add some pink in as well:

Hidden Rainbow Hair Highlight

Image by @peluqueer via Instagram

These yellow and cherry red underlights really highlight the warmth of the natural hair color:

Orange and Pink Sunset Hair

Image by @vividlyliv via Instagram

Peacock Hair Underlights

This is referred to as the mermaid look as well. It is typically a combination of different shades of blue, green, sometimes with a hint of purple.

Ocean Blue Mermaid Hair Shade

Image by @vividlyliv via Instagram

Mix of a Blue with Light to Dark Green Highlight

Image by @erni_salon_ via Instagram

Rainbow Underlights

Sometimes, just one or two colors won't do. No, you need the whole rainbow! If you are looking for rainbow hair color ideas, here are some options to check out:

Rainbow Underlights for Long Black Hair

Image by @magdalenafree69 via Instagram

Rainbow painted primary color Highlights

Image by @gerilynghaisarzadeh via Instagram

Bicolor Underlights

Image by @lookpeluqeria via Instagram

Brown Hair Peekaboo Rainbow

Image by @cherriethefox via Pinterest

Face Framing Highlights with Underlights

If having underneath hair color alone seems a bit too severe, you might want to consider pairing this look with face-framing highlights.

This way, the highlights create a link to the the hair underneath, making the transition seem a lot smoother.

Here are some of the ideas you can borrow from:

white to pink balayage hair color

Image by @colorproofhair via Pinterest

Blonde underlights with dark brown hair

Image by @peluqueriatrendy via Instagram

Unique and Radiant Hair Underlight Style

Image by @hairfashionep via Instagram

Tones Blue Fantasy Hair Color

Image by @rebels.pops via Instagram

This is an absolutely gorgeous take on this idea. The hair framing the face is a beautiful citrus-y orange while the underlights are a fiery red. This is a great example of ensuring that the highlights and underlights work well together without them actually matching.

This is also a great way to add dimension to hairstyles and warmth to skin tones.

Bright and intense shades of red hair color

Image by @yasbeauty__sf via Instagram

Two Tone Underlights

The underneath hair color trend isn't just for natural hair colors, though. It works just as well with colored hair, particularly pastel hues.

Needless to say, this is a pretty bold look - purple and neon green! At the same time, there is no denying that these shades work incredibly well together.

amazing purple and peekaboo neon green highlight

Image by @centresalonspa via Instagram

Check out this gorgeous, cotton candy look:

Cherry Blossom Cotton Candy hair color

Image by @kevinhairsalon via Instagram

Want to kick things up a notch? This pastel pink is layered over blues, greens, and yellows

Pastel rainbow peekaboo pink hair

Image by @jenmurphyyy96 via Pinterest

It doesn't matter if you have blonde hair, black hair, or a more unusual color - there are under hair dye ideas for everyone. Now you know exactly how to work this look. You also have the inspiration to come up with something completely unique.

All that's left is to pick a look and find a way to make it fit with your own unique style. Go ahead and get started!

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