The Best Brunette Haircolors: Warm, Cool & Natural Shades


There’s no better confidence booster than a haircolor refresh, and the brown hair trend today is all about gorgeous brunette hues ranging from coffee latté to chocolate and everything in between. To get a better idea of the brunette scene, we hit up Redken Artists to uncover the most popular looks from warm to cool to natural. Find your perfect brunette shade below!

If You Want A Warm, Subtle Brunette Look

Coffee Latte Hair

What better way to transition hair than with a balayage blend of color? Redken Artist Michael Gibbs explains that rooty coffee latté looks are having a moment because of their carefree and effortless factor. To make sure you and your colorist are both on the same page when it comes to what coffee latté look you want to achieve, Redken Artist Kerry Parish-Campbell advises bringing a picture with you during your initial consultation. “Do your homework and bring it to your appointment! We need to see pictures and preferably the more, the better. It paints a picture of consistency in what you’re currently attracted to, looking for and don't like. It's a fun conversation we have in the salon since connecting us to your hair ambition is ultimately investing in yourself,” she said. To help keep your coffee latté haircolor looking fresh all season long, Parish-Campbell recommends stopping in to see your colorist between appointments for an all-over glaze with Shades EQ hair gloss to maintain your haircolor’s shine and sparkle. To maintain your shiny hair at home, try using a vinegar rinse for hair

Chocolate Brown Haircolor

When it comes to finding a beautifully rich haircolor, chocolate works as a flattering wash of all-over color. According to Redken Artist Twylla Jane, it’s all about slaying in this dark hue. “In the past, we've had red-violet and auburn brunettes, but this year we’re giving way to a true deep neutral brunette color. [We’ve seen] all over the runways, as well as at the most recent award shows, that brunettes have been living on the dark side. Brunette celebrities have either been wearing their hair dark and monochromatic, or very subtle and light toward the ends,” she explained. It’s a timeless, classic trend that resurfaces every year because it can work with a number of hair types and easily be adapted to fit your style.

Caramel Copper Brown Haircolor

What makes haircolor with caramel and copper tones so appealing is its ability to instantly brighten up and warm your complexion. Redken Artist Patricia Applegate explains that this is key when it comes to determining how well the haircolor will suit your overall look. “First, you need to know which brunette haircolor complements your skin tone. This will determine if warm or cool tones work for you and would be your base color as a brunette. Then, you can play around with warm and cool toned caramel or red shades. If your skin is warm-toned, then add the pieces of warmth around the face,” she said. An easy way to determine if warm or cool tones will work for you is to figure out your skin’s undertone. You can do this by flipping over your wrist and taking a look at your veins. If your veins are green, then you have warm undertones and if your veins are blue you have cool undertones. Your stylist will be able to confirm for you, but this can be used as a general guide for figuring out which brunette haircolor complements your skin tone.  

If You Want To Keep Your Brunette Cool And Edgy

Ashy Brunette Hair

If there’s one haircolor trend our Redken Artists can’t get enough of, it’s the ashy brunette look. They agree that ashy brunette hair is a trend that will be everywhere this season. To ensure the richest tones possible for your hair, your colorist may need to apply a toner like Shades EQ, explains Jane. “Don't be afraid to go boldly deep. Your stylist may need to apply Shades EQ gloss to your hair two or three times to take you to the desired level you're looking for. This overlaying of color will ensure a long-lasting look for the fall, as well as tons of sexy shine,” she said.

Brunette Hair With Vivid Accents

If you find yourself in need of a change, sometimes a bold pop of color can be exactly what you need. A peek-a-boo silver strand of hair against a brunette base color makes for a striking contrast in this Smokey Ombré ‘do created by Josh Wood, Redken’s Global Color Creative Director. “The new Smokey Ombré trend is perfect for those who want to mix things up. It can be customized perfectly for you, from formula and placement, to how much ‘pop’ of color to show. It's gorgeous and smoking hot!” says Parish-Campbell. Alternatively, you can incorporate vivid colors into your brunette look, but still keep it subtle. Redken Artist Mandy McCullough recommends that for anyone who’s into experimenting with a unique trend, vivid haircolor highlights are an option. “When hair is dark but has rich blues, purples or greens strategically placed in the hair, it creates an optical illusion. At first glance, the hair may look dark, but as the light hits it in different places, the rich jewel tones shine from the surface.”

Lived-In Bronde Hair

This season, lived-in bronde hair inspires major envy for its low-maintenance and equally stylish flair. As Jane puts it, the look is all about confidently rocking overgrown roots. “A lot of ‘bronding’ has resurfaced. There’s now the idea of a blonde and brunette living on the same palette...the subtle shadow roots that have been hot for a few years are getting deeper and longer. It seems like a nod back to ombré where our current haircolor trend journey began,” she said. If you’re still dealing with the aftermath that a rough summer may have had on your blonde haircolor, this is a gorgeous look for easing the transition to darker brunette hair.

If You Want To Play Up Your Natural Brunette Haircolor

We understand that sometimes you want to update your look without making a drastic change. If you’re a brunette looking to play up your natural haircolor, there are a few things you can do. During your consultation with your colorist, Redken Artist Adina Doss recommends looking into adding a few subtle accents to your hair with babylights to enrich your natural base color. The babylights haircolor technique uses thin, subtle highlights to frame the face or add dimension to a look. Alternatively, you can also ask your stylist about using Shades EQ gloss on your hair for a toning effect that pumps up the shine and enhances your natural brunette hue. According to Redken Artist Janine Bomboy, “If you’re looking to just liven up your natural brunette hair shade, gloss is the way to go. Even [asking your stylist] to throw some copper or red Shades EQ gloss formulas on the mid-lengths to ends of the hair will richen up the color without being too bold.”
For more haircolor inspiration and tips on caring for your brunette hair at home, follow @Redken on Instagram!