Light brown hair deserves some love! This underrated hair color might be simple, but it can also be shockingly pretty. We’re not talking about boring, mousy tones – we’re talking about light brown hair shades that can be totally sexy, glamorous, chic, and sultry.
Light brown hair comes in a ton of different iterations, and we’ve found gorgeous examples of each one to get you inspired! To see exactly just how diverse light brown hair shades can be, we’ve put together a vast collection of gorgeous inspiration photos below!
1. Soft Light Brown Hair
This light brown hair is subtle and pretty with chocolate undercurrents and a hint of warm sheen achieved with some lighter hair dye. It’s the kind of color that would suit anyone and that gleams with health.
2. Lit-up Brunette Hair
This gorgeous brunette hair has a sun-dappled effect thanks to a touch of balayage! The grown-out roots are a very deep brown, and light brown hair dye helps to soften things up and lighten the transition towards blonde at the ends and near the front of the face.
3. Sunny Light Brown Hair Color
This gorgeous transition look features the best of all worlds! Dark brown roots, light brown mids, and blonde at the ends. The light brown hair shades in here skew warm in a way that flatters cool undertones.
4. Tousled Light Brown Waves
By styling the hair so it’s both tousled and voluminous, the final effect seems effortlessly sexy. This variation on light brown hair color features deeper, cool brown roots that progress into a chocolate milk shade that turns nearly golden at the ends.
5. Ginger Light Brown Hair
There is something airy and warm about this streaked hair! The base of the hair is dark, but it’s streaked with layers of light brown hair dye and a hint of blonde that both lean a bit towards ginger to give the hair a warming, weightless appearance.
6. Metallic Light Brown Balayage
This long, dark hair was totally transformed by a light brown balayage! Gold-leaning light brown hair shades reinforced by Olaplex have the most magnificent sheen, so in this balayage style, they make it seem as though chocolate hair melted into metal.
7. Warm Light Brown Balayage
This is like a slightly more red-leaning version of the previous look, with a balayage over extremely long hair carrying a lot of drama. The base shade is a neutral brown with long streaks of a honey light brown that brighten the look.
8. Light Brown Cloud Hair
Talk about unique styling! The most incredible thing about this brunette hair is definitely the way it was styled into perfect yet extremely voluminous spirals, though the color itself is quite pretty as well. The roots are a more neutral light brown hair color, but the mids and ends are a little warmer with a hint of copper sheen.
9. Creamed Coffee Light Brown Hair
Yara de la Tore, the balayage expert who created this look, describes it as “that moment in which your creamer first hits your coffee,” and we have to agree! Light brown is integral here for marrying the creamy beige highlights with the deep espresso roots.
10. Light Brown Hair with Curtain Layers
Curtain layers are the chic, longer variation on curtain bangs that help to frame the face. They work well with light brown hair, like in this lovely and smooth balayage that also features deep roots and hints of gold at the ends.
11. Transitional Light Brown Sombre
Light brown hair is a perfect early step for those aiming to go from very dark to very light. In this look, the first bleaching session brought the hair to this light brown to gold sombre that melds perfectly with the very dark roots.
12. Spicy Brown Waves
This reddish take on light brown hair reminds of cinnamon or maybe chili with a few ginger blonde streaks at the front just to frame the face. We love this kind of warmth for autumn, while the soft-looking waves are great at any time of year.
13. Blended Cinnamon Cream Balayage
This gorgeous balayage gives quite a twist on light brown hair shades! The hair was streaked with a combination of warm, coppery cinnamon tones and more ashy blonde tones for a complex and intriguing effect.
14. Milk Chocolate Waves
This stunningly pretty take on brunette hair color features neutral shades of light brown, which makes it extremely chocolatey! This look features diffused streaks of beige and light brown with darker roots, which add volume while still looking smooth.
15. Illuminated Light Brown Hair
The light and dimension that this hair exudes are impossible to resist! The illumination in this look comes from streaks of ginger blonde over an ashier light brown shade, the kind of contrast that is truly mesmerizing.
16. Mushroom Brown Hair
This neutral light brown look is anything but mousy! The chocolate brown base is lightened with a wash of beige, so the tones themselves combine to look like elegant mushroom brown. Styled into soft waves, this look is as smooth as can be.
17. Textured Light Brown Streaks
The careful streaking of light brown and blonde over chocolate brown hair leads to a very textured and sumptuous hairstyle. The undertones are quite golden all over, which keeps things harmonious and luxurious.
18. Gold-Touched Light Brown Hair
It’s as though this brunette hair color was dipped in gold. The base is a cool dark brown shade, but the streaks help to brighten it up and give it a metallic touch.
19. Caramel and Auburn Brown
This is how you make reddish light brown hair shades pop! The brown base was given an auburn wash, while hand-painted streaks of caramel gleam and pop, looking remarkably natural.
20. Cool to Gold Light Brown Hair
This is almost the same kind of balayage as the previous look, but the light brown color story is a little different. The roots are a cool brown shade that transitions into a blend of streaks that include both cool beige and golden tones.
21. Ash Light Brown Lob
This wavy long bob haircut was dyed a wonderful, neutral variation on light brown hair dye. The dark roots were kept natural, while the rest of the hair was hand-painted with ashy brown and blonde streaks that are universally flattering.
22. Light Brown Blowout
This smooth blowout is a must styling technique when you want to look cool and effortless. It works well with light brown hair that’s been dyed in a very smooth, diffused way with an overlay of golden brown shades.
23. Earthy Mushroom Brown Streaks
The way these streaks flow is smooth and natural but gives the hair so much dimension! The shades chosen are all neutral and a little ashy, reminding us of mushrooms growing in rich soil.
24. Gold Foil Mocha Hair
This is another light brown hairstyle that looks as though the tresses had been dipped in molten gold! The ends, that is, while the roots and mids look like a mixture of espresso with mocha. Yum!
25. Bombshell Brunette Hair
Espresso, gold and light brown hair colors come together to create a show-stopping look that is helped by just how long and luscious the hair is. The wavy tresses were primarily dyed with light brown, but a few tendrils of gold at the front add glow, while the deep roots add a smoldering effect.
26. Diffused Beige and Chocolate Waves
This hair flows like liquid! The amazing effect comes from a diffused application of cool beige highlights over chocolate milk strands, which look like reflective liquid sheen, while the waves themselves were all styled to go in the same direction, which enhances that flowy feel.
27. Piecey Light Brown Waves
This style is perfect for summer with piecey waves and razored ends that look breezy and bouncy. The color here is simple but sumptuous, with brown roots getting progressively lighter at the mids and with a balayage of honey gold adding luxurious lightness.
28. Creamy Brown Balayage
The combination of neutral light brown lowlights and beige highlights in this balayage is soft and creamy, like a combination of white and milk chocolate. The extra dark roots add a bit of a shadow, but they don’t take away from the lightness of the look.
29. Gold and Caramel Light Brown Hair
This multidimensional look shines so bright it could blind! It features an elongated shadow root, light brown hair dye for the lowlights, and then a balayage of gold and caramel that play together to create a very complex highlight. Totally stunning!
30. Beachy Light Brown Hair
This super pretty look is almost a sombre, with long dark roots replaced by rich light brown at the mids, and a few streaks of blonde at the end just for a hint of movement. Styled into piecey waves, it proves that brunette hair colors can be just as beachy and summer-perfect as blondes!
31. Oak Wood Hair
Super warm but not overly red – this light brown hair shade mimics the color of oak wood beautifully. Though it looks like a solid color at first glance, there’s actually a lot of balayaging here with deeper chocolate roots and an underlayer of lighter golden brown.
32. Peachy Brown Hair
This is the kind of light brown hair color that just brings joy! The streaks of peachy blonde over brunette tresses have that playful pastel effect, but they also add dimension and movement to the look. It’s not too sweet, though, thanks to edgy razored ends.
33. Chocolate Orange Swirl
The combination of chocolate and orange flavors is one of our favorites in a dessert, but it works beautifully for hair as well! Muted pastel orange streaks are chic rather than garish, and they add a bright touch to the light brown waves.
34. Chocolate and Nougat Hair
Subtle but sweet, this slightly layered light brown hair is the kind of look that doesn’t stand out at first but sticks in your mind later. The roots and mids are the same shade as sweet milk chocolate, while the ends are a little lighter and cooler just like nougat.
35. Voluminous Light Brown Hair
Talk about drama! The intense level of volume in this look comes mostly from styling, sure, but the dyeing technique helps a lot as well. Micro streaks of beige over cool, light brown hair add a ton of dimension and the illusion of volume, which is then amped up by the volume from curling, teasing, and incorporating that deep side part.
36. Cool Summer Hair
Want to feel cool for summer? This is one of those light brown hair shades that could help. The base of the hair is shiny and healthy cool brown with lighter ash highlights that amp up the reflectiveness without changing the undertone.
37. Chestnut Curls
This is the kind of hair that makes people go nuts! This chestnut-colored style features deep, espresso-colored roots with thinly-applied highlights in a warm, yellow-based light brown shade. Curled extensions give even more volume to the look along with a healthy dose of drama.
38. Flaming Light Brown Hair
Don’t let anyone put out this fire! The tendrils of golden orange highlights give this brunette hair a flaming effect that is only enhanced by the way it is styled into wispy, piecey waves.
39. Bronzed Brunette Hair Color
This is one of those light brown hair color ideas that’ll get you feeling like a bronzed goddess any time of the year. The bulk of the hair is actually quite dark, but a balayage combination of light brown and golden blonde gives a metallic, bronze effect.
40. Café Au Lait Hair
This hairstyle reminds us of our favorite coffee beverage. Espresso roots give way to more latte-colored mids and ends. The light brown color was applied in a soft, hand-painting technique that makes things look very natural, despite the originality of the placement.
41. Bronze Face Frame
This balayage is so classy and subtle, but it has a powerful impact! It features a combination of deep, espresso brown tresses with highlights achieved with light brown hair dye. The difference between the two shades isn’t vast, but it still gives a bronze dimension and helps to light up the face.
42. Chocolate Caramel Swirl
If your hair doesn’t look like expensive ice cream, then what are you even doing with your life? This is the kind of look that screams, “eat it!” Deep, dark roots make caramel-colored highlights seem even brighter, with milk chocolate along the mids connecting everything beautifully.
43. Honeyed Light Brown Balayage
These hairstyles continue to satisfy our sweet tooth. This is primarily a cool, ashy take on light brown hair but with a few honey-colored streaks applied in the balayage technique to brighten the face and give a sweet touch.
44. Ash Brown with Money Piece
This look is simple but dramatic, especially because the model has so much magnificent hair. The dominant color is an ashy light brown, but the thick ash blonde money piece has a bigger impact because of how it frames the face.
45. Mixed Metal Light Brown Hair
This marvelous tri-tone creation gives us the best light brown hair shades all together! Deep roots transform into a bronzy light brown with a golden balayage over that. Those gold highlights are so saturated at the ends that they make the hair seem nearly blonde.
46. Butterscotch Brown Hair
This extra ashy twist on light brown hair shades gives us some delicious vibes. Something about the smoothness of the color and the seamless transition from dark brown roots to light, ashy mids and ends melts like butterscotch.
47. Toffee Balayage
From butterscotch to toffee – we love our sweets as much as we love sweet hair! The roots are a cooler brown shade, while the rest of the hair is dyed with a few warm light brown shades that increase dimension with a color reminiscent of toffee.
48. Maplewood Cascade
The natural flow of highlights and lowlights in this light brown hair brings to mind the grain of a gorgeous wood like maple. It stands out because of the smooth but wavy styling, but curls or pin-straight styling would look just as incredible.
49. Gold Thread Light Brown Hair
Gold balayage highlights run through this brunette hair like a thread, thin and precise. The tiny face-framing streaks light up the face beautifully, while elsewhere, they contrast against the cool brown shade of the hair.
50. Two-Tone Brown Hair
Gorgeous light brown hair doesn’t have to be dyed symmetrically! This look features heavy golden brown highlights on one side of the head, while the waves on the other side are predominantly a shiny blonde tone. There’s enough interplay between the colors on each side so that the look isn’t jarring.
51. Gold Ash Brunette
Metallics don’t have to be warm, as this brunette hair color showcases. The base is a cool brown tone that’s practically lit up with ash gold highlights.
52. Lit-up Light Brown Lob
This alliterative hairstyle is a chic take on light brown hair. The long bob haircut is fun and choppy, and it works well with the cool colors. The bulk of the hair is a cool, light brown shade, with a few golden highlights near the front adding brightness.
53. Macchiato Curls
Light brown hair was basically made for caffeine addicts! The natural shade of the roots is deep and espresso-like, which is why the light brown highlights over it remind us of the milk foam mixing into espresso in a well-made macchiato.
54. Soft Brown Glamour Waves
This combination of chocolate brown and golden brown is glamorous enough to be the envy of any movie star. Styled into soft and smooth waves, there’s a bit of an old-school Hollywood feel, but the high-shine highlights are a modern creation.
55. Brown Horizontal Highlights
We haven’t featured a lot of horizontal highlights in this compilation, but surprisingly, they actually work quite well with light brown hair! This application technique gives the illusion of curls and volume and is a great change of pace from the typical vertical highlights.
56. Bronde Drama
This look features so much blonde balayage, we definitely think it counts as bronde. The light brown hair color is very important, acting as a lowlight, but a golden blonde tone takes over at the ends and front.
57. Ash Brown and Caramel Curls
You can absolutely combine cool browns with warm browns! This gorgeous look proves it with a cool brown base that seems to light up with the help of caramel-colored tendrils. Curls add a glam factor to the look and play up the shine.
58. Light and Shadow Brunette Hair
The interplay of the super dark lowlights and the extra-bright blonde highlights is a classic, but the look remains harmonious because the undertones on all of the shades are perfectly neutral. Light brown is also key here for blending everything together.
59. Ginger Snap Waves
Spicy but sweet, just like a gingersnap cookie! This gorgeous brunette hair color has a very chocolatey, neutral base that’s balayaged over with a ginger-blonde shade – a daring combination that elicits some tingles!
60. Walnut Wood Waves
There is something serious and sophisticated about the color story in walnut wood, which is heavily cool-toned to the point where it borders on gray. That’s exactly the color story in this brunette hair with deep lowlights and light brown highlights.
61. Caramel Light Brown Highlights
These rich, warm highlights are nearly the same shade as caramel, and they give beautiful illumination to the more chocolate-colored base. It’s a very classic take on balayage that works especially well with the choppy, slightly layered haircut.
62. Hot-on-Cold Highlights
The highlights over this light brown hair are both hot and cold, but they work together well thanks to seamless blending. Deep roots transition into a cool light brown with honey gold ends, but the contrast comes from the face-framing ash blonde strands.
63. Red Oak Waves
We’re finishing on a warm note with a light brown hair color reminiscent of red oak wood. The highlights are thin but dense, so they add a ton of texture to the hair, which is naturally very dark with slightly smoked-out roots.
Photos via Instagram