55 Stunning Brown Hair Shades You’ll Want to Try Out ASAP

Chocolate Brown

zendaya wearing a green and black gown
@zendaya /Instagram

We can’t say we were surprised when Zendaya was announced as CHI’s first-ever celebrity brand ambassador. She’s a strong advocate for natural hair and embracing your roots (literally), and we’re big fans of her grit—and beautiful chocolate-brown locks. For shiny strands like Zendaya’s, apply CHI Argan Oil Plus Moringa Oil Conditioner ($17).

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woman with brunette / bronde hair
@dvcolour / Instagram

Mix in blonde highlights without sharp contrast or harsh outgrowth. We haven’t been able to forget this brunette-meets-bronde dye job that’s guaranteed to garner compliments.

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Caramel Money Piece

Ciara long brown hair
Getty Images

The best ideas are usually the simplest, and the same goes for hair care. If you want to change up your locks without a major overhaul, just stick to a single piece in the front. Ciara rocks a subtle caramel, but you can try any shade that speaks to you.

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Ash Brown

Lily-Rose Depp
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Lily Rose-Depp’s ashy hair falls somewhere between light brown and bronde. Here, the hair eschews highlights in favor of an all-over, tonal look.

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Dark Natural Brown

Laura Harrier hair color
@lauraharrier / Instagram

We love Laura Harrier’s sleek, effortless style. While she usually rocks a deep natural brunette, it’s never boring or lacking dimension. To help hair stay in place, use a light-hold hairspray like Amika’s Fluxus Touchable Hairspray ($26).

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Emily ratajkowski hair color
@emrata / Instagram

This deep espresso shade is super dark. For hair that starts looking dull, try a product such as IGK’s Mixed Feelings Toning Drops ($29) to add life back to tired tresses.

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Natural Dark Brown With Subtle Highlights

hair color shot with subtle highlights

Subtle lightness added throughout the deep brunette helps to create dimension and show off her beautiful waves. “Most brunettes want to be warm and rich, so golden tones are frequently mixed,” says stylist Shalee Blatz.

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Dark Brown With Caramel Undertones

Gemma Chan
Getty Images

Gemma Chan has glorious dark brown hair that’s both elegant and easy. Plus, do you see how the middle has a subtle lighter tone blended in? It’s not as drastic as balayage but gives this color an additional (and incredible) dimension.

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Medium Brown With Balayage Highlights

Lily Aldridge
Jon Kopaloff / Contributor / Getty Images

If we didn’t know better, we’d think Lily Aldridge’s balayage was painted by Michelangelo himself. This is the perfect way to bring lightness to brown hair without going the full-blown highlight route.

Because lightening hair can cause unsightly damage, we recommend nourishing your mane with BioSilk Color Therapy Conditioner ($10).

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Coppery Light Brown

Alexa Chung
Getty Images

We’re cheating a bit here, but we had to include Alexa Chung’s coppery strands in our roundup. Hey, no one ever said brunettes had to be all brown, right? The Brunette at the roots adds more dimension to the overall color. “If someone starts with warm tones and wants to be a more neutral brown, then I would mix ash tones in the formula to cancel the warmth and neutralize the shade of brown,” advises Blatz.

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Glossy Rich Espresso

glossy espresso hair color
@silvestrihair / Instagram

Major voluminous waves? Check. An enviably glossy shine? Check. While this is a super glammed-up version, this natural color is everything we love about going brunette.

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Dark Onyx With Burnt Caramel Ends

Yvonne Orji
Getty Images

Yvonne Orji has tried out a variety of brunette looks, and they’re all stunning, but we’re especially loving how this deep espresso style goes warm at the ends. It’s a less intense way to incorporate additional color, too.

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Solid Medium Brown

Maia Michelle
Getty Images

Never let anybody tell you brunette isn’t elegant or exciting. If they think that, they haven’t seen Maia Michelle’s bob. It doesn’t incorporate crazy colors, but it’s still super stylish and more than noteworthy.

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Honey and Caramel Highlights

Beyonce with honey and caramel highlights
@beyonce / Instagram

Beyoncé often rocks some seriously amazing highlighted brown curls. And we’re guessing she knows how to care for them. “When it comes to bleaching or lightening your hair, it’s about understanding the underlying pigment and toning the hair after bleaching,” says pro colorist Richy Kandasamy. To maintain the look and ensure it stays healthy, we’re partial to the Shea Moisturizer Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk ($12) for styling curly hair.

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Honeyed Amber Curls

Khadijha Red Thunder
Getty Images

Model Khadijha Red Thunder knows a thing or two about beautiful curls. The proof is right here—these multi-dimensions ringlets are beyond, and include various light amber to chocolate brown shades.

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Medium Brown

Jessica Biel
Getty Images

While we’ve seen Jessica Biel rock tons of bronde and balayage looks throughout her career, we find ourselves swooning over this simple, natural-looking hue. For healthy locks like Biel’s, try quenching dry strands with PHYTO Botanical Smoothing Balm ($23).

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Medium Brown With Subtle Balayage

selena gomez hair color
@selenagomez / Instagram

We can’t get enough of Selena Gomez’s medium-brown mane with subtle balayage. While simple, this color elicits an air of mystique.

To mimic this striking look without the pricey salon visit, we suggest applying Oribe’s Glaze for Beautiful Color ($58) over pin-straight strands.

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Medium Chestnut Brown

Kate Middleton Hair - Lead
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

There’s a beautiful, slight auburn tone to Kate Middleton’s signature bouncy blowout style, and it really complements her complexion. Her hair looks effortless and undone with a mix of warm and bright brunette shades. To emulate her shiny mane, try out a shine-boosting serum, like ColorWow Pop & Lock High Gloss ($20).

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Dark Brown Sugar

Eiza González
Getty Images

Show off stunning cheekbones and flawless makeup with a sleek middle part and shiny caramel mocha-colored hair like Eiza González. Look at how pretty subtle face-framing highlights look towards the ends of her hair—instant brightness.

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Mocha Brown

Meghan Markle
Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images

Hold on, let us grab our sunglasses to shield our eyes from the amazingly vibrant mocha color happening here. Meghan Markle’s modest mane proves you don’t need to hit the dye or bleach heavily to achieve stunning color.

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Natural Brown Almost Black

Kendall Jenner Hair Color

While she’s not nearly as much of a hair chameleon as her sisters, Kendall Jenner’s dark natural strands are no less memorable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

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Dark Espresso Brown

Getty Images

Rosalia is all about embracing her natural color, again proving you don’t need to add much of anything to make a brunette shade pop. There’s already a beautiful caramel highlight interwoven that’s sleek and glossy. P.S.: To keep your scalp and hair nourished, try a hair oil.

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Dark Brown With Copper Ombré

Jenna Dewan Hair Color
@jennadewan / Instagram

No matter what chop, color, or style Jenna Dewan opts for, it’s always undeniably flawless. This sombré bob is another example of how lustrous her hair is, transitioning from a deep brown to a sassy (yet subtle) copper.

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Dark Brown With Red Tones

Olivia Wilde
Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty Images

We’re digging this dark brown bob with subtle red tones on Olivia Wilde, a darker tone than the director-actress usually opts for.

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Light Brown With Face-Framing Highlights

Halle Berry
Jason LaVeris / Contributor / Getty Images

Halle Berry has that total lit-from-within thing going on, but those face-framing highlights help, too. It’s such a subtle touch to brunette hair, but it makes a world of a difference. If you’re going to go lighter, Kandasamy says to visit a salon first (in other words, don’t try this at home). “If you are applying a vivid or rainbow shade, it’s easier because your color will hide your uneven bleach application,” he says. “But if you are looking for a delicate and sophisticated blonde tone, you’ll need a professional.”

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Honey-Hued Bronde

Sofía Vergara
Getty Images

Call it bronde, dirty blonde, or whatever you like, but we think Sofía Vergara’s honey-hued (pseudo-brunette) locks are a must-try, no matter the season.

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Light-Bronde With Visible Roots

Jourdan Dunn
Mike Marsland / Getty Images

We’re all about finding sneaky tricks for covering our roots, but we think Jourdan Dunn’s visible roots here are an exception to the rule. Couple those with a light-bronde bob, and you’ve got a seriously red carpet-worthy head of hair. We suggest using Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream ($26) for a similarly sleek result.

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Light Chestnut Brown

Jessica Alba Hair Color
Getty Images

Also rocking roots, Jessica Alba looks gorgeous in this chestnut color. Pairing the color with messy-on-purpose strands, she makes a strong case for imperfect hair.

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Subtle Ombré

Shay Mitchell long, textured hair
Jason Kempin / Getty Images

Shay Mitchell’s lengthy tresses create a super-subtle ombré that begins at the very bottom of the hair. There are even a few highlights worked in, but the contrast is so subtle that it makes the entire look very natural.

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Dark Brown With Chestnut Gloss

Constance Wu
John Shearer / Contributor / Getty Images

Constance Wu’s rich, deep color is nearly black—but when the light hits just right, it picks up the chestnut overtones. This look can be achieved by asking for a chestnut or amber gloss over dark brunette hair. The look adds sheen and hydration as well as color.

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Classic Balayage

Olivia Wilde at an event
Getty Images

These balayage streaks perfectly highlight Olivia Wilde’s features. Notice that they don’t begin at the top of the head, which can create a striped, unnatural look. Instead, they resemble natural highlights from the sun.

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Rich Brunette

Olivia Munn's sleek lob
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Olivia Munn’s rich brunette color is perfectly accented by her cut. The blunt ends and layers toward the bottom of the hair allow movement, so the color appears less one-dimensional.

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High-Contrast Highlights

Logan Browning

Jon Kopaloff /Getty Images

Here, Logan Browning’s hair is all about contrast. Here, dark brown mixes with light, almost bronde highlights. The effect is fun and artful and looks especially great with braids or locs.

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Kerry Washington
Walter McBride / Getty Images

Kerry Washington’s natural dark hue looks spectacular when worn naturally so that the texture serves to highlight the reddish undertones.

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Allison Williams
Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty

This shade falls somewhere between dark and light. Waves, rather than straight hair, help further show off the hue and picks up the natural highlights throughout.

36 of 55


Warm Highlights

Priyanka Chopra faux lob
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

When your hair is dark as Priyanka’s, chestnut highlights can help add depth without sacrificing the sophistication of the base color. A shine spray can help ensure the look stays well-moisturized and gleaming.

37 of 55


Brown With Babylights

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Ashley Graham visits on May 10, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
Robin Marchant/Getty

Ashley Graham’s brown babylights are concentrated at the mid-shaft and ends of her hair. The result is a great way to highlight the fact and lighten up your look for summer.

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Dark and Glossy

Lucy Liu with a fishtail braid.
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Lucy Liu’s high-glossed shade takes her dark brown hair into seriously chic territory. The look is sexy and sophisticated. Just ask your stylist to add a gloss during your next trip to the salon (it helps color last longer and gives a nice sheen to the overall look).

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Brown Highlights

Padma Lakshmi layered mid-length haircut
Tibrina Hobson / WireImage / Getty Images

Here, Padma Lakshmi’s brown hair is slightly kissed by lighter shades of brown. It’s not a full-on highlight, but the look has more dimension than one shade.

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Classic Highlights

mindy kaling blue dress
John Shearer / Getty Images

Mindy Kaling’s look is a classic. Here, brown hair gets highlights from the root to the tip. The result is very multi-dimensional (made even more so by beachy waves through the ends of the hair).

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Glossy Mocha

Hair Colors Olive Skin Tones Glossy Mocha Zoe Saldana
Getty Images

In this look, Zoe Saldana’s deep, rich mocha hue is offset by seriously glossy waves. Try a shine spray over beach waves to replicate the style. And remember to keep hair well-moisturized, which is key for combating unwanted frizz.

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Solange Knowles
 Mark Sullivan / WireImage / Getty Images

Solange’s cinnamon-hued hair is proof that brown can work numerous. The center part (and complementary red under-eye liner) help add further impact to this look.

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Kate Beckinsale
Vera Anderson / Contributor / Getty Images

Kate Beckinsale’s bronde moment combines classic brunette hair with face-framing highlights. The highlights here are a lighter brown but not fully blonde, mimicking lowlights and looking more natural than a stark contrast would.

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Honey Ombré

Jennifer Hudson
Steve Granitz / Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson’s golden ombré look is modern, thanks to blunt but asymmetrical ends. Keeping one side tucked behind the ear makes the look even more modern.

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Cool Brown

Jamie Chung beach waves with blonde highlights
Michael Stewart / WireImage / Getty Images

Jamie Chung’s cool brown hair is veering so close to blonde, but the darker roots and thick strips of her natural brunette hair keep it in the brown territory.

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Light Chestnut

Naomi Campbell long, wavy hair with caramel highlights
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Naomi Campbell’s light chestnut base plays perfectly with her honey-hued highlights. For a similar look, ask your stylist to keep the highlights concentrated around the face.

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Taraji P. Henson - Dark Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Taraji P. Henson’s caramel curls offer a stark contrast to her darker roots.

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Janet Mock
 Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Janet Mock’s deep brown hue is richer thanks to a touch of auburn. The red-brown shade works on several hair types—just ask your stylist for a brown shade with red-gold undertones.

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Jenny Slate 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jenny Slate’s curls offer plenty of natural movement and texture. For those with similar textures, a rich hue is complementary. Try a rich mahogany shade like this one, which looks equally great down and loose or up and casual.

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Sandy Brown

Natalie Portman - Brown Hair With Caramel Highlights
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Natalie Portman’s sandy shade offers large swaths of highlights atop naturally brown hair. Concentrate the lighter color near the face for a more youthful, summery look.

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Golden Copper

Halsey Copper Hair
Daniele Venturelli / Contributor/getty images

Halsey’s copper-toned hair puts a spin on traditional brown. Berry-stained lips and red eye makeup (plus a great set of false lashes) add further impact and complement the color well.

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Midnight Brown

Vanessa Hudgens wearing a high bun
Getty Images

Vanessa Hudgens’ signature deep brown locks have inspired many hair-spo photos, and this one is no exception. The all-over shade makes a bold statement. If you already have dark brown hair, try soaking your strands in dpHUE Gloss in Dark Brown ($37) for added moisture and shine.

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Honeyed Highlights

Jessica Alba with Honeyed Highlights
Getty Images

These outgrowth-friendly pieces are a low-maintenance girl’s dream. The queen of dimensional hair color, Jessica Alba’s honeyed highlights are worth bookmarking for when you decide you want to go a little light.

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Smoked Cherry

Anne Hathaway brown hair
Getty Images

If you have always been intrigued by red, but don’t have the nerve to go full Jessica Rabbit, try the next best thing: a cherry wash. The change is so subtle you can only see it in certain lights.

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Painted On Toffee

Halle Berry Brown Hair
Getty Images

Liven up chestnut locks with some subtle streaks of toffee. A couple steps down from “Bronde” this light brown shade sometimes gets lost in a sea of bold brown and statement tones, but don’t let that deter you. The lighter streaks illuminate your features and breathe new life into your ‘do.

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