Chocolate brown hair is a brunette hair color that resembles shades of chocolate candy. Lovely, smooth, rich, and delicious chocolate.
Who doesn’t love chocolate?
When it comes to hair ideas, brunette ladies have an array of shades to choose from: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa, spicy chocolate, or even raspberry-tinted chocolate.
What You Should Know When Choosing Chocolate Brown Hair:
- Choosing a Shade: The more shine you want, the darker you should go as darker hair naturally reflect more light. If you are older than 50, you may consider choosing a lighter chocolate with some brighter tones. The lighter your hair, the less noticeable your skin imperfections are.
- Maintenance Level: Medium to easy. If you have a naturally dark hair color, then chocolate will be easier to maintain its color.
- Average Cost: The cost for getting your hair colored chocolate brown by a professional hair colorist ranges from $70 to $200, depending upon how it’s done and where you live. Getting a single process permanent color is cheaper. If you add an ombre, highlights or balayage, it will cost more. If you have lighter hair, then it may require more processing time or trips to get the perfect chocolate hue. All of which will cost more.
- Best Skin Tones: Medium to dark skin tones such as olive, and brown are best.
- Best Natural Base Color: The best natural hair colors for chocolate brown locks are dark brown and dark blonde. It’s easier to slightly lighten or darken your natural shade to bring it to a chocolate tint.
- Similar Shades: Mahogany, chestnut, caramel brown, light brown
- Best Products: The best products to maintain chocolate brown and keep it from fading are: sulfate-free shampoo, toning drops, sulfate-free cleanser and chocolate conditioning color.
Before your next hair appointment, check out photos of the best chocolate brown hair colors.
Rich Cocoa Hair Color
This chocolate hue is a classic brunette with a twist. This color is a warm, rich, multi-dimensional take on the classic chocolate brown hair that we all know and love. Using the natural hair color as a shadow root is the perfect way to blend all of the colors seamlessly while keeping the grow-out process very low maintenance. This long haircut is paired with long invisible layers and slight face-framing pieces to add subtle movement and enhance the color, making the hair appear thicker.
This color is perfect for a natural brunette who wants to try something new without being too dramatic or women on the lighter side who want to add some depth to their hair without fully committing.
Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair
This is a caramel highlights on very dark chocolate brown hair. Small amounts of color pop against this dark canvas. This look adds both dimension and life to your hair.
This chocolate brown color is great for women 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, women can come in every 12 to 16 weeks for a quick glaze to freshen up their chocolate brown hair with caramel highlights.
Dark Cherry Chocolate Brown Hair with Beach Waves
Dark to Golden Brown Ombre
A dark to golden brown ombre is perfect if you want to warm up your natural hair color and add some blonde through the ends. This color was created by licensed cosmetologist Cory Harper of Mason, OH.
“I used a golden chocolate brown hue to give her a rich brown color through the top and I blended it into a golden ombre hair color,” says Harper.
Harper goes on to state, “this color is great for women wanting to add more depth to their hair, but still have a sunkissed look through the ends. It’s great for women with previously colored hair to gradually start getting lighter.”
The chocolate brown ombré is low maintenance so this color is perfect for the busy working woman who can’t make it into the salon every 6 weeks.
Mauve Red Brown
A subtle way of creating an impressive look is to put together a chocolate brown base with a mauve undertone. A chic and low-maintenance easy style for any type of haircut and length.
“This overall color & style is a chic and modern twist on classic chocolate brown hair,” claims hairstylist Sarah Jo of Coon Rapids, MN.
With that in mind, Sarah Jo color melted a rich red-violet into the chocolate brown shade to give extra depth and dimension. “I love the way the red violets really pops out under various lighting.”
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,” she adds.
To further maintain the bright red 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 a shade of chocolate brown and an edgy cut!
This reddish-brown with accents of bold red was created by stylist and salon owner Kimberly Jones of Brooklyn, NY.
For reds, which are pretty high maintenance, Jones says, “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
For brunettes who want to add spice to their hair, melting your deep chocolate brown hair with deep red highlights can make your hair look dimensional and modern.
This chocolate-covered strawberry color is a bolder twist on natural hair that has very rich and warm underlying tones.
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.
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
Let your personality out by daring these red undertones on your chocolate brown mane! Ultimately impressive on any hair length and texture!
This blood orange shade is a full head of highlights created by hairstylist Camron Robles of Albuquerque, NM. “The color is vibrant, wearable, and visible at all times without being overwhelming. The rich chocolate brown color, on the other hand, offers balance and depth,” explains Robles.
“Ask your stylist tons of questions,” adds Robles. “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.”
Chocolate Brown Hair With Toffee Highlights
This is a rich, warm chocolate brown hair with toffee highlights around the face. It was created by hairstylist Holly Painter of South Hill, VA. The hair is cut into a long bob.
Painter used Igora Royal for her dark base color, “and painted her highlights using Paul Mitchell dual purpose lightener.”
“This is a great hair color for women with a warm skin tone,” she notes. “Balayage highlights make this very low maintenance because there is no harsh line of regrowth.”
Dark Brunette Balayage
This look is a balayage done on a dark brunette base color. This look has a soft transition of the tones and the gorgeous pops of dimension in the chocolate brunette hair color.
To create balayage brown hair color ideas like this, ask your stylist about using clay-based lighteners like Trionics K.O. Blonde Clay Lightener. It gives the perfect consistency and blend for hand-painted looks, and it doesn’t swell, bleed or dry out like traditional powder bleach would.
The beauty of balayage is that it can be customized for all hair textures, colors, and lengths. It’s ideal for a woman that wants a low-maintenance look that doesn’t require frequent trips to retouch the dark roots.
Chocolate Brown with Auburn Highlights
“These auburn highlights have an appearance of an all-over lighter color without the look or the regrowth of a one-dimensional color. It’s also transitional,” says hairstylist Amanda Heisler of Syracuse, NY.
Heisler recommends using color-safe products, “including a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to maintain the longevity of the toner used.”
Balayage techniques are great for women who live active lifestyles, and 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,” she adds, “it will look as though it was kissed by the sun in the summertime. Chocolate brown strands mixed with auburn shades are perfect for summertime fun.”
Dark Hair Molten Chocolate Brown Balayage
This subtle and natural chocolate brown balayage was handcrafted by hairstylist Jayleen Bush of San Diego, CA. “I love how the light reflects off of the painted pieces to add pop and dimension,” she notes.
Bush says, “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.”
This is the perfect color for a girl looking for a natural look that will last. It’s perfect for women who don’t want to be in the salon every four weeks, too. The light pieces will eliminate the appearance of flat single-toned color, and bring brightness to the face.
Dimensional Warm Chocolate Brown Highlights
This is a natural look with balayage warm chocolate brown highlights to add dimension and warmth. “I love this look because it’s easily adaptable from a warm to cool tone depending on the woman’s and stylist’s desired outcome,” says stylist Excitra Sabol of San Diego, CA.
Sabol loves the blue shampoo by Oligo and recommends using it once or twice a week to preserve this tone.
These chocolate highlights are perfect for women who want a low-maintenance style with a high-end look. It’s ideal for women with a warmer skin tone and straight hair or wavy hair.
Rich Chocolate Brown and Bold Caramel
This is a bold yet softly blended combination of rich chocolate brown and caramel blonde. It was created by stylist and salon owner Jessica Pfalz of Tampa, FL.
To create this look, Pfalz used Schwartzkopf Royal color on the roots, then painted on Schwartzkopf Viviance for her dark brown lowlights, and balayaged with Schwartzkopf Blonde Me lightener.
To maintain this look, Pfalz recommends you 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.”
“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,” she adds. “The depth and dimension this color brings allow for many different complexions to wear it, however, these specific tones are best suited for a cool skin tone to a medium tone.”
Shoulder-Length Chocolate Brown Hair
This is a chocolate brunette balayage with a dark brunette color base. It was created by senior stylist Kristen Robb of Virginia Beach, VA. “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,” she explains.
Robb recommends this look for women who want a low-maintenance, classic, and effortless look. “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 hair highlights to a fall look,” she adds.
Cocoa Milk Brunette
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,” says hair artist and colorist Vanessa West of Pittsburg, KS.
“This look would be best for women who need a low maintenance color and cannot come into the salon every four to six weeks for root touch-ups,” says West. “The rich tones in this color would look great on women with warm skin tones.”
Chocolate Brown with Honey Highlights
This chocolate brown hairstyle with honey highlights is soft and casual. It was created by hairstylist Deanna Keller of Frisco, TX. “I love using the open-air balayage technique to create a gentle dimension,” said Keller.
Keller always recommends a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for every color client. “Sulfates strip the color and agitate the ends causing split ends. My favorite brand is Kevin Murphy,” she explains.
This is the perfect chocolate brown hair dye for the woman 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 states.
Rich Mocha Brown
This chocolate brown tone looks rich and healthy with a light and refreshing touch. It was handcrafted by hairdresser Diāna Millere of Latvia.
“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,” said Millere.
Millere always recommends hair oils for nourishment, UV protection, and heat protection.
“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,” she explains.
Two-Toned Chocolaty Brunette Locks
Talk about luscious! This dual-toned chocolate brown tint is a serious cause of hair envy. The color is rich, warm, and vibrant. Inconspicuous yet daring, for that sexier look.
Cinnamon Chocolate Brown Layers
This is a beautiful cinnamon chocolate brown color enhanced with a v-layered cut. It was created by stylist Hercules Tsirovakas of Concord, NH.
Tsirovakas’ 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.
“This look is perfect for women looking for a low-maintenance style,” he states. “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 women who have a cool-toned skin color.”
Light Brown to Warm Caramel Ombre
This is a subtle, but powerful chocolate to golden brown transformation to maintain a brunette’s natural features while changing their whole look. It was created by stylist Bethany Toner of Eugene, OR.
“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,” states Toner. “Whether it’s an icy cool ash brown, warm golden bronde, or a spicy-sweet caramel, there is a final result for everyone to love!”
Products will vary depending on your hair texture and density. Toner usually goes with a more gentle lightener and finishes off with a toner that will tone evenly and get us to the desired shade of brown!
For maintaining the look at home, Toner never lets 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.”
Dark Brunette to Chestnut Ombre Hair
“The dark chocolate brown base with warm caramel and chestnut-toned balayage is a must-have for the fall season,” states stylist Darcy Hagberg of Omaha, NE.
Hagberg recommends 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,” she explains.
“This balayage would look best on women with naturally dark brown hair and medium-beige skin tones to complement the warm colors of this look,” she adds. “I have been able to create this color on both long and haircuts for shorter hair.”
Brown Color with Hazelnut Highlights
This is a chocolate brown balayage on virgin level 3 hair. It was created by hairstylist Kimberly Rose of San Jose, CA.
“I love how soft the blend is and the way the highlights shine through the hair,” says Rose. “The grow out will be especially nice for the lady because there is no harsh contrast between her natural dark cocoa brown hair color.”
This specific look is great for brunettes that have virgin hair and that are levels 5 to 2, deep brown to black hair. Any woman who is a natural brunette will look good with this hair color, and skin tone doesn’t matter in this case.
Ash Chocolate Brown
An ash chocolate brown has beautiful the dimension and looks effortless.
To style like this chocolate ash brown hair, prep the hair with Redken’s Pillow Proof Express Dry Primer, and the Diamond Oil. Blowdry 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 recommend using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner such as the Color Extend Magnetics line by Redken.
This colors great for women with a darker hair color who want to add a little dimension, as well as women who like to stretch out their time between salon visits.
Light Chocolate Brown Bob
This light chocolate brown short angled bob was created by hairstylist Courtney Bond of Waterloo, ON.
“Medium/neutral skin tones look amazing with a chocolate hair color,” says Bond, “but the tone can be adjusted to suit anyone.”
Melting Medium Chocolate Cappuccino
This low-maintenance, yet glamorous medium chocolate brown hair color melt was handcrafted by hairstylist Morgan of Wilmington, DE. “I love how the dark root blends so effortlessly into the golden blonde hair color. We like to keep her hair highly contrasted,” she notes.
Morgan is 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 are always recommended, along with the Joico purple shampoo used one to two times every two weeks.”
Morgan recommends this medium brown color and hairstyle to women that are a fan of low maintenance.
Chocolate Hair with Blonde Highlights
This shade of chocolate brunette with blonde highlights was created by salon owner and stylist Kylee Truman of St. George, UT. “My favorite thing about this chocolate color is that you get those pops of blonde, but get to go on the dark side for a bit,” she notes.
Truman recommends 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,” she adds.
Sunkissed Chocolate Brown
This natural, sunkissed chocolate brownwas created by OC Hairstylist Melanie Prescott of San Clemente, CA.
“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,” she explains.
Prescott always tells her 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.”
It’s suitable for all hair types and compliments almost any skin tone because it’s pretty neutral and not too dark.
Creamy Chocolate Balayage Highlights
This handpainted chocolate brown balayage highlights was created by color specialist and stylist Stephanie Christmas of Walnut Creek, CA. Balayage is the best for a low-maintenance look!
Christmas 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 of chocolate color and separated sections with Saran Wrap,” she adds.
Balayage is the perfect style for women who are looking for something low maintenance, for women who can’t or don’t like to be in the salon as often, or women who want to add a little something to their hair without having to come to the salon very often!
Dark Chocolate Hair Color
“I would describe this look as a soft beige/chocolate balayage,” says color specialist Katelyn Jernigan of Costa Mesa, CA.
Jernigan’s 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.”
To maintain the chocolate color, she recommends coming in for a toner/gloss every six to eight weeks.
This color is great for women who are tired of having solid dark hair and want to spice it up a little bit without being overwhelmed.
Brown and Vibrant Copper Highlights
“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,” explains master stylist Jessie Bennett of Nashville, TN.
“It’s perfect for women who love the dimensional copper look, but don’t have the time to return to the salon regularly,” says Bennett. “By painting highlights 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
“This look is possible for rich brunettes who want a little dimension to their hair. If you’re not afraid of warm tones, ask your stylist to paint a dimensional caramel beige blonde balayage,” explains hairstylist and colorist Jessica Sefcik of Milford, CT.
“It suits most brunettes who want low maintenance and longevity to their balayage without a super harsh contrast of color,” she adds.
Sunkissed With Dark Lowlights
These are natural sunkissed chocolate brown tresses. “The lightness around her face is as if she were out in the sun all summer and the sun did it,” explains color specialist Beah Tagani of Novi, MI.
Tagani used Goldwell Oxy and 30 vol for the 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.”
This dark chocolate color is ideal for fine to medium hair textures that are a natural level 5-7.
Golden Natural Balayage
“This chocolate color is a layered mid-length haircut that is pretty texturized to show the natural texture and movement of the hair,” says stylist Kristen Luna Page of California.
“We kept her color very natural,” she notes. “We chose a little balayage just to brighten up around her face with golden natural tones to bring out her skin tone and eyes.”
Chocolate Brown Hair with Highlights
Sweet, creamy, and oh so delightful! Rich chocolate brunette colors with caramel accents were flawlessly designed by Colorist Tiia.