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There are a lot of classic beauty looks we love—you can’t go wrong with red lipstick or a smoky eye, for example. And when it comes to hair colors, brown might be basic—but it doesn’t have to be boring. It’s all about finding the right brown hair color shade for your skin tone. Here, find the best brown hair colors ranging from cool to warm to neutral and get tips for taking care of your newly dyed hair. Just keep in mind that if you’re opting for a brown hair color shade with hints of blonde, bleaching may be necessary first—and the darker your starting color, the more work may be needed to reach your desired shade.
If you tend to wear silver jewelry or you notice bluish veins peeking through the inside of your wrists, you likely have cool skin. And, like you may have guessed, cool skin looks best when paired with cool hair colors. So, if you’re ready to rock it as a brunette, try one of the following brown hair colors.
1. Medium ash brown: Perfect for those who are looking to conceal the appearance of grays, medium ash brown hair is comprised of brown with cool, ashy tones that help blend all strands for a unified, cool brunette look.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Hi-Lift Ash Brown
2. Cool dark brown: Just think of this shade as your darkest brown with the faintest of blue undertones that pair perfectly with a cool skin tone.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Cool Dark Brown
3. Espresso: If you like your hair like you like your coffee—dark and delicious—then this is the new brown hair color for you. This cool shade pairs beautifully with medium and darker skin tones and eye colors.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Coolest Darkest Brown
If you’ve learned anything this far, then you can probably guess what we’re about to tell you next: warm shades look best paired with warm skin tones. Not sure if that’s your skin’s classification? Flip your wrist—if you see greenish veins peeking through (or if you find that gold jewelry looks best on you), this section is for you!
4. Butterscotch: Your favorite pudding flavor is officially a coveted brown hair color, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. This light brown color with blonde dimensions looks gorgeous when paired with medium, warm skin tones.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Downtown Brown
5. Bronzed brown: Metallic hair is having a major moment these days, and with colors like brass brown, we totally understand why this trend has stuck around as long as it has. Bronzed brown is the ideal hue to prove that brunettes are anything but boring.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Deep Bronzed Brown
6. Light golden brown: If you love the look of beachy blondes but can’t find it in yourself to part ways with your brunette mane, simply switch up your hair with this warm brown hair color. While you’ll maintain your brown base, the faintest hints of gold will lend to a sun-kissed look—even if you won’t be visiting the beach until next summer.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Light Golden Brown
See, you’re the lucky ones. Where cool skin looks best with cool shades and warm skin looks best with warm shades, neutral skin looks best with, well, just about anything. Talk about serious hair color envy! While you can totally take your pick from the colors mentioned above, we’re also sharing three gorgeous hues that will look specifically alluring with your neutral skin tone.
7. Bronde: One of the most popular hair colors of the moment can be easily manipulated to suit warm or cool skin tones, making it the ultimate neutral shade! So, if you’re having trouble choosing between a blonde or brown update, opt for bronde hair, the perfect balance between the two. Since this color is highly customizable, your best bet is to visit a professional colorist.
8. Light brown: Think of the brown hair color that children are born with. That’s what this silky-smooth shade looks look. As a result, it pairs perfectly with any skin tone.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Light Brown
9. Chocolate brown: Who doesn’t love chocolate, right? This rich, classic medium brown looks beautiful on all skin tones. Wear it long or short—no matter the length or your skin tone, this brown hair color is sure to turn heads.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Medium Brown
Now that you’ve got guidelines for finding your perfect brown hair match, it’s time to upgrade your hair care routine. Color-treated hair requires special care—so follow our tips below and show off your stunning brown mane!
1. Use a system of hair care products formulated for color-treated hair. First things first: taking care of color-treated hair starts in the shower. Reach for a system of shampoo, conditioner, and mask formulated for color-treated hair. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask. Once or twice a week, swap out the conditioner for the mask and apply it wet hair after shampooing. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes, then rinse out.
2. Apply a heat protectant before styling. Brown hair looks pretty amazing when it’s blow-dried or flat ironed smooth. But before you pick up a heat tool, make sure to spritz on a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out HeatSpray or L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Iron Straight Heatspray.
3. Air dry your hair. Of course, sometimes you just don’t have time to style your brown hair with heat tools. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. It’s all about finding the right styling products to use to help create texture and definition. Styling sprays, mousses, and styling creams are great options for air drying. When your hair is damp, apply the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray, L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hair Style AIR DRY IT Ruffled Body Mousse, L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Undone Style Cream. Follow up by creating a braid, then undoing the braid once your hair has dried.
4. Keep your bathroom stocked with brown hair dye. Anytime you dye your hair, touch-ups are inevitable. So, keep your bathroom stocked with your color of choice so that you can touch up your roots whenever needed.
5. Temporarily disguise gray roots. No time for a touch-up? No problem! You can temporarily hide gray roots with a spritz of the L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up, which comes in a variety of brown shades: light golden brown, light brown, medium brown, and dark brown. Shake well, hold the can 4-6 inches away from your hair, and spray color onto new growth and partly through the length of your hair to blend it in.
Wondering why your brown hair has started to appear brassy? Check out our article, What to Do if Your Brown Hair Has Turned Brassy.