Highlights can be scary if you have dark hair: Too many of us have been burned by going into the salon for "subtle face-framing colour" and leaving with our roots brassy and our hopes dashed. But that doesn't mean you can never consider a subtle lift — in fact, you should. Highlights can be an instant mood-booster and, when done right, look just like your hair, only brighter and shinier.
According to L.A.-based colourist Katie Cartwright, the key is finding a soft tone of brown to weave into your base shade. "You can brighten a dark hair colour with a range of paler tones," she explains. "I often find the best undertones come from your complexion. For example, darker skin or eye colours will look great with bronze, copper, and caramel-coloured highlights, while lighter complexions might opt for a toffee or beige-tinted lift."
Ahead, our favourite examples of the luminous effect a stealthy highlight can have over a dark root — a refreshing, yet perfectly believable, winter pick-me-up.