21 Very Dark Hair Colors You Must Try

If you look great as a brunette, why not spice things up a bit by going deeper, darker, and more “WOW!” with your hair color? Here are a few ideas to try.

Warm Chocolate Balayage

Q&A with style creator, Gabriella Direnzo
Director of Education @ Dino Palmieri Salon and Spa in Woodmere, OH

How would you describe this look?

I would describe this color as a warm chocolate with a lot of dimensions. My favorite part about the color is the brightness it gives someone who’s naturally very dark without being too much.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for anyone with a hectic schedule that doesn’t have time to be in the salon every month. Because of it’s lived in look, it’s very manageable and looks amazing even as it grows out!

Bold Sunkissed Tones

Q&A with style creator, Brendon Kiewra
Senior Colourist & Stylist @ Edwards And Co in Sydney, NSW


How would you describe this look?

This look has been designed to add texture through bold, sunkissed tones while maintaining a more traditional styled cut.

I love that this style and color are suitable for a more conservative woman and that it can be restyled to a more casual and comfortable look for many occasions.

Any advice for someone considering it?

When it comes to color care, I always believe a brunette needs as much love, if not more, then your bright blondes. For the more conservative woman with a bit of edge, my go-to products for maintaining this look would be the Christophe Robin warm chestnut masque on a weekly basis and the Oribe Beautiful Color shampoo and conditioner. Styling can be brought down to a brushed out wave with David Mallet’s hair serum for a smooth finish.

This look has been designed for minimal maintenance. It was cut in with a bold baseline and a slightly layered front to soften for everyday wearability. It suits most women and face shapes as it does not envelop the facial features.

Luxurious Dark Brunette

Picture of a luxury dark brunette
Instagram @hdresseronfire

Q&A with style creator, Aimee Jörliden
Hairdresser & Makeup Artist / Chair Renter @ Hairdresser On Fire in Sweden, Helsingborg


How would you describe this look?

This is a luxurious dark brunette color with reflections of caramel pieces. The hair is medium length and to give it a bit more character, I cut some shorter pieces in the front and the sides.

I love dark hair with movement and the hidden reflections in it.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This color works with all different skin tones because is both warm and cool toned. My client has natural movement in her hair, so it will look good even if she doesn’t curl it. It’s a pretty low maintenance color. I recommend coming in for root touchup and trim every six to eight weeks.

I think it’s important to take care of your hair, regardless of what color or cut you have. But with darker hair, you want the shine and reflection that healthy hair gives. Always use Olaplex and a color conditioner that boosts the color (like Evo Fabuloso “Chestnut”) at home to help give a shiny cast. Healthy hair looks best!

Rich Chestnut

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


How would you describe this look?

This is a chestnut balayage. It is a lived-in look because the root stays dark or natural while pops of lightness softly melt into the ends.

I love this look because you have so much depth and dimension. It’s the best of both worlds, dark and light!

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for a variety of clients. The dark root creates a lower maintenance style than traditional foils, making it ideal for anyone who wants dimension but can’t come into the salon as often.

I find it’s a good middle ground for anyone who is looking for a change. It’s a subtle step from going either dark to light or light to dark. For someone looking to grow their hair, it lets you have the lightness without having to bleach the hair every appointment.

This color is full of golden and red tones, so anyone who loves seeing warmth in their hair will love this super rich color!

Sweetly Sunkissed

Q&A with style creator, Danon Christoffers
Licensed Cosmetologist / Master Colorist @ Redefined Beauty Bar Salon in Barrington, IL


How would you describe this look?

This look is perfect for someone with naturally dark brown hair that wants to brighten up some but not be a blonde. She is just sweetly sunkissed.

I love that it brightens and complements her skin tone and melts nicely in loose curls or straight! I shadowed her base to make it low maintenance for her because it won’t have a strong line of demarcation. It’s golden and warm-toned, but not orangey or brassy, which is a fine line for dark brunettes.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is great for many types of deep brunettes because it gives them an option for brightness without being uncomfortably light or ending up super orangey, which is why I think some brunettes don’t think highlights are for them. They just haven’t had the proper shade! Don’t give up.

I mixed Oligo Blacklight Extra and Cool Toned lighteners that give up to nine levels of lift, but also protect the bonds in the hair. Using a foliage technique is very adaptable to many hair types and lengths and is perfect because it retains heat in the foil, but still gives a handpainted feel. It’s very customizable.

I like to make the face-framing pieces a bit stronger to really make my client’s skin glow. I then glossed and shadow rooted her with Keune Semi color because it’s a great line for perfect toning and melting the depth of the base to the lightness in the ends.

To maintain this beautiful feel, I recommend coming in every four to six weeks for a gloss treatment and coming in every eight to ten weeks to touch up the highlights. For this client, I recommended Davines Oi sulfate-free shampoo and Oi conditioner for daily use. When she was towel dried, I used the Oi All-In-One Milk spray to detangle and give some leave-in condition and heat protection.

While curling, I used the Davines No Gas spray to help make the curls strong yet flexible and bouncy. I hate the feeling of a crunchy hard spray. I’m all for a couple of really good products and not a ton to stick under the sink and never touch. With good technique, nothing too light, keeping up with glosses, and good home product use, any brunette can nail this sunkissed look!

Deep Chestnut Brown

Q&A with style creator, Amber Morrow
Licensed Hairstylist @ Three Six Zero in Lethbridge, AB


How would you describe this look?

This is a deep chestnut brown with undertones of gold to give warmth to the hair and added shine!

The best part of this hair color is how low maintenance. If you are naturally brunette, this will keep your ends looking fresh and healthy for much longer compared to highlights!

Any advice for someone considering it?

I recommend this color to people who are trying to grow their hair out because it will keep it healthier much longer. For those who have brown or hazel eyes, this rich brown will make your eyes POP! Darker tones can also help to reshape the facial structure by making it appear slimmer.

As always with any salon color, it is necessary to protect your investment by purchasing a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to help increase its longevity.

If you have a hectic lifestyle and don’t always have the time to make it to the salon every four to six weeks, this color can help extend the time between appointments and save you money!

Fresh & Modern Balayage

Fresh & Modern Balayage hairstyle
Instagram @katienicoleee

Q&A with style creator, Katie Nicole Eddins
Hairstylist @ Entrust Hair Salon in Portland, OR


How would you describe this look?

So this was quite a color correction. I feel like no matter what a client’s age is (she is 68), everyone deserves beautiful, fresh, and modern hair. She had been using a dark brown, almost black box dye at a very ashy level 4 for the last 25-30 years of her life. She had never been to a professional salon and was a little nervous, but super excited. Her daughter convinced her to come see me while she was visiting her granddaughter in Portland.

I spent about six to seven hours with her. I first cut off the unnecessary dark ends with a rough cut, then removed the dark color rinse she had been doing at home with color remover. I then gave her a new root and a fresh, caramel-toned balayage.

My main goal was for her to be able to maintain it when she went back to Florida. I cut about six to seven inches off, then glazed her all over with a rich and fresh caramel hue not fight off warmth, but add to it. This made her eye color and the youthfulness of her skin pop!

The outcome was more then she could have asked for. We were both extremely happy. I finished it all off with the rest of a modern choppy bob that she can let air dry. Her natural texture is wavy, so it’s a perfect combo for her.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This fresh and young look is so easy to maintain and style!

I used a Marcel 1 1/4-inch barrel iron to give her a beach wave, then pieced the hair out with our Seven Brand texture paste.

Dark Chocolate Color

Q&A with style creator, Sarah Garcia
Hairstylist @ The MOD shop Southern Pines in Southern Pines, NC


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a dark chocolate color. This client came in with virgin hair and wanted to elevate and even out her natural hair color.

I love how effortless and natural the final look was. Sometimes all over color looks solid and dull, so I am always looking for ways to add dimension.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This is a great color for anyone who is looking for a color with easy maintenance. The highlight we’re done with a high lift color and were meant to be subtle. This way you have dimension without a harsh grow-out line. The base color was a level darker than her natural color to help her facial features stand out.

I always recommend using a shampoo line that matches the color line. Paul Mitchell color was used, so I recommend using Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair shampoo to help keep the color from fading. It also keeps the hair feeling amazing.

This hair matches many lifestyles and face shapes. This client goes to college a few hours away and was looking for something that could be done every few months instead of every six weeks.

I always suggest not going too dark or light the first time you color your hair.

Darkest Brunette

Darkest Brunette hairstyle
Instagram @maureenkmartin

Q&A with style creator, Maureen Martin
Stylist & Colorist @ Dellaria Salons And Spa in Allston, MA


How would you describe this look?

This look is modern and versatile. The color is darkest brunette, which works for almost anyone who wants rich, glossy hair!

The haircut is great for different hair textures as the length is just past the shoulders at the collarbone, which is universally flattering. The long layers and face-framing angles add shape and texture and are good for removing weight if the hair is bulky. They can also add volume if the hair is fine.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Anyone looking for a fresh, easy-to-style look should consider a color and cut like this. Depending on the hair texture, it can be blown out smooth with a round brush for volume and shape, or it can be worn with waves or curls. It’s also long enough to tie back for those with active lifestyles. This style is flattering for all face shapes and is super low maintenance!

Bold & Different

Q&A with style creator, Rechelle Kirkland
Hairstylist @ The Hair World in Cottondale, FL


How would you describe this look?

My favorite thing about this look is that it is bold and different from the typical styles like balayage, ombré, etc. It sets you apart!

Any advice for someone considering it?

I recommend this look for someone who has dull hair and needs shine, as well as for someone who doesn’t want the maintenance of blonde.

Sultry Deep Brunette

Sultry Deep Brunette hairstyle
Instagram @mad.beauty_

Q&A with style creator, Madison Owens
Hairstylist @ In The Buff Day Spa and Salon in Chattanooga, TN


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as a sultry, deep brunette shade with subtle lightened tones throughout. My favorite thing about this look is how the subtle tones melt so well into the deep brunette and are almost seamless.

This look is low maintenance due to the position of the babylights in the hair. I would advise anyone who wants to venture into a darkened style with some dimension throughout to go with the babylights as displayed underneath the brunette.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I would suggest this style to a client who is looking for something low maintenance. It is ideal for someone who is younger and doesn’t have a lot of grays. This is a good cross between a deep brunette with caramel details throughout, which is a big “want” for women with a brunette style that don’t want to go too dark.

I recommend this to someone who isn’t predominantly blonde naturally, but more so to someone who sits comfortably at a level 5 to 6 and is looking for some depth. This style is perfect for a low maintenance client.

Soft Caramel Balayage

Soft Caramel Balayage hairstyle
Instagram @meghan_bdjsalon

Q&A with style creator, Meghan Tiernan
Stylist @ Belle de Jour Salon in Atlanta, GA


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

I describe this look as a soft caramel balayage. I love how you can be this dark naturally and still have a beautiful dimensional color added that blends so nicely.

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

The products I recommmend are all by Oribe. Use Straight Away on wet hair, Soft Laquer Spray on dry hair before curling, and finally the Working Hairspray to finish it off and for hold.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I always hear clients with very dark hair say they can never add color because it turns red. This is a perfect example of how that is not always true. This is a perfect color for someone not looking to have too much upkeep with their hair color.

Dark Ash Brunette

Dark Ash Brunette hairstyle
Instagram @fresh__hair

Q&A with style creator, Jenna Brandt
Owner @ Fresh in Grayslake, IL


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

This is a very dark ash brunette that fades into warmer dark ends. It’s cool tones meeting warm for a very warm gothic vibe.

The best part about this color is the ability to wear an extremely darker color without washing out the skin tone because of the slightly warmer ends near the face. She will feel stunning even without makeup! The shine you get from going darker is undeniable.

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

This client has level 10 pale ash blonde ends, so I started to process by shampooing her with Formula 18 Copper Toning Shampoo. I LOVE these toning shampoos. They save me time because there is no processing. You shampoo and it’s done!

Next, I dried her and applied Keune Semi 1/2 4 1/2 4.37 equal parts Semi Activator to roots and mid-lengths, then back through the ends. I added Formula 18 plan- based bond builder to the color formula to repair and treat damaged ends.

The key to long lasting color is to shampoo as little as possible. Dry shampoo is your best friend! I recommend Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo. It’s a top seller at my salon. When it is time to shampoo, use luke warm water. Hot water will open the hair cuticle and color will wash right down the drain.

For shampoo and conditioner, I’m really digging a small but mighty line made local (near my salon) called TOR. It’s 97% naturally derived, all color-safe, and texture specific. I’ve fallen hard for these shampoos and conditioners because they perform, are cruelty-free, and made local. TOR can be bought direct at torsalonproducts.com

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This color will look best on medium to thick hair that is naturally a level 7 (darkest blonde) or darker. Keep in mind that a level 7 will show a line of demarcation when growing out and needs to be maintained every four to six weeks. On darker levels, less maintenance is required. Keune’s Semi Color fades just enough for a soft, low maintenance root.

Green, blue or hazel eyes pop beautifully next to a darker hair color. A natural redhead seeking a darker color would look best in a lighter, warmer version of this. Adding the appropriate red tone to the color formula would keep it suitable for skin tones that tend to accompany naturally red hair.

Rich Dark Brown

Q&A with style creator, Sarah Bartlett
Hair Artist / Owner @ The Blonde Bar Hair Studio in Chandler, AZ


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

I would describe this look as a slightly angled, textured bob that is beachy and effortless. The color has lots of depth and richness.

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

I would blow dry using my hands only (no round brush to keep the textured look after drying), after applying Surface Styling Mousse and Surface Bassu Clear Oil while hair is wet.

Use a wand or flat iron to wave the top to mid shaft of hair while keeping the ends out. Pull apart the waves with the hands only. To finish, use Surface Sea Salt Spray or Surface Styling Hairspray.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is great for the client that is low maintenance and on the go. I say this because it’s easy to rough dry the hair at home and it doens’t take much time to wand. The waves don’t need to be perfect, plus you get wear it the next day and it will look even better!

I think this haircut and style works for all face shapes, however keep in mind that if someone has a rounder face, you may need to angle the front a little more to take away from the roundness. If the guest has a long face, you can add slight framing in the front to soften her features.

Glossy Dark Chocolate

Q&A with style creator, Lucy Preston
Hair Specialist @ Mobile Hair by Lucy in Bath, UK


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

This look is double take-worthy because the shine is so fabulous. My favorite part of its beauty is its simplicity. It’s amazing what an all over glossy correct color choice can do!

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

I used Wella Koleston Perfect to color.

I recommend TiGI Bed Head Color Goddess shampoo and conditioner to maintain color the best way possible. To recreate the overall finish at home, I recommend using Bed Head Blow Out throughout the mid lengths and ends and Bed Head Small Talk prior to drying.

Use a medium-sized round brush or a hot brush to blow dry. Finish using Blow Out again or After Party!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look for someone with naturally dark coloring. A dark complexion and warmth is ideal. This color is a dark base and would wash paler-skinned ladies out.

This is also a color for the low maintenance client becayse it won’t fade quickly. I recommend it as more of an enhancer for a naturally dark brunette to add shine and depth to a natural base.

The overall styled look is also low maintenance. A smooth blow dry is always simple but effective.

1. Black Cherry

Add a vibrant cherry color (and maybe a brighter extension or two) to your dark hair and go from “Meh” to “Amazing!” Not sure if this much red would work with your skin? Ask yourself, or an honest friend, if that color were a fabric, would you wear a shirt made of it and feel great?  Yes? Then go for it! If not and you still are craving black cherry in your hair, try a few peek-a-boo pieces instead, well away from your face.

red brown dark hair color

2. Soft Dark Auburn

Very wearable for all but the coolest skin tones, this warm dark brunette looks super rich. As with all color, hair must be in great condition to look its best, so make sure to follow your stylist’s instructions on deep conditioning and other home-care maintenance.

romantic dark hair color

3. Black Violet

Not for the faint of heart, this super deep violet color will look best on cool skin tones (pink undertones rather than yellow). Make sure your brows are dark enough to avoid looking washed out or weird, and consult with a makeup artist to be sure your cosmetic colors enhance rather than clash with your gorgeous, dramatic hair color.

a long violet dark color

4. Darkest Brown

Just shy of black is darkest brown. This shade is on the neutral side, meaning it doesn’t have a whole lot of red or ash, just a nice balance to make a rich, chocolate brown. This would be a great color to try if you’re a medium brown considering going deeper and more dramatic. Why not give it a whirl with a demi- or semi-permanent color?

dark hair color with bangs dark straight hair color

5. Blue Black

I always say if you look good in blue, you’ll look great in blue hair. But don’t worry, this isn’t your great-granny’s blue rinse! If you go for this dramatic look, it’s essential to use products to give your hair lots of glossy shine or it could look dull and a bit like shoe polish.

blue black dark hair color

6. Intense Dark Ash

With all the violet and gray color that is so hot right now, this is a way for the dark-haired beauties to take part in the trend – go for a dark color that is so ash it almost looks gray. This color is reserved for the coolest skin tones and complimentary makeup is an absolute must.

ash brown dark hair color

Calling all brunette bombshells!  Do something fun with your hair and go from “ho-hum” to “HOT!” with one of these eye-catching dark colors.