Can’t Decide Between a Light or Dark Hair Color? Try a Honey Brown!

Having trouble making a decision between having light hair or dark? Are you wanting a change but nothing too drastic? Honey browns might be the perfect choice for you.

Honey is a warm color, but not overly warm (think soft gold rather than orange or red). It’s flattering to most skin tones, and for most it’s only a few shades away from your natural color. Less contrast means lower maintenance – hooray!

Noticeable Naturally Curly Hair

Picture of a noticeable naturally curly brunette honey brown hairInstagram @salonchristol

Natural Light Honey Brown

Picture of a natural light honey brown brunette hairInstagram @lisalovelylocks

Long Chocolate Honey Curls

Picture of a long chocolate honey brown brunette curlsInstagram @bellgoh1267

Stand Out Straight Middle Part

Picture of a stand-out straight middle part brunette honey brownInstagram @brazilianbeautystudiowa

Warm Honey Blunt Look

A blunt lob cut with warm honey brown hair colorInstagram @maria.maii

Q&A with style creator, Maria Ioannou
Hair Colourist & Hairstylist @ Glitz n Glamour HairExtensions / Barber @ Fleet Street Barbers
in Craigieburn, VIC / Preston, VIC

How would you describe this look?

This look just makes you feel cozy looking at it. It’s neat, simple, and elegant but pops out!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Who would this color suit? Nearly everyone! If you love you warm latte honey tones, then this is the color for you! As you can see in the photo, this cut and color appears so simple but has so much going on in it. There’s dimension in the tones, and the cut is bold. If you are the type of person who wants a simple low maintenance hairstyle that says a thousand words, then this would be it!

Brown to Honey Ombre

Dark brown hair to honey brown ombre balayageInstagram @oliviahyska

Q&A with style creator, Olivia Hyska
Hairstylist @ Panache the Spalon in Sturgis, MI


How would you describe this look?

It’s a low maintenance look. The honey and caramel tones flow so nicely with her natural base color. I softened the length of the cut with some layering and subtle face framing. This color can be styled in many different ways, but I personally love a soft wave. I alternate the curl pattern so the curls don’t intertwine with each other.

Any advice for someone considering it?

For those who are considering this kind of color, it is low maintenance. You don’t get that harsh demarcation line, so you’ll only need a few color appointments.

This is a good introduction if you are looking to go lighter, especially for brunettes.

A glaze is a great in-between service to freshen up the color.

Use a color safe hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Heat protection is also very important for those lightened ends.

Honey Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Amber Young
Stylist @ Vohg Hair in Encinitas, CA


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as honey blonde highlights on a natural dark brown. I love that that you get the elements of being blonde through highlights and balayage while still playing off of the natural color.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The beauty of this look is its ability to be low maintenance which makes it work for almost anyone. My client was already coming in for base color, so when she came in wanting to lighten some pieces up without fully committing to highlights every time, this is the look we came up with. She can stay with her current base color every eight weeks, and we can add in highlights when necessary.

The ideal client for this look would want to keep her natural level 4-6 base color and enhance it with some highlighting. It’s important to start with strong, healthy hair that can withstand the lightening process.

This look does require some TLC at home because of the lightening. You should be using salon-grade products at home to maintain the integrity of the hair. A Sulfate-free shampoo, a moisturizing conditioner, a heat protectant spray, and a nourishing oil are all staples for a look like this. Washing only two to three times per week is also crucial to maintaining the health and vibrancy.

This look is perfect if you want to shake up your natural color without committing to a complete change!

Wearable Warm Blonde

Wearable Warm Blonde hairstyleInstagram @thedapperedge

Q&A with style creator, Luis Moreno
Hairstylist @ Station 8 Salon in Boston, MA


How would you describe this look?

This look really shows off how pretty and wearable a warm blonde highlight can look coming from a medium brunette start. No need to worry about looking brassy when you use colors that work together to create an overall nice and natural-looking color.

I loved using a balayage handpainting technique to create this sunkissed, natural highlighted brunette.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Some advice I would give to clients wanting this look or this technique on their hair is to be open-minded. Start somewhere and have a plan, but be open to the end result.

As far as products, as long as you use a good moisturizing conditioner, a color-safe shampoo, and maybe some conditioning treatments to maintain the health and shine of your hair, you should be ok. We use JBeverlyHills color and styling products at my salon and I love everything about them.

This can look good with so many hair types because it’s so natural looking and the growout is really easy and low maintenance. The beauty of balayage and handpainting is that you aren’t married to being in my chair every six to eight weeks, but you also have the option to if you love the brightness around your face or love changing your look more frequently.

This color is perfect for any first-time color clients looking for their first dive into the color world.

Honey Highlighted Lob

Honey Highlighted Lob hairstyleInstagram @caitlinforhair

Q&A with style creator, Caitlin Boehm
Independent Hairstylist & Cut/Color Specialist @ Caitlin Boehm at Grey Salon in San Francisco, CA


How would you describe this look?

This is a lob with copper/honey highlights. I love the dimension of the color and the melted effect it has from top to bottom. It’s a simple and pretty look with that “cool girl” factor.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The cut is great for clients with fine hair looking to give the illusion of thickness. It is also ideal for clients that want something cool and effortless but still professional. The bottom is cut blunt and slightly a-line, while the layers are internal and texturized to create movement without giving up density. If a client wants shorter hair without sacrificing style, a lob is a great option.

The color is a nice option for clients with medium to dark brown hair that want the dimension that highlights give, but do not want mega blonde hair. I focused on coloring the mid-lengths and ends so the client can go months and months without having to keep up with it.

It’s always important to use color-safe shampoo recommended by your stylist to maintain this look. A good 1 1/2-inch curling iron gives great loose waves. I usually spray some dry shampoo in before I curl and use a spray wax to finish.

Natural Complexion with Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Mylena Vittori
Hairstylist / Co-owner @ Meraki Hairdesign in Winterthur, Switzerland


How would you describe this look?

This look does not turn your hair color upside down, but instead adds just enough extra color to make it a unique look. I love the natural complexion combined with the highlights.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is perfect for anyone with naturally brown hair who wants to give it a little something special. There is not a lot of change in the hair color, but it still exudes a little bit of glamour.

In my opinion, this honey brown hair suits anyone with a warm color type. Should these colors wash out after a while, I recommend refreshing it with a shiny tint.

Honey-Toned Balayage

Honey-Toned Balayage hairstyleInstagram @hairbyash912

Q&A with style creator, Ashley Keippel
Designer Stylist / Colorist @ Ulta Beauty in Vernon Hills, IL


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I would describe this look as a honey-toned balayage that is perfect for fall and winter.

My favorite thing about it is that it goes from a subtle honey to super light ends. I love the transition!

What products do you recommend to create and maintain this look?

The products I recommend to maintain this look would be Redken color-safe shampoo and conditioner and an at home conditioner. Use Wax Blast hairspray for texture if you want to curl and a heat protectant if you want to straighten.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I will recommendedbalayage to people who want little upkeep. Anyone can wear this because it can be a subtle service and transition. This particular color looks best on a pink skin tone. She needed warmth in her hair to brighten up her face so it didn’t wash her out.

A lot of teenagers want this look just because they don’t want to always have their hair colored. I recommend coming in at least six to eight weeks after the service for a glaze because it is a semi-permanent color.

Let’s Get Started:

honey brown hair

Since the honey colors are so mid-range, in order to have hair that really gets you noticed, it must be in impeccable condition and have a great cut. Regular (1x per week or as directed by your stylist) deep conditioning is a must. Pick one day of the week and make it a habit.

60's style honey brown hair

Blondes can be honey-toned, too. These darker, slightly warm blondes are softer and less severe than the paler blondes. Again, less contrast means easier maintenance. If you want a bit of brightness, try balayage or ombre highlights.

long honey brown hairstyle

Honey blondes and browns look more natural and flattering as we go along in life. The warmth can make the skin look creamier and you have the added bonus of better gray coverage.

honey brown highlighted hair

If you just want a taste, honey tones can be a beautiful highlight in dark hair. If you want less upkeep and a more sun-kissed look, go with a more subtle technique like balayage or ombre as mentioned above. And always remember, one person’s honey is another’s caramel or toffee, so bring pictures to your appointment to make sure you and your colorist are on the same page.

swept up honey brown hair swept up honey brown hair 2

So, basically it’s easier maintenance for most natural hair colors (depending on the technique), it covers gray really well, it is almost universally flattering to the skin – why not try some honey in your hair this season?