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71 Stunning Dark Brown Hair Color Ideas

Dark brown hair is a fit for everyone because it comes in such an array of colors. If brown hair color dye is your next move, read on for inspiration.

It's no secret that brunette hair is one of the most classic hair colors around, but the hue has never been as trendy as it is now. And with some of our favorite celebrities trading in their blonde locks for chocolate tresses, it’s clear that people far and wide are eager to take a walk on the dark side.

There’s a reason dark brown hair is so popular with celebs and influencers: It’s a classic color no matter how you style it, and there are countless variations to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a fresh take on your natural color or want to go bold with an eye-catching balayage, every shade is beautiful in its own way.

You can even try dark brown hair with highlights in an unexpected color (like gray, rose gold, or blue for a nod at a more ephemeral hair color trend. Ready to explore the dark side? We’re helping you learn how to choose the best dark brown hair color for you with 70+ options to inspire your next dye job (plus maintenance tips), ahead.

How To Choose The Right Dark Brown Hair Color For You

As you’re mulling over the perfect dark brown hair dye shade for you, the first thing to keep in mind is the color spectrum:

  • Warm hair colors: Browns that reflect gold, orange, or red, such as mahogany.
  • Cool hair colors: Browns that reflect blue, green, or purple, including black-browns.
  • Neutral hair colors: Browns that are neither overly warm nor cool but are instead a perfect balance of both.

Next, check if your skin undertones are warm, cool, or somewhere in between:

  • Warm skin tones: Look at the underside of your wrist. If your veins appear greenish you likely have a warm skin tone. Those with warmer skin typically to look best in warm dark brown hair colors.
  • Cool skin tones: If you have bluish veins and a more pinkish complexion, you probably have cool skin. Cool-toned dark brown hair colors, like mushroom brown, tend to look better on you, as they won’t pull out the red in your complexion.
  • Neutral skin tones: You likely have bluish-green veins, and your skin is neither rosy nor olive. Lucky you! Almost every shade of dark brown hair dye should flatter you.

Skin, of course, comes in a lovely spectrum of colors—which means you may find you fit more than one of the above categories. Also, keep in mind that everyone sees colors slightly differently, which is why it’s important to schedule a consultation with your stylist and bring photos before committing to a color.

That said, don’t feel pressured to stick to any of these “rules” at all. “The cool thing about hair is anyone can pull anything off, as long as it works with your personal style,” says Brittany Van Dyke, a Redken artist, member of the Redken Styling Society, and owner of Reformation Studios in Joplin, MO.

When in doubt, talk with your stylist about ways your cut and color choice can best highlight your favorite features.

How To Care For Dark Brown Hair

No matter what shade you choose, dark brown hair can look drab and dull if you forego proper maintenance. Van Dyke recommends scheduling mini-appointments for a hair glaze every six to eight weeks, which will help keep your color vibrant.

You’ll also want to equip yourself with products designed to help keep your dark brown hair color fresh and healthy-looking between appointments. For all-over brunette, try Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Green Toning Shampoo and Dark Envy Hydrating Conditioner. This color-depositing green shampoo neutralizes brassy undertones to keep your brunette looking its best.

If you have dark brown hair with highlights, try a color-protecting system like Biolage Colorlast Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner. This duo cleans and conditions while helping preserve your hair color. Also a must for glossy-looking strands: heat protectant. Try Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer, a leave-in treatment for dry hair that supports up to 85% less breakage from styling tools.

The Best Dark Brown Hair Ideas To Try

cappuccino dark brown hair color

Cappuccino Brown

On the lighter side of dark brown, cappuccino hair color features beige tones of brown. Instead of the harsher yellow-gold shades you’ll note in other lighter browns, cappuccino has a golden-violet reflection that looks lovely on cooler to slightly warm skin tones.

Good hair day by @ashlemaster.

Golden Brown

With warm beige-brown tones, this rich golden brown hair color is an ideal fall or spring transitional shade.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Caramel Brown Ombre

Blend chocolate and caramel hair colors using an ombre technique, to ensure hair grows out naturally between touch-ups, without a sharp line of demarcation.

Good hair day by @colorbymarina and @jamiedoesgoodhair.

Chocolate Brown with Cappuccino Highlights

This nearly espresso brown has a touch of blue-green inspired by cool, earthy tones, with a touch of sand and brandy ombre through the lengths.

woman with mushroom brown hair color

Mushroom Brown

A chic medium shade, mushroom brown hair has been on top of colorists’ most-beloved lists for several years because it’s so versatile. With a range between dark blonde to deep brown, this very cool shade has subtle sandy undertones.

“It’s like cappuccino, but more violet,” says Van Dyke. This uber-trendy shade is an ideal pick for blondes transitioning to brown because of its lack of warm tones, she adds, although it also flatters olive skin. Make the most of the trendy hue by pairing it with long, wavy hairstyles.

Good hair day by @jessie_hair_vbbeauty.

Ash Brown with Mushroom Highlights

This dark ash cool shade gets a touch of a trendy hue with pearly amethyst highlights.

Good hair day by @ckaedingcolor.

Iced Latte Brown

If cool shades flatter you coloring, blend a cool blonde into a deep mushroom color for an original take on iced caramel hair color.

Good hair day by @kellymccormickhair.

Gray Brown

Mix dark mushroom-brown with gray to flip the gray hair color on its head, creating a youthful and multidimensional shade.

Good hair day by @thegoodhairwitch.


While this brunette color technically still lives in the dark brown family, it has a strong red tone. Since red can have warm or cool undertones, stylists have a tougher time defining this shade; while it generally tends to skew warm, towards copper, it can sometimes be a cooler violet-red.

“It’s great if you want to have fun with red but not commit full-on,” says Van Dyke. Red-brown hair is ideal if you have dark or olive-toned skin, and it’s especially flattering on brown eyes.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now


Bronde hair (brown blonde) may have started as a dark shade of blonde — but it adapts gorgeously as a red-brown on a deep brunette base.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Dark Honey Brown

There’s a reason you see supermodels wear this color: It acts as a vacation in a bottle for brunettes with warm-toned skin.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Light Brown

Light brown hair can be beautifully multidimensional, not mousy, in the hands of the right colorist. When in doubt, ask about placing babylights throughout your mane.

Good hair day by @kim.m.r_blo.

Warm Auburn Highlights

Auburn hair color adds a touch of elegance to dark brown hues, creating a reflective glint every time you move.

Good hair day by @danihairmagic.

Pastel Brown

Minimize the time and effort of maintaining pastel hair colors by blending violet into a red-brown base.

chestnut dark brown hair

Chestnut Brown

Chestnut brown hair color is a luminous shade that gives flat or lifeless dark hair a vibrant glow.

Natural Brown Hair

Natural brown is like your favorite cashmere sweater: It goes with everything. Straddling warm and cool, this middle-brown shade sometimes has a touch of gold but generally doesn’t pull too much of any undertone.

“It’s universally flattering on anyone, whether your skin tone is light or dark,” says Van Dyke. “Everyone looks good in a neutral tone.”

Good hair day by @brunodvianar.

Multi-Dimensional Neutral Brown

A neutral shade of dark brown hair is the ultimate color chameleon; caramel highlights create a beachhead look.

woman with nude brown hair color

Nude Brown

Nude brown hair color takes a hint from French girl hair, complementing your complexion without stealing the show.

Good hair day by @avhair_.

Chocolate Brown with Caramel Highlights

If you want an effortlessly chic shade, consider upgrading your dark brown hair with caramel highlights that are beautifully, subtly blended.

Good hair day by @hairbybritny.

Natural Brown with Red Highlights

Golds, coppers, and red tones add warmth to natural brown shades. We love this one as a go-to winter hair color.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Rose Gold Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

Dying to try out the rose gold hair trend? Ask your stylist to apply a pinkish-gold balayage over your neutral dark brown hair for a multi-faceted and shimmery look.

Good hair day by @toyomii.

Espresso with Neutral Highlights

If you’re not quite ready to fully plunge into espresso, this natural and neutral shade has similar violet undertones — with a brush of soft gold through the ends.

Dark Chocolate Hair

Picture a dark chocolate bar, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of this popular shade of dark brown hair with rich gold to burnt-gold tones. “More people can pull it off than you think,” says Van Dyke. Dark chocolate hair works well on fair and dark skin; the gold makes blue eyes pop. It’s best on warm or neutral skin tones but is generally a no-go for rosy undertones.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Chocolate Brown Highlights

The reddish hue of these chocolate brown highlights adds a reflective pop to even the darkest shade of brunette.

woman with dirty brunette hair

Dirty Brunette

The dirty brunette hair trend combines dirty blonde with chocolate brown hair. Ask your stylist for dark brown hair with blonde highlights that lean a bit dirty in hue.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Milk Chocolate Brown

Try this fall hair color with warm gold notes. Just like its namesake, milk chocolate brown hair is warm and inviting. It's a gorgeous hue that pairs perfectly with olive-toned skin.

Good hair day by @isalonbetsarakely.

Dark with Milk Chocolate

This dark chocolate brown hair borders on espresso, with subtle highlights for a natural sun-kissed look.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Red-Brown Babylights on Chocolate Brown Hair

During the summer, babylights lighten up dark chocolate strands by replicating the naturally-occuring highlights you often see in kids’ hair. Opt for reddish babylights to bring out the warmth of your base shade.

woman with cinnamon brown hair

Brown Sugar Brunette

Add a touch of cinnamon highlights to chocolate brown hair, and you’ve got brown sugar brunette—a very on-trend look.

Good hair day by @ciaracasey_jchair and @justincaseysalon.

Red-Brown Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

This brunette balayage is the love child of chocolate brown and red-brown hair.

Good hair day by @blakereedevans.

Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut

What pairs perfectly with dark chocolate? Hazelnut. Add dimension to your dark brown with a rich, nutty-brown balayage.

Good hair day by @hairbymeganperez.

Warm Walnut

This natural hue gets its subtle depth with subtle caramel babylights.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Dark Ash Brown Hair

Compared to dark chocolate, dark ash brown is void of gold or red tones. Because it tends to skew to violet or blue, it’s a better bet if your skin is neutral to ashy with pink undertones. “It’s a good shade for blondes wanting to transition darker. It won’t freak you out with all the warm-toned gold, and it looks beautiful with ashy blue eyes,” says Van Dyke.

Good hair day by @seolahair.

Dark Ash Gray

Dark ash gray hair is the perfect way to conceal grays while still embracing the richness of a brunette hue. The result is an ashy matte color that’s eye-catching and elegant.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brown

Cool-toned brown tiptoes the line of espresso, with ash highlights to add dimension.

Good hair day by @sam__dupuis.

Dark Ash Brown with Platinum

Add depth and dimension to dark brown hair with blonde highlights in a cool silvery hue.

Good hair day by @misscoralineblue.

Slate Brunette

Bordering on gray, this hand-painted shade blends seamlessly into roots while brightening up your ends

Good hair day by @hairbyatellez.

Dark Brown Hair with Highlights in a Brandy Hue

This dark brown shade straddles the line between cool and warm. It features an ashy blue-violet base paired with warm brandy highlights, making it an ideal fit for more neutral-toned skin.

Good hair day by @studiolioness.

Walnut Ash with Butterscotch Highlights

Because it blends a cool ash base with warm caramel hair color highlights, this sun-kissed look works best on neutral skin tones. When at the salon, request a walnut ash base or dark brown hair with caramel highlights.

Good hair day by @cocoutureartistry.

Dark Ash Brown

Not sold on gray? Choose a dark ash brown with subtle violet undertones for a cooler take on the classic ash brown.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Chocolate Cherry Brown Hair

Compared to red-brown, cherry chocolate hair is a cooler red tone, with a stronger red color overall that tends to look red-violet. “Anyone with rich or olive skin tones can really benefit from this color,” says Van Dyke.

Good hair day by @alex.mercedesss.

Cinnamon Brown

Bordering on red, cinnamon brown is uniquely versatile since it can skew warm or cool. The right stylist can make it a viable option no matter your skin tone.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Cherry Brown

One opulent shade away from chocolate brown, cherry brown hair introduces notes of cool red to a deep brown base and looks stunning on dark skin tones.

Good hair day by @rachel_redd.

Auburn Brown

Boost a black-brown base color by infusing one-dimensional hair with a fire auburn shade.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Auburn Highlights

Add glowy auburn highlights to dark brown locks to transition from winter to a brighter spring hair color.

sunny dark brown hair color

Sunny Brown

Level up dark brown hair with copper and strawberry-colored accents that create a reflective, multi-dimensional quality.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

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 that’s a celebrity fave.

Good hair day by @hairbykatierose.

Mahogany Hair

A sister to chocolate cherry brown, mahogany hair is a cool shade of red-brown. It leans toward the violet side of red and looks gorgeous on yellow or olive skin. Just beware, says Van Dyke: If you’ve got pink or red in your complexion, this hair color can really wash you out and make your skin look redder.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Mahogany Brown

This deep color hovers somewhere between brown and red hair color— a vampy, dramatic take on brunette.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Dark Brown Hair With Highlights in a Copper Hue

Copper-colored highlights add warm notes to cool-toned mahogany hair. This is a fantastic look for natural redheads looking to mix it up.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Dark Auburn

Dark auburn just barely counts as brown hair; the purple-red shade wouldn’t be nearly as lovely without undertones of espresso.

woman with chili chocolate hair

Chili Chocolate

Chili chocolate hair blends the best of chocolate hair color with cool-toned mahogany red accents.

Good hair day by @hairbyduhsavannah.

Sunset Brown

Fantasy colors aren’t seen as often as classic 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.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Purple-Brown And Burgundy Hair

Love the idea of cherry chocolate hair — but looking for a brunette without a whiff of red, gold, or orange? Purple brown might be your shade. This dark brown hair color has violet as its main tone and looks stunning on olive or yellow-toned skin, says Van Dyke.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Burgundy Ombre

Adding deep violet-hued burgundy ombre to black-brown hair is pure punk rock brunette.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Burgundy Highlights

If you’re craving a softer look, ask your colorist to add red-hued burgundy color pieces around your face.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Burgundy Brown

Nearly ultra violet hair gets red notes for extra dimension — a cool-toned shade that looks lovely on medium skin tones.

Good hair day by @glenis_elle.

Plum Brown

This is the perfect option for brunettes trying to straddle the line between dark brown and cherry—sans any copper or orange tones.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Violet Brown

Violet hair color dials up the vibrancy on deep brown hair. Yes, please!

woman with ultraviolet hair color

Ultra Violet

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.

Espresso Brown And Brown-Black Hair

Always wanted to dye your hair black, but can’t quite quit your brunette roots? “Like natural brown, these colors are universally flattering no matter your skin tone,” says Van Dyke. Espresso brown and brown-black are neutral dark brown hair colors that are neither overly warm nor cool, with a slight warmth that tends toward blue.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Coffee Brown

For a wear-anywhere brunette hue, try coffee brown. This neutral shade is suitable for all skin tones and seasons.

Good hair day by @emerson_hair.


Espresso is a reflective and mesmerizing borderline black-brown that looks particularly gorgeous against very pale skin.

Charcoal Brown

Charcoal brown hair is a nuanced look that incorporates all the inky, ashy goodness you’ve ever wanted without having to dye your dark brown shade pure black.

Butter Babylights

Brighten up a natural espresso with butter babylights — super subtle versions of standard highlights to give you a tanned and summery complexion.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Rose Gold On Brown-Black

Rose gold on brunette hair has taken over social media, and we’re obsessed. Try it as a balayage or dip dye for a fun twist on the trend.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Cocoa Brown

This true black-brown shade gets a lift with notes of red—beautiful, simple, and flattering, especially on olive skin tones.

The best dark brown hair color ideas to try now

Mocha Brown

Mocha brown hair, is the perfect blend of espresso and warm hazel tones. Incredibly versatile, this shade suits all skin tones equally.

Good hair day by @twyllajane.

Metallic Brown

Feeling playful? Add a splash of gemstone-like shine to your classic espresso tresses.

Good hair day by @shmoakin_hair.

Negative Space

Instead of heavy-handed highlights, stylists are strategically placing accents with negative space hair color. The result is hair that makes a statement and appears thicker.

Good hair day by @i.mattxander.

Onyx Espresso

Black…or brown? You’ll constantly have people guessing with this deep, deep shade of brown.

Click here to shop all of the best products for dark brown hair, from shampoo to conditioner, has got you covered.

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