Highlights are a classic foundation for many of our hair color goals. Be it a naturally blended blonde or an allover color change, highlights are the route that take us where we want to go. Peekaboo highlights are the latest color trend taking over our feeds, and they’ve been used in a variety of ways. Whether you want to add a pop of bright, bolder color into your natural hue or give some added interest to your updos, the playful placement of this color trend is what makes it so fun and unique.
Often worn beneath the surface, around the face, or gradually tinted from front to back, peekaboo highlights are an impactful, pleasantly unexpected surprise to any hair color or style. We tapped expert colorists on the best way to wear this trend.
Whether you want to go with highlights that are a bit more bold—or more subtle peekaboo highlights that you can hide at work, we have you covered.
CHOOSING A SHADE: Tang suggests picking a fun, vibrant color or a contrasting color. “This will make the peekaboo highlights pop!”
MAINTENANCE LEVEL: Low. Tang and Bodt both agree that with hidden color placement, touch-ups can be done at your leisure.
GOES GREAT WITH: Choppy Bangs, Long Layers, and A-Line Bobs
SIMILAR SHADES: Contrast Color, Skunk Hair
PRICE: This all depends on how much contrast you’re looking for. It may be the same as the cost of full or partial highlights at your salon, so consult with your colorist first.
Check out 20 inspo images of varying peekaboo highlights that will make you DM your colorist for an appointment.
Playing with pops of color doesn’t have to be a fully highlighted effort. “Peekaboo highlights are the perfect way to try out a fun color!” says Tang. This burst of purple is a total surprise, hanging off to one side of the hair.
The beauty of adding some peekaboo color into natural texture, especially when brushed out as seen here, is that those little color moments will really spread out as each curl separates, giving the illusion that larger chunks of hair have been painted. “If you are going super light,” says Bodt, “lay off the super-tight hair ties and say hello to scrunchies and jaw clips to avoid tight tension that can cause breakage.”
Opt for scrunchies or jaw clips after lightening the hair to avoid the breakage that tighter hair bands can cause.
Cotton Candy Blend
You’d think at first sight that this adorable bob was an impressive bleach-and-tone, but one toss of the head or flip of the hair and you’ll catch sight of a vibrant cotton candy blend peeking out from below. Bodt recommends using color conditioners to keep your contrasting tone vibrant and long-lasting.
A microweave can offer babylights for any shade of blonde or hint of playful color. But it’s weaving just beneath the surface of the hair that allows for those peekaboo moments where your color can peek through and offer some interesting dimension.
These blocks of blue add a fun peekaboo moment to dreaded hair, no matter how they’re styled. Worn up or down, a hint of blue gradients can be seen casually yet thoughtfully placed throughout.
Peekaboo highlights don’t have to be woven by definition. These blondie splices are fully highlighted chunks that lie just beneath the darker strands at the surface for a most interesting contrast.
This highlighter yellow hue is hard to miss, even with its peekaboo placement. Any colors surrounding the top layers of your face frame are sure to stand out.
Effortlessly Grazed Ends
If you want to give the illusion of peekaboo highlights without the high maintenance color job, rely on your preexisting grown-out highlights to do the trick. By switching up your parting and pulling the hair up into a faux bob, it’ll look as though you’ve got an intentional round of peekaboo highlights effortlessly grazing your ends.
Blown Away Blue
As if a bright blue wouldn’t blow anyone away with its outspoken hue, the peekaboo placement against naturally lighter hair tones is sure to give major impact to your ‘do.
The pink-tinted tendrils may be front and center, but amid a full head of healthy, naturally dark curls, they’re a peekaboo highlight that’s sure not to be missed.
With a pinch of highlighted peach hidden throughout your strands, you’ll have plenty of fun peekaboo moments to sport with varying style choices.
Shades of Gray
Peekaboo “skunk” highlights are one of the hottest trends of the year. They manage to be both edgy, yet also totally wearable. You can pull your hair up to show off the gray, or wear your hair down if you want only a hint of gray to show up.
Who hasn’t always wanted to be a mermaid? These dreamy multi-color peekaboo highlights allow you to be just that. The purple and blue colors look beautiful next to dark hair, although this look would be just as magical on lighter hair as well. You can wear your hair down to hide the color—but why would you want to?
This peekaboo orange gives us major sunset vibes. The platinum blonde hair and orange highlights are the perfect pair. This is a bold look, however you can ask for more subtle highlights if you want to tame it down a bit.
Make sure you are using a shampoo that is made for color-treated hair. Avoid shampoos with sulfates, or those that are labeled as “clarifying” as they can fade your hair.
While still in the orange family, these pumpkin spice highlights are much more subtle than the bright orange highlights above. This color would look beautiful on auburn or brunette hair.
These neon highlights are the opposite of subtle—and we love it! These bold colors may fade fast unless you make sure you are washing with color-safe shampoo.
Kim Possible fans will love these Shego-inspired green and black highlights. A subtle wave and tuck behind the ear is all you need to display this beautiful hue.
If you want a pop a color that you can easily hide, these purple rain highlights will be right up your alley. The highlighted section is kept underneath, hidden underneath your top layer of hair. To show off your highlights, wear it half-up, in a ponytail or in a chic top knot.
These delicate blue highlights look beautiful against dark hair that is lightly layered with beachy waves. Baby peekaboo highlights are a versatile way to get in on this colorful trend.
If you can’t settle on just one color….why not pick them all? These rainbow peekaboo highlights are truly Instagram worthy! These do require a colorist that is experienced in these type of highlights. The darker your natural hair color, the more it will need to be pre-lightened before hand for the brighter colors.
Where is the best placement of peekaboo highlights?
Traditional peekaboo highlights are under the top layer of your hair. Your colorist may pin the top layer of your hair up, and apply the color to the underneath portion so it “peeks” out. You can also apply delicate or “baby” highlights for pops of color around your face or at the ends of your hair for a subtle peek of color.
Are peekaboo highlights high maintenance?
If you opt for bright peekaboo highlights, be prepared to touch up the color as it starts to fade. Some shades of color will fade faster than other shades. You will also need to make sure you use color-safe shampoo to keep your color bright.
What peekaboo hair color fades the fastest?
Due to its large molecule size, red hair color fades the fastest and will often start to fade in two weeks. Purple also fades fairly fast, and it may turn to a pink before it fades completely. To maintain your bright color, use a shampoo for color-safe hair and don’t wash your hair every day.