29 Stunning Examples of Caramel Balayage Highlights for 2023

Caramel balayage hair colors ↓ Jump to Photo Gallery
Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Caramel balayage is a gorgeous hair coloring technique that delicately sweeps in light and natural brunette colors, usually into a darker base, to achieve an effortless sun-kissed look. One amazing trait of this trendy highlighting technique is how it results in a high-contrast look that beautifully creates a multi-dimensional appearance! Of course, having a balayage also means less maintenance and effortless styling. (It’s easy on your 💰 and your ⏰).

Another reason to fall in love with this color trend is how your hair texture appears more defined and enhanced when under natural, bright lighting. Style your strands with waves or curls for a gorgeous voluminous blend or with straight hair to showcase a smooth transition of colors.

Below, I’ve put together some stunning examples of the delicious caramel balayage hair color trend. Yum!

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#1: Dimensional Caramel Brown Balayage on Long Hair

Opt for a dimensional caramel balayage. Enhancing the caramel highlights and mixing in darker brown tones create the perfect blend. The mix of lighter and darker natural tones paired with a natural soft wave style is my favorite thing about this look. If you are considering a caramel balayage, you should know that a dimensional look can add a lot of depth to your color. But, it can also be done in a way where the dimension is subtle and soft. A caramel balayage is the perfect color to consider if you’re looking for something that’s lower maintenance. Balayage highlights are feathered up to the root creating a shadow, so this look stays seamless as it grows out.

#2: Middle-Parted Caramel Beige Balayage

Try a middle-parted beige balayage for your seasonal color transition! This is great when you want some light but need some depth to balance your skin tone. If you want a perfect neutral hair color, this is your tone!

#3: Dimensional Caramel Brown Balayage

A dimensional caramel brown balayage is bound to look phenomenal on you. Ask your hairstylist for a warmer tone like a red-brown or copper brown for your darker color on top, and a light golden caramel for your end color. It’s important not to lighten all of your ends and only lighten some (which is what makes this more of a balayage technique rather than just a highlight) as that is what will give your hair the most dimension and shine.

Beautiful Long Dark Caramel Balayage Hair with Waves
Instagram @lamacasias

#4: Beautiful Long Dark Caramel Hair with Waves

You can’t go wrong with beautiful long dark caramel hair with waves. One of the best ways to achieve waves is to use a one-and-a-quarter-inch curling iron. When curling your hair, place your hair in the curling iron and curl it. When it’s time to take the curling iron out, avoid releasing the curling iron clamp. Instead, pull straight down with your iron. Once your hair is completely unraveled then release your clamped hair. This technique gives you more of a wave than a curl. Avoid combing or touching curls until completely cooled. Then brush through your hair for beautiful waves.

#5: Solid Caramel Balayage with Curled Tips

If you’re looking for a classic, my go-to is a solid caramel balayage with curled tips. The color always looks natural and grows out beautifully. Especially for natural dirty blonde to light brown hair. Keep in mind caramel tones do fade more quickly. My advice is to pre-book your next appointment for a color glaze about 4 weeks out. Always use professional color care shampoo and conditioner in between salon visits. It will not only extend the life of your color but keep your chemically treated hair happy and healthy.

Caramel balayage on romantic brunette hair color
Instagram @colorbyciarra

#6: Romantic Brunette Colored Hair

Get that beautiful light-catching effect on your natural chocolate hair by getting these sweet and warm highlights! Ideal if you have naturally wavy hair at any length!

#7: Defined Caramel Balayage on Brown Hair

A warm caramel blend on your brunette hair offers you a one-of-a-kind contrast for a more defined and dimensional hairstyle. It’s a universal shade that looks brilliant on all skin tones.

#8: Gorgeous Caramel Balayage with Curled Ends

A gorgeous caramel balayage with curled ends is so yummy! The way the caramel highlights swirl with the dark, natural color is the perfect dimensional combination. In my professional opinion, to go lighter takes patience, so be sure to disclose all your previous coloring services. This way, your stylist can better formulate to achieve the color you desire. Always use a professional shampoo and conditioner to keep your color healthy and fresh.

Dark Long Balayage Hair with a Caramel-Toned Money Piece
Instagram @glorified.hair

#9: Dark Long Hair with a Caramel-Toned Money Piece

If you’ve been looking for a way to enhance your dark long hair, try a caramel-toned money piece. This is a great way to brighten up your hair color without going fully light. And it gives your hair natural dimension and depth. When in doubt, tone your hair one shade darker than you would normally. Toners fade gradually with each shampoo. So, even if it’s slightly darker caramel than you intended, it will soon be the shade you originally wanted.

#10: Stunning Caramel Beige Balayage

Try a stunning caramel beige-toned balayage if you have naturally dark hair. Dyeing your hair with a balayage technique will allow you to have a soft grow-out line. In my professional opinion, highlights are a great way to add brightness to dark hair.

#11: Sleek Caramel Balayage on Virgin Hair

Caramel balayage is timeless and flattering on virgin hair. This look should be achieved by finding a stylist who is experienced in hand-painted highlights. Make sure to show your stylist multiple pictures of the look you want to ensure that they understand exactly what you’re looking for.

#12: Luscious Brown with Strawberry Blonde Balayage

Catch the light on your tresses with this rosy color melt of a strawberry blonde balayage that makes brunette hair even more luscious and shiny! Wavy or straight, this paint job will totally work on you!

#13: Yummy Dark Caramel with Honey Highlights

Get a little bit of glow from a sweetly tinted chocolate hair that will give you a fresh look! Fabulous on any hair length and texture!

#14: Inspiring Golden Brown Highlights on Light Brown Hair

A mesmerizing buttery blonde light brown hair is so silky and smooth, and it will make your hair appear soft and healthy!

The Best Ash Blonde and Caramel Balayage
Instagram @xoxo_balayage

#15: The Best Ash Blonde and Caramel

Ash blonde and caramel hair could be the best instance of caramel balayage you’ll ever see.

#16: Salted Caramel Balayage on Short Hair

An elegant version of the sun-kissed beachy look on a wavy bob with fringe – this hairstyle will look stunning on you if you are looking for a sassy look!

Delicious Toffee Balayage Highlights
Instagram @colour.jade

#17: Delicious Toffee Balayage Highlights

Fall can’t come any sooner with a delicious and refreshing hair color melt. It’s simple yet beautiful and works well with naturally dark hair colors.

Bold Brunette to Blonde Ombre
Instagram @hairgirl541

#18: Bold Brunette to Blonde Ombre

Get rid of your flat hair with a super lovely color melt from dark to light! You’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be blonde without all the maintenance it requires. This look is a beautiful representation of a natural base balayage. Ask yourself where your color is living now. For example, do you have light hair already and the maintenance is too much, or do you have dark brown hair and you’re looking to have more lightness added back into your hair? You also have to consider sometimes if the integral value of your hair can withstand the lightening process on your ends to create this look.

#19: Blended Black to Caramel Ombre

Go for a caramel color melt like a dark chocolate base melted into warm caramel ends. Ask your stylist to balayage your hair first, then color melt for the blended transition. The soft waves were created by using a straightener, which can make your color pop. Balayage grows out natural and is great if you want low maintenance and less frequent salon visits. Caramel tones are a great option for brunettes who want to go lighter but don’t want to go blonde. This color is not limiting. It can work for every hair type and face shape.

#20: Healthy Warm Blonde Balayage on Curly Hair

The best thing about a high contrast between the highlights and the lowlights is that this technique brings out the definition and reflects brightness which will make your curls pop! The curly technique is low-maintenance and perfect if you’re a curly girl who likes to visit the salon twice a year for highlights. Proper at-home care with a sulfate-free shampoo or (co-wash) and a deep conditioner once per week is perfect to maintain the health of your hair. Curly cuts 4-6 times per year will keep your ends healthy too.

#21: Chic Butterscotch Balayage on Black Hair

Opt for black hair with butterscotch balayage! The way the waves and color flow lightly together is super chic and trendy! When it comes to maintenance, consider your morning routine. If you don’t do much to your hair and it has an extra curl, it won’t look the same. You would have to style it continuously to get this look.

Every hair texture and style is so different. It won’t be best on women with curly hair compared to women with a light wave. The same thing goes for the product. Some might have more frizz than others, so a blowdry is very important. When looking for style, find one that goes with the same hair type and texture as yours.

#22: Copper Red with Subtle Caramel Balayage Highlights

Go for a color melt that’s reminiscent of hot caramel apple cider. I love the depth and dimension this hair color has. Hand painting a few pieces of caramel here and there adds a touch of brightness to your hair without taking away from your beautiful base color. Ask your stylist to stick with caramel or caramel with a touch of red. You want the colors to blend together really well. For the base, use a mixture of Paul Mitchell’s RB’s and use PM Shines to tone your highlights. Paul Mitchell’s reds are awesome!  It’s so important to keep your curls moisturized so make sure you’re doing weekly at-home conditioning treatments. I recommend you enjoy an in-salon deeper treatment once in a while, too.

Modern chocolate balayage hair color
Instagram @toniiii_j_hair

#23: Modern Chocolate Balayage

Opt for a subtle balayage because it provides a multi-dimensional effect if you don’t want a drastic change. When your hair color is not strongly contrasting, your color grows subtly providing low-maintenance upkeep. The best hair product for maintaining your color should always be a leave-in conditioner! To aid in defining your layers and curls, a light mousse is recommended to shape your style. Finish your style with a light hairspray and a shine spray.

#24: Sun-Kissed Caramel Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

A sun-kissed caramel balayage on dark brown hair is for women who want to have dimension and contrast but low maintenance! The look is accomplished with balayage and toning to a caramel tone. Sectioning your hair is the easier and cleanest way to get the curl pattern you want! Take inch-thick sections and wrap your hair away from your face twice around, keeping your ends out. In the back sections, switch up the direction to create a very tousled look. Spray your hairspray before breaking up your curls with your fingers, so your hair has time to set and lock in.

#25: Trendy Light Caramel Highlights on Brown Hair

These light caramel highlights on brown hair are such a soft and subtle look but it enhances your natural color with a blended caramel contrast. The coolest thing is how versatile it is, with it still looking natural. This look is great if you are wanting to enhance your natural color, as it adds some depth and contrast without taking away from it. It looks good when styled and when thrown up in a bun, so it’s an amazingly low-maintenance color! For added pop, ask for face-framing highlights!

Muted Mahogany Caramel Balayage
Instagram @glhgmarkham

#26: Muted Mahogany Caramel Balayage

The best thing about a mahogany look is that it was actually a rose gold attempt. Fashion shades will either fade out or turn murky a lot faster than a regular shade will, especially if color-safe products are not being used at home. If you’re into maintaining this gorgeous shade, I recommend a color refresh every 6-8 weeks. This is for your average woman who likes to keep it simple but also fun as well. It’s a perfect fall shade, especially if you’re over the age of 50. Style your look with Electric London preparation spray and smoothing cream before blow drying, then flat iron waves, and finish off with Joico Beach Shake for some texture and shine.

Classy Deep Caramel Highlights on Dark Hair
Instagram @hairbyhiggins

#27: Classy Deep Caramel Highlights on Dark Hair

Try a high contrast balayage with a soft melted caramel-inspired look.  The caramel tones warmed and will compliment your skin tone so well and really help to give you an overall natural glow. Trust in the process. Beauty takes time and it pays to be patient. Trust your hairstylist and the opinions they give you. Balayage tends to look best with a layered haircut, as it helps to showcase the different tones and dimensions in your hair. It’s best complemented with curls or a soft wave style. If your color is accompanied by green, brown, or hazel eyes, then you are guaranteed to stop people in their tracks and make their jaws hit the floor!

Natural-Looking Honey Brown Balayage on Medium-Length Hair
Instagram @xoxo_balayage

#28: Natural-Looking Honey Brown Balayage on Medium-Length Hair

If you want a low-maintenance look ask your stylist to bring the balayaged highlights higher around your face and drop into a halo technique for your sides and back. Choose a caramel tone that best compliments your skin tone and natural hair color. The naturally gorgeous balayaged highs and lows compliment your complexion. You don’t want your hair looking too unnatural for who you are, so stay within the levels you were born to look good in. Keep it simple.

If you’re wanting to have a caramel balayage make sure that the toner that you choose is right for you. The last thing you want is a brassy balayage that’s meant to be caramel. This balayage will last at least 4-6 months but I advise you to come in for toners and cuts every 6-8 weeks to keep it looking fresh.

#29: Dynamic Bronde Balayage on Straight Hair

This is the perfect caramel balayage highlight on straight hair. What I love about this look is almost everyone can pull this off! It gives your hair such a dimension whether it’s worn curly or straight. This look is great if you want to have lighter pieces in your hair but don’t want the every 4-6 weeks of upkeep. It keeps the lighter pieces off your scalp so you don’t have that outgrown look.  As always I recommend a color-safe shampoo to help keep the lifespan of your color longer and a heat protectant to keep your hair nice and healthy.

Posted In: Balayage Caramel Hair Colors