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Sometimes, brown hair can get a bad rap. But the truth is, with the right hue—especially one that’s perfectly matched to your skin tone—brown hair is anything but boring. So, whether you’re ditching your blonde, black, or red hair in favor of brown or you simply want to enhance your natural hair color, the possibilities are almost endless. After deciding that brown hair is for you, it’s time to find the most flattering shade. Keep reading to learn how to figure out your undertones so that you can pick the prettiest shade of brown hair for you. Then learn the best shades of brown hair for every undertone, plus at-home hair color options for DIY-ing your color update.
First things first, let’s figure out what undertones your skin has. Unsure of how to identify your skin’s undertones? Instead of looking super-closely at your skin in hopes of having a better idea of what your undertones are, try one of these super-quick tricks.
Trick #1: Flip your wrist. If you see greenish veins, you have warm undertones, whereas blue veins point towards cool undertones. If your veins seem to be somewhere in-between, your undertones are likely neutral.
Trick #2: Look at your eyes. Look in a mirror. What do you see? If you have blue or green eyes, you most likely have cool undertones, whereas if there are little golden specks in your eyes, there’s a good chance you have warm undertones.
OK, but why does this really matter? Well, the key to finding your perfect pretty hair color is to pick shades that are the opposite of your skin’s undertones. At this point, maybe that color wheel from elementary school is popping into your head. Yep, it’s the same concept! So, when it comes to picking a shade from all the brown hair colors out there, just remember you want to choose cooler shades for warmer skin and warmer shades for cooler skin. Makes sense, right?
Unless you majored in color theory, it's understandable that you might still be scratching your head wondering which shade of brown hair is really best for you. That’s why we’re here!
If you have warm undertones…cool brown shades like chestnut, mocha, dark chocolate, and dark auburn will look fabulous with your skin. By pairing these complementary hues together, you can help brighten up the look of your complexion. What’s more, a cooler hair color can help make yellow undertones look a bit creamier for an overall softer effect. Gorgeous!
How to get the look at home: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Cool Medium Brown, L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Medium Chestnut Brown, or L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Cool Darkest Brown
If you have cool undertones…warm shades can work magic for your complexion. Think: amber, caramel, golden brown, honey, or warm red. When you rock warm colors, this can help make your hair color really pop. Talk about alluring!
How to get the look at home: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Light Golden Brown, L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Light Reddish Brown, or L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Lightest Golden Brown
If you have neutral undertones…that means you can rock any shade of brown hair, but we recommend not going too warm or too cool. Know what that means? You have the perfect undertone to rock nude hair—one of the top hair color trends at the moment. Lucky you!
How to get the look: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Hi-Lift Browns Downtown Brown, L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Medium Brown, or L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Dark Chocolate Brown
If these brown hair colors don’t fit your fancy, just remember one simple tip: You don’t want your hair to fight with your skin—so as long as you pick opposite tones, you’ll be good to go!
Love the idea of brown hair but aren’t quite ready to commit to a full brunette mane? No problem! Here are a few hair color trends that will let you gradually transition into the brown hue of your dreams.
This is a great option for anyone who currently has dark red or black hair. Balayage creates a natural highlighted look with hand-placed color, so it’s the perfect way to subtly had some beautiful chocolate hues throughout your mane. If you want to learn more about the balayage, head over to our article, Balayage 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Highlighting Technique.
You may know ombré as the hair highlighting technique that creates a gradient effect from dark to light. While this option can add some brunette hues to your locks if you’re starting with black hair at your roots, you’ll want to try a reverse ombré hair color if you’re working with a hair color on the lighter end of the spectrum. Reverse ombré is exactly what you’re likely thinking—a hair color that transitions from light to dark. So pretty and unexpected!
If you’re starting with a light hair color, this is another brunette option for you. Lowlights add dark strands to your mane for a dimensional look. You’ll still have your natural base color but can gradually move to a dark brunette hue.
Calling all blondes: bronde hair is exactly what you're looking for! Bronde is one of the latest hair color trends that incorporates both blonde and brunette hues for a look that provides the best of both worlds. Read all about it in our article, All About Bronde Hair: What You Need to Know About This Trendy Hair Color.
Remember, once you’ve achieved your perfect hair color, you’ll want to switch up your hair care routine and tailor it to color-treated hair. Use a shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask that are formulated to be safe for colored hair, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair and Defend Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm. Use the shampoo and conditioner daily, switching out the conditioner for the hair mask a few times a week.
Want to give your hair a little extra TLC? Try adding a hair sheet mask, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Intense Repair Hair Sheet Mask or L’Oréal Paris EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask, to your hair care routine.
Of course, a new hair color calls for new hairstyles to show off your look. Whether you’re headed to the gym or going out for a night on the town, we have a hairstyle worthy of your brunette locks.
A brown hair color is a great canvas for a pop of color. Try adding some colorful strands to your hair with a temporary hair color spray! Here’s how:
Style your hair as you wish—whether that’s curled, straightened, anything else.
Use a temporary hair color spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray, to add short-lived color to your locks. Choose whatever colors you wish and spray away to your heart’s desire!
Done sporting your colorful locks for the day? Your temporary hair color spray washes out in just one shampoo, so you can be back to your brunette mane in no time and be ready to try a new color.
There are times you’ll want to get your hair up and out of your face. Of course, you still want to showcase your color. Try a half-up braided top knot for a hairstyle that’s sure to impress. Read our article, How to Weave a Half-Up Braided Top Knot, for a step-by-step tutorial.
There’s no denying that loose, carefree waves are stunning on just about any hair color—and your new brunette ‘do is no exception. Here’s how to get them:
Wash your mane with your new color-treated hair care line to prep it for styling.
Apply a wave spray—like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray—to towel-dried hair.
After you’ve sprayed your wave spray, braid your damp locks so they can form into beautiful, loose waves as they dry. The tighter you want your waves, the smaller your braids should be.
Once your hair is dry, take out your braids to reveal loose, effortless waves!
Next up: The Best Blonde Hair Colors for Every Skin Tone
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