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Brown hair is undeniably gorgeous—and you can make it look even more beautiful by following a few key hair color tips specifically for brown hair. From finding the best brown hair color for your skin tone (we see you chestnut brown hair!) to knowing what goes into the process of lightening brown hair, using the right products to keep color-treated hair vibrant and shiny to experimenting with rainbow hair colors, keep reading for six hair color tips for brunettes. We foresee a super-pretty new hair color in your future!
If you want to stick with a classic shade of brown hair but are uncertain which one will complement your features the best, consider your undertones. If you have cool undertones, you likely have pink and olive undertones, while if you have warm undertones, your skin likely has yellow and gold undertones. Those with a mix typically have neutral undertones, and that means they can get away with just about any hair color looking stunning. For cool and warm undertones, a general rule of thumb you can follow is picking a shade that is the opposite of your undertones.
Want some examples of what would look best with your undertones? If you have warm undertones, pick a cool brown hair color such as chesnut, mocha, dark chocolate, or dark auburn. To DIY your hair color, try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Cool Medium Brown or L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Medium Chestnut Brown. Meanwhile, if you have cool undertones, opt for a warm brown hair color, like amber, caramel, golden brown, honey, or warm red. To get the look at home, try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Light Golden Brown or L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme in Light Reddish Brown.
Lots of lighter hair colors are trending these days, such as platinum blonde, but it’s easier said than done for those with brown hair to get in on the fun. That’s because it’s virtually impossible to go from dark brown hair to light blonde hair in one session—if you were to attempt that, you could even damage your hair. Going lighter requires bleaching, and the darker your starting shade, the more sessions it may take to achieve your desired level of blonde hair. If you want to make an extreme change, it’s best to visit a professional colorist who can guide you through the process from start to finish without sacrificing the integrity of your hair. You can DIY lighter hair with an at-home hair color kit, but keep in mind that the results might vary depending on your starting shade. Going two shades lighter should be the max you attempt at home so that you end up with results you’re happy with.
Besides the lighter hair colors that are being spotted everywhere these days, from runways to red carpets, rainbow hair colors are having a huge moment as well. Now, when you have brown hair, you’d have to bleach your hair first in order for the rainbow shades to show up. But let’s say you’re not sure you want to sport a rainbow hair color for that long—maybe you just want to rock one for a night out with your BFFs. In that case, you can reach for a temporary hair color spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray, which shows up on brown hair without any bleaching and washes out after one shampoo. Have your pick from a variety of on-trend shades, including rose gold and pastel mint. Shake the can well, spray it onto your hair, let it dry, and you’re good to go.
Is your brown hair looking a little dull these days? Call up your salon and book an appointment for a glaze or gloss, both of which can temporarily add the look of shine to your hair color. Glazes and glosses are great to get in between hair color touch-ups since they’re an easy way to refresh your hair without dyeing your hair.
It’s not just how you color your hair that matters—it’s how you care for your colored hair, too. The most important switch to your hair care routine you should make is in the shower. Use a shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask that are especially formulated for color-treated hair. You can do just that with the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo, L'Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Conditioner, and L'Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm. Swap out the conditioner for the hair mask once or twice a week for extra conditioning. When you’re in the shower, make sure to wash your hair in lukewarm water, since super-hot water can strip your strands of essential oils, making it feel dry and look dull.
When you’re styling your hair, always apply a heat protectant, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray, before picking up your blow-dryer. Think about giving your hair a rest from the heat from time to time. Spritz on a wave-enhancing hair spray, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray, to towel-dried hair, then let your hair air dry for beachy waves. Finally, use a shine-enhancing hair spray, like the L'Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil Satin Hairspray, to finish off your hairstyles.
Now you know exactly what you need to do when it comes to coloring brown hair, so you’re ready to move on to more advanced hair color tutorials. Learn How to Add Dimension to Light Brown Hair if you want a more natural hair color or How to Get Unicorn Hair if you want a bolder hair color. Whether you choose the natural or bold route, you now have the know-how to color your brown hair with ease!