Peek-a-boo hair is a fun way to experiment with color without transforming your entire head. With this style, either the bottom layer is dyed a different color from the top layer, or different colored highlights peek out through the hair. It works on any hair type, in any color. You just need to decide if you want to go wild with a shade like hot pink or a more natural hue.

Things You'll Need

Peek-a-Boo Hair

Decide what color you want your peek-a-boo hair to be. If you’re blonde, black or pink would work well. If you have dark hair, you need to bleach the underlayer of your hair to blonde first—from there you can achieve other colors.

Comb your hair to detangle before dying. Separate the bottom layer  of hair from the top layer, and clip the top portion on top of your head with a large hair clip.

Put on latex gloves. Mix up the bleach or hair dye.

Start working with hair in one-inch sections.

For dark hair, apply bleach, starting near the root, and working your way down to the end.

If you’re already blonde, skip the bleach and apply colored hair dye directly.

Repeat for the entire bottom layer of hair, one-inch piece by one-inch piece. Dying your hair in chunks this way keeps you from missing spots.

Follow the instructions from the box to know the right amount of time to leave in the bleach or dye before rinsing out. Wait until your underlayer has reached the desired color—a caramel to light blonde if you’re bleaching dark hair, or the desired color for blonde hair.

Rinse out the bleach or hair dye thoroughly, then condition your hair.

Blow dry your hair.

Continue to the next step if you’re adding a color over the bleached portions.

Mix the desired color hair dye.

Starting with a one-inch section of bleached hair, apply the dye from the roots and work your way down, saturating the entire section. Repeat for the entire bottom layer of your hair. Determine the dye time by reading the instructions from the box. Rinse thoroughly when the time is up.

Condition and blow dry your hair.

Unclip the top layer and style.

Peek-a-Boo Highlights

Separate the bottom layer of your hair from the top layer, and clip the top portion on top of your head with a large hair clip. (Avoid adding highlights to the top layer of your hair; you only want the color to peek through from underneath.)

Put on rubber gloves. Mix up hair dye or bleach.

With a tail comb, section off one-inch portions of hair, leaving ever other section down, and holding up the rest.

Slide foil underneath the sections of hair you’re holding. Using a tint brush, paint the hair with the bleach or hair dye. Fold the sides of the foil towards the center. Fold the bottom of the foil up. Repeat until you complete the entire bottom layer of your hair. Do the underlayer of your bangs, too, if you’d like.

Follow the instructions from the box for dye times. Wait until color develops. Remove the foil. Rinse out the dye or bleach thoroughly. Blow dry your hair if you’ve achieved your desired color, and style. Repeat the process with hair dye if you’re adding color to the bleached highlights.


  • Asking a friend to help you with highlights will make it easier—and safer!
  • You can use one color or multiple colors for peek-a-boo hair.
  • Apply a small amount of beeswax to the hair you don’t want dyed to protect it from bleach or color.
  • Always use conditioner after coloring or bleaching your hair. The chemicals can make your hair dry and brittle.
  • A tail comb is a comb with a long, thin end used to separate hair.