17 Stunning Photos of Dark Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

Enriched with breathtaking dimensions, dark brown hair with blonde highlights is the closest thing to divine beauty! Matching your luscious brunette locks with sweet and bright honey highlights unlocks a new world of definition and movement for your hair.

Plus, your mane also gets to have an envy-inducing contrast and radiance created by the opposing dark and light tones that are beautifully intertwined in your strands! This way, you’ll be free to style your hair however you want and still get a voguish result. A sophisticated updo, a lazy-day top knot, some loose boho-braids, or even simple beach waves – this rich hair color combination will get you excited to play with your hairstyle day after day!

All of these wonderful benefits you can get without the hassle of too much maintenance and salon visits! Unleash your hair’s full potential when you try one of these trendy dark brown hair with blonde highlights!

Silver Blonde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Silver Blonde Highlights
Instagram @genolevisalon

X-Men’s Storm better watch out ‘cos we got a new bad ass in town!

Dark Blonde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Dark Blonde Highlights
Instagram @martys_salon

This is the low maintenance hair color that you didn’t know you need! Take that brown from dull to delectable with bronde highlights.

Thin Blonde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Thin Blonde Highlights
Instagram @brushedwithlove

Get that elegant mane that you’ve always wanted! Earth tones work best with a few highlights as created by colorist Camille.

Ash Blonde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Ash Blonde Highlights
Instagram @ninodarenaerinmills

Go from zero to hero with dusty babylights. Stylist Nino added waves to emphasize the different tones and colors reflected on this wonderful color job.

Dark Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Caramel and Blonde Highlights
Instagram @cristiane_hatsuko

Beautiful and delicate loose curls towards the tips of any long hair as striking as this will surely illuminate your look.

Brown Hair with Champagne Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Kendall Wimberly
Stylist @ The Woodlands Hair Elite in The Woodlands, TX

How would you describe this look?

It’s a natural low maintenance balayage, and the best thing about it is that it’s the perfect mix of being sunkissed and dimensional. You can wear it all year around without worrying about changing up it for winter or summer.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Sometimes having such a dark root color is not that easy to transition into color as bright as this, so it’s important to have patience! Also, I would recommend this type of balayage to anyone who has a super busy lifestyle! (being a mom, travelers, nurses/doctors, etc.) It’s so low maintenance that normally my clients with this type of color can come and see me as little as twice a year and having the right product is key in maintaining a fresh look all the time!

Platinum Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Leah Taylor
Owner & Senior Stylist @ Smoke + Mirrors Salon in Baltimore, MD


How would you describe this look?

This is a very popular and trending look. It is an ash blonde balayage “look.” Balayage is the actual technique for highlighting in which lightener is hand painted onto the hair for a natural-looking highlighted result. There are so many color combinations for dark brown hair with blonde highlights because of the many shades available for blonde hair color.

You can only achieve about 4-6 levels of lift with this technique. In order to achieve the highest level of lift, especially to get to an icy blonde like this photo, I actually used a foiling technique with Oway Hbleach, which is an ammonia-free cream lightener that is more gentle on the hair. After lightening, a combination of melting toners was used to create a more natural blend. Because of its natural blend, it grows out more gracefully than traditional foil highlighting giving a boho, fresh from the beach look.

The cut is a highly textured lob. The layers have been kept on the longer side with weight taken out from the underneath. That allows for a soft, effortless shape that not only grows out gracefully but is also easy to style. I used O&M Surf Bomb, which is a buildable sea salt spray all over her damp hair as well as Oway Glossy nectar, a lightweight rebuilding oil, on her mids-ends before blowdrying. Once dry, I used a 1.25″ curling iron to achieve the natural wave, alternating curling directions, making sure to curl away from the face in the front, while leaving the ends of the hair out of the iron.

Any advice for someone considering it?

It is important to realize what your hair is capable of. The health of the hair is most important.

If you are a dark brunette naturally, it can take many hours and possibly several appointments to achieve this color combination. The internet has made the job of a hair stylist much harder. It is important to have an honest consultation with your stylist to find the best method to achieve realistic goals that are not only in your price range but will also be something you can and will maintain. It is easy to see the finished look online and think that it was an easy process to get there. Not usually the case!

Yes, the first appointment could take 3-7 hrs and be a very expensive appointment, but the maintenance ends up being less work once you get there. You may just need a toner with your next appointment and only need to do the whole process 1-2 times a year. With the style, it can also age through several days without having to shampoo. That is a bonus! It is important to always care for those lightened ends. Shampooing less, while adding an intensive mask and/or protein treatment once a week will be key in at home hair care. Always making sure to use a heat protectant before using heat as well.

Red and Blonde Highlights

Red and Blonde Highlights
Instagram @awedeewolff

Q&A with style creator, Autumn Wolff
Professional Cosmetologist @ London Calling in Roseville, MI


How would you describe this look?

This was something new and fun for my guest to do from her everyday norm and what work would allow. We were “foilayage-ing” her hair blonde all summer long and she was ready to go darker for winter. She wanted something fun and vibrant instead of going back brown. She suggested red lowlights.

We at London Calling Salon use Itely Hair Color and they have the most beautiful permanent red hair color line so I was confident no matter which red she picked it would look beautiful. We went with a vibrant Violet Plum lvl 6-7 red and piggybacked it with an Intense Deep lvl 5 red to support the richness of one and intensity of the other all while touching up her highlights and toning them light neutral blonde.

I love the range of creativity of placement (you can make it tasteful for work or really make it stand out depending on how much purple or red you use).

It’s something fun to do with your hair when you work at a business that doesn’t allow “unnatural colors”. It dances on that line just enough to give you something exciting and new without offending anyone at work.

The salon I work at is known in our area for our work with Direct Dyes (Galaxy Hair, Unicorn Hair, etc.) which only a minimal amount of people are actually able to do. So, for our guests that want something fun without being too extreme for work, this is usually something fun to suggest.

As for the cut and style, she did have a short, angled bob for a while and now she is growing it out so I have been texturizing her ends for a softer look (she has very thick hair) and gave her a softer blowout with SexyHair products (their Love Oil and Luxe Blow Out Spray).

Any advice for someone considering it?

First, I would talk about maintenance. With reds, everyone knows they fade a little faster than most, so you have to be a little more mindful of your everyday routine. If you are a person who washes their hair every day I would not suggest you go that route because every time you wash your hair the vibrancy of the red becomes less and less. But if you don’t and decide to do it there are are two things to always keep in mind to keep the colors from fading faster and keeping them vibrant: heat and alcohol.

Try to avoid using a lot of heat (cooler temps for washing, minimal usage of hot tools but when you do, lowering the temps on your hot tools, religiously using heat protectant products). The products I suggest most are Paul Mitchell’s Hot off the Press or SexyHair’s Hot Sexy Hair heat protectant spray.

Avoid products with high amounts of alcohol in them like hairsprays, mousses, etc.. Those will help draw the color out and decrease vibrancy. I tell them to check the ingredients and if alcohol is in the top 3 avoid using or use sparingly.

I think all hair types, faces, and personalities could rock something like this. It’s very beautiful any which way the colors intertwine with each other (curly or straight) and placement is always key to your final look. As for choosing the reds to use, of course always collaborate with your guest on what she/he likes most (violet/reds, red/reds, copper/reds). Understand your color line and don’t be afraid to piggyback colors to support one another to showcase their strong suits and add more dimension. As for the client point of view, I always grab the color swatch book and take the color swatches out and place next to the face to see what compliments the best and run with it.

Like I was saying earlier, this particular look suited her best to give her something new and fun when she was ready to go darker from a highlighted blonde and without being too extreme for work.

Light Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Sindy Botha
Creative Senior Stylist @ Vivo Hair And Beauty in Tauranga, New Zealand


How would you describe this look?

This is the perfect combo! Lovely blonde balayage and beach waves. I just love how the color blends so seamlessly. Creating this look, I gave it a nice blowout and used my curling tongs to create the soft waves. Finished it off with a soft working hairspray.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I always advise that going lighter is a process. Depending on what the color level of hair is. Is there any existing color on your hair? All these factors play a part to create the look or a specific look. Always use a good treatment.

This look will be great for clients who don’t have time to come in every 6 weeks to get their hair done. This can be stretched to every 12 weeks, but I will recommend a toner in between just to keep it nice and fresh. The toner can be done 6 weeks after.

Aftercare is very important. I will highly recommend that you use a purple based shampoo and conditioner and a good treatment once a week.

Dark Brown Hair with Subtle Blonde Highlights

Dark brown hair with Blonde Highlights
Instagram @kkpaigehair

Q&A with style creator, Kersten KK Wood
Stylist @ D’Anthony Salon Spa in San Antonio / Helotes, TX


How would you describe this look?

The look is subtle hand-painted highlights on a natural chocolate base color. The highlights were toned to a honey/caramel in order to complement her natural base color and her skin tone. The loveliest thing about this look is how simple and low maintenance it is.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Determine what you want out of your hair color. This look is perfect for anyone, especially those who don’t want a drastic change or those who need a low maintenance color. With hand-painting, I am able to customize the perfect formula and placement for each individual client in order to give them a look they’ll love and that will match their daily hair routine at home.

Icy Blonde Highlights

Icy Blonde Highlights
Instagram @savannajhair

Q&A with style creator, Savanna Grewe
Hairstylist @ The Beauty Bar Salon in Macomb, MI


How would you describe this look?

I gave this color the name “winter white blonde” because my client, Rachel, looked so great next to the snow we were getting that day. The most important thing for potential clients to consider is that this color does not happen on the first appointment, and the maintenance for it is pretty large.

This was Rachel’s third appointment, and she has been coming every 6-8 weeks. Each appointment is different, always working towards being lighter and brighter, without compromising the integrity of the hair. Rachel has very fine, level 6 hair. She’s not super dark, but the thin density of it requires just a little bit more attention and care.

Hair is at its most fragile when wet as well, which is why I like to do 60% of the haircut wet and finish the rest after a great blow dry. Especially with a color like this, the minor details are key. If you have a great color but the layers are too heavy, it totally overshadows the white blonde you were going for. I gave Rachel some longer layers with a little bit of face framing upfront to really amp up that awesome money piece.

I think the coolest thing about balayage/foilage/hair painting is that no two services are alike. I used mostly foils around Rachel’s hairline to really maximize lightness. But because this was her third appointment and her ends were already pretty light, I used a clay-based lightener on zones two and three to gently lift a little bit more without damaging the cuticle. This is different from her past appointments, where I used only foils or straight balayage. But because she’s wanting to be so light and white, foils ensure a great lift that is easily toned to the end goal. This is different for every client, and especially for darker haired gals. Balayage will always produce a warmer tone, so knowing when to differentiate between techniques to give your client what they want is key, even if that doesn’t look like the hair painting videos they’ve been seeing all over Instagram.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The first thing I tell clients when they show me a picture of a blondie like this is that it’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to be cheap. This picture was taken after Rachel’s third appointment, and she has two more visits scheduled before her wedding in the spring. It’s a slow process, and trusting your stylist is going to give you the most out of your service. They want you to love your hair just as much as they do, and slow and steady always wins the race.

Purple shampoo will be your best friend during the time you wear this color. Amika carries a great line named “Bust Your Brass” that I swear by for all my blondes. Both the shampoo and conditioner are extremely pigmented, so you should only use them once a week to avoid getting a gray hue. Also, any non-professional brand of products can really mess with any color, but especially this one. I know you hear it all the time, but a stylist cannot guarantee any color unless you’re taking care of it properly.

A blonde client using Kenra shampoo is going to have healthier, shiner, and more longevity of the color than a blonde using Pantene. Sulfates and parabens really strip out color and toners, exposing the warm tones underneath. This means you can say bye-bye to your beautiful white blonde hair that you just spent four hours and $150+ on. Stylists plead with you to buy professional products, not for their own gain, but to protect the investment you made into your hair and keep it looking great for a long time.

In terms of hair type, a color like this definitely works best on someone with long hair below their collar bone. Although that doesn’t mean it can’t still be beautiful on a bob, just the effect would be different. However, this would not work on anything shorter than that, as the hair would be too short to create a nice blended gradient into the lighter color. A big tip is to make sure that ashy colors look good on you beforehand! Do you find yourself wearing a lot of blues and greens? Or are reds and browns your go to? Also, take into consideration your eye and eyebrow color. Someone with darker, olive skin with dark eyes and thick eyebrows may not be best suited for a light white color like this one. If you’re unsure, your stylist can help!

Remember, this look takes regular maintenance. A client who doesn’t like to come into the salon more than once a year may be better suited for a color with less upkeep. Though balayage itself is a very low maintenance form of hair color, the tone and placement of this certain scenario require touch-ups often. Be sure your lifestyle suits that before taking the plunge, as your stylist wants you to be completely satisfied with your hair and coming back for more!

Honey Blonde Highlights

Honey Blonde Highlights
Instagram @hairlover603

Q&A with style creator, Crystal Imperato
Senior Stylist @ The Upper Hand in River Oaks, TX


How would you describe this look?

I would describe this look as warm and cozy with reflections of honey to really add depth to her darker hair. The cut and style work with her natural wave to keep it simple and manageable. The best thing about this look is all the dimension she now has without it looking chunky or “un-blended.”

Any advice for someone considering it?

This is a look that is great for that client who wants a change but doesn’t want to be at the salon all the time along with also not wanting to spend too much time styling it with their busy schedule. The cut and length work best on thicker hair to keep it controlled whether she wants to wear it straight or natural.

Strawberry Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Chris Hassell
Hairstylist @ L Studio Salon and Spa in Toronto, ON


How would you describe this look?

This look is a graduated bob with highlights. I used diagonal sectioning while cutting which helps to soften and complement the face. The color is bronze rose. To achieve the color, I mixed a light copper blonde with a semi-permanent pink.

The best thing about this look was customizing the color and utilizing Sassoon cutting techniques. I love that bobs are easy to style, always in fashion.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The graduated bob complements diamond, oval, and square face shapes. When cut properly, this hairstyle can easily add volume for women with fine hair. This hairstyle is modern and fashion-forward, but it does require more maintenance. I recommend getting the hairstyle shaped and trimmed every 6-8 weeks. The pastel and fashion shades do fade quickly and will require regular touch-ups. Colored hair requires special care to keep the hair strong and healthy. These include:

Having a clear plan of what direction and goals you want to achieve with your hair. Beautiful blondes and colors are a process and multiple sessions may be needed

Sulfate-free shampoo and leave-in conditioner help keep the hair moisturized while reducing breakage and fading

Olaplex/Fiberplex at-home repair bonding treatments can help give the hair strength

Washing your hair less often is always a better option

Try to avoid heat while styling on bleached hair. If it is necessary, always use a heat protection spray. Think of it like moisturizing cream for dry hands.

Some of my favorite products come from Swartzkopf Blondeme and Moroccan Oil product lines, as well as Oligio violet/blue shampoos and volumizing powder.

Golden Blonde Highlights

Golden Blonde Highlights
Instagram @toritcosmo

Q&A with style creator, Tori Thimian
Hairstylist @ Hair by Tori T Cosmo in Simi Valley, CA


How would you describe this look?

This look is a great way for a brunette to introduce blonde into their life! It adds a ton of dimension to a brunette without going fully blonde. Brunette clients also tend to add highlights to their look as a subtle way to hide their gray hair.

I personally love the beautiful ribbons of blonde on this client which adds so much dimension to a regular brunette color when curled. My client is a full-time mom, so we needed a cut that is easy to get up and go as well as style for those nights out. We went with a long layered with some face framing for texture.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I would tell clients considering this look to think about how often they want to visit the salon for maintenance. Someone who prefers visiting only twice a year may want to consider a more low-maintenance look like a balayage.

On the flip side, as I mentioned before, highlights are a great way for a brunette to take a step onto the blonde side without a full head makeover. They also help hide the gray hair which everyone is ok with! This cut is great for people who prefer the wash and wear look, as well as someone who has the time to curl/style. Long layers and face-framing give you great texture whether you wear your hair natural or styled.

Chunky Blonde Highlights

Q&A with style creator, Arthur Barnes
Co-owner @ Just Roots Color Bar in Bellaire, TX


How would you describe this look?

This look is as much about being fashionable as it is about being practical. My client is probably about 75% grey so these chunky highlights and lowlights not only bring definition and dimension to her hair, but it’s also super low maintenance since the only demarcation we ever see is on the lowlights.

It’s really just about taking what’s already going on with her hair and giving it some structure so that it not only looks beautiful but intentional. This is the polar opposite of the lived-in look. Nothing about this high contrast look is incidental nor sun-kissed. This is color with a purpose, color on a mission.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Make sure you have a great consultation with your stylist to make sure you’re a good candidate. Thinking about hair as a fashion accessory, chunky highlights work well if you like to wear a lot of solids. If you love prints and patterns it can become quite busy, like mixing a striped shirt with plaid pants.

It’s a great look for a round to square face shapes as the verticality of the highlight placement gives the illusion of lengthening the face and you can further contour by keeping the pieces closest to the face on the sides dark (or darker) for a minimizing effect.

For me and my guest, the chunkiness works in our favor, but for someone with less grey, the look can become high maintenance quickly (think dark roots on blonde chunks). On hair with short layers, it can look quite choppy so it works best for folks with long or no layers and chunkier highlights means more lightener which requires better aftercare to keep it healthy and shiny.

I recommend BC Bonacure Time Restore shampoo and conditioner to replace lost nutrients, with a weekly dose of Bonacure Color Freeze silver shampoo to keep the blonde bright and brass-free followed by the Bonacure Time Restore masque, all by Schwarzkopf Professional.

Bronde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Bronde Highlights
Instagram @kristinado_hair

The ultimate brunette! The earth tones really bring out a calming look that flatters anyone.

Beige Blonde Highlights

Dark Brown Hair with Beige Blonde Highlights
Instagram @c2_beauty

Flesh tones on a brunette was done exquisitely by stylist Siitu! Subtle blonde tones seem to pick slightly and this makes the look so playful.