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Brown hair seems to have a reputation for being boring, but who says that has to be the case? When you get bored of being a brunette, don’t jump straight to totally ditching your brown hue. Instead, consider trying something that will enhance your natural shade. Whether you’re looking to add subtle dimension to your hair with balayage highlights, mix in a pop of bright color, or fake having long hair, there are plenty of fun ways to change up your brunette hair color without forgoing your brown hue. Below, find eight ways to switch up your brunette mane.
Think of getting highlights as a baby step towards changing your hair color. If you’re not ready to opt for an all-over color change, highlights are the equivalent of dipping your toes into the water before it’s time to dive in. Rather than completely changing the hue of your hair, ask your colorist to add streaks of your favorite shade. Depending on your preference, the streaks can be chunky or thin, subtle or bold. For a sun-kissed look, choose a shade that’s only slightly lighter than your base color. If you’d like a little more drama, ask for baby blonde highlights aka babylights.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind that anytime you lighten your hair (whether by adding highlights or going for an all-over lighter shade), you’ll need to bleach your hair—and the darker your starting color, the more sessions required to reach your desired end result.
If going lighter, even just with highlights, isn’t for you, lowlights may be a good idea. Lowlights are similar to highlights in that they add dimension to your hair color. The only difference is, with lowlights, you’re darkening certain pieces of your hair. So, pick a color that’s darker by two shades or more to help spice up your brunette hair. For a simple switch, add darker brown pieces throughout your mane. If you’re looking to incorporate another color, try deep red lowlights for a striking color combo. If you’re a DIY gal who’s looking for a quick, temporary change, try using the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup 1-Day Color in Bronzeauburn to add some red hues to your mane.
What’s brunette and blonde all over? If you want to add a touch of blonde to your tresses, it’s time to get familiar with balayage. This hair color trend continues to remain popular—and we aren’t mad about it. To get the look, keep your brown color on top and only lighten the ends of your hair—you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Plus, since the color is concentrated at the ends of your hair, there won’t be a harsh line of demarcation when your roots start to grow in. That means you won’t have to worry about frequent touch-ups—the bane of most blondes’ existence!
Lightening your locks doesn’t have to mean going platinum—or even blonde. Give lighter hair a shot and only lift your color a little. A light or medium-toned brown could be just different enough from your current color, plus it’s a nice way to add a sunny effect to your hair once the weather starts to warm up. Try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Hi-Lift Browns Downtown Brown or Light Golden Brown.
For a sultry switch-up, choose a color that’s darker than your current hue. A deep brunette allows you to maintain your brown mane while still experiencing something different. No matter your skin tone, going darker can make for an eye-catching change. Look for cool-toned colors if you lean warm and warm-toned shades if your skin looks cool. Try the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Cool Dark Brown or Dark Soft Mahogany Brown, respectively.
If you’ve been contemplating DIY-ing your way to a new hair color, let us suggest attempting the dip dye trend. This trend allows you to keep your brunette base while adding a fun color to the bottom of your strands. To get the look at home, pick up the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color, which offers six shades created specifically for brunettes—all of which don’t require bleaching. Just follow the directions on the packaging, applying the dye only where you want to change up your color. The semi-permanent hair color lasts four to ten shampoos.
Want something even more temporary? Try using the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray or the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup 1-Day Color. Both temporary hair colors come in an array of shades and wash out in just one shampoo.
Getting a dye job isn’t the only way to change up how your brown hair looks—a fresh cut can also transform your brunette mane. If you’re ready for a major change, give a closely cropped pixie a chance. If you prefer a little more length, try a lob as your new style.
If you’re not comfortable trying a new color or making a major chop, consider extending the length of your hair instead. Extensions can add the look of length and volume to make over your mane. Ask your stylist for strands slightly longer than your natural hair to help create the look of added thickness, or mix in super-long extensions for a dramatic change that will help enhance your brown shade.
Editor’s note: Read our article, 5 Tips for Styling Hair Extensions, to learn how to blend your hair with your extensions like a pro.
Next: 6 Hair Color Tips for Brown Hair