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Shades Of Brown: The Ultimate Brunette Hair Color Chart

Searching for the best shades of brown hair to try? This brown hair color chart is all of the brunette inspiration you’ll ever need.

Nobody loves brown hair color like brunettes do. Blondes and redheads might see us as one-note Sallys, but we know we’re anything but! If there’s any argument built to back up the unwavering popularity of brunette hair, it’s that search numbers for dark brown hair never drop year over year. 

Looking to live your brunette dreams but overwhelmed by the options? You’re not the only one. We’ve rounded up all the most popular shades in one convenient chart so that you can make an informed decision before committing to any hair color adventures.

The Ultimate Brunette Hair Color Chart

shades of brown hair color chart

How do I choose a brown hair color?

The first step in every dream hair color is figuring out how to customize it to make sense with your coloring and lifestyle. If you’re thinking of going brunette (or making your brunette look more dimensional with added color), here’s what to consider.

Cool Or Warm

Every shade has underlying notes, whether cool or warm. The one that suits you best will match the undertones of your natural skin color. To figure out which way your skin leans, turn your arm over and take a look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Blue veins mean cool tones, while green veins mean you’re best suited to warm shades.

Hair Color Maintenance

It’s no fun going brunette if you feel like you have to run back to the salon every other weekend—having hair is basically a part-time job at that point. Before you settle on your new dream color, be it raven or golden brown, talk to your stylist about the time and financial commitment you’re comfortable making so that they can tailor their recommendations accordingly.

What are the different shades of brown hair?

Whether you’re looking to go super dark, try a reddish brown hue, or a shade with caramel undertones, these are the best shades of brown hair to try this second. 

The Best Shades Of Brown Hair To Try Now

Good hair day by @hairby_gloria.

Light Ash 

If you think ashy tones are reserved for blonde colors, think again. If you love cool toned hair but don’t want to give up your brunette colored locks, light ash brunette hair is the perfect color for you.  

Good hair day by @ksenia_nemchaninova.

Honey Brown

This sweet twist on brunette hair may be out favorite one yet. If you’re looking for a way to highlight the warmth in  your complexion, honey brown is the perfect hue for you. 


Looking for a subtle way to embrace the red hair color trend without giving up your brunette locks? Auburn is the shade for you. 

Good hair day by @makeupbyfrances.


Brown hair is all about shine and no hue shines quite as bright as mahogany hair. 

Good hair day by @leohairartist.

Reddish Brown

Loving the red hair trend but don’t want to part with your brunette locks just yet? Reddish brown gives you the best of both worlds!

Good hair day by @anhwisle.

Darkest Brown

We love every hue of brown, but there’s nothing quite like darkest brown. Just a shade away from black, this hue gives you the slightest touch of warmth without sacrificing your dark roots. 

Good hair day by @hairbybeareq.

Dark Brown

For any skin tone (even the palest!), dark brown makes a sexy, ultra-feminine statement. Looking to go darker or totally reshape your image? Dark brown is the perfect idea. If you’re noticing red undertones throughout your new hue, pick up a green color-toning shampoo like Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Shampoo and Conditioner. This system neutralizes red tones in virgin and all-over black and dark brown hair colors. 

Golden Brown

There’s nothing wrong with lightening up, whether you choose to try caramel highlights on a darker base or to lift your natural brunette hair color. If you have medium or dark skin, this sunny brunette will make you look like you just got back from baking on the beach somewhere expensive and tropical—and isn’t that what we all want?

Your colorist may need to use bleach depending on how light your desired hue is. Bleach will always cause a bit of damage, but adding a hair mask like L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Inforcer Anti-Breakage Masque to your routine can help keep your mane looking and feeling healthy. Infused with vitamin B6 and biotin, this formula strengthens hair and prevents breakage while detangling and adding shine. 

Good hair day by @hellocindeee.

Ash Brown

Stay chill and try an ash brown color, a gray-tinged trendy shade that makes every head of hair a little more effortless. Whether you talk to your stylist about subtle lowlights or go for a whole head of ashy mushroom brown, the cool-toned look is guaranteed to make you look 25 percent more like an off-duty model.

To keep brass from ruining your ash brown hue, add a shampoo and conditioner like Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine. This progressive toning system prevents and neutralizes brass on both highlighted and naturally brown hair. 

Good hair day by @hair_by_lana_banana.

Light Brown

Too many times, blonde gets offered up as the only way to lighten your hair. Hang on a sec! Light brown hair is a super versatile alternative that means less bleach and potentially fewer appointments over the course of the year. If you’re looking for a subtle change that won’t have you looking in the mirror and wondering who the woman staring back at you is, light brown is a smart option.

Good hair day by @lorenhairstylist.

Chocolate Brown

Got a taste for gooey, rich chocolate? So do we, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. To bring new life to your hair color, try a shade like chocolate on any skin tone.

Good hair day by @lyndadidit.

Chestnut Brown

Chestnut brown is that shade we see flooding our Instagram feeds year after year and never get tired of seeing. This reddish brown hue complements every skin tone and makes for the perfect fall hair color

Good hair day by @ericmichaelhair.

Medium Brown

Medium brown is the middle shade between dark and light brown, which means it can flatter every skin tone. If you’re struggling to decide between dark and light, this color is the ideal happy medium. 

Good hair day by @texasbalayage.

Caramel Brown

Fact: A drizzle of caramel makes everything better! Caramel brown is a warm-toned, dimensional shade that every skin tone will love. Ask your colorist for an all-over caramel hue or caramel highlights to instantly brighten your strands. 

Good hair day by @hairbyjohan.

Gray Brown

Gray brown is a moody, cool-toned shade that looks stunning on pale skin tones. If you’re thinking of going gray, this brunette shade can also help ease the transition. 

Good hair day by @glamiris.


We consider bronze to be the gold medal of brown hair colors—bright, shiny, and the clear winner for those looking for a statement-making shade. Use a shine serum like Pureology Shine Bright Taming Serum to add lightweight shine to color-treated hair while taming frizz and flyaways. 

Good hair day by @alex.mercedesss.

Red Brown

This hue combines the richness of brunette hair color with the vibrance of a coppery red hue for a truly delectable shade.

Interested in trying a brown hair color for yourself? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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