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Dark brown hair is massively underrated, but we’re doing our part to give it the credit it deserves. While brunette hair might be extremely common, it’s more complex than you think! It can have a ton of different undertones, and it can be combined with other hair colors easily to achieve all kinds of effects.

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Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
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Whether you’re a natural brunette wanting to play around or someone with a totally different hair color looking to make a big change, we’ve got you covered! We’ve selected the most stunning examples of dark brown hair from across the Internet to show you all of the different options and get you inspired.

After looking at the photos, consider which shade of dark brown hair color will be best for you, based on our skin and undertone guide. We’ve also found the best dark brown hair dye kits, in case you’d like to make the switch at home, and also included a step-by-step guide for how to actually dye your own hair.

Finally, we’ve got some must-know tips for brunettes, including hair color maintenance, makeup tips, and fashion advice!

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Dark Brown Hair Guide: Contents

73 Dark Brown Hair Color Ideas to Try

All-over brunette, highlights, balayages, and sombrés – there are so many ways to rock dark brown hair, and we’ve found the best examples of each style!

1. Brunette Hair with Caramel Swirl

This gorgeous balayage combines different shades of brown for a rich, sweet look. The bulk of the hair is colored a cool dark brown hair color, with threads of warm caramel adding that transitional brightness that makes the color feel more complex.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@yaradoeshair

2. Dark Brown Hair with Vertical Highlights

For highlights to be good, they don’t need to be plentiful but just well-placed. This stunning curly brunette hair color is touched by vertical streaks of golden brown that give a sun-dappled effect to the hair while also giving the illusion of intense shine and thickness.

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Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

3. Dark Brown and Ash Balayage

This balayage keeps things totally neutral, which is why it works despite the high color contrast. The super dark brown hair is neither warm nor cool, and the same is true for the intense ash blonde balayage, which leads to a harmonious effect.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@_danielledoeshair

4. Lush Brunette Waves

Long hair styled into smooth waves will probably look amazing, no matter the color. That’s why these chocolate brown locks seem regal, though we gotta admit those golden streaks in the mids and ends also help.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@yogacolourist

5. Dark Brown Hair with Money Piece

If you want a dark brown hair color but are also still tempted to feel like a blonde, then this is exactly the kind of look to experiment with. The bulk of the hair remains a dark and neutral brown shade, with a hint of dirty blonde balayage and then a money piece, which is a streak of blonde right at the front that brightens up the whole face.

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Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@yogacolourist

6. Blingy Gold and Dark Brown Hair

This is a heavily highlighted example of dark brown hair, with a neutral, espresso-colored base that’s made blingy and dynamic thanks to streaks and streaks of shimmery gold blonde. It works even better because of the flirty layered haircut.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbyraquell

7. Metallic Ash Brown Hair

Romantic waves and curls would look pretty no matter what, but a metallic touch of ash brings them to the next level. The bulk of the hair is a cool dark brown that combines beautifully with the cool ash shade, and a hint of hair gloss makes it look like molten metal.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

8. Earth Mushroom Brown Hair

This high-contrast look is irresistibly dramatic. It’s a very cool-toned balayage, with cool dark brown hair balayaged over with super-light mushroom blonde tones, which add a ton of shine and lightness without brassiness.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@yogacolourist

9. Espresso and Ginger Hair

Now, this look is spicy! This shade of espresso brown hair is perfectly neutral (maybe even a little cool), so these ginger-colored balayaged streaks add some very warm contrast. It’s the perfect combination of red and brown, especially if you’re wanting autumn hair

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Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@romeufelipe

10. Dark Auburn Brown

This is a more restrained but slightly warmer take on brunette hair. There are neutral, espresso-colored lowlights in there, but the ruling shade is a warmer brown that leans towards auburn with touches of honey here and there.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@_danielledoeshair

11. Caramel-Enhanced Brunette

Even small streaks can have a big impact. The caramel streaks might be fairly thin and concentrated near the front, but because they’re so light and warm, they really help punch up the neutral dark brown hair base.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@carla.jean.styles

12. Mussed and Voluminous Brunette Hair

This look proves that dark, messy hair can be extremely glamorous, as well. The combination of a deep side part, feathery waves, and a lot of volume come together to have a marvelous effect. The base of the hair is a black-brown shade, with caramel streaks at the end that add a bit more intentionality to the look.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

13. Gold-Touched Dark Brown Waves

So pretty yet so simple! The naturally dark brown hair was made a bit more multidimensional with the addition of gold-leaning brown streaks, with a few additional streaks of golden blonde that frame the face.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@mane_ivy

14. Deep Reverse Balayage

You don’t have to give up on the idea of a dark brown balayage just because your hair has been lightened. This gorgeous, deep balayage was achieved on already bleached hair, with the roots dyed an espresso dark brown hair color, and with the mids and ends covered in a cool wash of medium brown and ash.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@carla.jean.styles

15. Bronzed Espresso Hair

Some more metallic hair to drool over! Neutral espresso is deep and rich, so the heavy streaks of caramel bronze along the bottom add multidimensional sheen that is emphasized by the slightly feathery waves.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@romeufelipe

16. Copper and Chocolate Princess Waves

Styling your hair into unidirectional waves is the real secret to feeling like a princess, although a great hair color also helps. The base of the hair is a deep chocolate brown with a copper sombré with very thin streaks that add texture.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

17. Chocolate and Gold with Curtain Bangs

Color and a cut, anyone? We’re obsessed with curtain bangs right now, and this look proves they look great along with a balayage. The hair is a unique combination of cool dark brown that leans a touch towards purple and bright golden blonde highlights.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@ryabchik.moscow

18. Ginger to Dark Brown Transition Hair

Hair color is often a journey, and going from brunette to redhead or vice versa can require multiple steps. We like this combination of cool, reddish dark brown hair with a ton of vivid, coppery streaks all on its own or as a mid-point on that journey.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@alydavishair

19. Brown Sugar Balayage

Sweet and warm but without red or brassy tones – this is a great take on dark brown hair for those with warm or olive undertones. The roots and upper mids are a neutral espresso that gets progressively lighter with a heavy balayage technique. The mids are a medium brown, and the ends are a bright, playful golden-brown sugar shade.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@_danielledoeshair

20. Soft and Cool Dark Brown

If your skin has those cool undertones, then this would be a very harmonious hair color to try out. Though it looks soft and smooth, there is actually a lot of shade variation going on here with deeper, purple-leaning brown hair as well as hints of more reddish auburn.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

21. Airy Dark Brown Curls

If you’d like to change up your brunette hair a little bit, why not try a new variation on styling? These gold-touched chocolate brown locks were styled into small but very airy curls that remind us of a modern Disney princess.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@nina.hair.stylist

22. Beachy Caramel Balayage

If you’re naturally rocking brunette hair color, a caramel balayage can be great for changing up your look, especially in summer, but with a low commitment. These streaks add movement and brightness to a color that can be a little too solid and intense. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@mane_ivy

23. Warm Dark Brown Hair Melt

This look is almost similar to the previous one, but even though the dark brown roots are longer, the coloring is more complex, with a hint of reddish-brown adding warmth at the mids and connecting the caramel ends to the neutral base.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@danielleemilie

24. Highlighted Dark Brown Lob

Dark brown hair doesn’t have to be super long to be glamorous. The metallic highlights over this wavy long bob add all the richness and shine you need to feel like a million bucks!

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@carla.jean.styles

25. Peachy Dark Brown Curls

If you want something a little unusual but still not extreme, this combination of dark brown hair with peachy hand-painted highlights is a winner, especially over such lush curls. The peach blends into the hair perfectly since there is also some understated copper in there, leading to a red-based by still flattering look. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@tabetha_and_co

26. Honey and Chocolate Dark Brown Hair

This sweet balayage has the kind of depth and richness we crave out of a desert. It’s an intense balayage with a ton of thin streaks of honey through the ends, but by letting the dark tones dominate at the roots and mids, it still remains a true brunette look.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@romeufelipe

27. Textured Dark Brown Hair

We love this textured and matte variation on dark brown hair. The deep tones are really in charge here, with a nearly black color that is given dimension in the form of ashy brown streaks. Combined with side-swept bangs and fluffy waves, it’s a modern and pretty look.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@carla.jean.styles

28. Warmed-up Brunette

Feeling a little cold? We like how just a couple of streaks add so much warmth to this gorgeous, neutral-cool brunette hair color. The roots are darker and cooler, but the mids are a mid-brown with chocolatey neutrality. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@carla.jean.styles

29. Extra-Long Peach and Dark Brown Balayage

This is another take on peachy streaks that add a joyful feel to dark brown hair. If you’ve always wanted to experiment with pastels, this is an easy and ever-appropriate way to do it. This look is magnificent thanks to the extra-long layers, but it’d look just as nice on shorter hair.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@kellynaso

30. Glossy Brown Hair Color

As long as you keep your hair shining with health, you don’t need to go overboard with highlights! This cool-toned dark brown hair color gleams with health after a simple blowout, and while there are a few streaks at the end, they are there just to make things interesting.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

31. Autumn Brunette Waves

This red-based brunette look has a complex richness that reminds us of autumn leaves. Naturally more neutral brown hair was given a reddish auburn treatment at the mids and ends, with a few streaks of bronze for lively movement.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@mane_ivy

32. Gently Lit Dark Brown Waves

Soft, gentle, smooth – these are the words that come to mind when we look at this lovely hairstyle! The waves are so natural-looking, and the combination of espresso and milk chocolate shades is creamy and lovely, with a few odd streaks of gold that just light things up.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@mane_ivy

33. Subtle Dark Brown Colormelt

This super subtle colormelt is gorgeous and soft, perfect for someone who wants to feel just a bit more glamorous without having anyone notice why. The roots are a cool dark brown with a touch of red that slowly transforms into a lighter chocolate shade and then turns into a soft golden brown at the ends.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@danielleemilie

34. Straw Blonde and Dark Brown Balayage

A few streaks of straw blonde are all it takes to feel like a beach babe even when rocking dark brown hair. Thin streaks add texture, while thick ones at the front light up the face. The gorgeous loose waves and razored edges are what keeps this look perfectly breezy.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@romeufelipe

35. Warm Boho Brunette Hair

This combination of warm medium brown and dark brown hair colors gives us serious boho vibes, with tousled waves helping as well. Dyed following the sombré technique, this style works because the warm highlights lean towards golden and are themselves composed of multiple shades of brown.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@alydavishair

36. Dark Bronze Bombshell Blowout

Here’s another brunette bombshell look to get you sweating! Ultra-voluminous, wavy, and tousled, this look makes glamour appear effortless. The hair is a rich chocolate brown with a glossy sheen, touched by a few lighter brown highlights that are subtle and barely perceptible.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

37. Shaggy Brunette Lob

This shaggy, layered long bob is a really fun and flirty haircut that’s perfect for making the hair look light yet voluminous. The dark brown hair color, which is carefully highlighted with milk chocolate tones, emphasizes the texture of the hair.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@styledby_debbe

38. Black Caramel Curls

This a unique combination of hair colors that you don’t frequently see in dark brown hairstyles. There is a black base through the hair that leans towards colder, with medium-sized caramel streaks that add contrasting warmth, making the hair gleam.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbynikkix

39. Dramatic Dark Brown Waves

We celebrate all approaches to dark brown hair, here, including the ultra-dramatic ones! This particular look is great because it utilizes many of the potential undertones dark brown hair can have. The streaks here consist of warm, orange-leaning caramel, cool, purple-leaning mahogany, with neutral, espresso brown roots.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@tabetha_and_co

40. Dimensional Dark Brown

Dark brown hair can be made more dimensional without extreme highlighting. In this look, hair that is a natural chocolatey shade was made a bit more dynamic by the addition of soft, low-contrast medium brown highlights.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@danielleemilie

41. Gray-Washed Dark Brown Hair

Now, this is something special! This look celebrates the matte finish with diffused highlights in ash gray close to the roots, and slightly warmer milk chocolate touches at the mids and ends. It feels ultra-youthful thanks to the curtain bangs and thick, brushed-out styling.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@ryabchik.moscow

42. Shiny Chocolate Waves

We love the occasional matte look, but it’s undeniable that shiny hair holds a mesmerizing charm. The brown tones themselves lean a little towards red, which is always lovely, but the real impact of this look comes from the sheen that Brazilian bond builder imparts.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

43. Old Hollywood Brunette

The golden age of Hollywood gives us an endless fountain of beauty inspiration, like this stunning brunette hair look. The deep side part and romantic Marcel wave are timeless, but the occasional caramel streak is a modern touch. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

44. Corrected Dark Brown Balayage

This look is a reminder that dark brown hair dye is a commitment since it’s actually showing us the attempt to go lighter through a caramel balayage. The switch from nearly black at the roots to the more golden tone at the mids was softened by some dark brown shades, but this high-contrast look is definitely transitional.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbybritny

45. Bronzed Balayage

When you combine a lot of shine with dark brown hair, you end up with bronze, a warm yet dark metallic that draws a ton of attention. This warm shade was added to the hair with a heavy-handed balayage that’s not for the faint of heart.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

46. Dark Brown Glam Bob

This look proves that bob haircuts can be totally versatile! The glamorous curls draw most of the attention, so it’s easy to miss that the color itself is a fantastic gradient from muted dark brown roots to a warm medium brown at the ends.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@natalieannehair

47. Golden Brunette

This is one of those balayages that make a brunette feel like a blonde. It’s all about the way that a golden blonde tone is dispersed over bronzed streaks, so even though it’s barely there, where it has been placed is impactful.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@romeufelipe

48. Fresh Dark Brown Balayage

We love the idea of this simple balayage for spring! There’s something clean and fresh about the simple blend of deep, neutral brown tones with the golden brown highlights. Because the highlights are not overdone, the dark tones still get to shine.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@danielleemilie

49. Pop Punk Dark Brown Hair

This gorgeous combination of ash and dark brown is giving us major pop-punk start vibes, both thanks to the colors themselves and because of the amazing feathered cut. The colors are truly neutral to flatter all skin tones.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@mustinnn

50. Grown-out Dark Brown Colormelt

Hair dye techniques that keep dark brown roots in their natural form are easy to keep looking beautiful. This grown-out look proves it with a gradient of brown shades that would look awesome no matter the length of the darkest part at the top.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@jaye_edwards

51. Sun-Kissed Brunette Hair

This is one of the purest balayages we’ve seen in a while. The balayage technique is meant to mimic the natural effects of the sun on the hair, and that’s exactly what this look does with subtle, carefully placed touches of chestnut over dark brunette hair.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@chrisweberhair

52. Dark Brunette with Blonde Money Piece

There is something edgy and a little rock ‘n’ roll about this unusual balayage. This look really focuses on the money piece (the light blonde highlights at the front that have a massive impact on the face). This results in a contrast with the dark brown base of the hair, which ends up looking darker and edgier as a result.  

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@chrisweberhair

53. Honeyed Brunette Hair

This fantastic dark brown balayage works so well because the undertones are just so harmonious. It’s a warm look but without a hint of red in sight! Instead, the ruling shade is yellow, which gives the light brown streaks over the neutral dark brown base a honey-like appearance.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@glayda

54. Blonde Brunette Hair

Can’t decide between dark brown or blonde? Well, you can do both if you want some intense, high-contrast hair. This look features an ultra-dark, espresso base highlighted with a gorgeous cool metallic blonde. A hint of chocolate at the mids does soften the contrast somewhat.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbynathi

55. Flowy Golden Melt

This colormelt is so seamless it’s almost hard to believe it’s real. The transition from dark brown roots to truly golden blonde ends relies on subtle progression towards both lightness and warmth, so it’s definitely the kind of look only an expert can create.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbyfranco

56. Warm and Sleek Dark Brown Hair

Looks can be deceiving. Though this sleek style might seem solidly colored, there’s actually some subtle highlighting going on that makes the hair look as though it’s literally made of metal. The warm shades of dark brown in here are predominantly orange-leaning, which makes this border on copper.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@guy_tang

57. Softly Blended Dark Brown Bronde

This hair looks velvet smooth, which we think is just as good as glossy. This lovely, blended look is actually quite unique because it combines a dark brown shade that has a slight red tint but zero oranges or yellows with a gold-based money piece that’s free of reds. Because the texture is so soft, the result is gorgeous and gentle without a clash. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hair_by_bailey_

58. Simple Dark Brown Sombré

Stunning dark brown hairstyles don’t need to be complicated. This sombré keeps things simple by sticking to neutral shades of light and dark brown and by not breaking up chunks of hair with too much streaking.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@mustinnn

59. Spiced Chocolate Streaks

By contrast, this look isn’t simple at all! The hair has a ton of movement thanks to slim streaks of spicy copper that add warmth to the neutral dark brown base. Styling it into sexy waves makes the whole thing even hotter!

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@megan.e.grimm

60. Graduated Dark Brown Hair with Streaks

Show off some modern Posh Spice vibes with a long and sleek graduated bob in a dark hair color. The cut is a classic, of course, but the slim medium brown streaks add a whole other dimension to it.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@glayda

61. Luxurious Dark Brown Hair

Who would have thought that dark brown hair could look so expensive? This stunning look gets a lot of its impact just from the sheer length of the hair, but the impeccable caramel balayage and the extreme shine of the healthy dark brown locks also play a part. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@glayda

62. Platinum-Touched Espresso Hair

There’s not a lot of highlighting in this look, but what is there is intense. The hyper-light, platinum touches really emphasize just how dark this neutral, espresso-colored hair happens to be.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@tabetha_and_co

63. Cinnamon Spice Brunette Hair Color

Gleaming and complex, this warm balayage is intriguingly spicy. The dark brown shade was enhanced with long streaks of a deep, reddish-brown mahogany tone, but then a few streaks of bright cinnamon-brown at the front make things bright and more playful. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbynathi

64. Double Chocolate Panel Highlights

These even and clean panel highlights remind us of a layered chocolate mousse or cake. The darker steaks, which are more dominant, are like that rich and slightly bitter 70% dark stuff, while lighter streaks remind us of creamy milk chocolate.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbybritny

65. Dark Brown Hair with Shimmering Balayage

What we love about this look is that even the highlights have highlights! The lighter brown balayage over the espresso base is enhanced with touches of gold that make the hair look as though it’s shimmering even without sunlight.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@barbararabelo_

66. Two-in-One Gold and Brown Hair

Can’t decide between blonde and brunette? Why not be both? Dark brown hair on top melts easily into the golden blonde at the bottom for a high-contrast, high-drama, and high-shine look.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@liftedbyemerald

67. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hair

Yet another sweet balayage to get you hungry! The chocolate base is a classic by now, of course, while the heavy-handed highlights of a golden, light brown shade bring to mind creamy and salty peanut butter.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbyydani

68. Fiery Dark Brown Hair with Highlights

If you’re not afraid of reds, and your main goal is to exude warmth, this is how you make dark brown hair work for you. The base is a cherry-tinged dark brown hair color, with peachy highlights that give a bright fiery touch.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@hairbyydani

69. Punky Dark Brown and Gold Highlights

Dark brown hair, especially when it’s truly neutral, is a great hair color for edgy types, with ultra-skinny warmer highlights helping to give a grunge contrast. The styling is also important, and this razored, loosely wavy haircut works well with the coloring. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@wavesofhairbyjayme

70. Falling Through Copper Dark Brown Waves

These waves are imbued with so much flow and movement, it’s like they’re dancing! This has to do with both the styling and the hand-painted copper highlights that contrast against dark brown hair beautifully, adding major glow.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@aaashleee

71. Caramel Truffle Dark Brown

The caramel flows strongly through these chocolate brown tresses, like a rich, delicious truffle. The highlights start at the mids, which guarantees an effortless grow-out. We love the flirty touch of having slightly lighter, more golden highlights near the front!

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@aaashleee

72. Macchiato Ombre Balayage

Before getting into the colors, let’s admire this awesome balayage-ombre hybrid, which isn’t afraid of letting the mids stay mostly dark and doesn’t need those money pieces. The colors themselves are great, with deep, dark espresso roots and milky brown highlights that remind us of the foam on top of an espresso macchiato. 

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@aaashleee

73. Dark Brown with Cherry and Caramel Gloss

We’re finishing with something truly glamorous! This cherry cola twist on dark brown hair features a lot of classy red tones but without a hint of brassiness. The caramel balayage over the ends brightens things up, making the hair look like it’s sparkling.

Dark Brown Hair Color Shades: Brunette Hair Color Ideas
@aaashleee

What’s the Best Dark Brown Hair Color for Your Skin Tone?

Brown is a neutral color composed of all of the main shades in the color spectrum, but different shades of dark brown hair can have different predominant undertones. It’s important to take your own skin tone and undertones into account when selecting the specific dark brown hair color for you.

Determining undertones is not always easy. The major ones are warm undertones (slightly yellow), cool undertones (slightly pink or red), neutral (skin is about equal-parts warm and cool, so it seems clear), and olive (skin that has a slight green-gray cast). It’s important to note that undertones exist on a spectrum and that they usually show up the most clearly on the neck and forearms, while the face is often a little redder.

There are all kinds of tricks to determining your undertones, like looking at your veins to see if they lean more towards green (which means you’re warm) or purple (which means you’re cool) or by comparing your skin to see if it looks better with cool colors or warm colors.

The best way is to train your eyes to see undertones, which is what makeup artists and hairdressers learn to do. Look at your friends or different celebrities and try to see if you can make out what makes the skin tone. Before you know it, determining your own skin tone will be easy! 

Dark Brown Hair Colors for Warm Undertones

If you discover your skin leans towards warm, it’s important to choose shades of dark brown that have a bit of warmth to them as well. Brown touched by gold or caramel shades is perfect, for example.

What's the Best Dark Brown Hair Color for Your Skin Tone?
@ryabchik.moscow

A hint of red can work as well, but avoid browns that lean towards eggplant, which will make your skin look sallow. True neutral browns and even blue-based cool browns will work with your skin, as well, but they won’t bring it to life like richer brown shades – the same applies to neutral, ashy highlights.

Dark Brown Hair Colors for Cool Undertones

If your skin is cool, then those true neutral dark brown shades, as well as ones that lean a little towards blue, red, or even purple are going to look fantastic. If you want some highlights in your hair, ash tones are better, while golds, caramels, or anything overly orange or yellow is going to clash against your skin.

Dark Brown Hair Colors for Olive Undertones

For those with olive undertones, those reddish and purplish dark brown hair colors are very dangerous since they can bring out too much greenness in the skin. On the other hand, neutral chocolate brown or blue-based dark brown can work well, and if you’d like some highlights, opt for yellow-gold or ash tones.

Dark Brown Hair Colors for Neutral Undertones

Finally, we have those with neutral skin, who are lucky enough to look amazing in all shades of dark brown hair! If your skin is neutral, you pretty much owe it to yourself to really have fun and play with all of the possible shades of dark brown.


7 Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits to Try at Home

It’s extremely important that you select a dark brown hair dye that will have an undertone you will love and that will also fit with the condition of your hair.

1. Best for Dark Hair: L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color in 3C Cool Darkest Brown

You cannot go wrong with the timeless Superior Preference formula. It’s a great choice if your hair’s starting condition is already on the dark side: medium brown or dark brown, for instance. What this color will do is transform your hair into a cool, non-brassy, and extremely deep color that is especially nice for cool skin tones.

This range can also help blend out and camouflage gray, though if you have a lot of gray hair, it won’t be a good fit. If your skin is warmer, you might prefer shade #4, which is a neutral dark brown. Order it on Amazon!

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color in 3C Cool Darkest Brown

2. Best for Cooling down Dark and Medium Hair: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Crème in 30 Darkest Brown (Sweet Cola)

We’re obsessed with the depth and richness of this dark brown hair dye. This shade is best for those with cool undertones since it’s a little reddish, but it can also work for neutral and warm skin.

The formula itself is very nourishing to the hair, and since it’s not too heavy on the lighteners, it might leave your hair feeling softer and healthier than it was before you dyed it. We like it best for transforming medium to dark brown hair, but it’ll also work if you have some grays that need covering. You can buy it on Amazon

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Crème in 30 Darkest Brown (Sweet Cola)

3. Best for Total Gray Coverage: Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color, Permanent Hair Dye with Keratin

This neutral dark brown hair dye is our choice for those who are dealing with more than just a few gray hairs. It’ll work for all skin tones, and it could be nice in combination with ash highlights or balayage. This easy-to-apply gel dye is infused with proteins, so it leaves the hair strong and shiny. If you’d like a warmer color, deep rich brown is a great choice that’ll still hide grays. It’s available on Amazon.

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color, Permanent Hair Dye with Keratin

4. Best for No-Mess Application: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour in Dark Natural Brown 4N

If you’re newer to dyeing hair or if you have mobility issues, this dark brown hair dye makes the dyeing process surprisingly easy. This dye has the format of a colorless foam, so it doesn’t leave any mess or streaks, but it’s easy to apply and spread to cover every section of hair. The shade is a true chocolate brown that’s neutral but also very rich. It covers gray hair well and can work to darken even lighter hair colors. Get it from Amazon!

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour in Dark Natural Brown 4N

5. Best for Light Brown Hair or Gray Coverage: L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color in 4 Dark Brown

If you’re a fan of L’Oreal, then this is another great choice for gray coverage or for those with medium or light brown hair looking to go darker. The creme formula is easy to apply, and it leaves the hair soft and conditioned with a dose of collagen. This particular shade is a classy neutral brown that brings to mind dark chocolate, although we recommend dark ash brown if you’d prefer something more neutral without any red tones. Find it on Amazon!

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color in 4 Dark Brown

6. Best for Ultra-Long-Lasting Color: Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Permanent Hair Color Cream in 5.5 Medium Parisian Brown

If your hair doesn’t like hanging on to colors, then this is the dark brown hair dye to try. This formula is fade-resistant for up to 9 weeks, so you’ll probably have to touch up your roots before the ends get even a little dull.

The set comes with a conditioner that offers the hair UV protection and also imparts a gorgeous gloss. You can’t go wrong with any of the colors from this range, but Parisian Brown is our favorite thanks to its truly neutral, ashy undertone. Shop for it on Amazon!

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Permanent Hair Color Cream in 5.5 Medium Parisian Brown

7. Best for Commitment-Phobes: Adore Semi-Permanent Haircolor in #107 Mocha

If you have naturally lighter hair, and you’d like to experiment with going darker, this dark mocha color is a great choice. It has a super gentle formula that enhances shine and adds pigment to the hair, with a bit of a reddish undertone that’s rich and lovely without being overly warm.

Remember that it might not be really dark on your hair if you start out blonde, and it won’t cover grays. If you’d like a more blue-based, neutral shade, pick the shade 100 Darkest Brown, and you can also pick up a few other shades to mix your own custom dark brown hair color. It starts fading after a few washes. It’s sold online via Amazon.

Best Dark Brown Hair Dye Kits: Adore Semi-Permanent Haircolor in #107 Mocha

How to Dye Hair Dark Brown at Home

The wonderful thing about dark brown hair is that it’s really easy to achieve at home. You can often dye your hair dark brown even if you’re starting out with dyed or bleached hair, although you might need to do some color correction first to neutralize really persistent tones.

One thing to remember, however, is that once you dye your hair such a dark color, it is very difficult to remove. If you’re going to make this change, be ready to have to commit to it for a long time, since stripping the hair to try to dye it a lighter color is a process that takes a very long time and can seriously damage your locks.

You Will Need

  • A dark brown hair dye box (or two if you have very long hair)
  • A pair of plastic gloves
  • Hair dye brush
  • Hair clips
  • A shower cap
  • An old loose shirt
  • Conditioner

The Hair Dyeing Process

• First, get yourself ready by brushing your hair, putting on your old shirt and some gloves.

• The next step is to separate your hair into sections and clip it up – the sharp end of your hair dye brush will help. You can separate into as few or as many sections as you need, depending on the thickness and length of your hair.

• Next, prepare your dark brown hair dye. Most hair dye kits come with one bottle of color and another of developer that you must mix together – hopefully in an applicator bottle to keep things easy. Read the instructions since some boxes also come with additional mixers.

How to Dye Hair Dark Brown at Home
@ryabchik.moscow

• Now, unclip the section you’ll be starting with and from it separate out an even small section that you can easily saturate with dye. Apply a dollop of hair dye near the top, and with the hair dye brush or your gloved fingers drag it up towards the roots and then down towards the ends. If you have long hair, you might need to add another dollop or two to cover the hair completely.

• Massage that section of hair a little bit to make sure each strand is totally covered in dye from all directions.

• Next, grab another small chunk of hair from your unclipped section and cover it in the dye. Continue doing this until that entire section is thoroughly covered and then clip it up and move on to the next section, repeating the same dyeing process.

• You might need a second mirror or the help of a friend to get the sections of hair towards the back of your head.

• Once your entire head is covered, pay special attention to your roots. Add more dye and massage it in a little bit, especially ensuring that you aren’t missing any sections along your part.

• Once your entire head is covered, pop on a shower cap and wait between 25-45 minutes for the color to take hold. Make sure not to throw out any leftover dark brown hair dye!     

• Once the time has elapsed, you can jump in the shower to wash out the dye. Don’t shampoo your hair, but you may condition it if you’d like it to be extra soft and shiny once you’re done.

• Let your hair dye and then check it over to see if you managed to dye it all over evenly. If you see any missing spots, apply a little bit more dark brown hair dye to correct them and do the whole waiting and washing thing a second time. 

• Finally, you can lightly blow-dry your hair or let it air-dry and enjoy your new life as a brunette!

A Note for Natural and Bleach Blondes

While you can absolutely use a box of dark brown hair dye on blonde hair, bleached or otherwise, the final result is very difficult to predict, and you will probably end up with a light or medium brown instead of a dark one, at least for your first session. Going dark brown can be a process that takes multiple dyeing sessions, especially if you want the color to really stick.

How to Color Hair Dark Brown at Home
@hairbybritny

If you’d like to avoid excessive maintenance, it’s better to choose a dark brown hair color that has the same undertone as your natural color. For more blondes, this means a more golden brown, although, for some, it might be a reddish-brown.

If you don’t think this shade of brown will work with your skin tone, then it’s better to schedule a hair salon appointment. It’ll be pricier, but a professional will be able to help you achieve the exact shade you want.

A Note for Those with Dyed Hair

If your hair has been dyed a more intense fashion color or a red-based color, it’s really important that you strip the color first with a remover like L’Oreal Effasol Color Remover from Amazon. Otherwise, while the dark brown hair dye will cover the color at first, within a few weeks, it will fade, so you’ll end up with a muddy and difficult-to-fix combination of brown and whatever color you had before.

A Note for Those with Grown-out Roots

If you have grown-out roots, you’ll need to focus your application on them when dyeing your hair. If you have gray roots, then in addition to buying a hair dye that’s made to cover grays, you also want to give the roots a little more time to process since grays take longer to dye. 

We recommend that you apply hair dye to the roots first (before clipping up your hair) so that they have more time to develop. Just start at your part, apply the dye to the first inch of hair and then create a new part a little to the side and flip the hair over to apply dye to another section of roots. Keep doing this until all of your roots are covered and then move on to dyeing the rest of the hair. 


Maintaining Your Dark Brown Hair Color

While dark brown hair dye usually sticks in place really well, it’s still important that you follow our maintenance tips in order for the color to retain its dimension, shine, and richness.

How to Maintain Dark Brown Hair Color
@xoxo_balayage

• The most important part is to limit how often you wash your hair. The less often you shampoo it, the better, and you should definitely avoid shampooing for at least a day or two after dyeing your hair.

• When you do wash your hair, choose a shampoo and conditioner set made specifically for dyed hair and that is free of stripping sulfates. We’re big fans of Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo for Color Treated Hair from Ulta, though you can also choose a purple or blue shampoo if you’d like to cancel out brassiness, a red shampoo if you opted for a dark auburn brown or a golden shampoo for gold-based dark brown hair.

• Heat can damage the hair cuticle and leach color out, so make sure to wash your hair in lukewarm water and avoid excessive heat styling.

• Air- or towel-drying your hair will be best, but if you have to heat-style it, a blow drier on a very low setting is the safest option.

• Since you should be taking your sweet time between shampooing sessions, you might find your hair looking greasy after two or three days. You can counter that with a dry shampoo, in which case we recommend Batiste’s Dry Shampoo in Divine Dark that is available on Amazon. It takes away that greasiness, gives the hair some volume, and it can even help blend your roots if they’re starting to peek through since it’s tinted brown.

How to Care for Dark Brown Hair Color
@barbararabelo_

• The sun is known for its ability to lighten hair and fade darker colors, so use a UV-protecting hair spray (Sun Bum makes a great one) or wear a hat when you go outside.

• Chlorinated pools can alter the color of your hair, but if you’re a swimmer they’re hard to avoid. If you can’t find a saltwater pool in your area, then make sure to saturate your hair with water before getting in the pool, wear a swim cap, and then immediately rinse your hair and condition it once you’re out of the water.


Makeup Guide for Those with Dark Brown Hair

If you love makeup, then you can get very creative with dark brown hair! Here are a few of our tips to get you started.

Complexion Makeup for Dark Brown Hair

• If you’ve gone from light to dark brown hair, you may want to slightly amp up your complexion makeup routine since dark hair can wash out the skin.

• You can introduce a slightly higher-coverage foundation or stick to what you’ve always used but also add some concealer.

• You will definitely want to add a bit more color and dimension to your complexion, either with the help of a bronzer, a contour shade, or a blush.

Blush and Lipstick for Dark Brown Hair

• The best blush and lip shades for you will depend on your skin’s undertones as well as the undertones of your hair. The more neutral or gold-leaning the shade of your hair, the more blush or lipstick shades you can try.

• On the other hand, if your hair is a cool brown, you will want more cool, berry-leaning blushes and lipsticks, while if it is warm and a little coppery, then you will want peachy or coppery blush and lipstick shades.

Makeup Tips for Dark Brown Hair/ Bruneyyes
@natalieannehair

Eye Makeup for Dark Brown Hair

• Dark brown hair can give you the chance to go a little darker with your eye makeup! A lot of makeup looks that appear too extreme on blondes can actually appear very balanced now.

• Dark brown hair is also great if you like to play with color. Even when it has a strong undertone, brown hair is still mostly neutral, so vivid eye makeup colors won’t clash with it, although, it’s important that the shades you choose still suit your eye color and skin tone.

• When it comes to mascara, we’d recommend sticking to black mascara rather than opting for brown. Brown mascara is okay, but the black will really help your eyes pop against your dark hair.

• You might need to step up your eyebrow game a little bit. Make sure to choose a brown brow pencil or pomade that has the same undertone as your hair color. It doesn’t have to be the same level of darkness – in fact, choosing a shade lighter than your hair can end up looking softer and more natural.


Fashion Tips for Dark Brown Hair

Fashion is another sphere where dark brown hair color gives you a ton of choices!

Fashion Tips for Dark Brown Hair/ Bruneyyes
@ryabchik.moscow

• As always, remember that your outfit should have a coherent color story that will work with both your hair and skin tone.

• Having a contrast between your hair and your outfit is always going to be flattering, and since dark brown hair is so dark, a ton of colors will create a contrast. You can rock bright, vivid shades or pastels and never feel washed out.

• If you want to feel like a bombshell, then a true red is the way to go, of course. If your brown hair leans towards cool, then choose a blue-based red, while if it’s warmer, then opt for a warm orange-red.

• If you do want to wear darker shades, make sure they are saturated enough to still suit your hair. This means that while deep grays can look drab, a rich jewel blue or purple will look amazing.

• Black is the exception, of course, because it looks good with everything.

• If you have a bit of a hippie streak, you can make earth tones work as long as you are careful to keep the color story dynamic. For example, if you want to wear brown, make sure to weave into your look some beiges, burnt oranges, and olives as well.

Photos via Instagram

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