Hair Color Ideas For Brunettes

Brunette hAircolor THUMB

Calling all brunettes! While blondes tend to get most of the attention when the conversation revolves around hair color, those with darker hair still deserve the same amount of choices and options (call us equal haircolor opportunists). Ahead, some haircolor ideas for dark hair and inspo for anyone looking to break up their basic brown.


Celebrity Colorist Cassondra Kaeding is known for her stunning brunette hair color transformations seen on the red carpet. 

“I’m seeing a lot of clients, even celebrities, move away from blonding towards lower maintenance brunette color," says Kaeding. "Brunette does not need to mean boring!”

If you're looking for a low maintenance way to refresh your brown hair color for spring, ask your stylist to add a subtle change with Redken hair color. Cassondra's frosted face frame  and brunette icy light techniques provide just the right amount of dimension for an ultra-cool end result. 

Change Your Base

Haircolor Ideas for Brunettes single process
Photo Credit : Redken Artist Laura Frazier

A single-process, permanent hair color is a great way to change your all-over tone if you prefer a more solid hue. Sure, you could stick within the brunette hair color family, and simply go a few shades darker; even a small change like this will have a major impact. Or, mix it up a little bit with an on-trend fashion shade. Redken’s Color Fusion line now features four new Super Glow Shades that are choice for transforming dark hair color, no bleach required. The rich indigo, ruby, violet, and teal hues are most definitely a statement, yet still totally wearable. All-over color packs a punch, though they can also be worked through just your ends and tips for a more subtle effect. Either way, the results are natural-looking, multi-dimensional, and pack plenty of conditioning and shine, always a good thing.

Add Some Highlights

If you’re looking to go lighter, considering opting for highlights. The key? Be sure to take your base color into consideration. “If your natural shade is a medium or light brown, highlights are definitely going to start to skew into the blonde family,” explains Redken Artist Jason Gribbin. If you’re looking to have the dimension of highlights, while still staying dark, your best bet is to first deepen your base color by a shade or two, and then add in some lighter pieces. “With brunette hair you definitely want to have some contrast and this allows you to create that difference,” points out Gribbin, who adds that concentrating the highlights at the top and crown of your head makes for an especially flattering effect.  As far as highlighting techniques go, balayaging, a free-form, hand-painting technique often used for blondes, can work for brunettes too, though keep in mind that balayage highlights will always end up a bit warmer and more red, notes Gribbin. (Because the hair is exposed as the color process, it doesn’t get quite as light). On the flip side,  a highlighting service with foils will allow you to slightly lighter while still keeping the tone cool.

Either Way, Take Care of Your Hue

Not to keep going back to the great blonde versus brunette debate, but while blondes often get all the attention for upkeep and maintenance, it’s equally as important for dark hair. Ultimately, the best way to keep hair color vibrant and prevent fading is to minimize how often you wash out, notes Gribbin, since good ol’ water is haircolor’s number one worst enemy. That being said, when you do wash, be sure to stick with a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner duo. Gribbin recommends the Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Color Extend Magnetics Conditioner. This system gently cleanses without stripping your color, while also delivering amino-ions to help seal in the color; the conditioner smooths, softens, and detangles, and provides targeted care wherever your hair needs it. Talk about a dream team.