Brown Hair Colours: 10 Brunette Shades from Dark to Light

Gorgeous colour shades for brunettes you simply have to try

woman with wavy brunette hair tilting her head to the side and cupping her chin with her hands

by Sarah Joan Ross

Think blondes have more fun? Forget it! Check out the ten coolest shades of brunette hair from espresso to milk chocolate, burnt sienna, and beach brown to tawny — you’ll never hear the words ‘mouse’ and ‘brown’ in the same sentence again.

beautiful brunette smiling woman portrait lifestyle

Shades for dark brown hair
1. Espresso hair colour
Can’t wake up without your morning shot of caffeine? Well, let’s extend this to the richest hair colour around. It’s dark, bold and totally luxurious. The key to getting this brunette shade to work is to ensure you sport an intense shine — so keep hair in tip-top condition.

Young woman with straight hair on dark background

2. Dark chocolate hair colour
If you’re going for a rich dark one-tone shade — then  it’s important to factor in your height and hair length (too dark and long for anyone petite and it can swamp you) Keep hair lustrous by using a colour deepening shampoo — it’s aptly infused with cocoa and evening primrose oil for the ultimate shine.

Portrait of shy timid smiling beautiful woman looking down expression over gray studio background.

3. Chocolate brown hair colour
This hue is perfect for playing with the blonde ombre hair colouring technique. Switch it up with a modern twist – instead of going from light at the roots to dark ends go from dark at the top, graduating to lighter ends. Use a volumising mousse for a natural-looking, non-scrunchy tousle. (3).png

Shades for medium brown hair
4. Smoky ash brown hair colour
Add subtle smoky greys for an instant style update to brunette hair. Hairstyle ideas range from adding icy highlights as a contrast, a lightning ash blonde tint, or just a hint of smoke on the ends. It’s super low maintenance as there won’t be too much demarcation, meaning fewer roots (and hair appointments!). Plus, it also streamlines out-of-control, thick and wavy hair types.

5. Unnatural bright hair colours
Streaks of not-so-natural colour like ultraviolet, blue and maroon can offer some serious hairstyle inspo to bored brunettes. Check with your colourist, as you might need some blonde hair-dye added in before, but, it can be done loud and proud or super subtly, and the results are so insta-glam.
As extreme colour changes fade fast, take out some insurance by using an after-colour conditioner to add longevity to any colour-treated hair. Pastel shades work well with lighter eye colours while richer tones can really make brown eyes pop. 

creative and futuristic look of fashion woman with green hair

6. Copper brown hair colour
As if we haven’t had enough of rose gold interior and accessory inspo – we’ve now fallen for it when it comes to our hair colour. It works wonders on brunettes to blonde shades and can be worn as an overall wash of natural colour or streaks — the choice is yours. (2).png

7. Burnt sienna hair colour
Even when hair is drenched in mahogany, auburn or burnt sienna highlights — as long as the base is brunette, it will look uber natural. Green and hazel eye colours really benefit from a pop of burnt sienna.

Cute Smiling Woman with Red Curly Hair. Happy Redhead Girl

Shades for light brown hair
8. Beachy blonde highlights on brown hair
When it comes to spring hair trends, blonde highlights weaved in natural waves through brunette hair offer a great sunny lift to the hair and face. Achieve the wave-tossed look of someone who's been marooned in Barbados – and not behind a desk.
Ask your hairdresser for a dark to light balayage. Or, if you’re looking to lighten up your brown hair with highlights, use our Visibly Brighter in-shower treatment, a hair lightener which imparts a sun-kissed glow in five minutes. Oh, and if you want that beach-tousled hair texture? Spritz in anything described as a ‘sea wave’ spray.

pretty blond oman with big curly hair

9. Bronde hair colour
That pretty brown-meets-blonde — bronde — is either brunette highlights or blonde low lights. Whichever way you want to look at it, one thing's for sure, this light brown hair colour, is best achieved using balayage (the free-painting highlight technique), rather than traditional foils.
The correct tone should be only two-to-three shades lighter than your existing brunette colour. Try our multi-tone revealing conditioner to bring out all of the different tones in this shade. Your colourist will place the colour that suits you best,, to add glow and radiance to your complexion.

Natural young blonde woman looking at camera.

10. Tawny brown hair
When it comes to brunette hair colour ideas — tawny is entirely underrated. The warm, orange-based shade not only brings out the colour of blue and green eyes, it also works well on very pale to medium skin tones. 

Finally, always remember to finish your style with a shine serum to add a pro-finishing touch.

Beautiful girl with long hair

Page Top