Nearly half of the world’s population has brown eyes, making it the most common eye color (by a long shot). While brown eyes are sometimes viewed as less exciting than blue or green, in reality, this hue is much more nuanced than meets the eye (pun intended). Whether your eyes are deep and chocolatey or flecked with amber and gold, knowing the best hair colors for brown eyes is the secret to accentuating your gaze. To prove it, we’ve rounded up 20 gorgeous hair color ideas that’ll put enchanting brown eyes on full display.
What hair color makes brown eyes pop?
Brown is a neutral shade, meaning there are very few (if any) colors it doesn’t mesh with. On the one hand, that means you have a wealth of flattering hair colors to choose from. On the other, unlimited color routes may present a paradox of choice: How do you know which one is best for you?
A general guideline is to think about what you want out of your hair color. If you want to complement the depth of your eyes, dark shades like jet black and chocolate brown will lend a sultry, moody vibe to your look. Meanwhile, jewel tones like amethyst purple, ruby red, and sapphire blue will provide striking contrast against your earthy gaze. Or, maybe, you prefer to balance the warmth of your brown eyes with an equally warm hair color. In that case, dimensional caramel, rich honey brown, and shimmering golden blonde can all create the flattering effect you’re after.
Do brown eyes look better with dark or light hair?
The neutrality of brown eyes means they look great with both light and dark hair. Instead of thinking in terms of light vs. dark, consider choosing your hair color for brown eyes based on your skin’s undertones. Matching your mane to your undertones will help ensure your complexion appears vibrant and glowing instead of tired or washed out.
How to Find Your Skin’s Undertone
Undertones can be either cool, warm, or neutral. A simple way to determine your own is to look at the veins inside of your wrists. If your skin has warm undertones, your veins will appear greenish, while those with cool undertones will have blue or purplish-tinted veins. If your veins appear more bluish-green, you likely have neutral undertones. In addition, warm-toned skin tends to tan in the sunlight, while cool-toned skin usually burns. Neutral skin often burns first before turning tan or golden.
When in doubt, your colorist can help you identify your undertones before they whip up a color that’s uniquely yours.
The Best Hair Colors for Brown Eyes to Try Now
Your new hair color ultimately boils down to personal preference. There are no official rules, so we always recommend picking a color that will make you feel your most beautiful and confident. Even so, here are 20 hair colors for brown eyes we promise will leave a lasting impression.
You may shy away from dark hair colors if you have light skin, but that doesn’t mean blonde hair is your only option. In our opinion, lilac strands are one of the best hair colors for brown eyes and fair skin. The cool purple tones enhance the blue-leaning undertones of pale skin while creating unexpected contrast against dark eyes.
The word ‘brown’ does nothing to convey the full spectrum of colors found in your captivating eyes. Opt for an all-over golden blonde shade to help bring out the hidden golden flecks in your eyes.
An ashy mushroom bronde underscores any cool gray undertones in hazel brown eyes so they appear even lighter than before. Plus, it’s an ideal in-between hue if you want cooler locks that aren’t full-on blonde.
We all know brown eyes have dazzling gold undertones, but their equally stunning red undertones often go overlooked. Play up the ruby flecks in your eyes with a vivid copper hair color.
If you’re not ready for a complete color change but want hair that’ll emphasize your eyes, try copper highlights. The reddish-orange hue will accent the luminous warm tones in your brown eyes.
Copper isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay. Whereas copper is a zesty bright orange, auburn is a toned-down, gingery red for a more wearable warmth.
Those up for the challenge of maintaining white blonde hair will be rewarded with a shade that will make heads turn, and their eyes glow.
Bleached hair makes a statement, but achieving a white-blonde mane can be damaging. We suggest investing in strengthening hair care products to help keep your hair looking and feeling its best. Biolage Professional’s Bond Therapy line is one of our top picks for lightened hair. The citric acid and coconut oil-infused range delivers powerful bond-building and conditioning care to weakened hair. Read more about it in our Bond Therapy review (and see some pretty convincing before and afters).
Stay on trend and make your eyes pop with this fun millennial pink shade. Pastel pinks help pull out the rosy undertones in fair, cool complexions, making it another one of the best hair colors for brown eyes and fair skin.
Whoever said black and brown don’t go together is seriously mistaken. The hues may be similar, but that’s exactly why jet black hair is such a great shade for those with brown eyes. The darkness of your hair will make your eyes appear brighter in contrast, especially if they’re hazel brown or light amber.
The best thing about having eyes that are a relatively neutral color is that you don’t have to think twice before trying a daring color. A deep pink hue like magenta allows you to live out your fantasy hair color dreams without worrying about clashing against your eyes.
Caramel is among the most flattering hair colors for olive skin and brown eyes. The sunkissed color brings out the golden pigments in brown eyes while illuminating the warm undertones of olive skin. A few face-framing caramel highlights are all it takes to reap major benefits.
Highlights may not require as much maintenance as an all-over color, but you’ll still need to tweak your hair care routine to keep them looking their best. Once or twice a week, swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner system for Matrix Brass Off Shampoo and Conditioner. This professional salon system deposits balancing blue-violet pigments to reduce brassy tones in lightened brunette hair.
Green and brown is a classic pairing that exudes grounded earthiness. A versatile way to dip your toes into green is by going with a super dark hue that borders on brunette. The subtle shade appears brownish in low lighting, while direct sunlight allows the greenish undertones to shine through.
Your eye and hair color hair don’t have to come from opposite sides of the color spectrum to make a statement. One of the easiest ways to choose a hair color that'll flatter you is to match it to your eye color. This will create a cohesive look that's simple yet alluring.
Eyeshadow and modern eyeliner are proven ways to bring attention to your eyes, but sometimes, you may want a lower-maintenance beauty routine. A money piece (a chunky, face-framing highlight) can give you the built-in oomph you crave. The pop of color beside your face helps accentuate your eye color and facial features without needing a complete hair transformation.
You might already know that red and brown hair looks fantastic with brown eyes, and the love child of these two hues is no different against your skin tone. Your colorist can take this brownish crimson as cool or warm as you’d like, depending on the color ratio mixed in. Help your maroon hair color look extra glossy by running a few drops of shine oil through it, like Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime L'Huile Originale Hair Oil.
Think back to when you learned about color wheel in elementary school: Colors that lay opposite each other are complementary, so they’ll help one another stand out. Since blue and brown are directly opposing, the pairing unsurprisingly yields a striking result.
Purple and brown may not be the first epic color combination that comes to mind. Still, there’s a good reason why they mesh: Purple is a close second to blue on the color wheel, making it another compatible option for brown eyes.
Blue-eyed babes tend to think they’ve cornered the blonde hair market, but the color contrast between bright blonde hair and deep brown eyes makes for a dazzling combo. Warm, buttery blonde is an especially beautiful hair color for olive skin and brown eyes.
Whether embracing your naturally graying hair or heading to the salon for a silvery ‘do, cool gray hair looks stunning juxtaposed against the richness and warmth of brown eyes.
Can’t choose a color? You don’t have to! Brown is one of the few eye colors that pair well with every hue out there, so go all out with a pastel rainbow.
Now that you’ve picked out your hair color for brown eyes, discover how to preserve its vibrancy with L’Oréal Professional's Best Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair.
Use our salon locator to book a hair color transformation with a professional near you.