30 Hottest Brown Hair Color Ideas – Best Brunette Colors of 2018

Who says blondes have all the fun? Check out these super fun and fabulous 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.

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.

Milk Chocolate Caramel Swirl

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 Browns

Warm Dimensional Chestnut Browns
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

Beautiful Bronde
Instagram @meganrosehair

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”.

Shining & Dimensional

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.

Natural Effect

Natural Effect
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.

Shattered Perimeter

Shattered Perimeter
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.

Multi-Dimensional Balayage

Multi-Dimensional 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

Rich Fall Brown
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 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.

Caramel Ribbon

Caramel Ribbon

Check out this amazing pixie cut with a deep side part and tons of volume throughout the crown!

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

The gorgeous contrast between rich brown and warm-caramel is perfect for those with light to medium warm complexions. The accent color can be placed just about anywhere you choose! If you’d like to highlight your eyes, ask your stylist to place a thick weave of caramel through the fringe area. To bring out cheekbones, opt for two smaller slices in the piecy area in front of the ears.

Deep Neutral

Deep Neutral

Here is a bold, neutral shade of brown with tons of shine! Single colors can be added dimension with lots of layers and worn with tons of texture or smooth for a polished look.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Neutral brown works best on those who have naturally ashy or very neutral hair. Those with slightly warm toned skin can pull this look off too, but anyone with a strong olive skin tone should opt for warmer tones. Curly, straight, wavy, fine, medium, coarse…any texture looks great in this color!

A Tale of Two Tones

A Tale of Two Tones

Add some excitement to your hair with this simple highlighting technique! A medium sandy brown with a slice of pale blonde on both sides brings attention to the cheekbones and elongates the face.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Lighter neutral brown hair colors and pale blonde look best on those with pale neutral or cool toned skin. This cut and color combination looks best coupled with straight hair.

Tip:

How do you determine if your skin matches one of these categories? Pale neutral skin has virtually no direction either way, meaning it contains no particular hints of either yellow or pink. Cool toned skin usually has a hint of pink around the cheekbones.

Dark Coffee

Dark Coffee

Shiny hair screams healthy hair and this all-over dark rich brown fits that bill perfectly.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Hair of all types should be at optimal health, so this color would be perfect on any texture. As seen here, the model’s hair has been curled from the middle to the ends, but curly haired girls will be able to rock this look without much styling effort! Choose this style if you have a light to medium golden skin tone.

Auburn Accents

Auburn Accents

Auburn accents give this brunette a kick! Tiny slices through the front give a sparkle to the eyes and enhance warm skin tones.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This color will look killer with light blue or brown eyes and warm skin tones. Straight hair is necessary for this cut, but any texture of hair would look fantastic with this brown and auburn combo!

Sultry Cinnamon Slices

Sultry Cinnamon Slices

Tiny slices of medium cinnamon brown and warm dark blonde add tons of sparkling facets to this long layered cut with a side swept fringe.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Long, straight hair is best for this type of color because of the tiny slices. Worn here with fabulous face-framing layers and a side swept fringe, these hues really look great on those with medium neutral skin tones and light colored eyes. Have curly hair? You can definitely wear these just as well! Just ask your stylist to use a chunky weave color technique instead.

Coffee and Cream

Coffee and Cream

This cute crop with a deep side swept fringe looks fierce with tones of brown and blonde contrasting each other.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Thick, straight hair is best for this cut. Finish with just a bit of flat iron styling in the fringe to create your side sweep. Light skin with cool tones are complemented beautifully by the rich neutral tones of this hair color. Keep the largest area of blonde in the fringe, which will really make your eyes pop!

Royal Red Brown

Red Brown

Jewel toned red gives a whole new dimension to traditional brown. Injected wtih shine and a sultry curl, this red brown wonder woman will have all eyes on her!

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

If you have light eyes, especially with a green tint, this color will make them sparkle! Unsure about trying red? This is the color for you because it fits almost any skin tone! Opt for something with more brown if you have dark tan skin.

Sunlit Brown

Sunlit brown

Coppery highlights throughout give this deep neutral brown some dimension. A piecy fringe brings attention to the eyes as it falls just below the eyebrows.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This cut is perfect on straight medium textured hair, but can be worn in wavy or curly too with a more flirty feel! Highlights like these through the crown beautifully enhance the eyes and cheekbones. Try this color if you have light skin with peach or other warm undertones.

Espresso Brunette Balayage

Espresso Brunette Balayage

Gorgeous deep brunette balayage highlights on a dark brown base give these curls extra dimension! On the flip side, this color and length would also look amazing if worn straight.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

This color combination is worn best by those with medium and slightly warm skin tones. The best hair type for this style is relaxed, though super curly or kinky hair can be styled this way with an iron as well.

Tip:

Hair that has not been relaxed can handle a higher heat setting, but always make sure to use a salon professional heat protecting product on hair prior to curling.

Angled Attitude

Angled Attitude

Here is a warm medium brown hair color complemented by subtle golden highlights. There’s tons of texture going on in this amazing angled bob! This look is perfect for those who want a finished style that doesn’t require too much work in the morning.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

The tone of these two colors can do wonders to brighten up a pale complexion. This hair color wears well on those with light neutral or slightly warm complexions who have straight or very slightly wavy hair.

Ash Brown Ombré

Ash Brown Ombré

Here we have a warm brown hair color underneath topped off with a veil of neutral medium blonde on a long layered cut.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Do you have long hair and a love for both brown and blonde, but can’t decide which to wear? This color option is perfect for you! Best worn against light to medium neutral or cool skin tones, this sexy style requires long layers and a cheekbone-skimming side-swept fringe.

Tip:

I’d recommend those with fine hair to go a little easy on the layering so the hair keeps its fullness at the ends. Those with coarse hair should get a little extra layering or thinning to keep the style manageable.

Reverse Golden Brown Ombré

Reverse Golden Brown Ombré

In this look, a subtly lighter color at the outgrowth melts into a reverse ombré with deep brown reaching through the long layers to the ends.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

The best skin tone for this color is medium with warm, neutral or cool tones. Adjusting the tones, which means adjusting how much warmth or coolness they contain, will help you to pick the perfect complementary shades. This style can be worn on fine, medium or coarse wavy hair.

Tip:

Want this look but have straight hair? Simply curl with a 1-inch diameter barrel curling iron!

Darkest Brown

Darkest Brown

Dark brown that is nearly black shows tons of shine on a long layered cut with layers around the face, bringing attention to the eyes and cheekbones.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

I recommend this color for those with lighter complexions. The contrast will look incredible and look especially gorgeous on those with light colored eyes. Try this cut on hair that is medium texture and straight or has just a bit of wave.

Copper Top

Copper Top

I love this gorgeous copper brown from roots to mid-lengths finished with a rich brown at the ends of a one length cut, with just a bit of razored texture throughout.

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Medium tan skin tones will look best in this super long, multi-toned hairstyle.