Confession: We have a serious craving for chocolate—not just the kind you eat, but rather hair colors inspired by the favorite dessert. No matter the season, dark brown hair color is the right decision.
Whether you’re aiming for a medium shade with golden notes or full-on roasty espresso hair color, there’s a shade for you. There’s a reason so many celebrities choose to try dark brunette hair trends: The shade is low-maintenance and lovely, especially when paired with bright or dark pops of color.
Instead of choosing to agonize over gray balayage or red hair, dye your hair chestnut, mahogany, dark honey, or cocoa. Don’t be afraid to indulge your sweet tooth and take your hair in a new direction. In ponytails, braids, or androgynous haircuts, dark brown hair (and dark brown hair with highlights) is truly striking.
The Best Dark Brown Hair Ideas To Try
Good hair day by @ashlemaster.
Hair colors involving gold and silver are pure classics, so there’s practically no going wrong with them. We love this rich golden brown hair color as a transitional shade for fall since it’s so warm.
Good hair day by @ckaedingcolor.
Iced Latte Brown
Add a touch of frost to your dark blonde hair with iced latte brown, a color combination that ruled social media all summer. If cool shades are most likely to flatter you coloring, this is the color to choose.
Good hair day by @kellymccormickhair.
Gray doesn’t have to mean one-dimensional. This dark brown and gray mix takes the gray hair color trend and flips it on its head, creating a youthful and multidimensional shade.
Good hair day by @amberdoeshairtx.
Love pastel hair colors, but not so sure about the maintenance routine they require? Minimize the time and effort involved with a pastel that blends into a dark brown base color. As an added bonus, it’s a more understated look.
Good hair day by @prettylittleombre.
When winter settles in, all we wish for is cashmere blanket to wrap ourselves in. Think of warm brown as its hair color equivalent—at least in coziness. Be sure to schedule a consultation appointment ahead of your color service to ensure your stylist has time to tailor your color to your skin tone.
Good hair day by @kim.m.r_blo.
In the wide world of hair color, auburn really is one of the greats. This shade adds a touch of elegance to any dark brown ‘do—not to mention, a reflective glint of red every time your hair moves.
Good hair day by @twyllajane.
Feeling playful? Metallic brown is a great way to channel that emotion into your hair color. A splash of gemstone-like shine can liven up even the darkest brown hair color.
Good hair day by @SandraCarrHairDesigner.
Fantasy colors aren’t worn out into the world as often as more classic blondes and browns, but we’re pro experimentation when it comes to sunset brown hair. Ensure you’re ready for the upkeep by consulting with a trusted hairstylist.
Good hair day by @brunodvianar.
Stick to what you know, lady. A neutral shade of dark brown is the ultimate color chameleon.
If you’re thinking about trying dark brown hair, cocoa brown was probably your first thought. The shade is a true brown with notes of red—beautiful, simple, and flattering. Cocoa brown hair is particularly beautiful on olive skin tones.
Is your stomach growling yet, especially considering this name? Cherry brown hair is one opulent shade away from chocolate brown hair, introducing notes of cool red to a deep brown base. We love this color for dark skin tones.
When you think mocha brown hair, imagine the perfect blend of espresso and hazel tones—café-inspired hair colors are so in. Like its delicious, rich namesake, this shade is best when served warm—warm undertones, that is. This shade is incredibly versatile, suiting all skin tones equally.
Erring slightly more on the ultra violet hair side than cherry brown, burgundy brown adds a violet sheen to any mane. The cool-toned hair color looks lovely on medium skin tones, with the red notes adding extra dimension.
Dark Honey Brown
Here’s another shade for ladies with warm-toned skin. Just the way caramel hair color acts like a vacation in a bottle for blondes, dark honey brown hair makes brunettes’ skin glow. There’s a reason you see supermodels wear this color.
Chestnut is a particularly luminous shade of dark brown. If you’re worried about winter hair color that looks flat or lifeless, stress no more—the reddish notes within dark hair colors will keep you feeling and looking vibrant until spring comes again. Chestnut brown hair color is a must-try.
Not enough red for you? Try mahogany brown, a color so deep it hovers somewhere between brown and red hair color. It’s a vampy, dramatic take on brunette, and we love it on ladies with extra pale, cool skin.
If you’re hoping for a wear-anywhere shade of brown that’s not quite as dramatic as mocha or espresso, we recommend giving coffee brown a try. The color is incredibly neutral, suitable for all skin tones and seasons.
Dark bronze hair is just luscious—there’s no other way to say it. The shade comes with hints of caramel and deep, deep brown, mixed so beautifully it’s impossible to ignore. On tan skin, dark bronze is a dream.
Have you always wanted to dye your hair black, but can’t quite cheat on your brunette roots? Ask your stylist for espresso, a truly deep shade of brown that’s reflective and mesmerizing. We love the shade for winter, especially against very pale skin.
Milk Chocolate Brown
Milk chocolate doesn’t only make for a sweet treat—it’s pretty incredible as a hair color, too. This medium-dark shade comes with warm red notes, which makes it a great choice for olive-skinned ladies. Milk chocolate brown is a favorite of ours when it comes to fall hair colors.
Dark Brown With Rose Gold Balayage
If you’ve been dying to try out the rose gold hair trend but haven’t quite committed, we have the perfect inspiration for you. Instead of taking your whole head lighter, ask your stylist to apply rose gold balayage over your dark brown hair. The resulting look is multi-faceted and shimmery.
Dark Brown With Copper Highlights
Not a girl who’s looking for pink balayage? Try copper highlights on your dark brown hair, adding extra warm notes into the mix. This look is fantastic for natural redheads looking to mix it up a little while still paying homage to their original copper hair color.
Unlike many other shades of dark brown, cinnamon brown is unique in its versatility. The red-brown shade can skew either warm or cool, making it a viable option for all skin tones.
Hair stylists disagree on the precise shade of cappuccino brown, but we say it’s a medium-dark brown with hints of gold through the mid-lengths and ends. It’s a beautiful transition shade for springtime, and will even last through the end of the summer. Balayage brown hair? Don't mind if we do.
Curious about cola brown hair? Think of the way cola looks in the light—dark in the middle, with deep red where the light comes through. That’s exactly what inspires this soda-like shade, which looks incredible on cool-toned ladies.
Black To Copper Ombre
If you’re not quite convinced to dye your whole head dark brown, we love the look of an ombre that fades from black to copper. This hair color spectrum passes right through medium-dark brown, while still incorporating several other shades. It’s all the look and none of the commitment of being a brunette.
Bronde (brown blonde) may have started as a dark shade of blonde, but the past year has seen stylists adapting it many ways. We like this color best when the base is a very deep brunette.
Girls with cool skin tones, this one’s for you. Dark auburn just barely counts as brown hair, but the purple-red shade wouldn’t be nearly as lovely without undertones of espresso.
On the opposite end of the brown spectrum is amber brown, a color that’s remarkable in its versatility. The medium-dark shade includes plenty of blonde influence, creating a color that mimics naturally sun-lightened hair.
Beige And Brown Sombre
While amber brown hair contains visible bright sections, beige and brown sombre (subtle ombre) is a much more nuanced take on the transition. Come red carpet season, plenty of celebrities will be wearing this super versatile shade.
Caramel brown is basically the denim of hair color—it looks fabulous on everyone. No matter your skin color, the buttery shade will give you a glow.
Light brown hair has a reputation for mousiness, but the color can be beautifully multidimensional in the hands of the right colorist. When in doubt, ask your colorist about placing babylights throughout your mane.
Chocolate Brown Highlights
Brunette hair can fall flat, which is why you’ll see so many colorists suggesting a secondary shade. On black hair, chocolate brown highlights add a reflective quality that will make even the darkest shade pop.
Ombre Brown Highlights
The ombre technique mimics the way the sun naturally bleaches hair, leaving you with an authentic looking brown-to-blonde hair color. There’s a reason your favorite celebrity is already wearing this color.
Caramel Brown Highlights
Caramel brown highlights on brunette locks do more than just flatter your complexion. The bright pieces help create the illusion of thicker hair, just the way highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones makes them seem more defined.
Caramel Brown Ombre
Particular about the way your caramel is applied to your hair? Us, too. Ask your colorist about an ombre, which will help ensure the caramel grows out without any line of demarcation.
Shoulder Length Brown Hair
Short Brown Hair
Red Undertones On Brown
Dip Dye Brown
Rose Gold On Brown
Platinum And Brown
Babylights On Dark Brown Hair
During the summer, babylights are the simplest way to lighten up your dark strands. This technique replicates the natural highlights many children have, which means won’t feel overdone.
For a more subtle choice, ask your colorist to add burgundy pieces around your face.
Honey Brown Highlights
For a funky touch, add a hint of lavender brown hair color to the ends of your hair. This technique can also help freshen up blonde ombre that you’re growing tired of.
Don’t be afraid of a little fungus! This chic medium brown shade has been on top of colorists’ most-beloved lists for several years because it’s so versatile. To make the most of your minimalist shade, pair mushroom brown hair with long, wavy hairstyles.
Ensure your dark brown hair packs a bunch thanks to this purple-influenced play on moody color. Min Kim, L’Oréal Professionnel stylist, loves the color for those wanting to make a memorable entrance.
Brown Sugar Brunette
We already love brown sugar on our oatmeal and in our coffee—so why not in our hair? Brown sugar hair is happening in a big way. Don’t let this sweet trend pass you by.
Like the goddesses of ancient mythology, make bronze work for you. This multifaceted, totally rich shade is a fit for any season.
Send nudes—nude browns, that is. Undone is the new overdone in fashion, which means the best hair is the kind that doesn’t steal attention away from your face. Keep things casual with a nude brown ‘do.
Spicy mama! Chili chocolate hair brings the heat.
Keep it cool by trying ash beige hair color. The cooler the tone, the better your ultimate color will look.
Live life on the edgy side with a color that blends blonde and brunette. The dirty brunette hair trend is an excellent way to hint at getting blonde highlights—without having to spend endless hours in the chair.
Like to walk on the edge? We’ve got the perfect shade for you. Charcoal brown hair is a near-black shade that incorporates all the inky, ashy goodness you’ve ever wanted without dying your dark brown shade black. More nuance means better hair color.
Brighten up your natural hair color with butter babylights, which are basically super subtle versions of standard highlights. The bright gold streaks will mimic natural sun-brightened pieces to make your complexion look even more tanned and summery.
Get in on the ash trend with a hair color that has a distinctive matte-looking finish to it. Ashy chocolate proves you don’t have to give up your vampy, dark hair color to give trends a try.
Shine like a precious stone with ruby brown hair, a red-tinged shade that adds just enough color to make you stand out without trading in your brunette status for redhead.
Level up your dark brown hair with the addition of copper and strawberry-colored accents that’ll look just like the golden hour and add a reflective, dimensional quality to your colored hair.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Brown
Got a sweet tooth? So do we! Chocolate chip cookie hair is the perfect way to indulge it.
Good hair day by @hairbykatierose.
Combine our best ombre hair ideas with our favorite color of the season and you’ll be working some serious hair magic. This shade makes every skin tone glow, so no fear before you take it for a spin!
Good hair day by @savvyheartshair.
Prismatic BrunetteIf this hair doesn’t leave you jaw on the floor, we don’t know what to tell you! This utterly prismatic blend of color is perfect for brunettes who need to stand out at all times and have the cerebral calmness to sit through a detailed color session (or several!) at the salon.
Good hair day by @krysta_hannon_hair.
Fire BrunetteSunset hair had a hot moment several years ago but we consider fire brunette an evolved, more wearable version of the trend! You’ll hold onto your natural base at the roots and ends with a luminous blend of red and orange right in the middle, making this ‘do perfect for those who prefer a low maintenance salon schedule.
Good hair day by @misscoralineblue.
Slate BrunetteAsh is the trend that everybody wants to try and this photo proves it’s a keeper! This hand-painted, gray-influenced shade blends seamlessly into your roots and brightens up your ends. It’s particularly gorgeous on women with medium and dark skin tones.
Good hair day by @lyndadidit.
Dark SandWe’re picky shoppers who don’t make a purchase until we know exactly what we want—and what we want is the best of everything! Dark sand is the best of summer blonde and dark brunette in one hair color. Since this shade has tons of movement and dimension, you’ll never feel like your mane is falling flat! Just make sure you’re using a blue pigmented shampoo like Matrix Total Results Brass Off to keep that blonde brass-free.
Good hair day by @themanemichael.
Cornflower Blue OmbreAt the sweet spot between lavender and baby blue lies cornflower, a super cool pastel shade that has all the ash you could ever want! Have your stylist apply it throughout your hair for a fun take on the standard ombre.
Good hair day by @shmoakin_hair.
Negative SpaceThe biggest trend of the new year is...less. Instead of the heavy-handed highlights that have been popular, our favorite stylists are being strategic about where they place their accent color with the negative space movement. The result is hair color that makes a real impact and appears thicker! Who doesn’t want that?
For customized advice about dark brown hair, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you