The 21 Most Delectable Caramel Highlights You’ll Ever See

A warm, caramel-ish tone is one of those that can be used to create an absolute hair masterpiece. No matter what your complexion, hair type or natural hair color may be, a warm caramel hue can complete your look! Whether it be a subtle pop of caramel against some darker pieces, or an all over color, there’s always a way to add caramel highlights into your life!

Babylight Foils & Balayage

Babylight Foils & Balayage hairstyle Instagram @suchalizzy

Q&A with style creator, Lizzy Campos
Hairstylist @ The Beauty Bar at Carmel in Westfield, IN

How would you describe this look?

This look was creating with babylight foils and balayage. My favorite thing about the look is the subtlety of it. It brings dimension and pops of color to the hair without the client feeling like they are blonde.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This is a great low maintenance color for someone who isn’t regular with appointments. I would also recommend it for someone who is shy about going lighter.

Any face shape could pull off this look. If you pull your hair back often, I recommend having foils placed around the hairline. This look was created on someone with fine hair.

I used a flat iron to curl the top sections, added Air Control by Aveda, then shook out the curls.

Caramel Foilayage

Caramel Foilayage hairstyleInstagram @katiepdxhair

Q&A with style creator, Katie Pattison
Stylist @ Rock Paper Scissors Salon in Portland, OR

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a caramel foilayage on a dark chocolate base. What I love about caramel highlights is that they can add natural warmth and brightness to a dark base color while maintaining color harmony.

What I love about the foilayage technique is that it allows you to lift through naturally dark (or even previously colored) hair more quickly than open-air balayage, yet it creates the same natural-looking, rooty highlights that make balayage so low maintenance.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Caramel highlights are a great choice for anyone who wants to add depth and dimension to medium or dark hair, however they are definitely not for someone who doesn’t like warmth in their hair.

Achieving caramel highlights using the foilayage or balayage technique is great for the client who wants a low maintenance hair color that looks natural and grows out beautifully.

Enhanced Natural Color

Q&A with style creator, Blaire Powell
Senior Stylist @ Berry Lane Hair in Grafton Street, Cairns

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as an enhanced natural color. I used warm and natural tones to complement her natural hair.

My favorite thing about this look is that you can’t tell her has been artificially colored. This could really be a natural head of hair.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I recommend this color to someone who wants to change their look but still wants to feel like their natural self. This look is best suited for someone with a warm skin tone. I think long hair works best to show off all the different tones.

Bolder Caramel Highlight

Q&A with style creator, Chelsea Rich
Color Expert / Owner @ Golden Edge Studio in Olathe, KS

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a more bold caramel highlight versus a subtle caramel highlight. This could be a great “round two” for someone who has had caramel highlights before but is looking to take the next step!

I love all the dimension it has with the different tones against the depth of her natural base. It all melts together so beautifully!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Caramel highlights are friendly to most clients because they are easier to achieve and maintain than lighter highlights. I always ask my clients what their level of comfort with styling is before I do any color service because color deserves to be shown off, not thrown up into a messy bun every other day!

This look will require a longer service due to the density and length of the hair, and because it is a full balayage and lowlight with a gloss is required. If your client has compromised hair or wants to keep their hair in its healthy state, I recommend using a bonding system like the Redken PH bonder or Olaplex.

As far as products go after the service, I recommend using a color-safe shampoo or any salon brand shampoo. I warn clients that the drugstore shampoos and conditioners can strip the color quickly and make you hair look dull and lifeless.

Caramel Highlighted Lob

Caramel Highlighted Lob hairstyleInstagram @hair_by_matt_84

Q&A with style creator, Matthew Gucci
Stylist / Master Colorist / Bridal Specialist @ Hair Machine Salon in Rockville Centre, NY

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a long bob or lob. Lobs are cut so that the hair falls between the chin and the collarbone, essentially creating a look that is quirky, cool, and neither too short or too long. This effortless cut works with pretty much every face shape and hair texture, so it’s a perfect cut for anyone who wants to switch up their look in a flash.

This client asked for balayage but didn’t want to be much lighter than her base color or considered a “blonde”, so I made her a true caramel blonde. I used a lightener and a glaze which consisted of Goldwell’s Colorance, 80Mills of Colorance Lotion, 20Mills of 8GB, and 20Mills of 8BA.

My favorite thing about this whole picture is how her hair color pops with the right amount of balayage highlights to outline her haircut in a way that her hair gives a nice flow. It was just the right amount of color to make the whole haircut work. She wanted change and she got it!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Any client considering this look needs to really think about her way of life by imagining herself with this look and her everyday wear. A cut like this requires maintenance and a little TLC. By TLC I mean caring for your new haircut and color with proper product use.

We used two to three pumps of Goldwell’s Just Smooth Serum and one pump of It’s a 10 Keratin Oil before blowing her hair out with volume. We used a 1-inch curling iron to achieve the curled look. As far as at home maintenance, she bought the Goldwell Blondes & Highlighted Hair shampoo and conditioner along with the products I used for styling.

Warm Colors

Warm Colors hairstyleInstagram @mayliz_hairmad

Q&A with style creator, May Zavala
Cosmetologist @ MLZ Hair & Makeup in Central Valley and San Diego, CA

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

This is warm colored hair with a few sunkissed babylights touched with a speck of caramel tone, all done with the balayage technique. The caramel highlights help lighten up the warm base color and bring out all of the wonderful tones and shine.

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

I used Affinage lite powder with 20vol for the baby highlights and foils. I then applied Matrix Socolor 5m with 20vol to the hair that was left out of the foils (which is the base tone). We processed for about 35 minutes after finishing with the base color. I topped it off with Matrix Socolor 6w for the babylights.

I used Olaplex (my favorite) with the entire process. My model took home Joico Keratin shampoo and conditioner, Techitaly Lumina shampoo (purple shampoo), and #3 Olaplex treatment. This look requires regular trims every two months and a retouch every four to six weeks.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

All hair needs a little bit of TLC. No hair color or cut can shine if it’s just put away no matter the skin tone, hair type or lifestyle!

Luscious Light Ends

When you add in a hint of blonde at the ends to create an ombré effect, your gorgeous caramel tones really pop!

Medium Curly Ombre Hairstyle with Blonde Ends

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This seamless mixture of light blonde and warm caramel is an absolutely fantastic way to complement someone with a fairer complexion. The warm tones will brighten up the hair around your face. Any hair texture will work for this look, however curly hair, as seen in the photo, works especially well. The wave and curls allow for an even smoother transition between the lighter and darker pieces. If you like the look shown here, but don’t have naturally curly locks, just grab your 1-inch curling iron and get to curling!

Caramel Coated

In this reverse ombré look, caramel and warm tones are added to brighten at your roots and around your face.

Long Reverse Ombre Hairstyle with Caramel Tones

Best Skin Tone And Hair Type:

This would be beautiful on a girl who has dark hair naturally. However, keep in mind that lightening your hair all over, even a few shades, will require frequent maintenance. Lighter, warmer tones right around the face would look beautiful on those with a darker complexion.

Any hair type would be suited to this style. If you like the look shown in the photo above, straighten your hair using a flat iron. Keep in mind that using a good quality product regimen will help keep your color looking rich and shiny!

The “Braund”

I call this look the “braund” because it’s not quite brown but not quite blonde! It’s a perfect mixture of warmth and dimension!

Blonde Hairstyle With Caramel Highlights

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This mixture of caramel tones, with dark blonde and a bit of a darker base, is perfect for those girls who want a lower maintenance look, but still want some interest and dimension. Being that the overall color isn’t terribly light, you could rock this color easily and with little maintenance if you have naturally dark hair. Any hair type will work well for this look as long as it’s healthy! If you like the look shown in the photo, grab your 1-inch curling iron or wand, and when you have dried your hair, simply wrap small sections around the iron. Finish with a light holding spray.

The Pretty Peek-a-boo

A few caramel highlights against a rich dark color really pop!

Long Brown Caramel Highlighted Hair with Curls Long Brown Caramel Highlighted Hair with Curls Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This is an absolutely magnificent solution for those dark haired beauties who are looking to change up their look a little bit, but not add in a ridiculous maintenance schedule.

If you ask your stylist to place the highlights so that they are subtly popping through from beneath your dark hair, you will be pleasantly surprised at how little maintenance they will need!

Any skin tone would be complemented by this look. The warmth would be especially beautiful on someone with dark hair naturally and dark eyebrows. The style seen in this picture will work best on thick hair. Simply curl sections of your hair using a 1¼-inch curling wand or iron.

The Soft and Subtle Sweetheart

Adding in only a bit of caramel towards the underneath of your hair can make for a lovely peekaboo highlight.

Long Dark Hairstyle with Peekaboo Caramel Highlights

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This subtle highlighting technique of only adding in some warmer tones towards the ends of the hair and underneath in a peekaboo fashion is the perfect solution for those with dark hair not wanting a lot of maintenance.

By not putting highlights towards the roots or around the face, you are able to brighten things up without having to be back in the salon every six to eight weeks to get your re-growth touched up.

Paler complexions could have some warmth added with this look, while darker complexions with dark hair will be softened beautifully. To achieve the big, sexy hair shown above, use your 1¼-inch curling iron and curl all of your hair, section by section.

The Medium Blonde Babe

This “medium” blonde, (not too platinum, but enough light pieces that it’s not dark blonde) is a lovely way to reduce maintenance and make a few very bright blonde pieces pop!

Medium Blonde Hairstyle with Caramel Highlights Medium Blonde Hairstyle with Caramel Highlights Back View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This tonal mixture of darker caramel pieces to lighter caramel pieces to very bright blonde pieces is an excellent mesh of warm and cool tones. When you add in a few bright blonde pieces that are a bit bolder right around your face, you can really make all the other tones stand out.

This is a great option if you have a fair to medium complexion. You bring warmth around your face, but have a touch of coolness in the bright blondes to accentuate it.

Don’t be afraid to add in some more bright blonde pieces if you’re feeling like you want a bit more contrast. You could even add one in your fringe to make your eyes pop. Use a medium round brush to achieve the look seen here.

The Caramel Crush

Extra warm tones throughout add dimension and warmth to any style.

Long Brown Hair Color with Warm Highlights

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This look is an absolutely perfect solution for those brunette beauties who want “a little bit of a change”, but don’t want to completely veer away from brown!

Adding in some natural, evenly dispersed caramel toned highlights are a great way to break up one solid color, and, the maintenance regimen can be pretty easy if the highlights are kept to a minimum and are added in a natural manner.

This is a great way to add some warm tones to someone with dark hair and a fair-ish complexion. If you have light colored eyes, the warm tones would really make them pop. To get the look shown in the photo above, use your 1¼-inch curling iron to curl your hair section by section.

The Extra Bold Braund

Earlier I featured “braund”…not quite blonde and not quite brown. Here’s another take on that, but in a bolder and more extreme fashion!

Long Brown Blond Curly Caramel Hairstyle

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This contrasting, chunky highlight placement can be a fun change if you have very blonde hair and are looking to really change shake things up in a semi-dramatic way! Be sure to take into consideration the maintenance that a chunky highlighted look can add.

When highlights aren’t naturally placed, the re-growth can be more obvious and could cause you to need to visit your stylist more than usual. If you have a fair complexion, and you feel as though very blonde hair washes you out a bit, this could be a perfect solution for you!

If you like the look shown here, curl your hair using a 1-inch curling iron and secure your hair to one side using bobby pins.

Superbly Sunkissed

Here’s an example of a very natural transition between roots to ends. The lovely mesh between the two is the main focus!

Long Hairstyle With Caramel Highlights Long-Hairstyle-with-Curls-and-Sunkissed-Highlights-Back-View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This natural looking hue is a stunning look on someone with a medium to fair complexion. It allows you to keep the roots a bit closer to your natural color. It also adds some dimension and a cooler tone with the bright blonde throughout, therefore giving you a bit more of a “sunkissed” look. It’s a perfect way to keep your maintenance at a minimum.

The “rooty” look is in right now and this look perfectly showcases why. You can have multiple tones going on without having to be at the salon every six to eight weeks getting your re-growth touched up. Any hair texture and type works wonderfully for this look, and if you like how the hair is styled in the above photo, simply use your 1¼-inch curling iron and curl hair section by section.

The Bronzey Beauty

Caramel can mean many things, and this tone to me is caramel kicked into high gear. This bronze-ish tone is sure to please!

Medium Brown Hairstyle with Bronze Caramel Highlights

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

I love adding a bit of copper to hair color and really giving it that extra kick! You will find that it can really accentuate your eye color and add some needed warmth to a fair complexioned gal.

Keep in mind that ultra warm colors in the copper and caramel family can come with a price. They can fade quickly and lose their sheen if you don’t use the proper products to care for your precious locks.

Be sure your shampoo is ultra hydrating and avoid washing whenever possible. This color is ideal and easiest to achieve on those with a medium blonde to light brown color naturally. If you like the look the model above is rocking, dry your hair using your medium-sized round brush.

Charged Up Caramel

I called this look “Charged Up Caramel” because the caramel pieces are not meant to be subtle in any way. A natural look it is not, but certainly a fun one that will turn heads!

Medium Curly Caramel Highlighted Hairstyle

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This look could be beautiful on someone with dark skin and hair who wants to add some contrast to their pretty brown or hazel eyes. The caramel pieces add quite a bit of dimension, and, although they are thicker pieces and placed towards the front and around the face, they offer a very low-maintenance option.

Bigger pieces will give you a look that’s a bit more dramatic, but could certainly be a lovely addition to an all over brown hue. Depending on what your natural hair color is, this look requires lightening your hair.

To get your desired result, you must have healthy hair! Be sure to use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, as well as a styling product regimen that is helpful to your hair. Grab your 1¼-inch curling iron and get to curling if you like the look seen here!

The Bold Beauty

Contrasting warm and cool tones make for a stunning multi-dimensional look.

Blonde Hair Color with Contrasting Warm and Cool Tones

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

If you are one of those girls who has always been a super bright blonde bombshell but want to change up your look, adding some chunky pieces of a warm caramel toned color could be a great option for you!

Keep in mind, the look shown here showcases a bold, contrasting look, which isn’t necessarily natural looking. However, it is a great way to really make those blonde pieces pop, as well as bring some warmth to a fair and cool toned complexion.

Keep in mind that your maintenance schedule could change based upon the color of your hair naturally. To achieve the look shown here, curl your hair using a 1¼-inch curling iron, then secure a section around your face back using a bobby pin.

The Blended Blonde Bombshell

Caramel tones that are blended naturally and evenly add dimension to an extra blonde bombshell, and reduce your maintenance needs!

Medium Blonde Hairstyle with Curls and Caramel Highlights Medium Blonde Hairstyle with Curls and Highlights Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This look would be absolutely stunning on someone who has blonde hair either naturally or via highlights, and wants to add dimension. The highlights being blended and added so that they look natural is also a great way to cut down on your maintenance needs!

Someone with a fair complexion could benefit from this as it adds another tone, but doesn’t overwhelm the look with warmth. You will also be surprised at how much your eyes will pop when you add in a bit of a darker tone! To achieve the look show above, use your 1¼-inch curling iron to curl your hair and, if more volume is desired, use a teasing brush to backcomb the hair around the crown of your head.

The Crimson Crush

Adding as little as 6-10 highlights of a brighter, warmer tone can change your whole look!

Medium Crimson Highlighted Hairstyle with Curls

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Those with a darker complexion who want to add a subtle change to their look, listen up! This could be the one for you! By simply adding as few as 6-10 strategically placed highlights with a lighter, warmer color, you could make a big impact on your brunette look. I love this idea for when you are looking for a change but don’t want anything too drastic.

You may find that your eyes are far more noticeable with a different tone, or that your haircut is much more noticeable. Be sure to consult with your stylist to discuss just exactly how light you can go without damaging and over-processing your hair. Use your 1¼-inch curling iron to get the look seen in the photo!

The Hot Halo

A bright band, or halo, of a warm caramel tone is a great way to transition your hair into a new season!

Short Brown Hair With Warm Caramel Tones

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

One of the biggest requests I get when a new season is approaching is for a change but something that isn’t too drastic. Here’s a fantastic solution for that! Adding a thick band of a caramel hue will change the color that’s right around your face, thus making your eyes pop more and your skin tone and hair color potentially contrast a bit more, which can be stunning!

A fair complexioned gal might benefit from this. If you’re already a blonde, keep those blonde highlights towards the back of your hair, and if you like the look seen here, add in a few caramel highlights all over, while keeping the most dramatic piece in the front directly around your face. If you like the look seen here, use your round brush to smooth out your hair.

Being that warm weather has come and gone, a caramel toned ‘do is a great way to embrace a cool season look and shake things up a bit! Whether it’s a subtle touch of warmth or some extra contrasty caramel highlights, there’s always a way to incorporate this yummy tone into your look!