10 Two-Tone Hair Color Ideas for a Striking Style

Updated May 15, 2018
Girl with beautiful hair enjoying springtime

Two tone hair color can be a bold fashion statement and a fun way to experiment with unique hair colors. There are several ways to make this style work for you, whether you're interested in an everyday hairdo or a more outrageous variety.

Prominent Flashes

A quick way to add a second hue with serious attitude is through flashes. You dye your tresses in a sporadic way to deliver pops of color. You might opt for an understated, lighter brown to create dimension throughout your dark brunette locks. If you're feeling brave, a contrasting shade such as pink across blonde hair gives it a major style update.

Bold pink and blonde hair

Two-Tone Stripes

If you have naturally dark tresses, you can instantly give it a fashion-forward makeover by incorporating stripes in a lighter hue. The obvious nature of these highlights make them unsuitable for those who prefer to blend into the background. Simply ask your hairdresser for chunky T-section highlights for a striking, youthful appearance.

Girl with two-tone striped hair

Dipped Ends

Also called "dip-dye," dipped ends are where the ends of hair look like they've been directly dipped in dye. These looks are just as pretty whether the dip-dye shade is similar to the all-over color or a complete clash. Choose an alternative hue to stand out for all the right reasons.

Girl with hot pink dip-dye hair


Ombre is a popular coloring technique where your natural hair color gradually transitions to another shade. The brunette version where your locks gradually turn blonde is famous for being super fashionable and ultra chic. For complex dying procedures like these, it's best to visit a salon rather than attempt it yourself.

Back view of ombre hairstyle

Individual Chunks

Adding another hue around the front of your mane through individual chunks will instantly revamp it. You can also include these pops of color in your bangs as a way of brightening and framing your face. As well as looking cool and quirky, it will put a distinctive spin on an otherwise conventional hairdo.

Chunks of red hair highlights


Not to be confused with ombre, balayage is a beautiful, complex coloring technique where the hair is highlighted to mimic the way that it naturally lightens after long periods in the sun. Unlike ombre, the ends are left dark to look more authentically sun-kissed.

Balayage style hair color

Full Highlights

A full head of highlights might not be exactly natural, but it can be subtle if done correctly. If you prefer this aesthetic, choose a highlight hue that's only a few shades lighter than your real hair color. If you'd rather showcase vivid highlights, consider an alternative hue like pink, blue, red, or purple.

Woman with full highlights hairdo

Unique Undertone

Fully colored top and bottom layers are one of the most dramatic options for two tone color. With this style, the upper layers of the hair are colored one shade while the lower layers are a sensationally different tone. Usually the lighter shade is on the top, but the order is a matter of personal preference.

Unique undertone hair color

Colored Tips

Adding a contrasting or funky hair color to the tips of a shorter style is a fabulous way to draw attention to tapered or razored ends. The amount of color can be as little as a half-inch or it may extend much further up to put a contemporary twist on the traditional two tone look.

Short women's hairstyle with colored tips

Subtle Babylights

Babylights are a very fine color technique that involves highlighting thin pieces of hair in a soft and delicate way. The result is an authentic, sun-kissed aesthetic. Choose a tone that's close to your natural hair hue and implement them occasionally throughout your mane for an understated yet impactful effect.

Long brown hair with subtle babylights

Creating Two Tone Color

When selecting which colors for a two tone look, the main consideration is contrast. Don't forget to consider your skin tone, natural hair shade, and personal style preferences too. Ideally, the colors should be from the same family - cool shades or warm shades - so they seamlessly coordinate while presenting a stunning contrast.

Your hair should be healthy and well conditioned before you proceed, since harsh color treatments can damage it. Keep in mind this type of hair color is best achieved at a salon, particularly if you are inexperienced with dying your own hair at home. If you are considering a very light shade as one of the colors, it can also be difficult to achieve the color you want with home products.

Showcasing Your Personality

Two tone color can be a great look for several reasons. Not only is it more unique than just a single color, but it also adds depth to a hairstyle. Carefully done, it allows you to show both the fun and serious sides of your personality at once in a stylish and trendy way.

10 Two-Tone Hair Color Ideas for a Striking Style