Two Tone Hair Color

dark and light hair
Two Tone Dark Hair with Highlights

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

Choosing Two Colors

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 hair style. It is also is also a great look for thinning hair because it can make the hair seem automatically thicker. Dual color is bolder and more dramatic than hair highlights or hair lowlights shades, and it is a great emo hair color option or a way to accentuate punk or alternative styles.

When selecting which colors to use for a two tone look, the biggest consideration is contrast. The style is most dramatic when light and dark shades are paired, such as a bright blond layered over brunette hair. To find the right hair color for you, don't forget to consider your skin tone, natural hair shade, and personal style preferences as well. Ideally, the colors should be from the same color family - cool shades or warm shades - so they coordinate well even as they present a stunning contrast.

Two Tone Hair Color Styles

There are three basic styles of two tone hair:

  • Top and Bottom Layers: Fully colored top and bottom layers are the most popular option for two tone color. In this style, the upper layers of the hair are colored one shade, while the lower layers are a dramatically different tone. Usually the lighter shade is on the top, but the order is a matter of personal preference.
  • Colored Tips: Adding a contrasting or funky hair color to the tips of a shorter style is a great way to draw attention to a fun flip, layers, tapered ends, or razor cuts. The amount of color can be as little as a half inch or may extend much further up the hair for a two tone look.
  • Chunks and Stripes: A quick way to add a second hair color and a colorful attitude is to add chunks or stripes. Adding extra color around the face is particularly popular, either in the bangs or along the cheeks.

Popular Two Tone Color Combinations

While you can put together any two colors that you desire, depending on how funky or conservative you want to look, there are several colors that are sure to get attention.

  • Auburn and black
  • Platinum and black
  • Dark chocolate and caramel
  • Eggplant, burgundy or bright red with dark brown
  • Platinum and ash blond
  • Light copper and dark auburn
  • Purple and blue

Celebrities Who Sport Two Tone Color

drew barrymore with two tone color

If you're looking for some inspiration or are wondering if anyone has successfully pulled off various colors before, there are plenty of celebs who have paved the way.

  • Kristen Stewart has sported dark auburn hair with black peeking out from underneath.
  • Both Drew Barrymore and Christina Aguilera have been seen with platinum blond hair that is black at the ends.
  • Carrie Underwood has worn her long blond hair with red on the underside.
  • Rihanna has been seen with her dark brown hair topped with caramel blond.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker has long worn a subtle two toned color that is darker on the top and gradually lightens to the ends.
  • Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's wore her dark hair in chunky blond highlights.

How to Create Two Tone Color

Creating two tone color is no more difficult than a changing a single hair color. Be sure the hair is healthy and well conditioned before coloring, since harsh color treatments can dry out and damage hair. Keep in mind, however, that 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 level of color you want with home products.

To create top and bottom contrasting layers:

  1. Part hair horizontally just above the ears where the skull begins to curve toward the crown.
  2. Dye the upper layers of hair first and wrap the hair in a shower cap while the color sets.
  3. Dye the lower layers carefully and allow the color to set for the appropriate length of time.
  4. Rinse out the hair dye from the lower layers first, followed by rinsing out the upper layers.
  5. Trim hair style if needed to accentuate both colors.

To create colored tips or chunks:

  1. Color the base color first if desired.
  2. Add the contrasting dye in the desired locations, taking care to avoid staining the base color where it isn't wanted.
  3. Let the color set for the appropriate length of time.
  4. Rinse out the dye and style as desired.

Styling Your Two Tone Hair

Two tone hair color looks great in a casual style, or you can choose a more elaborate look to emphasize both colors. The color will peek through braid hair styles, updo styles or layered hair styles with flash and confidence. With careful styling, even the most radical colors can be easily hidden to meet a school or work dress code as well.

Let Your Personality Show

Two tone hair color is dramatic and appealing, from contrasting natural shades to double tones such as pink hair highlights or a funky accent to emo hair styles. Carefully done,the look can be a great way to show both the fun and serious sides of your personality at once, in a stylish and trendy way.


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Two Tone Hair Color