50 Best Caramel Highlight Ideas for Every Skin Tone

Avery Hunt
Avery Hunt Hair Colorist

Caramel highlights are just like they sound with the light, creamy shade, much like Werther’s Originals candies. Like the candies, caramel hair color and highlights can be fused in many ways like caramel with dark chocolate. No matter your complexion, hair type, or natural hair color, a warm caramel hue can complete your look! Whether it be a subtle pop of caramel against some darker pieces or an all-over color, there’s always a way to add highlights to your life! Whether it’s a subtle warmth or something extra contrasty, there’s always a way to incorporate one of these yummy caramel highlights into your look!

Beautiful Butterscotch
Instagram @m_lolo_14

#1: Butterscotch + Caramel Highlights

These sweet, warm caramel streaks provide a stunning contrast that creates a deep and dimensional look for her long brown waves.

Short A-Line Dark Hair with Caramel Highlights and Textured Waves
Instagram @thehairloft256

#2: Short A-Line Dark Hair with Caramel Highlights

Short a-line dark hair with caramel highlights is a youthful and bouncy take on a traditional bob. You may feel nervous about going shorter, but this take on a traditional bob still plays it a bit safe. Knowing this shape preserves length around your face and chin is important. A balayage is also a great way to add extra pizzazz to your bob.

#3: Caramel Balayage Highlights with Loose Waves

Try caramel balayage highlights with loose waves to create dimension in your locks. Caramel and honey tones are a beautiful way to add something interesting to brown hair. If you get bored with your single-tone hair, add soft sun-kissed pieces. I recommend curling your hair after a lightening service. This way, you can see the contrast that was created. Use an inch-and-half-curling iron for extra body that accentuates the light caramel highlights on brown hair for the best results. My favorite is the T3 Single Pass Curl.

Subtle Balayage for a Short Caramel Brown Bob with Choppy Ends
Instagram @hairbyaldona

#4: Subtle Balayage for a Caramel Brown Bob

If you want a soft change, this subtle balayage for a caramel brown bob might be what you’re looking for. Adding soft copper highlights to any brunette is a great way to create dimension. My favorite technique would be a soft hand-painted highlight or a regular balayage. For maintenance, get a glow or toning appointment every 8 weeks to keep the vibrancy and shine.

Dark-Rooted Caramel Bronde Ombre Hair Highlights on Medium Cut with Loose Curls
Instagram @lockaholic17

#5: Dark-Rooted Caramel Bronde Ombre Hair

If you want lightness in your hair, try a dark-rooted caramel bronde ombré hair color. Do this instead of highlights. Dark roots with an ombré effect in the hair can extend the time between appointments. The grow-out is soft and natural. This technique of coloring is suitable for all hair types and textures.

#6: Warm Caramel Blonde Balayage Waves

Ask for a warm caramel blond balayage with waves if you have brunette hair and want to add a subtle contrast. When you add lightness, it will create this beautiful soft effect. This will add dimension to your hair color. Balayage is a great low-maintenance color technique. It’s perfect for a small change that has a big impact.

Mid-Length Chestnut Brown Hair with Caramel Face-Framing Highlights and Layers
Instagram @sergistylist

#7: Chestnut Brown with Caramel Face-Framing Highlights

Mid-length hair with caramel face-framing is perfect for adding warmth to the face. The mix of the chestnut base and the color of caramel highlights depends on the desired outcome. For a subtle change, go for warm caramel highlights close to your natural hair color. For a more dramatic look, color several shades lighter than your natural hair color. This style offers lots of movement and depth to your hair.

Light Caramel Balayage on Light Brown Hair with Highlights for Long-Length Cut with Jagged Ends
Instagram @glowxgigi

#8: Light Caramel on Light Brown Hair

This light caramel balayage is a beautiful shade for light brown hair. It gives it a sun-kissed and beachy-inspired look. The balayage technique includes strategically placed highlights throughout the mane. They lighten towards the ends, creating a natural, dimensional look. This is perfect for long-length hair with a jagged-edge cut, adding texture and movement. This color will take some time and effort to maintain, as the warm hue can start to get brassy.

#9: Latte Brown with Caramel Highlights

Ask for a latte brown with caramel highlights on medium-wavy hair. It’s a great choice for those looking to add a bit of lightness and warmth to their look. This is a subtle color combo that’s both modern and versatile. It’s a great option if you want a color that will warm up your skin complexion without going too light. For the best results, find a colorist who can do a balayage. You’ll get that natural-looking color blend.

Chocolate Caramel Brown Balayage Highlights with Curly Ends on Mid-Length Dark Brunette Hair
Instagram @bb.styles.fs

#10: Chocolate Caramel Brown Balayage with Curly Ends

Try a new style like a chocolate caramel brown balayage with curly ends. Dark brunettes with chocolate and caramel balayage pair well with many different skin tones; however, it’s important to tone the highlights a complimentary tone for your skin tone and eye color. For example, copper or amber is great for a peachy undertone; golden or honey tones are ideal for pink undertones. A subtle balayage is great for any woman who wants to try something different without the upkeep of something high maintenance. My favorite technique for executing a soft look is a teasy highlight; it’ll be flawless and subtle.

Shadow-Rooted Golden Blonde Caramel Highlights on Dark Brunette with Thick Hair
Instagram @salon527nj

#11: Golden Blonde on Dark Brunette Hair

This stunning golden blonde on dark brunette hair can pack a powerful punch! An effortless look like this one is perfect for those summer vibes. Balayage hair trends have stayed popular because of their low-maintenance nature of it. The best way to upkeep the tone is to go in every 8 weeks for glossing treatments. This will ensure the blonde stays vibrant and leave you with an easy fade out.

#12: Brown Stacked Bob with Caramel Blonde Highlights

A brown stacked bob with caramel blonde highlights is a great option for straight, fine hair. Ask your colorist to create a combination of dark brown and light caramel. It will flatter your unique complexion. To get the most out of this look, your colorist can mix light and dark pieces throughout the cut. This variation in tones will create dimension and texture in your layers. With the proper upkeep, this look can last long and give you a beautiful, glowing complexion.

Warm Caramel Blonde Highlight Accents for Long Hair and Soft Waves
Instagram @theimagesalon

#13: Warm Caramel Blonde Accents

Warm caramel blonde accents are a great way to bring warmth to long hair with subtlety and texture. This color is achieved by placing warm highlights in the hair in shades of light and dark blonde. The technique is one of the best options for those looking for a natural-looking blonde color. And for those who want to go lighter without making a dramatic change. Warm caramel blonde is also a great go-to for creating soft waves for long, straight hair.

Chunky Caramel Highlights with Face-Framing Layers for Dark Brown and Medium-Length Hair
Instagram @jmcbeauty

#14: Chunky Caramel Highlights with Face-Framing Layers

Chunky caramel highlights for dark brown hair can create a trendy look. This color will give you warmer, richer tones for days! Caramel highlights are one of the hottest trends right now. They can be easily tailored to fit your unique style. If you have dark brown hair, the highlights should be applied no more than two shades lighter. Do this to your natural color for a subtle yet effective color upgrade.

Dimensional Curly Caramel Hair Highlights for a Medium Layered Haircut with Bangs
Instagram @curlssebeauty

#15: Dimensional Curly Caramel Hair

Dimensional curly caramel hair with a bold bang is a fun way to add shape to your curly locks. This is perfect for people with wider foreheads; a bang can soften your features. Adjust your tone to a caramel brown hair color by adding soft copper highlights. I love this option for naturally darker bases. It’s a great way to keep the health of your curls intact while going lighter.

#16: Caramel Blonde Pieces for Dark Hair

Try a stunning highlight like this caramel blonde pieces for dark hair. Caramel bronde is a subtle way to add dimension and depth to your flat hair. Focusing the highlights on top can create enough contrast to make the tips look fuller and longer. Be sure to communicate with your stylist regarding placement.

Trendy Mid-Length Shag with Caramel Highlights
Instagram @hairbyelvisp

#17: Trendy Mid-Length Shag with Caramel Highlights

Try a shag with caramel highlights for an effortlessly chic look. The shag cut is created by cutting shorter layers on long hair, giving your hair volume and lots of texture. Accentuate the texture and movement by adding caramel highlights. The pockets of depth (darker hair) and swirls of light create that easygoing textured style. Air drying and using a mousse and texture cream will create natural movement. Adding beachy waves and finishing with texture spray will help add a rocker edge.

Iced Coffee Brunette
Instagram @diogo.migli

#18: Iced Coffee Brunette

Go lighter this season without going fully blonde with this beautiful blonde color melt. Style with loose subtle waves and choppy ends for a fresh, lightweight look! Just like your favorite flavor of coffee, there is a shade of caramel for you.

#19: Dark Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

These delicious dark brown hazelnut pieces on a deep brunette hair prove how combining these shades can be so enticing. The result is super pretty, rich, and attention-grabbing!

Caramel Highlights on a Chin-Length Bob
Instagram @nacirsomera

#20: Caramel Highlights on a Chin-Length Bob

Brighten a chin-length bob with caramel highlights! Shorter hairstyles can benefit from warmer caramel syrup tones; these caramel highlights are a great example. Focusing the bulk of the lightness towards the face compliments the angle of the cut while keeping the shorter layers in the back from appearing “tiger-striped.” Stylist Tip: “Tiger stripes” is what stylists call it when hair under 3 inches is highlighted. This can create the appearance of having tiger stripes in your hair – and not in a fun, creative way.

Mocha Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
Instagram @gustavomigli

#21: Mocha Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

A timeless shade of caramel that flatters any natural hair color out there – this caramel highlights hairstyle and creates a dimensional look. Finished with wavy ends, this style is best on medium to long hair length and can be done on any hair type.

#22: Salted Caramel Highlights

This look is a subtle beachy style with hints of bright blonde with mostly caramel highlights and a dark underneath to add depth and the appearance of fullness. The best thing about the cut is that her hair is very fine, so we blunt cut the ends and framed her face with a long layer to appear fuller and voluminous. I love how the colors blend and show off with the soft curls for the caramel highlight.

This look would be perfect for someone with fine hair and 50% or more grey, looking for easier upkeep. This caramel hair color goes great with tanned skin, so it’s perfect for this sun lovers.

#23: Cute Short Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

This style is a lobbed caramel balayage. The greatest thing about this particular style is the caramel color blending outcome. Her natural root color was the perfect base. I achieved this beautifully blended effect using a painting method and fine baby lights.

Short hair may seem less work, but depending on your hair type, it can also mean more work! Now don’t let that scare you. That’s nothing a little dry shampoo and styling paste can’t fix with this particular length and style. Someone who doesn’t want to wash their hair often can also maintain this style or modify it further and further from their last wash day. Shades of caramel blend well with brown hair color.

Sexy Ash Caramel Highlights
Instagram @luistaylor_

#24: Ash Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

This look is for those looking for something slightly natural without changing the natural tones of their hair and using a modern style in natural colors, caramel ash. It is possible to do the styling with natural waves by applying a product such as Kevin Murphy motion lotion or styling with curl iron and applying sea salt from Davines and finishing with a little dry texture of Davines to give more texture.

#25: Trendy Bronze Caramel Highlights

These are bronze caramel highlights. It’s still rooted like an ombré but has more thin highlights transitioning the depth at the root into the light at the ends. This creates a softer version of a traditional ombré. Less painted, more like she was at the beach. The greatest thing about this look is how effortless and pretty it is. For me, pretty never goes out of style, as it’s timeless. This is a look anyone can wear because of how soft it is. I also love how the soft caramel waves I created complement the color.

This specific look is great for someone who likes a little warmth in their hair. Typically, the natural base color grows flat, so these caramel ribbons warm up and enhance a flat base. I also feel that caramel tones compliment women with olive skin tones well. The sombre look is great for the girl who doesn’t want to come into the salon a ton, as it is supposed to be “lived in.” I touch up some of my girls every 4 months! I often call this look recession highlights!

#26: Modern Pixie with Caramel Highlights

This is an edgy yet modern look that plays with shades of caramel. My favorite thing is the texture of the haircut. It allows it to be fun if you decide to spice it up with some pomade, or it can look more modern and professional if you lay it down! The color of the caramel hair highlights creates a playful look!

You will want some fiber pomade if you want to add more texture. The stickiness will allow your hair to stick up while giving some hold and not being too heavy. This look is great for anyone because it is so versatile in how you can style it!

Medium Brown Hair with Custard
Instagram @pk_hair

#27: Medium Brown Hair with Caramelized Tones

This look embodies those summer vibes that every brunette woman looks for. The blend of natural color and the sunny caramelized waves creates the perfect setting for any occasion. The greatest thing about this hairstyle and caramel hair color is the uniformity of darkness and light. This cut is classified as the “modern bob,” which women wear everywhere. This cut allows a length in the front to play with but also releases the weight in the back.

This look is universal for all shapes and personalities of women. However, all changes to your hair require a certain level of maintenance. This Caramel Dream is great for a wash-and-wear look so that styling can be minimized depending on the client’s hair texture. Color maintenance varies for each client. Some prefer having more of a lived-in and rooty look, while others can’t stand to see an inch of regrowth. Above all things, the product is key to styling and maintaining caramelized hair color.

#28: Yummy Chocolate Brown with Creamy Caramel Highlights

Go for a classic combination of chocolate and highlights with creamy caramel additions. It looks so healthy and shiny. Ask your stylist to use Wella to achieve this stunning chocolate hair with caramel highlights.

#29: Chocolate Caramel Swirl

If you have thicker hair, go for a low-maintenance color and easy to style. Something wash-and-go. Your natural waves are perfect for a pop of caramel balayage and layers. As stylists, we do consider face shape, amongst other things. However, the length is perfect. With The Euphora curl promise, you can embrace your natural wave and have a bit of brightness from your highlighted pieces.

Sassy Babylight Foils & Caramel Highlights Balayage hairstyle
Instagram @suchalizzy

#30: Sassy Balayage Caramel Babylights

This look was created with babylight foils and a balayage. My favorite thing about the look is its subtlety of it. It brings dimension and pops of caramel color to your hair without you feeling like they are blonde. These low-maintenance caramel highlights are perfect for someone who isn’t regular with appointments. I would also recommend it to someone shy about going lighter.

Any face shape could pull off this look. If you pull your hair back often, I recommend placing foils around your hairline. This look was created on someone with fine hair. I used a flat iron to curl the top sections, added Air Control by Aveda, then shook out the curls.

Sweet Caramel Foilayage Highlights hairstyle
Instagram @katiepdxhair

#31: Sweet Dark Chocolate with Caramel Foilayage

This look is a caramel foilayage on a dark chocolate base. What I love about caramel highlights is that they can add natural warmth and brightness to a dark base color while maintaining color harmony. What I love about the foilayage technique is that it allows you to lift through naturally dark brown locks (or even previously colored) hair more quickly than open-air balayage. Yet, it creates the same natural-looking, rooty highlights that make balayage so low maintenance.

These highlights are a great choice for anyone who wants to add depth and dimension to medium or dark hair. However, they are not for someone who doesn’t like warmth in their hair. Achieving highlights using the foilayage or balayage technique is great for clients who want a low-maintenance hair color that looks natural and grows beautifully.

#32: Stunning Natural Brown with Caramel Highlights

This look is an enhanced natural color. I used warm and natural caramel tones to complement her natural hair. My favorite thing about this look is that you can’t tell she has been artificially colored. This could be a natural head of hair.

I recommend this caramel hair color to someone who wants to change their look but still wants to feel like their natural self. This look is best suited for someone with a warm skin tone. Long hair works best to show off all the different tones.

#33: Bolder Caramel Highlights

This look is a bolder highlight versus a subtle caramel highlight. This could be a great “round two” for someone who has had carmel highlights before but is looking to take the next step! I love all the dimensions it has with the different tones against the depth of her natural base. It all melts together so beautifully!

Caramel highlights are friendly to most clients because they are easier to achieve and maintain than lighter ones. This look will require a longer service due to the density and length of the hair and because it’s a full balayage, and a lowlight with a gloss is required. If your client has compromised hair or wants to keep it healthy, I recommend using a bonding system like the Redken PH bonder or Olaplex.

#34: Cool Caramel Highlighted Lob

This is a long bob haircut or lob with caramel highlights on dark brown hair. Lobs are cut so that your hair falls between the chin and the collarbone, essentially creating a look that is quirky, cool, and neither too short nor too long. This effortless cut works with almost every face shape and hair texture, so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to switch up their look in a flash.

Any client considering caramel highlights must think about her way of life by imagining herself with this look and her everyday wear. A cut like this requires maintenance and a little TLC. By TLC, I mean caring for your new haircut and color with proper product use.

Gorgeous Long Hair with Caramel Highlights
Instagram @diogo.migli

#35: Gorgeous Long Hair with Caramel Highlights

This is warm-colored hair with a few sunkissed babylights touched with a caramel hue, all done with the balayage technique. The caramel highlights help to lighten up the warm base color and bring out the wonderful tones and shine.

I used Affinage lite powder with 20vol for the babylights and foils. I then applied Matrix Socolor 5m with 20vol to the hair left out of the foils (the base tone). We processed for about 35 minutes after finishing with the base color. I topped it off with Matrix Socolor 6w for the babylights. I used Olaplex (my favorite) with the entire process. My model took home Joico Keratin shampoo and conditioner, Techitaly Lumina shampoo (purple shampoo), and #3 Olaplex treatment. This look requires regular trims every 2 months and a retouch every 4 to 6 weeks.

#36: Charming Caramel Blonde

These are caramel ombre highlights. I used a foilayage technique to achieve the light blonde tones throughout her ends. This shade of caramel was quite the transformation and took about 3 hours from start to finish, but I love the way the color melts from start to finish and how the light and hues of dark brown sugars compliment her haircut.

The ombre look is easy to maintain and can be refreshed whenever you’re ready! A rounded or square face is the best face shape for a look like this. From the front, the color’s vertical placement helps draw your eyes and create the illusion of elongating the face. It’s always recommended that blondes keep up with regular deep conditioning treatments at home as your hair tends to be more porous and fragile after lightening services.

#37: Mature Black Hair with Caramel Highlights

A delectable treat for your naturally dark hair, these sugary caramel highlights can make any type of hair appear dimensional because of their excellent contrast.

#38: Beautiful Light Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

This look is lived-in caramel highlights in brown hair. With the colors and placement, it gives clients 12-18 weeks before needing to return to the salon. I melted the highlights and smudged the root, giving a classic “I’ve-spent-all-summer-at-the-beach-getting-natural-sun-highlights” look.

For clients with lower hair density, I give a halo layered cut to give some movement, volume, and definition to their hair. I blend shorter layers into longer layers to achieve that and use a curling iron without using the clamp, as a wand gives the perfect boho beachy curl, which looks effortless.

#39: Fresh Honey Caramel Highlights

Delicate and luscious, these soft waves are brightened up and defined more by these perfectly-placed accents on honey caramel highlights on dark brunette hair.

Candy Apple Caramel Highlights on Dark Hair
Instagram @brittdeshair

#40: Candy Apple on Dark Hair

This incredible look was created by adding caramel balayage highlights to virgin hair and finishing it with a long layer cut. My lovely client wanted to go lighter and still have something that would grow out well without looking too bold on her naturally dark hair.

The blend of these freehand highlights is my favorite part of this look. With such a seamless blend, my client won’t have to rush back into the salon at four to six weeks because she sees a strong line of demarcation (grow out). This amazing blend allows her to choose when she comes for her next color service, depending on if she wants to maintain or go even lighter. These caramel highlights are amazing for just about every hair type. With the balayage growing out so seamlessly, it can be very budget-friendly. The biggest thing you need to be aware of when considering caramel balayage highlights is that your highlights will have some warmth in them.

#41: Sandy Beige Caramel Highlights

Bring warmth everywhere you go by adding warm pieces on darker shades of caramel. Combining caramel and blonde highlights and waves on long hair will add a more sultry look.

#42: Toffee Hues for Short Hair

Brunette hair doesn’t have to look boring. Adding these soft brown and caramel highlights gives a kick to your brunette hair and turns it up a notch! What I love about this look is how depth and lightness come into play with the layers and warm tones seamlessly blending in. Any basic hair color will pop out more if you get caramel highlights.

Adding some wispy layers at the back and contouring the face frame allows your hair to move freely and not weigh it down. The final touch is a good blowout with a round brush; remember to work at the roots for some lift and at the ends for a sleek, smooth look!

Chocolate Brown Hair with Light Golden Caramel
Instagram @megandiez

#43: Chocolate Brown Hair with Light Golden Caramel Highlights

Featuring a rich chocolate brown base with caramel highlights that are ideal with any hair length and texture. This caramel balayage on brown hair has warm and bright shades that always work so well to brighten any hair type and add depth, especially when with waves.

#44: Easy Dark Caramel Highlights

Warm lighter shades can give a dark base the depth and dimension it needs. These dark caramel tresses also allow the texture of your hair to be in the spotlight, letting you style this dye job with ease. Get a seductive appearance by toning your balayage hair caramel now!

Amazing Golden Caramel Highlights
Instagram @glayda

#45: Amazing Golden Caramel Highlights

Golden highlights are one glamorous way to secure radiance in long, wavy locks. Its caramel shade that goes well with the darker hue leaves a dimension that’s hard not to fall in love with.

Cute Caramel Brown Highlights
Instagram @locksbythalia

#46: Cute Caramel Brown Highlights

To brighten up your mid-length hair, some cute caramel brown highlights will do the job. It’s a brown hue that gives warmth and brightness to your dark base. Wear it even on a typical day, and you’ll be gold! A chestnut brown or maple brown base color blends well with this shade of caramel highlight.

Soft Caramel on Medium Brown Hair
Instagram @mjstylesbeauty

#47: Medium Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

These pieces of soft caramel on medium-brown hair are ready to dazzle! The balayage highlights shine best under the sun like a legit gem. Finish it with some texture, making it look more charming than ever.

I love doing this for women with darker hair looking for a soft lighter hue or color without going blonde, staying in the brunette world. Caramel highlights include a wide range of colors, from the lightest brown to the darkest blonde shades. Caramel, toffee, and honey are so many pretty tones in between. You can brighten up anyone’s hair that wants some lighter dimension for a pretty sun-kissed look.

Classic Blonde and Caramel Highlights
Instagram @gma_styles

#48: Classic Blonde and Caramel Highlights

Balayage and classy waves on long hair spell out effortlessness and eye-catching charm on every occasion.

#49: Bold Caramel and Red Highlights

Here’s a captivating hair color consisting of caramel and red highlights! With strokes of blonde tint, it also creates a dimension effect. Wear your mid-length, straight locks now with this look for a stunning makeover.

#50: Effortless Caramel Highlights on Mid-Length Hair

Soft waves are great for adding character to medium-length hairstyles. Paired with the right accents, it can also bring out your edginess and spunk.