If you have long hair with no or few layers and you want to go dramatic, bring up those highlights five or six shades lighter than your naturally dark hair. Extreme highlights on shorter, layered styles can look choppy. If you have shorter hair and want to try a more intense highlight, only place a few highlights in select areas of your bangs and around your face. This creates an edgier look without putting highlights all over the top of your head.
A great intense look is adding a few stripes of light blonde to dark or mid-brown hair colors. Place these in the bang area, or add four chunky stripes from the crown of your head. When you add highlights to your hair, you're actually bleaching it. The lightness of the highlights depends on how long you leave the bleach in. For subtle highlights, stylists often use a lighter hair color containing peroxide instead of bleach. However, for an extreme look, use a 30 or 40 volume cream peroxide with either a frosting cap or foils. When lightening your hair from dark brown to blonde, you may experience orange-ish or yellowish highlights. Get rid of the brassiness by applying a blue- or purple-based toner after you wash out the peroxide.
Extreme highlights can range in color from light ash blonde to platinum, depending on how extreme you want your look to be. Keep in mind your hair’s natural cool or warm tone when choosing extreme highlights.