38 Incredible Light Brown Hair Color Ideas for Women

Light brown hair colors

Light brown hair color is a shade lighter than medium brown and the opposite of dark brown. It’s not too dark, not too light, but just right.

Below, I’ve put together pictures of the most popular pictures of light brown hair colors and various ways you can get them if you’re want something new. From highlights, ombres, balayage, lowlights, color melts, you’ll find your night shade of light brown hair.

So before your next salon appointment, check out these inspiring photos and hair ideas of light brown hair colors!

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#1: Gradient Ashy Ombre Hair

Go for an ashy brown hair color. The color gradient is what makes a light brown hair so perfect. To maintain this color, always use moisturizer cream.

To keep your hair high quality, the use of professional brands like Wella, Loreal Professional, and Schwarzkopf is very important. This style and color work with all hair types and dark skin tones. It’s a great option for women with darker hair that want to lighten things up, and looks great on women with a naturally dark eye color.

#2: Light Brown with Tan Undertones

Uneven blonde tones on your tresses can add superb dimension and depth to light brown hair, especially on waves. This one’s an effortless yet fabulous way to spice up natural brunette hair.

Long brown mousy hair for brunettes
Instagram @romeufelipe

#3: Long Light Mousy Brown Hair

Mousy brown color represent in this photo! Flattering for everyone, it never goes out of style and is guaranteed to bring elegance to your long hair with brown roots.

Wavy Short Brown with Blended Highlights
Instagram @flirtwithjoy

#4: Wavy Short Brown with Blended Highlights

“I would call this look a beachy and textured look, using balayage to paint her sun-kissed pieces light brown,” says salon owner and stylist Joy Ishii of San Diego, CA. “I love being able to see the blended highlights and bright ends, plus the dark brown color at the roots is excellent.”

Ishii recommends a sulfate-free shampoo to protect this multi-tonal brown hair. “As for styling products, Bumble and bumble’s HIO Primer and Surf Foam Blow Dry Spray are musts before you blow dry. After your light brown hair is dry, I would spray Dry Spun Finish to add more texture,” she adds.

#5: Enchanting Light Brown Hair to Blonde Ombre

If you love subtle and smooth transitions, this light brown hair is sure to sweep you off your feet! This is also ideal for ladies who always have dark or black hair, if you want to go and try blonde hair for the first time. Perfect on lengthy brunette locks, this style in this picture incorporates depth easily.

Light Brown with a Natural Red Undertone
Instagram @aaashleee

#6: Light Brown With a Natural Red Undertone

Combining dark roots with white blonde ends is a marvelous way to create a beautiful contrast and a richer depth. This light brown hue with blonde streaks on dark hair makes a stunning dimension. It sure works with any length of hair. Styling is made easy as your hair already has an innate dimension to it!

Stunning golden honey highlights
Instagram @williammleite

#7: Stunning Golden Honey Highlights

Light brown and blonde go so well together! This dark chocolate base melted into a light caramel hue creates stunning light brown hair color that looks amazing! Add some pieces of caramel tones in front can frame your face and give a brightening effect that completes the whole look.

hot rich cider and light brown tones
Instagram @hairbykysa

#8: Hot Rich Cider and Light Brown Tones

The right balance of warm and cool tones in a nut brown mane is to die for! Your hair will appear natural and healthy and at the same time full of depth and gorgeous volume.

Glossy Gold with Darker Brown Roots
Instagram @ryan.weeden

#9: Glossy Gold with Darker Roots

This smooth and warm light brown hair color starts off with darker roots is absolutely pleasing to the eye. It’s very exciting to style your hair like this as every wave and curl is greatly enhanced by the gloss of this divine golden blonde color.

#10: Soft Rose Gold on Light Brown Hair

A fresh and modern color – this metallic peach-mocha hair gives off an impeccable shine that accentuates waves and textures so beautifully!

#11: Romantic Light Brown Auburn Ombre

This light brown hair features a lighter and more natural shade of the reddish brown family that is known to complement complexions with pink undertones. It’s warm, romantic, and is sure to make you stand out in a crowd.

#12: High Contrast Medium-Length Light Brown Hair with Dark Ash

Smoky hazel pieces appear amazingly on a darker brown base. This easy combination gives a high contrast finish that works perfectly on any textured hair when you want it to. One idea is to show off those lighter brown highlights even better by styling your hair with beach waves.

#13: Easy Bronzed Brown with Highlights

A bronzed brown hair with highlights is an easy-to-manage light brown hair color, done with a bronde balayage. With this shade, “there’s no toning required after a month or two,” says stylist Eesha Vakharia from India. For maintenance, I recommend you use color-protecting shampoo, masks, leave-in creams, and serums regularly.

Low-Maintenance Mushroom Brown with Lighter Ends
Instagram @hairby_juliap

#14: Low-Maintenance Mushroom Brown with Lighter Ends

Choose a mushroom brown with lighter ends to make a perfect light brown hair color when you can’t decide whether to go blonde or dark. It’s created by a salon owner from Vancouver—Julia Popenco. “What’s beneficial about it is it stays ashy even if your natural hair color level is super dark,” explains Popenco.

“Ashy colors need to be lifted 1 or 2 levels lighter, then toned,” Popenco points out. After toning your hair, she recommends a blue shampoo when washing it.

Natural & Warm Light Brown with Caramel
Instagram @kchairdesigns

#15: Natural & Warm Light Brown with Caramel

This look is a honey blonde balayage. It was created by hairstylist Katie Reaka of Florida. “I left the length long and added some long layers to give her movement and body. I love how natural these caramel-hued waves look,” says Reaka.

This hair color looks best if you have medium brown hair. Reaka says a good thing to remember is the darker the starting hair color, the warmer the blonde will be. “Lightening with this natural-looking balayage technique will give you weeks and sometimes months longer between appointments than traditional foils. This low-maintenance style is perfect for women with a busy lifestyle,” she adds.

Blended Reddish Light Brown Hair
Instagram @kyylieruush

#16: Blended Reddish Light Brown Hair

“This reddish light brown hair has the blend of the cool tones, which gives it the smokiness and the warmth to bring in and catch the light,” says hairstylist Kylie Rush of Camp Hill, PA.

“I would describe this look as coppery rose brown waves,” says Rush. “The loveliest about this color is how it beautifully implements copper tones into a natural brunette head of hair without necessarily making her a redhead.”

Rush wants you to make sure you’re informed about the maintenance it will require. “Since the coppery rose color was applied over top of previously lightened hair, it will fade over time. Setting up a follow-up appointment about 8 weeks out would be a good time to reapply the semi-permanent overlay to ensure the coppery rose color stays fresh,” she adds.

If you’re frequently out in the sun or if you swim a lot, a color like this will fade and brighten up much more quickly. You should wear a sun hat outdoors to protect your color from the sun, and avoid chlorinated water if possible in order to extend the lifespan of your hair color. Make sure your at-home regimen of hair care products are color safe as well, especially if you frequently shampoo your hair.

Lightened Golden Copper Highlights
Instagram @un.rooted

#17: Lightened Golden Copper Highlights

This is a bold, dimensional balayage that embraces the natural warmth of light brown hair. This light brown has copper tones, similar to Jessica Alba’s,” states hairstylist Emily Grangaard of Denver, CO.

“This has a perfect shade if you want a light brown hair color that’s fairly low-maintenance,” says Grangaard. “Light brown can be easily maintained with toners and a few foils at the hairline to keep up the brightness around your face.”

Grangaard recommends this golden hair for brunettes who want to enhance your natural color while keeping damage to a minimum.

“A professional hydrating color-safe shampoo and conditioner, like Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me, is key to preserve the vibrancy and shine of the hair dye and ensure the lightened ends don’t get dry and brittle,” she adds.

Warm-Toned Brown Hair and Caramel Highlights
Instagram @hairbyamybee

#18: Warm-Toned Brown Hair and Caramel Highlights

This light brown hair and caramel highlights were created by hairstylist and colorist Amy Baugh of Fruita, CO.

Baugh describes this color as a warm-toned, brunette balayage. “My favorite thing about warm shades on brunettes is how natural it looks. Balayage is meant to mimic what the sun naturally does to our hair when we’ve been outside all summer long, and for brunettes, that means natural warm tones.”

“I always say good hair is 60% what the stylist does at the salon and 40% what the woman does at home,” she adds. “Balayage is wonderful because it is so low maintenance, which is great for all lifestyles, but in order to keep it that way, you have to make sure you aren’t trashing your hair at home with products that dry out your hair and strip out the color/gloss. As long as you’re taking care of your strands at home, this look would be great for anyone with brunette hair!”

#19: Light Sandy Highlights Color Melt Hair

This light sandy brown hair is full of volume with extra pops of brightness.

Balayage is a good route to go for a girl who has a busy life or schedule. It’s seamless to grow out, so whether you have darker roots and want to be blonde on the ends, you can opt for that look without coming to the salon every 4 weeks and can go months without getting a color touch up!

Fantastic Chestnut Highlights
Instagram @gem.hair

#20: Fantastic Chestnut Highlights

“A fusion of chestnut and darker browns that create a dimensional, sun-kissed light brown hair,” says curly hair specialist Grace Macduff of Kennewick, WA. “The cool brown chestnut colors add that extra “pop” but still have the element of subtlety!”

“It’s easy to have these light brown locks to turn out as a really warm copper or brassy tone,” says Macduff. “You should keep the chestnut brown color cool-toned, especially if you have more olive or red complexions.”

Depending on execution, maintenance should be easy. Macduff recommends appointments every 3-5 months to maintain the color, with glazes and root retouches for grey, if necessary, in between.

#21: Low-Maintenance Chocolate Caramel Brown Ombre

Accentuate your style with a cross between an ombré and a balayage with much warmth in it. It was created by hairdresser student Jennifer Strågefors of Gothenburg.

Strågefors’ advice to women considering this dark-to-light brown ombre would be that even though it is low maintenance in terms of color upkeep, it’s crucial to keep your hair healthy. “Good products and tender lovin’ haircare are key, especially if you already have damaged or naturally dry hair. A healthy glow really makes all the difference,” she adds.

“This exact chocolate brown hair color with light brown ends would best suit you if you have naturally dark, thick hair, but can, of course, be adjusted to match your own tones,” she explains. “What’s important is daring to go much lighter on the lengths than the roots to create contrast and depth.”

Glamorous Light Brown to Platinum Hair Color
Instagram @mashytaters

#22: Glamorous Light Brown to Platinum Hair Color

This light brown hair color is a deeply rooted balayage ombre with bright beige ends. You can achieve this color, but it may need several sessions in the salon before getting the ends this bright. But, once you’re at the desired level this is a very low-maintenance look! A toner every 6-8 weeks is suggested to keep the color looking fresh, but a balayage session would only need to be done every 3-6 months.

#23: Neutral Light Nutmeg Highlights

“I would describe this hairstyle as a light sun-kissed brunette. My favorite part of this look is the balayage highlights that complement light skin tones,” says hair artist and master colorist Natalie Walls of Orillia, ON.

“If you are looking for this nutmeg hair color, it’s an easy up-keep, no layers and long enough to tie back,” describes Walls. “Ask your stylist to use a neutral toner for a more natural balayage highlight tone if you’re considering dyeing your hair.”

#24: Mocha Swirl on a Bob Cut

“Light mocha swirl is what I like to call this light brown hair,” says independent stylist Carrie Murtaugh of Berlin, OH. “My favorite thing is the fact that this particular color works well for blondes who are wishing to try a brunette. It’s not too dark or warm, therefore it is easy to get back to blonde once summer rolls around,” she explains.

For this color, Murtaugh highly recommends you ask for Kenra Professional Bronze Metallics Series color.

This light color is pretty versatile as it doesn’t exactly fall into a warm or a cool category.

Murgaugh’s best tip to recreate this light brown bob is to “ask your stylist for a soft mocha brown with neutral blonde accents on a short haircut.”

Related: Short light brown hairstyle ideas.

#25: Lovely Light Natural Brown Hair

“This is a natural look that is close to your own natural light brown color. She can let it grow out without having to come into the salon very often,” states hairstylist Sussi Svensson of Sweden.

“I think this light natural brown color is good if you need to add color to your hair but want to look uncolored,” she explains.

dimensional bronde light brown hair with lowlights
Instagram @bucio.glam

#26: Dimensional Bronde Light Brown Hair With Lowlights

Consider a dimensional bronde, which is one of the best combinations of light brown and blonde. It’s the perfect alternative to all-over blonde in the winter. It’s lower maintenance than your standard rooted blonde, but still packs a punch with dimensional highlights and paneled lowlights throughout.

A light color works best if ou have neutral tones in your skin, as well as if your hair is naturally within two shades of the end result. The color and style are very well suited to finer hair because the placement of the lowlights under the brighter highlights adds some depth to hair that can otherwise look flat otherwise.

Because this look is on the ashier side, maintaining the brown shade with regular toning or glossing treatments in the salon is important when it comes to maintenance. Use a purple-toned shampoo for at-home maintenance to all lightened or blonde women to keep brassiness out. Regular maintenance in the salon and at home will keep the brown color looking fresh and ensure that the tones don’t become washed out and drab.

Curled Hair with Pops of Light Golden Brown
Instagram @style_session

#27: Curled Hair with Pops of Light Golden Brown

This soft golden look with pops of light golden brown that also look like multi-dimensional honey blonde was created by hairstylist Jasmine Cardenas of Downey, CA.

“The light brown hair is versatile and women with light to mid-brown tones can rock this brown hue,” explains Cardenas. “As far as hair types, I would say straight, wavy and curly types can pull this look off. The trick is the placement of the lighter pieces for each of these hair types.”

Cardenas’ best tip in recreating this brown color is to analyze what warm undertones and color you already have. “We don’t want to add more gold on top of red or light auburn tones because it will make it too warm brown if your hair is already dark. This is a soft gold which means the gold is controlled,” she adds.

#28: Shoulder-Length Soft Spice

This romantic and naturally soft light brown hair was created by stylist and salon owner Charlene Buonaccorso of Australia. “What I love most about it is the light color texture of her hair. The tones blend well, giving maximum shine and dimension to fine hair,” explains Buonaccorso.

This brunette shade is best suited for cooler skin tones because the color really makes skin tones glow. Warmer skin tones may be too much for the skin and clash.

“Visit the salon every six weeks for a touch-up maintenance as colors lose their hue if left much longer than that,” she adds. “Also, a home care regime is ultra important in maintaining your salon colored hair in its best condition.”

Flattering Warm Fawn Light Brown Hairstyle
Instagram @hairby_gina95

#29: Flattering Warm Fawn

“My favorite thing about this light brown color is how natural it is,” says hairstylist Gina Eldridge of Somerville, MA.

“Toner wasn’t used to achieve this brown hair,” explains Eldridge. “That being said, I believe just a sulfate-free shampoo would help maintain the color until the next salon visit.”

This light colored haircut would be the best for women who are very low maintenance and don’t come to the salon very often. “I believe a balayage like this only needs to be done once or twice a year, so this would be perfect for women who have a busy lifestyle and cannot commit to coming to the salon as frequently,” she adds.

#30: Warmly-Toned Toffee to Honey Ombre

“I love this light, warmly toned light brown balayage because it looks like the sun just kissed it,” says hairstylist Carissa Raia of Rancho Cucamonga, CA. “It is low maintenance and boasts tons of dimension. The toffee to honey brown color change is beautiful.”

Raia says this light brown hair is for the dark-eyed and warm-toned beauties who are on the go. “Pureology Color Fanatic Leave-In will keep the ends moisturized and frizz down for a flawless hair,” she adds.

#31: Contrasted Light Ash Brown

A glorious blend of smoky gray-brown hues created this light ash brown hair color. The contrasted brown colors bring each other out and are a great way to draw attention to your other features.

Natural Light Chocolate Brown Sun-Kissed Hair
Instagram @dhairdi

#32: Natural Light Chocolate Brown Sun-Kissed Hair

“This is a balayage on virgin, light brown hair,” says master colorist and stylist Diana Lopez of Miami Beach, FL. “The light brown adds warmer natural tones without any harsh lines, increasing the dimension and density of her hair. We blended with three color levels lighter from her natural color, giving it a true light sun-kissed feel.”

To create this fun, sun-kissed brown hue, Lopez used Wella Freelights with 20vol and Uberliss bond protector to maintain the integrity of your locks. “I toned with Wella Illumina 8/37 and 9/ 1:1 + 1.9 vol 1:2. I also recommend Uberliss bond sustainer at home to keep hair moisturized,” she explains.

Balayage is a win for women who desire a low-maintenance and subtle change with enhanced dimension. It’s also a great color lightening technique if you are wanting a gradual color change.

Cooler Brown Babylights
Instagram @paigeahair

#33: Cooler Brown Babylights

These cooler brown babylights were created by hairstylist Paige Argentieri of Santa Monica, CA. “You can’t tell where the babylights start and stop because of how fine they are. I am all about blend and having my color look as natural as possible.”

Argentieri used Redken’s Flashlift lightener to achieve the soft brown shade. “To maintain, I definitely recommend a purple shampoo to keep away any unwanted brassy tones,” she adds.

“I enjoy using this method of babylights on my women who have a lot of dark, thick hair,” she explains. “If you take smaller sections, you’ll get a better saturation and better lift. I also love the super blended lines from all the micro-small highlights. The grow out on this look is amazing, making it perfect for girls who don’t want to be in the salon all the time!”

Seamless Caramel Hue
Instagram @britblends

#34: Seamless Caramel Hue

This seamless caramel and light brown hue was created by stylist and national Redken artist Brittany VanDyke of Joplin, MO. “I recommend a Shades EQ Gloss Service every 8 to 12 weeks to provide shine and to keep the color from pulling too brassy or becoming dull,” says VanDyke.

Use PH Bonder to upkeep the results at home. “Redken’s Color Extend Magnetics and Exreme are my go-to lines to provide necessary moisture and proteins after a color service,” she explains. “I especially recommend Extreme Length Sealer and Primer for all my girls who want to be light on their ends and grow or maintain mermaid lengths.”

The light brown tones that are present naturally tend to be the easiest to achieve and maintain and look best on your skin tone. This color is great for all women, but it’s especially flattering on women who have a warmer or olive skin tone. Just tweak the brown tones depending on the color of your eyes and skin tone.

Face-Framing Light Blonde Highlights on Bronde Hair
Instagram @patriciajhair

#35: Face-Framing Light Blonde Highlights on Bronde Hair

“I would call this a sun-kissed light brown hair color,” says hairstylist Patricia Jastrzebski of Canada. “I love that this combination of dark brown hair and blonde streaks is natural and soft with some face-framing pieces to brighten her complexion.”

Jastrzebski always recommends a clarifying shampoo and a purple shampoo to keep the tone in this light brown hair with blonde highlights bright and help minimize unwanted warmth.

This is the perfect hair for you if you’re a brunette and thinking about transitioning into a blonde. This allows you to do so without compromising the integrity of your hair and eases you into it if you’re nervous about the change.

#36: Wonderful Warm Walnut Brown

“I would describe this light brown hair as different shades of brown with warm dimensions,” says stylist Danielle Hruza of Hackettstown, NJ. “It is the perfect highlighted summer look on darker brown hair. My favorite thing about this look is the warmth and different tones of the highlights,” she adds.

The products Hruza uses to maintain this look is Strong Sexy Hair shampoo and conditioner. She explains, “the Strong Sexy Hair line has mango butter that provides great nourishment for your hair and aloe vera to help stop breakage and keep your hair strong.”

Hruza recommends this eye-catching shade of walnut brown hair for women with darker hair that are looking to go lighter but don’t want the maintenance of having blonde highlights.

#37: Light Brunette Meets Blonde

These babylights with hair painted pieces create the perfect “brunette meets blonde” blend. “I love the lived-in look and flawless transition that this duo gives,” says hairstylist Marissa Shafer of Las Vegas, NV.

Shafer used Kadus 5N + 20 vol for the base color and Kadus Lightener for the babylights. “I then went through and hand painted a few pieces that were left out of foils. I toned with a 7P and 9V in Redken Shades EQ,” she explains.

This light brown hair is universal and is perfect for busy women that crave the low-maintenance upkeep while still allowing them to be trendy with the lived-in look.

#38: Tan Skin Ombre

This light brown ombre was created by Tessa Woods, a stylist in La Jolla, CA. “I love the sun kissed balayage and chic style,” she states.

Woods recommends using Oribe Bright Blonde purple shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair from getting brassy as it grows out. Plus, this product is great for hydrating your hair and giving it shine. “I would also recommend Davines’ All In One Milk as a leave-in spray to help nourish and protect your hair from thermal heat,” she explains.

Readers Also Ask

  • Golden brown and light brown are very similar and may sometimes appear the same, but they actually share different undertones. Golden brown hair has hints of golden tones in it, which will appear more rich and warm next to just a neutral light brown. Light brown hair can have many different types of undertones, so it’s important to research what shade of light brown hair you’re wanting to achieve.

  • Light brown hair is a fairly common hair color. Red hair is the rarest hair color, closely followed up by blonde hair, then light brown hair, and lastly black hair. Though brown hair, in general, is ranked one of the most common hair colors, light brown hair falls into that category.

  • Brown hair is universally a flattering hair color, but it’s important to consider your skin’s natural undertones and the different undertones in brown hair before picking the right shade for you. If you have lots of warm tones to your skin (red/pink) then you would probably want to go for a warmer brown such as golden brown. If you have a lot of cool tones to your skin (blue/green) then you would probably want the same for your hair, such as ash brown.

  • Dark blonde and light brown are sometimes considered the same because they do appear very similar to the naked eye. Blonde hair will hold lighter, golden tones whereas light brown hair will have even more warmth and depth to it. Brown hair has undertones of red to it, whereas blonde hair is missing that pigment.

  • A level 6 is considered to be a medium brown hair color. On a scale of 1-10, a level 1 is the darkest black and a level 10 is the lightest blonde. A level 5 would be considered a medium brown, making a level 6 just below that, a light brown. Blonde levels are typically considered anywhere between levels 7-10.

  • Light brown is composed of a mix of complementary colors that cancel each other out. For example, orange and blue could be one way to achieve a light brown color. When thinking about color theory and looking at the color wheel, any opposing color on the other side of the color wheel will create a brown color. It helps to add the lighter color first before the darker color when trying to achieve a lighter color overall.

  • The rarest shade of brown hair is lighter browns and browns with red undertones in the hair. All dark hair (brown/black hair) hold some red undertones, but if the hair naturally appears to have a light red hue to it, that’s how you know it’s one of the rarest brown hair colors. Red hair is the rarest hair color in the world.

Posted In: Brunette Hair Hair Colors