There are so many simple things in life that spark joy—whether it’s a morning cup of coffee, a new package in the mail, or sitting in your colorist’s chair for a brand new hue. Here at Hair.com, we’re always thinking of new and exciting ways to play with our hair color with the least amount of commitment.
If you’re looking for something subtle that can still make you feel brand new, that’s where peekaboo highlights—a trend involving color that just barely peeks out from your base shade—come in.
Looking to learn more about peekaboo highlights? Here’s everything you need to know, plus 23 ways to try the trend, whether you’re blonde or brunette.
What is peekaboo hair color?
Peekaboo hair color is when color is applied to your bottom layer of hair. When you run your fingers through your hair, the hue beneath “peeks” through your top layer of hair to reveal a pop of color. If you ask for peekaboo highlights at the salon, your colorist will apply thin or chunky streaks of color under the top layer of your hair.
Why get peekaboo highlights?
Ombre, balayage, and dip dye have all been done. We’ve been hunting for a trend that makes us feel inspired and peekaboo highlights are it. After all, who doesn’t want a pop of pink or blue hiding somewhere within their mane?
Seeing the flash of your peekaboo hue is a little moment of surprising happiness, like finding five dollars in your pocket or remembering that you packed a cookie with your lunch. As they say, the little things make all the difference, particularly when it comes to beauty.
How much do peekaboo highlights cost?
As always, the price of your service depends entirely on the salon you go to, where it’s located, as well as the state of your hair. Peekaboo highlights may run you a bit less money than getting a full head of traditional highlights, depending on the color you choose. Consult with your colorist or visit your salon’s website to find out how much peekaboo highlights would cost.
Is peekaboo hair high maintenance?
Laid-back hair lovers, this one’s for you! Peekaboo highlights are very low-maintenance since their placement is partially hidden, meaning that touch-ups can be done less frequently and at your leisure.
Where do you put peekaboo highlights?
More traditional peekaboo highlights are painted onto the lower layers of hair, but there are other out-of-the-box techniques that also let you experiment with the trend. A few alternate ways to add a pop of color to your tresses are to weave color around the face and the roots, or to gradually tint hair from front to back.
Inspired to try peekaboo highlights for yourself? Keep scrolling for 23 ideas to get you going!
The Best Peekaboo Highlights Ideas To Try Now
Stay cool with a unique combination of woodsy green beneath a rich red. If you opt for a fantasy shade like green, pick up a shampoo and conditioner formulated for fast-fading hair colors like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner.
Yellow and Black
Neon hair is all over Instagram. Up the ante by wearing neon yellow and black at the same time. Bonus points for adding in a third shade, like platinum gray. You'll never get bored when looking in the mirror!
Like the flower it's named for, lilac hair color is delicate and understated. If you have pale skin, lilac peekaboo highlights are for you. We love pulling hair into a braided updo to show off all the nuances of this shade.
For a sweeter, softer take on purple peekaboo highlights, give lavender hair a try. Hidden under ashy gray or silver, the shade will create the illusion of thicker hair while simultaneously adding an edge to your mane look. Be sure to let your colorist know you’d like these highlights as blended out as possible.
If you want to experiment with lavender before fully taking the plunge, pick up a color-depositing conditioner like Biolage Professional Lavender Color Depositing Conditioner to add a temporary dose of violet tones.
Cotton Candy on Black
Less isn’t always more, particularly when it comes to hair color. For a peekaboo look that’s whimsical and vibrant against jet-black hair, cotton candy peekaboo highlights are your move. Combining strokes of pastel pinks, blues, and lilacs, your colorist will create fantasy-colored wefts that hide just below your top layer of dark hair.
Hot Pink on Orange
No matter your hair’s hue, hot pink is always an excellent peekaboo highlight choice! It looks especially lively when paired with an equally as bright shade in a similar color family, such as burnt orange. Placed onto shoulder-skimming layers, the final result is a real stunner.
Bubblegum Pink and Platinum
If you’re still on a pink kick but prefer more muted shades, might we recommend platinum blonde overlaid onto bubblegum pink?
The bleach required to achieve this look can cause damage and dryness, so be sure to keep a good hydrating system on hand to keep your ‘do from falling limp and straw-like. The Biolage Professional Hydra Source Shampoo and Conditioner feature a state-of-the-art formula that’s meant to resemble the moisture-retaining properties of the aloe plant, which can help keep hair’s moisture levels balanced.
The hair community will probably never get over the serious crush it has on the color turquoise. The vibrant, not-quite aqua shade is so beautiful it can’t possibly go out of style.
Blush on Blonde
This soft blush shade looks lovely on cool blonde hair, acting like a pastel shadow. This is a ‘do that’s practically made for pale complexions. If you’re hoping to push the boundaries even more, talk to your colorist about a lilac shade with hints of purple.
Icy Blue on Blonde
There are a dozen cartoon princess jokes to make about this hair color, but it’s almost too beautiful to kid about. If you’re naturally light blonde or have spent months working toward platinum, reward yourself for all that diligence with a frosty blue accent shade.
Because blonde hair can often be quite fragile, we’d recommend trying this look when you have some extra length. If you find that the maintenance is too much, just ask your stylist to cut the blue away, or enlist the help of a good split end mender like Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Porosity Spray if you can’t part with your long hair.
Part of the Instacure Anti-Breakage Collection, the spray is designed to target damage caused by chemical, mechanical, and environmental stress. Users report a 60% reduction in breakage after just one use!
Turquoise on Violet
If you’re looking for a slightly bolder take on purple hair, consider violet with turquoise peekaboo color. It adds a flash of light to the base color, not unlike the way white blonde brightens up a honey shade.
Muted Blue on Black
Although fashion colors like pastel pink and blue continue their unstoppable rise in popularity, we’re finding ourselves drawn to vampy alternatives. This gray-blue shade over a black base is a subtle way to create drama without neon shades. In the right light, these peekaboo highlights could almost be mistaken for shiny highlights.
If you had a serious emo phase back in the day, it might be time to revisit it with this edgy blue look—overdrawn eyeliner not included.
Indigo on Black
Indigo isn’t just for your favorite pair of distressed jeans anymore. This deep cobalt shade can look just as beautiful in your hair, particularly when it’s blended with a black base. For medium skin tones, this peekaboo look is a low-key way of feeling like your color’s been refreshed.
Make this dark duo pop with a shine-enhancing mask, like Shu Uemera Art of Hair Ashita Supreme Intense Revitalization Hair Mask. It’s made with Japanese Ashitaba Extract, which leaves hair with a glowing shine. This added luster helps sharpen individual colors, resulting in gorgeous dimension.
Aqua on Silver
These bright pops of color will be more challenging to maintain than their subdued fellows, but your colorist can customize a hair care routine to keep them looking flawless.
Sunny Blonde on Chocolate
Trade the stripe-like highlights of the early ‘00s for this lived-in color combination. Placed around your face in delicate pieces, sunny blonde creates a youthful, natural vibe that’s perfect for laidback women with messy waves.
When it comes to inspiration for this look, be sure to turn to the professionals. Colorists with less experience may be unable to recreate the effortless vibe of these peekaboo highlights.
Red on Black
There’s no doubt that red shades are having a moment, and chunky streaks of crimson are a vibrant way to dip your toes into the fiery family of color without abandoning your dark roots.
Orange Under Sunflower
Why blend in when you can wear orange streaks beneath a vibrant sunny yellow? We love the placement of orange at the hairline to add even more brightness around the face. To showcase the underlying pop of color, first blow-dry hair with a round brush to provide extra volume. Then, lift the hair near your hairline up and away from your face and spritz an extra-control, texturizing hairspray like Matrix Vavoom Extra Full Freezing Spray at the roots to keep them propped up.
Brunette Under Blonde
Gone are the days of disguising our roots! We love a low-maintenance grow-out, and asking your colorist for a root smudge on the lower layers of hair is an easy way to blur the lines of demarcation between two hair colors. When you flip your hair over or to the side, you’ll still get a hit of peekaboo color that’s unexpected yet intentional.
As we mentioned, peekaboo highlights aren’t limited to just the undersides of your hair. If the rose gold trend piques your interest, but you don’t want to dye your whole head, consider using the pinky blonde shade on your roots! It’ll be an accent color instead of the main event.
Rainbow Under Rose Gold
Whether you’ve already given full-on rainbow hair a shot or just want to try it as an accent color, pairing it with the ever-chic rose gold is the way to go.
Reverse Peekaboo Highlights
If there’s one thing we love about hair color trends, it’s that there are no rules. Why not flip peekaboo color on its head by placing a lighter shade, like ashy blonde, onto one outer section of hair? The bold contrast will be front and center for a unique look that won’t be forgotten.
You know you nailed the peekaboo look when you lift up a layer of hair to reveal a set of beautiful sunset highlights beneath. The combination of magenta, orange, red, and yellow, perfectly resembles the stunning evening sky as the sun sets in the west. We love how this look also weaves in some lavender and then tops the look off with a rainbow clip for added whimsy.
Caramel on Hazelnut
If you’ve made it this far down the list, chances are good you’re hunting for a more office-appropriate color combination to try. Look no further than caramel peekaboo highlights. When hair is swept back, as pictured here, the nutty, rich shade is incredibly flattering to all complexions.
On long, flowing waves, this color combination is the ultimate bombshell move. Thank us later.
Find all of the salon-grade products you need to keep your peekaboo hair color rich and healthy at Hair.com