Chocolate brown hair is always a very good decision. The classic shade—not quite espresso, not quite medium brown—suits a wide variety of complexions and makes everyone look just a little bit more like a 1950s movie star.
Craving a little more chocolatey goodness in your life? Read on.
Let’s start with the basics: Undertones. If you’ve ever dyed your hair before, you’re welcome to skip this bit. If you have skin with peach or pink undertones, you have a warm skin tone. In that case, you’ll want to try a chocolate shade that has the same base notes.
For ladies with cool undertones to their skin, rest assured there are plenty of chocolate hair shades that will flatter your skin. Look for purple and blue-tinted brunette shades, as well as those with ashy undertones. There’s no shortage of options for you.
If your stomach isn’t already growling at these hair color names, don’t worry—it will be. Milk chocolate hair falls directly between dark brown hair and deep caramel blonde, resulting in a textured shade that incorporates the best of both hair color realms. If you’re just becoming a brunette for the first time, milk chocolate will suit you well.
On the opposite end of the salon spectrum is dark chocolate, a shade that’s neither truly brunette nor truly cherry red. This is a wintery shade as well as an excellent transition color for redheads. We love the multifaceted color on very long manes, in particular, so the hair’s movement can show off those flashy red notes.
Chocolate with Red
Like the look of dark chocolate hair, but wish there was a little more spice? We love the look of red-tinted chocolate hair, which is basically a more exaggerated version of dark chocolate locks. To achieve this look, ask your stylist for a red glaze over the top of your chocolate base color.
Chocolate with Caramel
Many women who’ve never tried dark brown hair are afraid the color will be too much for them, overwhelming their faces or making them seem drawn. If that’s the case for you, try a look that incorporates both chocolate and caramel. Whether you choose a caramel ombre or simply balayage throughout the hair, you’ll be surprised how much it can brighten your look.
Chocolate with Purple
This one’s for the girls who are always looking for a way to add a pop of color to their hairstyles. Instead of just going dark, we adore the idea of adding violet, lilac, or dusty mauve highlights throughout the hair. Or, if you’re interested in subtlety, ask your stylist to apply the color in a peekaboo stripe at the nape of your neck.
In the perfect world, every woman would have a chance to try red-gold-brown hair. It’s a confidence booster and a game changer, especially when you’ve achieved the right balance of shades. That ideal color has a name: Mocha. No matter your skin tone or age, this luscious hair color is a guaranteed win.
For olive and golden skin, it’s important to break up the darkness of chocolate hair with lighter notes. Bring ashy beige tones to your brunette ‘do by way of highlights, ombre, or balayage. If you’re feeling adventurous, incorporate notes of dusty rose, mauve, and silver into your mid-lengths and ends. The result will be unique and feminine without overpowering your face.
For a summery take on chocolate hair, warm golden highlights are a no-brainer. They look particularly lovely in brown hair when applied as “babylights,” a subtle technique meant to imitate the natural blonde highlights kids often get after spending all summer in the sun. On adults, babylights are flattering without being ostentatious (which is just how we like them).
Picture an oversized mug of cocoa on a cold winter day, all light foam over a dark base with flecks of cinnamon sprinkled on top. Now, translate that into a hair color. In this shade, a chocolate base gives way to lighter top notes and copper streaks, making it a melty, warm melange of color.
If hot chocolate hair is all about fiery red notes, then cherry chocolate is its moody sibling. The shade is only a little brighter than burgundy, incorporating both purple and red notes. Cherry chocolate hair is wonderful for both very pale and very dark skin. The resulting contrast makes this shade a true stunner.
When it comes to summery shades of brown hair, chestnut is a surefire winner. The orange-brown shade incorporates the chocolate elements we know and love while introducing copper influences that spice up the whole look. If you’re interested in hot chocolate hair but would like to introduce more red to the shade, chestnut is definitely the way to go. What’s life (and hair) without a little variety?
Here’s a shade that just barely counts as chocolate, but is so beautiful we couldn’t possibly leave it out. Meet plum, a dark purple-brown that’s perfectly suited for all seasons. If you’ve debated trying purple hair but haven’t committed yet, use plum as a transition color. This muted violet can’t be ignored.
If you already know how emotional purple shimmer in dark hair makes you, it may be time to kick your color up another notch. For the bold women looking to try something new, there’s violet chocolate hair. Although the name might be a mouthful, we love the velvety depth of this shade. It’s the next best thing to eating actual chocolate.
At last, we’ve reached a shade that’s truly all chocolate. This glossy, medium-dark tone is the one that started it all. It happens to look particularly flattering on women with honey or caramel tones to their own skin, no matter the shade. Wondering where the “truffle” comes in? This shade should contain darker notes for depth, just like truffles add a little extra something to the sweet treat.
There’s no rule that says you have to commit to an entire head of red hair. In fact, we’d rather you give the color a try in peekaboo fashion. Your red streaks will make a statement rather than overwhelming your complexion.
Like the syrupy treat for which it’s named, caramel balayage adds a touch of sweetness to your rich chocolate hue. This look is an excellent choice for autumn or winter.
Honey balayage is a bit brighter than caramel, making it an optimal choice during spring and summer. It’s all the fun of going blonde without losing your brunette identity.
Not feeling the dramatic impact of caramel balayage? Opt for a more subtle peekaboo take on the color. Your stylist can pick face-framing pieces to lighten, brightening up your complexion without stealing the show.
We rarely make claims like this, but it’s very possible cinnamon balayage on chocolate hair is a perfect color. It’s just a slight hint of reflective red and gold, resulting in a natural-looking color when the light hits it.
Embrace your dark side with a red balayage color that’s a little sultry. Perfect for pixies, long bobs, and angled cuts, this dramatic application of color will make you feel like you’re playing an assassin in a movie.
Mahogany hair color has a unique pinkish hue that looks dazzling against a dark backdrop. To add dimension to your hair without the typical blonde streaks, mahogany highlights will do the trick.
Ash blonde has been a trend for several years now and doesn’t seem like it will fade anytime soon. That’s a positive, though, because the shade looks dynamite with very dark hair. As an added bonus, the balayage application means you’ll have to touch up your roots less frequently.
Rose gold was one of the biggest trends of the last year, which means it’s the perfect time to embrace it. On chocolate brown hair, rose gold reads as a reflective highlight instead of an overwhelming pink shade.
Don’t be afraid to combine dark brown hair with very bright blonde. With the help of a talented stylist, you can attain the best of both worlds. Keep in mind, platinum will always require more maintenance than a honey blonde highlight might. If you’re prepared to put in the upkeep work, you’re bound to fall in love.
Dark hair is beautiful, but it can sometimes read a little one-note. Instead of allowing your chocolate brown strands to rule your look, ask your stylist for bright chestnut highlights to add dimension to your color.
Copper is one of those hair colors that looks good on nearly everyone, adding a strawberry shine to even the darkest brown base. Try it throughout your hair for the summer.
If copper is too red for you, give auburn a try. This satin-like nude shade will add vibrancy to your chocolate brown ’do. On curly or wavy hair, auburn is a real stunner.
Not one for hair maintenance? Switch up your style with blonde peekaboo streaks that won’t take too long in a salon—and won’t require you going back very often. We’d call this the perfect hair look for the woman who’d rather be at the beach than thinking about her next appointment.