40 Hottest Chocolate Brown Hair Color Ideas of 2018

Lovely, smooth, rich, delicious chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate brown hair, that is! Brunette ladies have an array of shades to choose from: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa, spicy chocolate or even raspberry-tinted chocolate.

They’re all ready and waiting for you to “taste” test. These shades are virtually compatible with any skin tone, so choose your favorite chocolate brown hair color and indulge. You’ll have the sweetest hair of all!

Dark Cherry Chocolate Brown Hair

Dark cherry hair color
Instagram @chiquitasvintagehair

Deliciously blended cherry and chocolate brown hair with these beach waves makes this look standout in any season! Great on tan skin tones for a lovelier glow!

Mauve Red Brown

A subtle way of creating an impressive look is to put together a chocolate brown base with mauve undertone. A chic and low-maintenance easy style for any type of haircut and length.

Q&A with style creator, SarahJo
Hairstylist @ Simonsons Salon & Spa in Coon Rapids, MN

How would you describe this look?

This overall color & style is a chic and modern twist on a classic chocolate brown hair! This happened to be my client’s first time going darker than her standard blonde foils.

With that in mind, I color melted a rich red violet into the chocolate brown to give her some extra depth and dimension. I then styled her smooth and added some dry texture spray at the crown of her head for an added boost of volume.

I love the way the red violets really pops out under various lighting. The finished look fits her spunky, upbeat personality flawlessly!

Any advice for someone considering it?

The correct products are the key to wearing this color! I always recommend using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner. Non-professional brands have a tendency to strip the color out of your hair.

To further maintain the bright red violet tones, rinse using cool water. This color is a perfect fit for those who love that extra burst of color while having a neutral tone balance.

Dark Chocolate Brown With Mahogany Red Hair

Ideal for olive skin, mahogany red gives that impression of a funky and punk but unique persona. Excellent when fused with chocolate brown and an edgy cut!

Q&A with style creator, Kimberly Jones
Founder @ Roots Radicals Salon in Brooklyn, NY


How would you describe this look?

This reddish brown with accents of bold red was asked for by a client who wanted to look fun and bright. I wanted to achieve that without being tacky or too juvenile. We kept the top long and gave her a trendy undercut.

This cut can work well with straight or curly hair! She has naturally curly hair and wanted versatile styling options.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I think this cut is flattering on a lot of different hair types and face shapes. Try to embrace your natural texture (at least a few days a week) so you won’t damage your hair with heat styling. Less is more.

If you find the right products, minimal styling is possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your knowledgeable stylist for recommendations. That’s what we are here for. Your stylist should always find out what your daily routine is to make sure a cut or color will work for you.

For reds, which are pretty high maintenance, try to not shampoo as often, and use a color safe shampoo and temperate water. Always come in between root touch ups for a gloss to refresh the red!

Deep Chocolate Brown Red

Deep red hair color
Instagram @greerios.muah

For brunettes who want to add spice to their hair, melting your color with deep red highlights can make your hair look dimensional and modern.

Q&A with style creator, Leah Greer
Colorist / Makeup Artist @ Salon Modello in Atlanta, GA


How would you describe this look?

This chocolate-covered strawberry color is a bolder twist on natural hair that has very rich and warm underlying tones. I styled it with soft flat iron waves to create more dimension when the light hits it.

I like that this color still has a lot of depth to it, so it’s going to look different in every type of lighting and create some subtle versatility.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This color is a great “gateway” red for someone who wants to be bold with red but is afraid of the commitment and maintenance. This red is something most people can get away within a corporate office workplace, but still requires a sense of confidence to own.

A cool toned red like this would best compliment someone with cool or neutral-toned skin such as olive, bronze, or gold. I would insist on using a color safe shampoo and conditioner, such as Loma Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as a heat protectant if you plan on heat styling.

With red being the largest color molecule, you are going to have to take special care to prevent fading as well as to keep up with regular glazes to re-vamp the color when needed.

Chocolate Brown with Red Undertones

Chocolate brown with red undertone
Instagram @camcolorshair

Let your personality out by daring these red undertones on your brown mane! Ultimately impressive on any hair length and texture!

Q&A with style creator, Camron Robles
Hairstylist @ Moxi Hair Studio in Albuquerque, NM


How would you describe this look?

This look is ultimately about my client taking her first step out of her comfort zone. She was safe with her hair then thought it was finally time to have fun! We wanted a big change! What I love the most about this color is that it’s a total transformation, and it maintains an energy of excitement while still being commercial. We chose a blood orange shade for a full head of highlights. The color is vibrant, wearable, and visible at all times without being overwhelming. The rich chocolate brown hair color, on the other hand, offers balance and depth. The look is all about the color, and a one length haircut with a curved perimeter offers no visual distraction from the color. It instead offers a low maintenance cut that accentuates the fullness of her hair. I styled it with soft waves to show how well the color plays with light – how it glows with sunlight and remains soft with indirect or dim light.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Ask your stylist tons of questions. It’s important to remember that all artificial colors change over time based on lifestyle. Spending a lot of time in the sun, taking hot showers, working out regularly, using heat tools, or even spending time in hot tubs or saunas all have an impact on how fast the color fades

I encourage embracing the fade-out period of color! It can be exciting and fun to experience change as it comes, and you can have some control over what it can look!

Aftercare is an essential part of any color. Purchase a color-enhanced conditioner. In this case, she used a copper-pigmented conditioner designed to aid with the vibrancy of the color over time. We chose a copper conditioner instead of a red conditioner because the copper offers more benefits for both her brown hair and her new highlighted red hair. Copper offers warmth and brightness which means her brown stays rich and her red stays bright!

Chocolate Brown Base Hair With Toffee Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Holly Painter
Hairstylist @ The Prissy Hippie Beauty Shop in South Hill, VA


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

I would describe this looks as a rich, warm chocolate hair color with toffee highlights around her face. Her hair is cut into a long bob and styled into loose waves to accentuate her highlights. My favorite thing about this look is the dimension! I love different tones in brunette hair.

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

I used a Babyliss Pro 1 1/4-inch iron to give her the loose waves and always finish with It’s a 10 Shine Spray. I used Igora Royal for her base color and painted her highlights using Paul Mitchell dual purpose lightener.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This is a great hair color for anyone with a warm skin tone. Balayage highlights make this very low maintenance because there is no harsh line of regrowth.

Lob haircuts look good on everyone! It’s the perfect length for someone who wants to spend time flat ironing or curling, but they can also wear it up or braid it. It flatters everyone!

Dark Brunette Balayage

A dark brunette balayage hair color
Instagram @vickymdoeshair

Q&A with style creator, Vicky Macias Hairstylist / Colorist @ W Salon Studio in San Juan Capistrano, CA


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

This look is a balayage done on a dark brunette base color. It was her second session of lightening from a previous at-home box dye. We’ve both been enjoying the beautiful shades produced during the process of going lighter!

My favorite thing about this look is the soft transition of the tones and the gorgeous pops of dimension in the color.

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

To create a balayage look like this, I use clay-based lighteners like Trionics K.O. Blonde Clay Lightener. It gives me the perfect consistency and blend for hand-painted looks, and it doesn’t swell, bleed or dry out like traditional powder bleach would.

To maintain this look at home, I always instruct my clients to use a purple toned treatment such as Kenra Brightening Treatment once a week to keep brass at bay. I also recommend using a hair treatment once a week such as Joico K-Pak Reconstructor to keep the hair strong, shiny and healthy. Healthy hair equals gorgeous color!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

The beauty of balayage is that it can be customized for all hair textures, colors and lengths. It is ideal for a client that wants a low maintenance look that doesn’t require frequent trips to retouch the roots. Unlike the lines that can be present with the grow-out of traditional foil highlights, balayage grows out softly and blended. With the proper at-home care, it can look great for months!

Chocolate Brown Color and Auburn Highlights

Transitional Balayage hairstyle
Instagram @amandonium

Q&A with style creator, Amanda Heisler Licensed Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist @ C.W. Gorgeous in Syracuse, NY


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

This look has an appearance of an all-over lighter color without the look or the regrowth of a one dimensional color. It’s also transitional. My favorite thing about it is that it’s transitional and looks great in any season!

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

I recommend the client use color-safe products, including a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to maintain the longevity of the toner used.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is great on any hair type. I used a balayage technique. Balayage techniques are great for women who live active lifestyles. It’s a low maintenance look, meaning that the regrowth will look natural without the appearance of harsh lines that can come with traditional highlighting. As the hair grows out, it will look as though it was kissed by the sun in the summertime. Chocolate brown hair mixed with auburn shades is perfect for summertime fun.

Dark Hair Molten Chocolate Brown Balayage

A dark molten chococlate brown balayage
Instagram @hairbyjayleen

Q&A with style creator, Jayleen Bush
Hairstylist @ The Hot Seat Salon in San Diego, CA


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

This look is a subtle and natural balayage. I love how the light reflects off of the painted pieces to add pop and dimension. The painted pieces also show the depth of layers and are designed for the perfect wave curl.

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

This pretty girl came in with a grown out all over lighter base and a previous balayage. We matched her natural base color using a deposit only color, and strategically left out pieces of the previous balayage. Then, we took her to the bowl and toned those pieces left out to achieve a more blended look.

A sulfate-free shampoo is definitely recommended to maintain the richness of the color and prevent it from fading. Additionally, a light oil such as Unite Oil will help create smoothness and shine while styling, as well as protect the hair from heat styling.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this color for a client who is looking for a natural look that will last. It is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to be in the salon every four weeks. A bride would also benefit from this type of balayage because it simply enhances your natural beauty. The light pieces will eliminate the appearance of a flat single-toned color, and bring brightness to her face in all of her photos.

A girl with a medium or olive skin tone will be complemented immensely by these tones. Almost any hair type can wear a color like this, but clearly this beauty’s long luscious locks really show all of the dimension and depth.

Dimensional Warm Chocolate Brown

A dimensional warm chococlate brown balayage hair color
Instagram @hairbyexcitra

Q&A with style creator, Excitra Sabol
Stylist @ Rinse Salon in San Diego, CA


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

This is a natural look with balayage highlights to add dimension and warmth. It’s perfect for transitioning from a summer to fall look. I love this look because it’s easily adaptable from a warm to cool tone depending on the client’s and stylist’s desired outcome.

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

In creating this style, I used a light flexible hairspray and a dry texture spray by Oribe. Waves were created with a 1 1/4-inch curling iron. I am loving the blue shampoo by Oligo and I recommend using it once or twice a week to preserve this tone.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is perfect for clients who want a low maintenance style with a high end look. It is ideal for someone with a warmer skin tone and straight to wavy hair.

Rich Chocolate Brown and Bold Caramel

Q&A with style creator, Jessica Pfalz
Co-owner/Stylist @ Headdress Salon Tampa in Tampa, FL


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

This is a bold yet softly blended combination of rich brown and caramel blonde. There are pops of brightness around her face and on her ends which give it a natural feel like the sun did it.

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

To create this look, I used Schwartzkopf Royal color on her roots, then painted on Schwartzkopf Viviance for her dark brown lowlights, and balayaged with Schwartzkopf Blonde Me lightner. I then toned with Shades EQ.

To maintain this look, I would touch up the roots and tone the ends for the next one to two sessions. At the 3rd session, I would incorporate more balayage around the face, part and hairline.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for a client who loves her brown hair and looks best with dark color right around their skin, but wants to be lighter. The depth and dimension this color brings allows for many different complexions to wear it, however these specific tones are best suited for a cool skin tone to a medium tone.

This client has very thick hair which makes this color ideal for maintenance. The lighter color on the ends and around the face keeps it looking more lived-in and natural the more it grows. Minimal upkeep is required, especially if there are no greys!

Shoulder Length Chocolate Brown Hair

A shoulder length chocolate brunette hair color
Instagram @krhairstylist

Q&A with style creator, Kristen Robb
Senior Stylist/Colorist @ The Image at Haygood in Virginia Beach, VA


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

I call this look a brunette balayage with a dark brunette color base. My favorite part of this and all of my balayages is how the two colors complement each other. They look like they melt together and it looks clean and natural. I also love the richness of both of the colors. It adds life to the hair!

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

My product recommendation always depends on what type of hair the client has. This client has very thick and coarse hair. I used a hydrating mousse by Paul Mitchell for style hold, as well as a serum product on the ends by Paul Mitchell for shine, hydration and a soft finish.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for clients who want a low maintenance, classic and effortless look. This look requires an initial balayage and a glaze finish. This can be maintained with the same time frame as a six to eight week haircut. I also recommend this coloring for clients who want a subtle shift from “summer blonde” highlights to a fall look.

Cocoa Milk Brunette

A milk chocolate brown hair color
Instagram @ms_balaywood

Q&A with style creator, Vanessa West
Hair Artist/Colorist @ WAX BB Factory in Pittsburg, KS


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

This look is a rich chocolate brunette with caramel hair painting, with most of the lightness focused on the ends of the hair. I love the balayage technique on brunettes because it creates movement in the hair.

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

I used the Davines Blow Dry Primer to support the natural volume of the hair and smooth out the cuticle. After drying and curling with a 1 1/4-inch curling iron, spray with a lightweight hairspray to give hold but not weigh it down. Finish by lightly running your fingers through to break up the curls.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look would be best for someone who needs a low maintenance color and cannot come into the salon every four to six weeks for root touch ups. The rich tones in this color would look great on women with warm skin tones.

Chocolate Brown Base and Honey Highlights

brown hair color with honey highlights
Instagram @deannadoeshair

Q&A with style creator, Deanna Keller
Hairstylist @ Deanna Does Hair in Frisco, TX


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

I would describe this look as soft and casual. I love using the open air balayage technique to create gentle dimension. My favorite thing about this color is how natural it looks. She could have spent the summer lounging on a beach and gotten similar results.

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

I always recommend a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner for every color client. Sulphates strip the color and agitate the ends causing split ends. My favorite brand is Kevin Murphy.

This client uses the Angel Wash and Rinse. To keep the curls lasting all day and still soft to the touch, I used Session.Spray on each section before curling and finger combing out.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This is the perfect chocolate brown hair for someone who is on the go, on a budget, or both. There is almost no need for retouches and it only took ten balayage slants to create. She was in and out in under an hour!

My client has straight hair that had never been colored before. This is perfect for the client who wants to dip their toe into the waters of hair color.

Rich Mocha Brown

A rich chocolate brown mocha hair color
Instagram @diana.millere

Q&A with style creator, Diāna Millere
Hairdresser @ Dinastija in Cēsis, Latvia


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

Everyone has different interpretations of this look, but for me, it looks “delicious”. This chocolate brown hair color looks rich and healthy with a light and refreshing touch. I really like when colors play together and appear different under different lighting. Every moment it looks different and amazing.

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

I used natural brown color mixed with dark chocolate hair color in deep 5, then I added freelights closer to the face to make it fresher.

I always recommend hair oils for nourishment, UV protection and heat protection.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This hair color will look nice on women who have hazel, light green, light blue or brown eyes. It will also go well with a complexion that is yellow-beige, golden-brown, peach or ivory, or skin that tans easily.

When I think about my clients that have very similar hair colors, they are all positive, enjoying life, are very active, and this dynamic hair look looks amazing on them. They always like to try out something new especially in coloring techniques.

Two-Toned Brunette Color

A two toned hair color
Instagram @slnhairbar.yyc

Q&A with style creator, Stacey Nixon
Owner/Hairstylist @ SLN Hair Bar in Calgary, Alberta, Canada


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

This is soft balayage ombré. My favorite thing about it is the shine that dark hair offers and that you get subtle dimension while still maintaining a low maintenance color.

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

I recommend a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner (my favorite is Pureology Hydrate), a dry shampoo (Evo Water Killer), a heat protectant, and not washing your hair as often. Heat and washing are the biggest culprits in color fading!

For the curls, I used a flat iron, heat protectant (Redken Anti-Snap), and an oil for smoothness (Unite U Oil).

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This is a great look for someone looking for a low maintenance color that still wants to be trendy. Medium light skin to dark skin tones are best so not to wash someone out with the depth of the color.

Cinnamon Chocolate Brown Layers

A cinnamon hair with layers
Instagram @hair.cules

Q&A with style creator, Hercules Tsirovakas
Stylist @ Salon K Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa in Concord, NH


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

This is a beautiful dimensional chocolate brown color enhanced with a v-layered cut. My client requested something that wouldn’t require too much maintenance or styling.

My favorite thing about this look is how both the dimension in the color and the visual interest in the cut combine to create a beautiful style with little effort.

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

I recommend a light to medium weight smoothing cream or serum (depending on hair texture) applied on damp hair, along with a light hold mousse or liquid gel. Together, these products will work amazing in a blowout or even a simple air dry. I also used Aveda Smooth Infusion nourishing styling cream and Confixor liquid gel.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is perfect for someone who is looking for a low maintenance style. It’s great for someone in business or an office who needs to remain on the natural spectrum. The great thing about this rich chocolate brown hair is that it goes with most skin tones. It can also warm up the complexion of someone who has cool toned skin color.

Light Brown to Warm Caramel Ombre

A light chocolate brown to warm caramel ombre
Instagram @creativetoner

Q&A with style creator, Bethany Toner
Stylist @ London Hair Studios in Eugene, OR


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

This is a subtle, but powerful transformation to maintain a brunette’s natural features while changing their whole look. I love more natural and blended looks because it’s a big change and a totally different set of locks, but still keeps true to the natural undertones of brunettes. Whether it’s an icy ash brown, warm golden bronde, or a spicy sweet caramel, there is a final result for everyone to love!

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

Products will vary depending on the client’s hair texture and density. I usually go with a more gentle lightener (since we’re not going for the lightest shades) and finish off with a toner that will tone evenly and get us to the desired shade of brown!

For maintaining the look at home, I never let a client leave without sulfate-free and color safe shampoo and conditioner. Lately, I am loving the Living Proof Restore line! If the client has extra coarse, curly or dry hair, I recommend using a masque every two to three weeks to maintain health and shine.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is ideal for clients that want change, but don’t want to stray too far from their natural color. It’s great for working moms and students that don’t have time to get their roots done every two months, and for those of us with warmer tones in our skin and eyes.

This particular client is a young student and it was the first time she was experimenting with color and didn’t want to go too far. Whatever the reason and need, this look is sure to get some double takes and make your friends and family say, “I want hair like that!”

Dark Brunette to Chestnut Ombre Hair

A dark chocolate color to chestnut ombre hair color
Instagram @hairbydarcymae

Q&A with style creator, Darcy Hagberg
Stylist @ Reveal Salon & Spa in Omaha, NE


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

This look is trending and extremely sought after by my clients. The dark chocolate brown base with a warm caramel and chestnut-toned balayage is a must have for the fall season.

My favorite part of this look would be how all of the warm tones melt together. This balayage blends together nicely to compliment every color that was used to create this look.

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

As stylists, we are always educating our clients on keeping their hair healthy, which is why I recommend the Keune Tinta Color Care shampoo and conditioner. This is going to extend the life of those warm colors we have achieved while keeping the health of the hair intact.

For styling those beachy waves, I recommend the Keune Press Wax for texture to help hold curl and the Keune Blend products (Wax and De-Frizz) to achieve the shine that really makes those colors pop!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This balayage would look best on someone with naturally dark brown hair and medium-beige skin tones to complement the warm colors of this look. I have been able to create this color on both long and haircuts for shorter hair.

This balayage is great for almost every age group from college students to business women. With the colors being subtle yet trendy, any type of working woman can wear this look while still being professional. This long style looks great pulled back for elegance or left down with beachy waves.

This is my favorite look for the fall season. I like to tell my clients to just have fun with it!

Brown Color with Hazelnut Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Kimberly Rose
Hairstylist @ W’s Salon in San Jose, CA


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

This is a chocolate brown balayage on virgin level 3 hair. I love how soft the blend is and the way the highlights shine through the hair. The grow out will be especially nice for the client because there is no harsh contrast between her natural dark chocolate brown hair color.

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

I recommend using Kérastase Réflection Bain Chroma Captive as a shampoo to protect the color and help the toner last longer, and Fondant Fluidealiste as a conditioner to give that natural shine and calm down frizz and static.

For styling, I used Kérastase Nectar Thermique for heat protection, Densimorphose for natural body and thickness throughout the hair, and Elixir Ultime Bi-Phase Spray Oil for moisture and shine that won’t weigh down the hair.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

The best thing about any balayage is how low maintenance it is! I recommend this look for anyone who wants less upkeep, but still a great change and something fun going on in their hair.

This specific look is great for brunettes that have virgin hair and that are levels 5 to 2, dark brown to black. Anyone who is a natural brunette will look good with this hair color, skin tone doesn’t matter in this case. I think it complements different features on each individual and looks great with blue, green, brown and hazel eyes.

Ash Chocolate Brown

Q&A with style creator, Stephanie Millett
Hairstylist @ Elle Marie Hair Studio in Woodinville, WA


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

I would describe this look as a medium length beachy textured, low maintenance color and style. My favorite thing about it is how beautiful the dimension is and how effortless it looks.

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

To style like this, I prep the hair with Redken’s Pillow Proof Express Dry Primer, and also the Diamond Oil. Blow dry nice and smooth, then curl 1-inch sections, leaving the ends out. Spray in between sections with Redken’s Pillow Proof Two Day Extender and finish with Redken’s Wind Blown Spray.

I always always always recommend using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner such as the Color Extend Magnetics line by Redken.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

The type of guest that this look is great for is the girl on the go, anyone who is low maintenance, and anyone who likes that lived-in look. It’s great for anyone with a darker hair color who wants to add a little dimension, as well as guests who like to stretch out their time between salon visits.

Light Chocolate Brown Bob

Q&A with style creator, Courtney Bond
Hairstylist @ Xcentric Hair Studio in Waterloo, ON


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

This look is a chocolate brown angled bob with some customized features to suit the client’s hair type and facial features. There’s a hidden taper in the back to minimize bulk and a lot of texture to give her volume without having to deal with shaggy layers.

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

A volumizing mist mixed with a smoothing cream will help her achieve a bodified blowout without frizz. Using a dry texture spray to finish the style will give her some grit and volume to show off the texture.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look would be suitable for hair types that range from straight to wavy. Thick hair will benefit the most because the shape minimizes bulk in the back and utilizes fullness in the front. Medium/neutral skin tones look amazing with a chocolate brown hair color, but the tone can be adjusted to suit anyone.

Sunkissed Caramel Brown Balayage

Chocolate brown hair with Sun-kissed Caramel Balayage
Instagram @hairbynathi

Q&A with style creator, Nathi Torres
Hairdresser / Balayage Artist @ Dulce Hair Studio in Milford, CT


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

This is a sunkissed caramel balayage. What I love most about this look is how the small amounts of color pop against this dark canvas! This look adds both dimension and life to her hair.

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

Most of my clientele come in with a natural level 2 to 3 hair or pre-box dyed. Clear communication and understanding is something I like to have with my clients, therefore I will not take on services that are not realistic. Only the ones that are willing to go for the ride and transition session by session! For example, this client in the picture was willing and it was her first session from box dye color. The total session time was three hours.

Step 1: Starting base was a level 1. Mix Wella Blondor with 30 vol and add Olaplex accordingly.

Tip: When lifting dark colored hair, I mix a new batch of lightner for each section. You will have more control of the lift. Using the same batch throughout the entire application can result in your last section not lifting equally to the first section.

Step 2: Starting with the front sides, take one-inch diagonal sections and alternate thick and thin weaves, leaving about ½ inch of hair out in between. Places weaves into foil and fully saturate the ends and brush upwards.

Tip: Brushing in an upward motion will create a seamless blend and place hair into a foil instead of air processing will guarantee maximum lift.

Step 3: Know where your clients part their hair. This way you can put some bold pieces around the parted area and create that money piece everyone wants!

Step 4: My client processed until she was a level 6/7 (about 20 minutes) with light heat. We rinsed and glazed with Joico Lumishine 6NA and 6N on damp hair and processed for 15 minutes. We rinsed again and used Olaplex Number 2 for ten minutes. We then washed, cut and styled.

Favorite products: Redken Pillow Proof (apply to damp hair prior to styling), Babyliss Titanium Curling Iron 1¾-inch, Joico Hair Shake Liquid to Powder (spray on dry hair before and after curling the hair to get that textured look)

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is great for clients that prefer low maintenance in their color or brunette’s that want to slowly transition into the lighter side without the breakage in one shot. As the color grows out, clients can come in every 12 to 16 weeks for a quick glaze to freshen up their color and a trim to keep the ends clean. The more it grows out, the better it looks!

I recommend this chocolate brown hair to most of my dark-haired clients whether they have straight or curly hair, however I think this color pops out more on curls. These sunkissed strands are versatile on just about everyone and I believe a little bit of color can go a long way!

Melting Chocolate Cappuccino Color

Q&A with style creator, Morgan
Hairstylist @ New Trend Hair Salon in Wilmington, DE


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

I would describe this looks as a low maintenance yet glamorous color melt. I love how the dark root blends so effortlessly into the golden blonde. We like to keep her hair highly contrasted.

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

I’m a huge fan of Wella Color Touch. Every color that I do is created with Wella. As for the upkeep, a professional color-safe shampoo and conditioner is always recommended, along with the Joico purple shampoo used one to two times every two weeks.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look to any client that is a fan of low maintenance. This client in particular lives in Florida, so ultimately she has that beachy kind of vibe. We used to always ash her out, but we have finally decided to embrace the golden tones of her blonde to really complement her warm skin tone.

Chocolate Hair with Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Kylee Truman
Salon Owner/Hairstylist @ Elizabeth Faye Salon in St. George, UT


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

I would describe this look as the perfect look for fall. My favorite thing about it is that you get those pops of blonde, but get to go on the dark side for a bit!

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

I always recommend a good shampoo and conditioner, the exact kind just depends on what type of hair you have. I love R+Co’s Aircraft Mousse. I put it in the hair after it has been curled! It gives you that perfect amount of volume but isn’t sticky and crunchy.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I would have to say anyone could pull this look off, but I would mainly recommend it to people who want low maintenance hair and just want to come in to get it freshened up about every six months!

Sunkissed Chocolate Brown

Sunkissed Chocolate Brown hair color
Instagram @melanieevehair

Q&A with style creator, Melanie Prescott
OC Hairstylist @ Wheeler Davis Salon in San Clemente, CA


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

I would describe this look as a natural, sunkissed chocolate brown. I love that it is warm without being the “dreaded red”. It has a lot of depth and hints of sunkissed highlights to really make the color pop instead of being a drab brown.

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

I always tell my clients if they invest in their hair color they have to invest in good shampoo! A product I love is Redken Color Magnetics shampoo. It’s sulfate free and keeps the color from fading. I also tell my clients to protect their hair while heat styling, and for that I love Kenra Blow Out Spray and Kenra Revive Oil.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I think this is a great color for someone who wants something natural and easy to maintain. It’s a beautiful color for fall/winter when clients want a richer, deep warm color look.

It’s suitable for all hair types and I really think it compliments almost any skin because it’s pretty neutral and not too dark. Fair skin tones will look brightened up with this color. I also think it looks beautiful on darker or olive skin tones because it enhances the warm undertones of those complexions.

Creamy Chocolate Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Stephanie Christmas
Color Specialist and Hair Stylist @ Stem Salon in Walnut Creek, CA


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

This is a handpainted balayage and my favorite part about it is that this color was done over three months ago, but still looks awesome. Balayage is the best for a low maintenance look!

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

I used Wella Blondor with 30 volume developer and a shot of Smart Bond from L’Oréal to protect the hair through the lighting process. I handpainted each piece and separated sections with Saran Wrap. I then toned with L’Oréal Dia Richesse 7.13, 7.31, 8.13 and 8.31, all equal parts. Like I said, this was done three months ago so the maintenance is very low, however I do recommend toners every six to eight weeks in between appointments.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I think balayage is one of my favorite trends because it is beautiful on anyone. It is the perfect style for someone who is looking for something low maintenance, for someone who can’t or doesn’t like to be in the salon as often, or someone who wants to add a little something to their hair without having to come to the salon very often!

Dark Chocolate Hair Color

Dark chocolate brown fondue hair color
Instagram @paintingpretty

Q&A with style creator, Katelyn Jernigan
Color and Extension Specialist @ The LivingRoom Salon in Costa Mesa, CA


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

I would describe this look as a soft beige/chocolate balayage. My favorite thing about it is how low maintenance it is, but at the same time can easily be built upon for a lighter, more dimensional look.

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

The product I used to create this soft and more relaxed curl was the Kerastase L’incroyable Blowout Leave-In. I finished with the Oribe Texturizing Spray, followed by brushing out the curls.

To maintain the color, I recommend coming in for a toner/gloss every six to eight weeks.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for more of an olive complexion as the warmth of both would work well together. The density of the hair is important since it plays an important role with looking dimensional, but it’s not a necessity.

This color is great for someone who is tired of having solid dark hair and wants to spice it up a little bit without being overwhelmed.

Brown and Vibrant Copper Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Jessie Bennett
Master Stylist @ Lunatic Fringe in Nashville, TN


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

I would describe this look as a tousled long bob with surface layers and hand painted highlights to create the right amount of dimension and texture. My favorite thing about this look is how perfectly effortless it is.

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

To create and maintain this look, I recommend using Bumble and bumble All Style Blow Dry for a heat protectant, and Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray at the root to give volume and hold.

Blow dry your hair in the opposite direction that it lays, then use a 1-inch curling iron on big sections, leaving the ends out. At the end of styling, pull out the curls and create texture by using Bumble and bumble Dryspun Finish.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for the low maintenance client. It is perfect for someone who loves the dimensional look, but doesn’t have the time to return to the salon regularly. By painting highlights on through the mids and ends, you can achieve the brightness you want, making it natural and simple each time you visit the salon.

Brown to Caramel Beige Blonde Hair

Chocolate brown to caramel beige blonde hair color
Instagram @hair2dyeforu

Q&A with style creator, Jessica Sefcik
Hairstylist/Colorist @ Salons By JC in Milford, CT


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

This look is possible for rich brunettes who want a little dimension to their hair. She isn’t afraid of warm tones, so I painted a dimensional caramel beige blonde balayage that is perfect for fall. My favorite thing about this look is that her hair looks amazing curled or straight!

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

To create this look, I used my favorite clay lightener by Joico called Free Play, along with my 2-inch chip paint brush to create a seamless blend! I toned her with a medium blonde beige brown using the Guy Tang Mydentity color line in demi-permanent to compliment her dark features and olive skin tone.

To finish this look, I blow dried her, curled with a 1-inch curling iron, then combed through the curls with a wide tooth comb for a more tousled look!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look suits most brunettes who want low maintenance and longevity to their balayage without a super harsh contrast of color!

Sunkissed With Dark Lowlights

Sunkissed hair with dark chocolate brown lowlights
Instagram @hair_by_beah

Q&A with style creator, Beah Tagani
Color Specialist @ Tricho Salon & Spa in Novi, MI


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

This is a natural sunkissed look. The lightness around her face is as if she were out in the sun all summer and the sun did it.

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

I used Goldwell Oxy and 30 vol for her highlights, as well as Olaplex. To add depth, I added super dark chocolate lowlights with Colorance Cover Plus level 5. I glossed her with Redken Shades eq.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is perfect for anyone looking for a low maintenance color. It is idea for fine to medium hair textures that are a natural level 5-7. The hair can be worn straight, but to achieve this exact look, simply put waves in the hair with an iron.

Golden Natural Balayage

Q&A with style creator, Kristen Luna Page
Stylist @ Salon Plum / Bateau Salon in California


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

This look is a layered midlength haircut that is pretty texturized to show the natural texture and movement of the hair. I love that this haircut is very versatile with the styling, either making it super beachy and messy or curled with a little more refinement.

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

I used all Kevin Murphy products to achieve this look. I used Young.Again hair oil and Smooth.Again styling cream, then finished Resort.Spray on dry hair for movement/

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this style to just about anyone, however, I am a firm believer that any style of haircut can be worn by anyone as long as it is detailed to the client in regard to the layers, fringe and color.

We kept her color very natural. We chose a little balayage just to brighten up around her face with golden natural tones to bring out her skin tone and eyes.

Espresso with Caramel Highlights

Espresso chocolate brown hair with caramel highlights
Instagram @apriltoccohair

Q&A with style creator, April Tocco
Stylist @ Alex Emilio Salon in Royal Oak, MI


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

This look is a very popular trend. It appears as if you naturally have lived-in, beachy style hair. Her roots are a natural chocolate brown hair color which is complemented by highlights that are not too drastic, marrying the lived-in look to the color perfectly. This look is simplistic yet glamorous and you can’t help but love it!

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

The most important tools in recreating and maintaining any look are a good shampoo and conditioner because they act as primer and create a great foundation which optimizes all other products layered upon the hair. I recommended Kerastase Bain Chromatique sulfate-free shampoo and Kerastase Fondant Chromatique conditioner from the Kerastase Reflection line. This is a color protecting haircare line that gently cleanses and conditions the hair while protecting and prolonging color vibrancy and shine.

I recommended the following three products to be used after hair is towel dried:

As a thermal protectant, hair fiber fortifier and leave-in conditioner, I recommended Kerastase Ciment Thermique. It penetrates the cuticle to leave the hair soft, smooth and shiny. Imagine a road with potholes. The road represents the cuticle. Ciment Thermique fills in the holes and nourishes and protects the hair when the blow dryer and other styling tools are utilized.

The second product I recommend is Elixir Ultime by Kerastase because it is a topical product which closes the cuticle. For this reason, it’s very important that it is applied to the hair second. If it is applied prior to Ciment Thermique, it will not penetrate the cuticle because Elixir Ultime will close it and prevent the thermal protectant from working. Applied to damp or dry hair, Elixir Ultime helps tame frizz and nourish the hair fiber, resulting in unbelievable shine. It also smells incredible!

The third product I recommend, depending on hair type and client expectation, is a volumizing agent. For this client, I recommended Mousse Bouffante by Kerastase because it contains collagen and calcium which are great for volume and body. It creates great movement as well as just the right amount of hold, leaving the hair with a soft natural finish.

Contrary to what many would think, layering these products doesn’t weight down the hair, but protects it from styling tools such as blow dryers, curling and flat irons. The result is healthy, shiny, nourished hair.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This client asked for natural-looking, low maintenance color but wanted highlights for dimension. Because she is a doctor and unable to visit the salon every four to six week, I chose to balayage her highlights. Balayage, which paints highlights onto the surface of the hair, is the perfect technique for anyone who wants low maintenance color because it grows out looking natural, allowing the client to stretch her next visit past the four to six week mark.

The caramel tone creates highlights that are not too warm, but warm enough to bring out the natural undertones of her base color. This tone is perfect for brunettes and fall! Balayaging caramel-toned highlights is a great way of changing the overall color without touching the root color. More importantly, it is a great way of giving clients a low-maintenance look that still looks like a million bucks!

In regard to the style of curls, I highly recommend this look for all lengths of hair because it is easy to create and compliments the natural-looking color brilliantly!

Subtle Balayage on Chocolate Brown Hair

Subtle chocolate Brunette hair color
Instagram @samonpie

Q&A with style creator, Samon Peterson
Stylist @ Hair and Body Solutions Salon And Spa in New Berlin, WI


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

I would describe this look as a subtle brunette balayage. These are handpainted highlights to add a beautiful, lived-in look. My favorite thing about this look is the journey behind it. My client was going blonder and blonder with balayage services and she needed a change. We colored her base and pulled through some pieces, leaving her lighter colors for a gorgeous glow.

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

To create this look, I used Redken Chromatics 5IG, leaving the pieces I previously lightened with Redken’s Free Hand lightener.

I then used Redken Glow Dry oil for shine and Redken Velvet Gelatin 07 for a cushioned, smooth blow dry. Before curling with my 1 1/4-inch curling iron, I used Redken Iron Shape 11 to protect the hair and hold her style.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for anyone who wants a lived-in hairstyle with minimum to medium maintenance. This color really pops with curls and waves. The warm brown hair color is best for anyone with olive or yellow skin tones.