When it comes to hair color, who says blondes are the only ones who get to have fun? Brunettes can get in on the action too—with the help of highlights that add dimension and movement to their hair. Whether you’re giving brown hair with highlights a try to make your mane look like it’s been naturally lightened or are aiming for something with a bit more contrast, there is no shortage of options. From brown hair with blonde highlights to a brown-on-brown color—we love it all! Can’t decide? Allow us to help you narrow down your options (slightly) with 32 gorgeous ideas for brown hair with highlights.
1. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS
Starting with dark brown strands? Don’t let your dark base color deter you from giving blonde highlights a try. In fact, there’s more than one way to give this combo a try—which you’ll see as you read on. Sold on the idea? Skip ahead and check out our article, How to Get Dark Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights, for all the details.
2. LIGHT BROWN HAIR WITH CHAMPAGNE HIGHLIGHTS
In contrast, light brown hair with highlights can be equally as stunning. One pairing we’re particularly fond of is a light brown base with champagne blonde highlights weaved throughout. This cool, light blonde color will lighten your mane into a nearly full-blonde shade. To get the look at home, use the L’Oréal Paris Frost & Design in Champagne.
3. BROWN HAIR WITH BEIGE HIGHLIGHTS
Speaking of champagne, a shade of blonde that’s in the same family is beige. As you can imagine, the sandy blonde color is cool in tone and will add beautiful dimension to your brunette ‘do.
4. BROWN HAIR WITH RED HIGHLIGHTS
Brown hair with red highlights? Don’t mind if we do! Red highlights happen to be on-trend for all hair colors at the moment, but we’re particularly fond of the fiery hue when painted throughout a brunette base. Red highlights are especially flattering on those who have a warm brown hair color, as they’ll bring out those warm undertones.
5. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH CINNAMON HIGHLIGHTS
If you like the idea of red highlights, cinnamon may pique your interest, too. Take inspiration from the spice, and add movement to a dark brown base with cinnamon highlights, which will weave a gorgeous red-brown hue throughout your mane.
6. BROWN HAIR WITH CARAMEL HIGHLIGHTS
Another option for adding warmth to your brunette strands is to place caramel highlights throughout. We particularly love this as an option for medium brown hair with highlights. Not only does this combo look gorgeous, but it also happens to be on-trend. Read our article, Crazy for Caramel Latte: How to Get This Season's Natural-Looking Hair Color, to get the details, then try getting the look yourself with the L’Oréal Paris La Petite Frost in Creme Caramel.
7. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH MEDIUM BROWN HIGHLIGHTS
Who said highlights had to be blonde? Highlights can be any shade that's lighter than your base! For subtle dimension, consider adding medium brown highlights throughout a dark brown mane. The slight contrast will create just the right amount of depth and movement in your hair.
8. BROWN HAIR WITH ROSE GOLD HIGHLIGHTS
Love rose gold hair? So do we! If you’re not quite ready for an all-over rose gold makeover, consider opting for something a little more low-key. Yes, we’re talking about brown hair with rose gold highlights. Bring on the metallic vibes.
9. BROWN HAIR WITH STRAWBERRY BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS
What do you get when red meets blonde? Strawberry blonde, of course! If you’re torn between adding red or blonde highlights to your mane, we’d consider strawberry blonde highlights the perfect compromise. The color looks best on those with medium or light brown hair.
10. ASH BROWN HAIR WITH ASH BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS
While we’ve shared some gorgeous warm-toned options, some of you may prefer to keep things cool. And if you have a cool, ash brown hair color, we couldn’t agree more. Add depth to your mane with complementary ash blonde highlights, and you'll have yourself the ultimate cool ‘do.
11. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH COPPER HIGHLIGHTS
Want to experiment with something a little outside of your comfort zone? Copper highlights may be worth trying! This bright orange, metal-inspired hue will instantly liven up your brown hair. You’re sure to get plenty of stares—in a good way, of course!
12. BROWN HAIR WITH AUBURN HIGHLIGHTS
Did we mention we love adding warmth to a brunette mane with the help of highlights? Auburn highlights are no exception to this! The brown-meets-red hue will create subtle, warm dimension throughout your brown hair.
13. BROWN HAIR WITH BRONDE HIGHLIGHTS
If you’re curious if blondes have more fun, but are still partial to being brunette, consider spicing up your brown hair with bronde highlights. A mix of blonde and brown, it’s the perfect balance between the two colors.
14. ESPRESSO HAIR WITH ASH BROWN HIGHLIGHTS
A dark, espresso hair color is cool in nature, which is why it should come as no surprise to you that its most flattering highlight pairing is an ash brown hue. Ash brown highlights will give the nearly black-brown hair color just the right about of definition without creating too harsh of a contrast.
15. BROWN HAIR WITH WHEAT HIGHLIGHTS
Think of a field, and you’ll be able to picture what wheat highlights look like. Inspired by its namesake, when woven through your brown base, the golden blonde color will leave you with a beautiful dirty brunette ‘do.
16. BROWN HAIR WITH LILAC HIGHLIGHTS
No one ever said highlights have to be a natural hair color. You can totally add some color into your strands for a bold, dimension mane! One combo we adore at the moment is brown hair with lilac highlights. Consider giving chocolate lilac hair a try.
17. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH HONEY HIGHLIGHTS
Like red, honey highlights also happen to be a huge hair color craze at the moment. And when it comes to adding them to a brunette mane, it isn’t hard to see why. The warm, rich blonde hue is reminiscent of some of our favorite chocolate bars filled with caramel.
18. BROWN HAIR WITH GRAY HIGHLIGHTS
Going gray doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually totally on-trend. If you have a cool brunette base, consider adding depth to your strands by weaving gray highlights throughout. Trust us, going gray has never been so chic!
19. LIGHT BROWN HAIR WITH PASTEL BLUE HIGHLIGHTS
Seeking another option for light brown hair with highlights that’s on the bolder end of the spectrum? Pastel blue highlights are calling your name! The pale blue shade will add a colorful twist throughout your light brown strands without making for an overly harsh contrast.
20. COOL BROWN HAIR WITH ICY BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS
If contrast is what you’re after, this may just be your brown hair with highlights match. A cool brown hair color looks quite stunning when an equally cool, icy blonde shade is weaved throughout, don’t you think? Give this high contrast hair color a whirl if you’re a cool kid at heart! You can DIY this trend with the L’Oréal Paris Super Blonde Highlight Kit in Super Bleach Blonde.
21. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH MAHOGANY HIGHLIGHTS
It’s no secret that hair color inspiration comes from just about everywhere, from food to a slab of wood. Yes, mahogany highlights encompass that same rich, red-brown hue of mahogany wood—which is why it should come as no surprise to you that they’re absolutely stunning. Weave them throughout a dark brown mane, and your strands will look like something straight off a Pinterest board.
22. BROWN HAIR WITH LIGHT BROWN HIGHLIGHTS
Another brown-on-brown option we love? Medium brown hair with light brown highlights! It’s a great option for those who are looking to add subtle movement and dimension to their mane.
23. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH BURGUNDY HIGHLIGHTS
Remember when we said red highlights were trending? Well, if a fiery red hue isn’t quite your style, consider opting for a deeper, darker take on the trend. Burgundy highlights look seriously striking on dark brown hair—give it a try!
24. LIGHT BROWN HAIR WITH PEACH HIGHLIGHTS
We think this color combo is just peachy—and we have a feeling you will, too. Add a splash of color throughout your light brown hair with the help of some peach highlights. We love this combo on those with fair skin tones.
25. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH GOLDEN HIGHLIGHTS
Stay gold! Or at the very least, add a bit of gold to your mane with the help of golden blonde highlights. When blended with dark brown hair, you’ll be left with a high contrast look that’s beautiful for the fall and winter months.
26. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH CHOCOLATE HIGHLIGHTS
Can’t get enough of dark brown hair with a bit of dimension? If high contrast isn’t your thing, opt for chocolate brown highlights instead. The warm brown hue will add rich tones throughout your mane for envy-worthy depth.
27. BROWN HAIR WITH MAGENTA HIGHLIGHTS
Go bold or go home, right? Well, when it comes to hair color, we can’t say we disagree. If you want to make a statement with your strands, ask your colorist to paint some vibrant magenta highlights throughout your mane.
28. BROWN HAIR WITH GOLD HIGHLIGHTS
Silver and gold—but emphasis on the latter. Metallic hair colors happen to be on-trend at the moment, and as far as metallic hues go, we can’t imagine one more fitting for highlights on brown hair than a shimmering gold.
29. BROWN HAIR WITH DARK BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS
Want to really take it slow when it comes to testing the waters with a blonde ‘do? Dark blonde highlights are the way to go. They’ll give you just a hint of what it’s like to be blonde without the stress of committing to a light blonde color that you may not like as much as you thought you would.
30. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH CHESNUT HIGHLIGHTS
Chestnuts roasting, adding warmth to a dark brown mane. That’s how the song goes, right? Well, if not, we’re changing the lyrics, because this color combo is giving us total heart-eyes.
31. CARAMEL BROWN WITH BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS
Do you have a rich, caramel brown hair color? Look no further than blonde highlights if you want to add dimension to your locks. Your beautiful base is just waiting to be brought to life with a few popping blonde strands!
32. DARK BROWN HAIR WITH VIOLET HIGHLIGHTS
Another purple and brown combo? Don’t mind if we do. For a bold hair color option on dark brown hair, ask your colorist to paint statement-making violet highlights throughout your mane. This pairing was made for the trendsetter—is that you?
Next up: Ready for even more highlight ideas—or think you may be better suited to lowlights? Here are The Best Highlights and Lowlights for 2019.