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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 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 with hints of blonde, bleaching may be necessary first, and the darker your starting color, the more work that will be needed to reach your desired shade.
If you tend to wear silver jewelry or you notice bluish veins when you take a peek at the inside of your wrists, you likely have skin with cool undertones. And, as you may have guessed, cool skin looks best when paired with cool hair colors. So, if you’re ready to rock a brunette hair color, try one of the following cool shades.
Perfect for those who are looking to conceal the appearance of grays, medium ash brown hair is a brown hair color with cool, ashy tones throughout. The end result is a unified, cool brunette look that you’ll love.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Hi-Lift Ash Brown
Think of this shade as the darkest brown with the faintest of blue undertones—which just so happen to pair perfectly with a cool skin tone. Pair this shade with a long hairstyle and you’ll have a look that’s sure to stun.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Cool Dark Brown
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 to dark skin tones and eye colors.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Coolest Darkest Brown
Another stunning—not to mention trendy—brown hue to try? Mushroom brown hair. This hair color trend is a semi-ashy brown shade that resembles the much-loved portobello mushroom.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Light Ash Brown
Another ashy hue, light ash brown is perfect for those who want to stick to a brunette mane but like the lightness that comes with blonde hair. This soft hair color will also help conceal gray hair thanks to its ashy undertones.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Light Ash 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 (or if you find that gold jewelry looks best on you), this section is where you can expect to find your perfect brown hair color!
Your favorite sweet treat is officially a coveted brown hair color, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. This light brown color with blonde dimension looks gorgeous when paired with medium, warm skin tones.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Downtown Brown
Metallic hair is having a major moment these days, and with colors like brass and bronzed brown, we totally understand why this trend has stuck around as long as it has. Bronzed brown, with its intense shine, is the ideal hue to prove that brunettes are anything but boring. And since you’re clearly a trend-loving gal, match your metallic hue with a trending short hairstyle, like the blunt bob.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Deep Bronzed 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 themselves 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
If you’re all about dimensional color, toffee brown hair is for you. The color has a dark ash brown base that’s lightened with medium and ash brown highlights throughout. The result is a hair color that rivals a tasty toffee caramel.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Light Brown
This toasty hue is perfect for warming up (or roasting) by the fire. Think of a rich, medium brown hue with plenty of warmth. It’s the ideal brown hair color to warm up this winter!
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Medium Chestnut Brown
This brown hair color is ideal for those who want to make a subtler change to their brown mane. The color involves a brown base with natural-looking hues of red added using the balayage highlighting technique.
DIY it: Spice up Brown Hair with this Sweet Shade: Chili Chocolate Hair
Can’t decide between red and brown hair? Mahogany brown hair is the perfect brown hair color for you! This brown hue has the perfect amount of red undertones to satisfy your wants without going full-blown cherry.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Dark Mahogany Brown
If you love blonde hair but aren’t ready to part with your brunette mane, golden brown hair will give you the honey hues you crave without sacrificing your brown base. It’s also a great first step for those who want to start going lighter.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Medium Golden Brown
This warm auburn shade is the perfect hue to spice up your beauty look—just as the name might suggest. Think brown with hints of red and orange.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Lightest Auburn
We may be talking about neutral hair colors and neutral undertones last, but 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 a few gorgeous hues that will look especially alluring with your neutral skin tone.
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! This hair color is also ideal for those who can’t quite make up their mind since it’s a perfect balance between brown and blonde hair. Because this color is highly customizable, your best bet is to visit a professional colorist rather than attempt to DIY your own shade of bronde.
Think of the brown hair color that children are born with. That’s what this silky-smooth shade looks like. As a result, it pairs perfectly with any skin tone.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Light 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 guaranteed to turn heads.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Medium Brown
Nude hair is one of the latest hair color trends that’s been making its way onto the beauty scene—and we’re totally here for it. This sandy brown color suits both warm and cool skin tones so everyone can give it a try! Just note, you may need to seek out a pro to help you achieve this trendy color, as it's slightly different from the brown hues you usually see in box dyes.
Similar in shade to espresso, dark brown is great for those who love the idea of black hair but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into a midnight hue. Dark brown hair has neutral undertones, making it ideal for all skin tones.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Dark Brown
Want to add some dimension to your brown locks? Try toasted caramel hair. As its name implies, toasted caramel hair involves incorporating caramel highlights throughout a brown base for blended brunette dimension that’s suitable for all skin tones.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach in Highlights
Another red-meets-brown shade, this brown hair color can be customized to incorporate warm or cool tones throughout—making it perfect for all skin tones. Even better, pair cherry brown hair with a medium hairstyle, like a lob, and you’ll have a ‘do that works on literally everyone.
DIY it: L’Oréal Paris Féria in Rich Mahogany
Now that we’ve pointed you in the right direction, toward your perfect brown hair color, 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!
First things first: taking care of color-treated hair starts in the shower. Reach for a system consisting of a shampoo, conditioner, and mask formulated for color-treated hair. Try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair and Defend Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm. Once or twice a week, swap out the conditioner for the mask and apply it on wet hair after shampooing. Leave it on for three to five minutes, then rinse out.
Brown hair looks pretty amazing when it’s blow-dried or flat ironed smooth. Just remember, before you pick up a heat tool, you’ll want to spritz your hair with a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Iron Straight Heatspray.
Of course, sometimes you just don’t have time to style your hair with heat tools. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style—it’s all about finding the right styling products to help create hairstyles with lots of texture and definition. Ready to give heat-free styling a shot? When your hair is damp, apply the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray. Follow up by creating a braid, then undo the braid once your hair has dried to reveal beautiful waves.
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.
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 four to six 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 is Brassy.
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