23 Hottest Brown Hair Color Ideas: Perfect Examples of Brunette Hair

Woman with brown hair and natural brown highlights

If you’re looking for the perfect shade of brown hair, then look no further. I’ve put together with photos of this year’s most popular shades of brown hair color ideas that are sure to make you crave a dark chocolate hue that’s right for you!

Go brown all over or throw some contrast into your blonde for cool multi-dimensional effect using balayage, highlights, ombre’s and more!

Light Ash Brown

Light Ash Brown Hair Color
Instagram @wayneli_hair

Mix in some gray on that brown hair and you’ve got yourself some beauty that rose up from the ashes.

Platinum Brown Balayage

Platinum Brown Balayage
Instagram @dmitry_baacke

What a glamorous way to change your hair! Match up your long silky hair with this brunette color melt and add some highlights to reach perfection.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Brown Hair Color
Instagram @emmanichols_hair

Bring out the warmth that your long locks offer with a dark chocolate hair color. Still wanna upgrade the look? Try sporting some beach waves.

Mahogany Brown

Mahogany Brown Hair Color
Instagram @stefan_northlakes

Mean business with this blunt straight and sleek shoulder length hair that’s mega divine.

Natural Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

natural brown hair with blonde highlights
Instagram @assihairstylist

This long and wavy style with natural brown hair was given beautiful sublte highlights that blend so naturally with the roots.

Brown Hair With Highlights

Woman with brown hair and highlights
Instagram @mizzchoi

This brown hair also was given lighter, more natural brown highlights. Cherin blended the roots down with baby lights and brighter tips.

Brown

Q&A with style creator, Camille Whited
Creative Color Hair Artist @ The Exception Hair Studio in London, OH

How would you describe this look?

I call this look dimensional chocolate – an all-over brown color with ribbons of dark and milkier tones. Sometimes a demi color can go a long way – like in this instance with 4N PM Shines Fudge Brownie all over the canvas that started with a few inches of her natural, dull light brown regrowth with previous highlights from last year. The full curl style with long layers shows off the hair’s health, making the strands look thick. The best thing is the fact that this style was prepped with a blowout so it will last on this client for days!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This color is tailored for a brunette looking for a low-maintenance, rich color. It’s perfect for anyone who is a full-time worker/student/parent/person who has little extra time on their hands.

Products used were Moroccan oil root boost in the crown and Moroccan oil smoothing lotion to tame all of the disbursed crazy, little frizzies throughout the hair with a vented boar bristle concave round brush. Then with the prep of Kenra Blow Dry Spray platinum and the finishing with Kenra 9 Design Spray after base-to-end curling with a marcel iron, the hair is set for the weekend!

Dark Golden Brown

Dark Golden Brown
Instagram @donnaloveshair

Q&A with style creator, Donna Love
Hairstylist / Creative Colorist @ Rossano Ferretti Hairspa in Dubai, UAE


How would you describe this look?

This haircut is a soft, natural look. The loveliest thing about this look is that I cut the hair based on how it falls naturally to give an invisible layer effect, then I worked on the inside of the hair to give volume and balance which brings out the natural hair movement.

The color is an easy-to-maintain warm brown, as my client’s natural hair color is light brown. This added warmth and depth, then I did some very fine weaves of balayage in a few places to add a slightly lighter tone and to give texture.

To style the hair, we just added some Rossano Ferretti Dolce volume spray on the roots and then Rossano Ferretti Velluto for serum on the ends to protect from the heat exposure and to keep the hair soft and frizz free. Then, I blow-dried with a medium round brush to give a natural curl.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look would suit many people from your everyday woman to a busy on the go working woman. It will suit any hair type and especially women with wavy hair, as it will bring out the natural wave with volume. It could be left to dry naturally with a little-added curl cream to give a softer look, and it’s also low maintenance also for those who don’t have a lot of time to blow dry. It would also suit many face shapes, as it’s a soft overall look with no blunt lines.

Reddish Brown

Q&A with style creator, Melinda Reyes
Master Stylist @ Prim and Proper Salon in Riverside, CA


How would you describe this look?

This is the perfect red-brown hair color for that brunette who what’s to see something different without the full commitment and maintenance of being a full-blown redhead. I styled her with some soft everyday waves that look amazing if you have thick or thinner hair. I love that this style, color, and cut you can have simplicity and make a statement at the same time.

Any advice for someone considering it?

If you’re considering this color to add a little pizzazz to your brown hair, I always recommend taking home sulfate free shampoo and conditioner to maintain the color and keep it from fading. Unite has many to choose from that serve multiple purposes like creating volume, adding moisture, or smoothing, all while protecting your hair color.

Chocolate Cherry Brown

Q&A with style creator, Allison Campbell
Stylist @ Matthew Tully Hairdressing in Dallas, TX


How would you describe this look?

This look is a rich chocolate brunette with very strong red undertones. The prettiest thing about it is that it’s a very bold color combination. It combines the sultry attitude of a brunette while mixing the boldness of a redhead.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Be okay with coming back into the salon every four to five weeks to freshen up the color with a toner and to be okay with adding warmth into the hair. This brunette is definitely for the client that likes to turn heads so if you’ve got time and like attention, this is the color for you! My styling recommendation with a balayage with bold colors is to take the time to curl it. Curling the hair showcases more dimension.

Milk Chocolate Brown with Caramel Swirls

Milk Chocolate Caramel Swirl
Instagram @beauty_by__alex

Q&A with style creator, Alex Davis
Cosmetologist & Esthetician @ Stephen Szabo Hair Salon in Pittsburgh, PA


How would you describe this look?

I would call this look milk chocolate caramel swirl. There is so much dimension in this look, but it’s really showcased in the cut which is referred to as an inverted bob. This has a slight undercut in the back because she has beautiful, thick hair. I left her front pieces very wispy and whimsical because she likes to wear it with her wavy hair.

My favorite thing about this look is the fun you can have with both the cut and color. By wearing it straight, wavy, or curled, it’s always going to give you a different play on both the color and cut. This makes it very versatile.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Clients looking to achieve this look should ask for a color pieces that are hand-painted. Adjustments will only need to be made according to what shades would match best with the client’s skin tones and eye color depth.

When asking for the cut, the stylist should take into consideration the client’s face shape and adjust the length accordingly. For example, someone who has a longer face would wear the front a little bit shorter and add a few more layers throughout for volume and balance on the sides. Someone with a more square face would wear it a little longer in the front, again to balance out their shape.

A purple shampoo would be a great purchase to maintain the perfect color and prevent it from being to orange or brassy, and a texture spray/cream will make this cut and color stand out from everyone else. Add a volume spray at the roots for lift and rub a pea-sized amount of texture paste in your hands to separate your locks on the ends for that perfect piecey look.

Warm Dimensional Chestnut Brown

Warm Dimensional Chestnut Brown Hair
Instagram @heatherrolland

Q&A with style creator, Heather Rolland
Stylist / Color Specialist @ Beauty Lounge Salon & Day Spa in Tampa, FL


How would you describe this look?

This look has warm dimensional browns with hints of chestnut brown. My favorite thing about it is the soft blend of all the different tones and the shine that it creates.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This is the perfect look for the effortlessly cool, low maintenance girl who still wants luxurious hair. She also cares about the health and integrity of her hair.

The Kevin Murphy color line (Color ME) is a multi-dimensional color loaded with amazing ingredients such as shea butter, hone, and rose hip oil. It delivers amazing shine and leaves the hair feeling like silk. Instead of the hair being a matte solid color, you achieve a subtle multi-dimensional color without the maintenance or boldness of highlights.

This is a great look for someone who is already a brunette or wants to become one by adding warmth and shine with subtly changing tones.

Beautiful Bronde (Blonde+Brown)

Q&A with style creator, Megan Rose
Hairstylist @ Megan Rose Hair in Federal Way / Seattle, WA


How would you describe this look?

This is the perfect “on your way to blonde” hair. The dimension here creates a beautifully rich and interesting twist to a classic brunette. This color combo can best be described as “bronde”. Not everyone wants to go lighter, so this is perfect for the person craving beautiful, natural tones with that extra “wow” factor!

The cut is just as important as the color. These layers are long and cut with plenty of texture to create movement and separation in the curls. Have you ever wondered why some waves fall perfectly and others look big and chunky? It’s all in the cut! This cutting technique also helps to cut down blow dry time!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is perfect for the woman with a beautiful, classic style. It’s easy to create these waves at home. Taking a few extra minutes to curl this look will really make the variation in these colors pop.

Wearing this color smooth and straight looks equally as divine, but know that it will look more blended when worn straight. Two different looks with one color combo – who doesn’t want that? Pair hair shades like this with a dark red lipstick and you’ll look instantly pulled together and are pretty much guaranteed to be a compliment magnet!

Regular trims, glosses, and touch-ups are very important to maintain this color, shape, and the overall health of the hair. To style, start off with a waving cream on towel dried hair. This will create the foundation to keep your curls looking amazing all day. My current favorite is Making Waves hair cream by Kin North America. It has a great texture and won’t weigh your hair down.

Blow the hair dry, then curl with a 1-inch curling iron and allow the curls to fully cool. This is a big must for curl longevity! Spray a boar bristle brush with a good light hold hairspray and brush through from roots to ends to create these sublime waves.(I love Dynamic Hairspray by Kin. It’s not sticky, brushes through easily, and gives great hold.

When you’re happy with your waves, finish off with Glam Touch Shine Spray by Kin. Talk about bling for the hair! This spray not only gives a gorgeous finishing shine, it also doubles as the most amazing “hair perfume”.

Dimensional Cinnamon Brown

Q&A with style creator, Margaret Cunningham
Senior Stylist @ Arté Salon & Spa in Wayland, MA


How would you describe this look?

This look shows exactly what brown hair should be: shiny, healthy, and with dimension! We balayaged babylights into her hair to create depth and richness because brunettes can often look matte or drab.

My favorite part of this look is the cut! This client has extremely thick hair with some wave. We removed weight and added movement with long layers. It is a very versatile look that can be worn smooth or with loose waves! It is easy to style and wear for a few days between washes.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The very first thing I do in my chair has an in-depth consultation with the client. What are their best facial features and is the current cut and color hiding them or enhancing them? Long hairstyles can’t be worn by everyone. For instance, oblong faces should steer away as it can often make the face look even longer. However, a round face can be lengthened and square faces can be softened by adding customized angles the front!

When carrying long thick hair, I am all about the layers. Layers still allow clients to wear it up in a ponytail and not have it put a strain on the finer pieces around the face that can often break from too much weight in a pony.

In my opinion, brunettes need richness. Talk to your stylist about highlights/balayage and glosses to bring out tones that work best with your skin and placement that goes with your lifestyle.

For this look, we used L’Oreal TechniArt Sleek and Swing for hold and smoothing during the blow dry and finished with Kevin Murphy Shimmer.Shine! I really love both of these lines as they have a variety of products that do multiple things in one product.

Make sure to also use hydrating shampoos and conditioners because a good look starts in the shower!

Natural Light Brown

Q&A with style creator, Kate
Art Director @ Kate’s Hair & Make Up Studio in Phuket, Thailand


How would you describe this look?

This look is so fashionable. This lady has always covered her grey hair with a dark shade of brown color, but wanted a change to something more natural that would bring her confidence.

I choose to balayage to lighten her dark brown shade to a light brown hair color so that it would keep the original color, but not so boring. The great thing about this look is that you don’t need to color it often.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for all face shapes and client can easily style it at home. This look can be worn with a normal blow dry or with some curl as shown in the photo.

Since we did bleach the hair, I recommended that she use a blue shampoo and come in once a month for a toner and trimming.

Multi-Technique Brunette Shade

Multi-Technique Brunette Shade
Instagram @coloredbyraq

Q&A with style creator, Raquel Checo
Colorist @ Nicole Noel Salon in Danbury, CT


How would you describe this look?

Most looks nowadays are not just highlights, they involve a few techniques. For this look, I did babylights, teasey lights, and balayage.

I love looks like this because it gives a brown dimension and creates movement to enhance any haircut, all while staying low maintenance.

Any advice for someone considering it?

With a color like this, you have to be patient because you might need a few sessions. This was her second session from being dark brown and we nailed it. She did her part at home by using a lot of Olaplex to prep her for her future session, performing deep conditioning treatments once a week, and using the right shampoo. You never want to leave a salon without the proper at-home care. Results cannot be guaranteed when drugstore products are used because they will strip the color.

This is a great look for most brunettes and can be tweaked depending eye color, skin color, and haircut. Always show your colorist pictures because those are our best guide and just go for it!

Perfect Summer Sombre

Q&A with style creator, Trish Rossel
Head Stylist @ Savvy Hairdressing in Waroona, Western Australia


How would you describe this look?

The perfect summer sombre it is so fun and edgy. I love how this color is so blended and seamless. It’s a modern take on the Lob cut a very easy style to do at home.

My favorite thing about this look is that it is a great color for anyone who wants to be dark and light. You get the best of both worlds with a low maintenance bonus!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This hair color and cut is perfect for the low maintenance client who wants a bit of texture and likes wearing her hair wavy. The color adds a different dimension and can be suited to all types of hair, but hair that is medium in density and naturally straight is perfect for a summer sombre like this one.

This haircut complements the oval face shape and can be styled to suit a day in the office or a fun night out. The lightened ends give a sense of playfulness with a polished edge. Blow dry with a heat protecting product and wave with an iron. Finish with a wax on the mid-lengths and ends to show off the color marbling.

Dark to Medium Golden Brown Ombre

Dark to Medium Golden Brown Ombre
Instagram @colorbymary

Q&A with style creator, Mary K Burt
Salon Educator / Downtown Floor Lead @ Signature Salon Downtown in Macon, GA


How would you describe this look?

The look I’ve created is all about simplicity. I love how the color blends. The transition from root to highlight creates an effortless effect.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is for the low maintenance woman who wants to enhance their natural color while having the brightness of a lived-in highlight. What’s great about this look is that it works for any face shape and any lifestyle.

I recommend a good color-protecting shampoo and conditioner like Pureology Hydrate or Redken Color Magnetics. To style, I used Pureology Color Fanatic 21 Benefits Spray for detangling and protection, Redken Pillow Proof Spray for a quick blow dry, and Redken Wind Blown to add texture and hold.

Natural Hickory Brown with Subtle Dimension

Q&A with style creator, Shelby Merz
Senior Stylist @ Studio 6 Hair Salon in Springfield, IL


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a natural hickory brown with subtle dimension. My favorite thing about it is how low maintenance it is for my guest.

Any advice for someone considering it?

For any guests considering this look, I would say to take into consideration their natural color. For a base that is lighter, it would require a refresh every six to eight weeks to maintain. I recommend always using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to prevent fading.

This particular guest has naturally curls, so I used Lakme Top 10 Styling Balm on damp hair. I also used Hot Off The Press heat protectant by Paul Mitchell on dry hair before smoothing. I finished the ends with Lakme Bio Argan Oil for extra shine and moisture.

Dark Brunette with Light Brown Highlights

Dark Brunette with Light Brown Highlights
Instagram @erica_ws

Q&A with style creator, Erica Martin
Stylist / Salon Educator @ W’s Salon in San Jose, CA


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a lived-in, subtle and textured a-line lob. My favorite thing about this haircut would be the shattered perimeter.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Some advice I would give a client looking to recreate this haircut would be to consider her lifestyle, possibly adjusting the length to keep the hair more ponytail-friendly. The one-length lob is a great universal cut for all face shapes, hair types, and textures. Depending on the density of the hair, I would suggest adjusting the amount of texture to avoid “over texturizing” finer hair types.

To style this haircut, all you need is a great leave-in conditioner, a curling iron, and a dry shampoo. If you’re looking for a more wash and wear friendly style, I suggest using a sea salt beach spray. Apply it on wet hair and let the air dry or diffuse to create a tousled effect.

Milk Chocolate Babylights

Milk Chocolate Babylight
Instagram @hairbyjamyee

Q&A with style creator, Amy Birmingham
Salon Manager @ Jamyee Hair Studio in Chicago, IL


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

I would describe this as a milk chocolate babylights with effortless waves.

My favorite thing about this look is that it is any easy transition for anyone who is new to coloring their hair. It eases the client into color without them feeling overwhelmed.

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

I recommend Rusk’s Texture Spray to create these waves and and J Beverly Hills Fragile shampoo and conditioner to maintain the color and shine.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This color and style is so versatile that anyone can pull it off! No matter the age, skin tone or lifestyle, this look can make anyone feel great and beautiful.

Medium Brown & Honey Blonde Balayage

Medium Brown & Honey Blonde Balayage
Instagram @francyriah

Q&A with style creator, Francis Barrientos
Senior Stylist @ Salon Allure Spa in Toronto, CA


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

This is a multi-dimensional balayage with caramel and honey tones. You’ll be surprised to know that this shiny and luminous color is more then meets the eye! This client has thick, curly hair and came in with a short, boxy bob and red/burgundy box dye. This was our break-through color after two previous sessions of color correcting.

My favorite thing about this look is how by adding dimension, we were able to create the illusion of natural-looking hues and longer hair while keeping the integrity of the hair intact.

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

To create this look, we used a blue powdered lightener, Olaplex #1, Additive #2, and prescribed #3 as a take home treatment. I used Goldwell Topchic and Colorance with a balayage technique, isolating the in between pieces in foil for deeper concentration.

For the cut, I created face framing layers and overdirected layers in the back to diminish bulk through the midshalf and ends. To maintain this look, I recommend using a purple shampoo. The finishing products I recommend are Color Wow! Blow Dry Spray and Presto!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look to women that want to change their hair color from a dark base and/or are growing out their hair. It is also idea for women that have greys creeping up as it is low maintenance and the dimensional color will camouflage the grey re-growth, stretching your next visit an extra two to three weeks!

This color is very modest and universal and looks great on most skin tones.

Rich Fall Brown with Caramel Highlights

Rich Fall Brown with Caramel Highlights
Instagram @poshlypayton

Q&A with style creator, Kristi Peters
Designer / Makeup Artist @ Creative Hair Design in Omaha, NE


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

I would consider this a rich and texturized fall brown hair with some caramel highlights throughout. My favorite thing about this look is that it is fun and playful!

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

To achieve and maintain this look, I always recommend a great color-safe shampoo and conditioner, followed by a root lifting spray before blow drying. I like to finish up with a texturizing spray after curling with a wand, and seal the deal with a little shine spray.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is fabulous for the client who wants the versatility of straight or curled hair, and loves the soft “lived-in” look. I think the color is really great on most skin tones and hair types.

This look is ideal for the woman who wants to switch it up and have a little fun, but still loves a classic and timeless color.