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27 Peekaboo Highlight Ideas For When You Want A Pop Of Color

picture of three different women with peekaboo highlights

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. Even though salons are closed and our colorists are no longer a call away for the time being, we’re always thinking of new and exciting ways to play with our hair color.

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 27 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. 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, it’s 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 should run you a bit less money than getting a full head of traditional highlights. Consult with your colorist or visit your salon’s website to find out how much peekaboo highlights costs.

Inspired to try peekaboo highlights for yourself? Keep scrolling for 27 ideas to try when salons open back up!

The Best Peekaboo Highlights Ideas To Try Now

Photo Credit: @johnanthoneyhair

Forest Green

Stay cool with this woodsy, unique take on fantasy hair colors. Green hair? Why not! 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 Shampoo and Conditioner.

Photo Credit: @hairbyelm/

Yellow and Green

Neon hair is all over Instagram.Up the ante by wearing yellow and green at the same time. You'll never get bored!

Photo Credit: @hairbychrise

Caramel

We always find ourselves gushing over caramel hair, but it really is the most universally flattering shade for every skin tone. Caramel peekaboo highlights are beloved by celebrities for the way they bring warmth to the complexion and dimension to dark hair.

Photo Credit: @dancsicsaihair

Golden Blonde

Like caramel, golden blonde hair just makes everyone look a little bit better—sort of like they just got off the plane from a weeklong tropical vacation. On medium and dark skin tones, it’s a true stunner.

Photo Credit: @constancerobbins

Rose Gold

The rose gold trend might pique your interest, but that doesn’t always mean it’s worthwhile to dye your whole head. Instead of letting the pinky blonde shade rule your mane, create peekaboo highlights that just hint at the shade. It’ll be an accent color instead of the main event.

Photo Credit: @amybcolor

Neon Yellow

Why blend in when you could wear neon yellow peekaboo highlights? Bookmark this for your big summer hair color change!

Photo Credit: @sadiejcre8s

Lilac

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.

Photo Credit: @tfosterhair

Violet

If you’re looking for a slightly bolder take on purple hair, consider violet peekaboo color. It adds a flash of light to the base color, not unlike the way white blonde brightens up a honey shade. Against dark skin tones, violet is always a good idea!

Photo Credit: @mimiturgeon

Lavender

For a sweeter, softer take on purple peekaboo highlights, give lavender hair a try. Hidden under ashy blonde or silver, the shade will create the illusion of thicker hair while simultaneously adding edge to your mane look. Be sure to let your colorist know you’d like these highlights as blended out as possible.

Photo Credit: @evastromblad

Cotton Candy

Less isn’t always more, particularly when it comes to hair color. For a peekaboo look that’s whimsical and vibrant, cotton candy peekaboo highlights are your move. Combining strokes of pastel pinks, blues, and lilacs, your colorist will create a fantasy-colored mane that hides just below your top layer of hair.

Photo Credit: @meganlacore

Blue

Like rose gold, blue is an appealing shade that’s heavily featured on social media. It’s only natural to hesitate before staining your hard-earned blonde, so give the shade a trial run before committing with peekaboo highlights. Ask your colorist for the most washed-out, pastel version of the shade. It’ll blend into your blonde, creating a statement gradient that’s gorgeous.

Photo Credit: @constancerobbins

Strawberry Blonde

Stay sweet with touches of strawberry blonde, an in-between shade that's ideal for fair skin tones.

Photo Credit: @hairforcehairstyling

Pink

Hot pink is always an excellent peekaboo highlight choice for blonde shades. When placed at the base of the neck, it’s a real stunner.

Photo Credit: @headrushdesigns

Turquoise

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.

Photo Credit: @frances_hairartist

Mushroom Brown

Can't get enough of ash? Invest in mushroom brown peekaboo highlights, an excellent first step into a new hair color.

Photo Credit: @sterlingwilliamshair

Marigold

Stay sunny! Marigold hair color looks dynamite on dark and medium skin tones.

Photo Credit: @ashleylantzhair

Mauve

Try dusky mauve hair for peekaboo highlights that feel playful but definitely all grown up.

Photo Credit: @melissahilights

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.

Photo Credit: @amandaepsteinhair

Raspberry On Honey

Did we make you hungry? While this combination of flavors would also make quite the balanced breakfast, we’re still focused on hair colors. Vibrant pink highlights peeking out from under a honey base and warms up your entire complexion.

Photo Credit: @ashlishade_hair

Icy Blue On Blonde

There are a dozen cartoon princess jokes to make about this hair color, but it’s almost too beautiful to joke 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.

Photo Credit: @nikki.diederich

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 may be time to revisit it with this edgy blue look—overdrawn eyeliner not included.

Photo Credit: @jillianbono

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.

For an extra touch of modern glam, we’d recommend asking your stylist for an angled bob to show off your peekaboo color. If you love it, ask your colorist for a full head of indigo on your next visit.

Photo Credit: @hannahdisconnected

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.

Like to make a statement and have already given rainbow hair a shot? Aqua and espresso is a natural next step.

Photo Credit: @hairhunter

Warm Red On Mahogany

One of the prettiest ways colorists make peekaboo highlights work is by playing up the same notes in both the base and accent color. Red on mahogany brown hair works because it’s all within the same color family. The result is a cohesive color fantasy that will see you all the way through to the summer.

Photo Credit: @hairhunter

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 in the early months of the year. Look no further than caramel peekaboo highlights. This nutty, rich shade is incredibly flattering to all complexions—it’s basically a weeklong beachside vacation without any out-of-office time.

On long, flowing waves, this color combination is the ultimate bombshell move. Thank us later.

Photo Credit: @cilloevette

Beige On Cool Brown

Does the word “beige” still conjure images of your mother’s living room in the ‘90s? You must not be paying attention to the world of hair trends, which is rapidly being dominated by nude blonde shades. Your colorist will take the shade very cool, creating the in-demand matte hair color effect that’s currently ruling social media.

Take inspiration from this photo, using a “less is more” approach to place beige pieces throughout your mane. A little goes a long way, particularly when it comes to cool girl color. The idea is to avoid looking too intentional.

Photo Credit: @kristin_ess

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.


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