Two Toned Layered Hairstyles

two toned hair
Two toned layers can be subtle or dramatic.

To add some interest to the typical layered haircut, two toned layered styles have become increasingly popular. The look can be achieved with both long and short hair.

Features of Two Toned Layered Styles


The main aspect of two toned layered styles is the contrast that the colors provide. These styles typically feature two complementary colors, although black and brown are also popular. Colors should be chosen according to skin tones, natural hair color, and colors that you feel comfortable wearing.


To create this look, the head is essentially divided in two horizontally from ear to ear, and the top and bottom are each colored a different shade. The lighter color becomes the featured color, and is usually at the top, with the darker color beneath it.

Adding More Interest

Highlights can also be added to the top color to provide even more texture and dimension. You can also "core" the tips by coloring the half last inch or so of the strands in the upper half a lighter color, creating a trendy, funky effect.

Celebrities Who Favor This Style

  • Beyonce Knowles
  • Jessica Biel
  • Keri Hilson
  • Anastacia

How To

  • Visually match the two shades you plan to use. If you want a more natural look, stick with two shades in the same color family; if you want something more dramatic, blonde and black may be your choice. You can also highlight with an unnatural color such as pink or purple for a distinctive look.
  • Frame your face with the lighter of the two colors, adding some highlights around your face to enhance your eyes and your overall appearance.
  • The base color is the darker of the two colors, and will make up the basis of your style. It should always be on the bottom.
  • The lighter color will highlight your layers, and can be placed throughout the entire top section of the hair, or sporadically throughout the top to highlight chunky layers or pieces around the face.

Popular Color Combinations

Blonde and Brown

These two shades are the most popular for the two-toned look, probably because they go well together and flatter most skin tones. For beautiful results, pair a warm blonde, light brown or honey brown with a dark chocolate brown.

Dark Brown and Red

Dark brown and red hues are natural color companions. With dark brown as the base color and a fun red shade in the upper area of the head, you will achieve a subtle look that will still get noticed.

Dark Brown and Purple

For a more dramatic look, put dark brown at the bottom and purple on the top. If you want a more subtle style, choose a purple that isn't too vivid. If you want to stand out, pick an eggplant or violet for a distinctive effect.

The Possibilities Are Limitless

When choosing colors for two toned layered styles, the sky is the limit. Although this style can be done at home, it is usually best to have it done in a salon, where a licensed cosmetologist will be able to suggest complementary colors and techniques that will play up your layers the most.

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Two Toned Layered Hairstyles