Single-tone locks don’t surprise anyone today. While highlights, ombre and color blocks are another story. They refresh and update your hair color, add depth and texture to your hairstyle, endowing your overall look with a sexy, glamorous flair. Playing with hair hues is fun if you trust the job to a professional. Once you have made a decision to add some color, when you come to a beauty salon, a stylist is going to ask what you’d actually like.
How to Highlight Your Dark Brown Hair?
First of all, you need to decide which effect you’d like to achieve. Some ladies opt for subtle ombre or highlights which add radiant glints to the basic hair color, looking very natural. Others prefer more distinct transitions of color or separate color sections, making any haircut edgier and more prominent.
Dark hair can benefit from color accents of contrasting hues, such as platinum blond, deep red, copper, purple or lighter nuances, like caramel, walnut, bronze, toffee, etc. It’s also very important to choose the hues that will be in harmony with your skin tone. Bronze, copper and rich reds will make darker skin tones bloom and glow. Medium-toned skin will benefit from intense browns, coppers and toffee. Fair-skinned beauties can use blondes, platinum, ash tones and lighter caramel hues.
View the photos below. We have tried to collect very versatile looks, featuring various 2021 dye trends.
#1: Light Brown Balayage for Brunette Hair
A light brown balayage for dark hair gives off a beautiful gradient effect. Highlights are applied in such a way that makes your dark locks look authentically kissed by the sun. As well as being subtle and understated, the balayage is easy to maintain compared to other highlighting techniques.
#2: Brown Balayage for Black Hair
If you have long black hair, think about adding some highlights to give it lots of texture and emphasize your beautiful layered mane. Also, for a glossier and more glamorous look, you can use a conical iron to create those beautiful curls.
#3: Black Hair with Bronze Highlights
A layered haircut will add dimension to your waves, and if you also choose some delicate highlights for dark brown hair, you’ll end up with a sophisticated hairstyle, gorgeous whether your hair is up or down. I mean look at it! It has texture, body, and perfectly blended colors. A layered haircut with choppy ends is also a good thing if you want this look.
#4: Steel Grey Highlights
It’s not just for your grandparents anymore! Dying your hair gray has become a popular trend – especially among younger demographics – but to test the waters, soft gray or light blue highlights are a great way to try a new hair color without truly committing to a different shade. Great dye job by Jes Barnwell (@liveslowhairandmakeup).
#5: Chocolate Hair with Golden Brown Highlights
That beautiful golden shade in your dark brown hair will make you look like you are spending your whole day at the beach without a care in the world.
#6: Sun-Kissed Balayage for Brunettes
Blonde highlights can totally transform your hair. Go from a simple dull appearance to glamorous hair that won’t go without a compliment. The balayage effect is irreplaceable if you want that precious summer shine in your hair.
#7: Chocolate and Caramel Balayage
Brown hair with highlights is like a blessing for a girl who wants to draw attention to the rich beauty of her brunette hair. The balayage technique is not easy to create but it’s worth the price and effort.
#8: Delicate Ash Brown Highlights for Brunette Hair
If you just want a touch of glamour, subtle highlights are a must try, regardless of the season. They will add a beautiful glaze to your hairstyle, and you’ll love it.
#9: Cool-Toned Brown Balayage
Keep your roots natural and mix them with a dark bronde balayage. Your brunette hair will be brightened in a sophisticated way.
#10: Caramel and Burgundy Balayage
Be bold and create a mesmerizing color by blending caramel and burgundy shades. Come out of the box and be yourself! If blue or green is your eye color, this hairstyle is a total MUST.
#11: Dark Brown Mane with Caramel Balayage
Dark brown hair with highlights is undeniably striking in the form of caramel balayage. Here, the changeover is natural, but still appears seriously stylish. Dark pieces have also been left on the bottom for enhanced dimension.
#12: Brown Highlights for Curly Hair
These highlights are expertly placed to naturally swirl with the curls in the model’s hair. When mimicking this look, consider all of the different ways you want to style your dark brown hair with highlights and focus on what placement compliments your hair texture best.
#13: Glossy Bronze Highlights for Brunettes
The light bronze hue of these highlights on brunette hair has been applied to look effortless and seamless in transition. Curling your tresses with a curling iron showcases the balayage coloring the best, and you can finish off your hairdo with a spritz of shine spray for added gloss.
#14: Dimensional Golden Brown Highlights
One of the greatest ideas for revamping brown hair at any time of the year is embracing dimensional golden brown highlights. Lightening the ends of layers creates a fun and warm aesthetic that dazzles whether you wear your mane straight or wavy.
#15: Dark Chocolate Bob with Babylights
If you love your dark brown hair and just want to jazz it up a bit, create some cool curls with a straightening iron and add a sprinkling of babylights. These brown hair highlights can certainly redefine your look.
#16: Warm Brown Balayage Shag
Long hair looks so good when you give it the attention it needs. More than that, healthy hair looks awesome if you choose the right colors.
#17: Silky and Smooth Dark Brown Hair
Minimalistic light brown highlights are a great way to frame your face. These are perfect if you have a round or heart-shaped face, and also if you’d prefer copper or honey-colored highlights. A contrasting color will overpower this style, so keep it simple for a chic look.
#18: Black Lob with Thin Caramel Highlights
Highlights on dark hair can transform any dull strands into an elegant cool diva girl look. Your locks will have shine and gloss and you’ll feel amazing! After all, isn’t that what we all want after a look transformation?
#19: Subtle and Soft Highlights
Not all highlights have to be bright! For a beginner’s experience, those with dark brown or black hair can go for a softer, less edgy look by picking a shade that is slightly lighter than their natural color. This is best if you’re looking to try highlights for the first time and are nervous about how they will turn out.
#20: Chocolate Copper Balayage for Black Hair
Copper hair highlights on black hair always create a stunning visual due to the energy and richness of both hues. If you want the copper color to stand out and do the talking, request that your hairdresser takes the highlights up to your roots.
#21: Golden Brown Balayage
If your hair is really dark, it’s best to lighten your strands over a course of several appointments. The reality is, even with bleach, it will take a while for the desired color to be achieved because deep hair tends to lift to an unflattering brassy shade. You will need to tone or cover it with an ash dye after.
#22: Shaggy Dark Bob with Subtle Partial Highlights
You don’t always need dramatic colors or wide highlights. This is one of those cases when simple is best. You can get that look with light brown highlights done in a subtle way.
#23: Delicate Chestnut Balayage
If you’re new to highlighting your tresses and want to give it a try, consider refreshing your dark brown hair with light brown highlights. This chestnut balayage is ideal for beginners thanks to its soft-looking and delicate nature.
#24: Rich Chocolate Hair with Copper Highlights
Cooper is a marvelous color that totally transforms your hair when mixed with a darker base shade. Some loose curls can help you better define your highlights, and why not do that when they look so pretty and glamorous?
#25: Luminescent Highlights
Let there be light in your hair! This mix of colors is radiant and it shines as if it was glitter in the hair. You certainly need this hairstyle if you have long brown hair. And if you want your locks to be eye-popping with caramel highlights.
#26: Roasted Almond Highlights
The brown hair with highlights resembling the color of almonds creates a differentiated and appealing aesthetic. The other way around, almond hair with brown lowlights, is just as unique and alluring. Whichever combo you prefer, take the contrasting color right up to the roots to develop a cute balayage effect as your hair grows longer.
#27: Partial Matte Copper Balayage
If you want to add interest to your mane while keeping it low-key, you can opt for partial highlights. This is where highlights are only applied to specific sections of your hair. Here, streaks have been painted on around the face for a brightening effect, and also to frame it. The result is a matte, minimalistic look.
#28: Subtle Golden Brown Highlights for Black Hair
If you love your dark hair and want to keep it natural, you may add some highlights just at the bottom. Make some curls for the highlighted area, and you’ll look like you have been selected for a shampoo commercial. One of the best things that happen when you choose a hairstyle like this is that darker colors reflect light, and your hair looks its best all the time.
#29: Shiny Caramel Babylights
Babylights are developed using a very fine color technique to mimic hair that has been naturally lightened in the sun. It’s an effect similar to balayage, but the highlights are more intricate. Caramel babylights on dark hair tend to appear sleek and shiny, and stand out especially well on a textured cut.
#30: Subtle Shine
You can make highlights as heavy or light as you want. While most people use them to change the overall color, they can also work as subtle accents. A few slithers of color will define curly styles and really show through with movement.
#31: Soft Delicate Chocolate Balayage
Chocolate was not invented only for us to eat. This hair looks so perfect that you think it’s made of melting chocolate. All thanks to the gorgeous waves and a nice subtle balayage, of course.
#32: Subtle Shine-Boosting Brunette Highlights
If you need to make your hair look more outstanding, some subtle highlights can help you get what you want. Also, loose ringlets are every girl’s best friend when it comes to adding texture.
#33: Ash Brown Balayage with Dark Roots
Soft brown highlights are meant for all those brunettes out there who want to look effortlessly chic. Some curls will always come in handy but they’re not a must as long as your balayage is perfect.
#34: Glossy Dark Brown Balayage Hair
Dark hair with highlights looks best when it’s curled because the lighter strands tend to stand out. A great haircut with textured ends can definitely help, especially if your hair is long.
#35: Babylights and Partial Highlights for Dark Hair
Dip into coloring your locks by trying out both partial highlights and babylights. If you incorporate them throughout your whole mane, they will easily brighten up your natural hair color, as well as accentuate your facial features.
#36: Delicious Chocolate Brown Highlights
Medium-length chocolate hair can be given an instant style update with light brown highlights. This color combination looks great at any length, but wear it wavy to obtain the full effect.
#37: Very Dark Hair with Feathery Highlights
This extra long dark brown hair with highlights is dreamy! Split your hair in the middle, add some flowy waves, and you’ll walk like you have no cares in the world. You will never get enough of this mesmerizing look. All eyes will be on you!
#38: Sun-Kissed Brown Hair
Alright, we admit – you don’t usually think of chestnut hair as being “sun-kissed,” but the “bronde” combination makes this gorgeous hairstyle completely natural. These small, subtle highlights are low maintenance and don’t require a lot of upkeep, making this solution perfect for a girl on the go.
#39: Cinnamon Swirl for Black Hair
The “cinnamon swirl” effect is hair and dessert goals in one. It refers to tresses that have a non-blended mix of light and dark shades throughout the locks to create variance. With this version, the black base hue serves as the Danish pastry and the light brown highlights replicate the cinnamon filling. Delicious!
#40: Sexy Cinnamon Spirals
There are many different shades of red apart from the bright saturated hues that are popular. Ladies who want black hair with red highlights that is toned down and warm should opt for shades like cinnamon and auburn that have a hint of brown in them.
#41: Light Brown Ombre
If your natural hair color is black, mixing it with platinum blonde highlights would lead to a rather dramatic combination that is not very popular currently. Shay Mitchell offers a more elegant and sophisticated solution: the jet black fade into the light creamy chocolate. Random platinum tips are acceptable in this case.
#42: Barely There Brown Highlights
Some highlights are so delicate that when you see them, you think they’re natural. If you want to try highlights but are worried about how they will come out, make them subtle and place one or two lighter streaks towards the tips of your hair. The look is really simple, but it seems effortless and optimal for a natural fashionista.
#43: Natural Striped Highlights
Though this initially looks like simple blonde highlights, a closer look shows that they are actually expertly blended with the light chocolate ribbons. This ombre effect is a boho chic look that will make you stand out from the crowd. Who doesn’t love having glimmering dark brown hair with blonde highlights?
#44: Dark Hair, Bright Highlights
Highlights for dark hair work really well when you keep the color away from your roots. Concentrate the color towards the ends of your hair for added volume. Whether you prefer copper or strawberry blonde, the dark versus light hues will catch everyone’s eye.
#45: Dark Brown Hair with Barely There Highlights
Dark brown hair with barely there highlights might be underemphasized, but it’s still bewitching, especially when the hair is worn down with beachy waves. Enhance the fullness of locks even more using a texture paste or gel and then wait for the complements to roll in.
#46: Radiant Caramel Brown Streaks
Streaks are different to highlights in the sense that the colored strands are larger and much more prominent. Even though there’s a natural finish, streaks can appear extremely intense when hair is worn straight. To create these beachy waves, scrunch your long tresses when wet and apply some volumizing mousse for a fun, mermaid look.
#47: Stretched Golden Brown Highlights for Straight Hair
Stretched highlights are the lazy girl’s version of hair coloring. It means that there’s no obvious or heavy regrowth line, even months later, as this example shows. When you wear your tresses straight, the color appears blended and natural.
#48: Subtle Dimensional Highlights for Brown Hair
If you’re searching for brunette highlights that are soft, but still create depth, then look no further. Dimensional highlights for brown hair are thin enough to stay subtle, but numerous and noticeable for all the right reasons.
#49: Ravishing Red Highlights
Adding bright highlights makes your hairdo look much lighter (color and weight-wise) than it actually is. Curl your hair using a large-barreled curling iron for a maximal bouncing effect. And don’t worry about needing a trim – frayed edges add an unexpected edge to this look!
#50: Ash Brown Balayage Ombre
Ombre hair is just as popular as balayage, so why not incorporate a two-in-one style through balayage ombre highlights. In this example, there is the same gradient effect that you get with both techniques, but there are blocks of color going from dark to light and no dark pieces left underneath. Balayage ombre is best shown if you wear your tresses mussed up or with a natural tousle.
#51: Partial Bronde Balayage for Brunette Bob
The term “bronde” is used to describe hair that is brown and blonde at the same time. This brunette bob features partial bronde highlights around the entire head using the balayage technique for a more minimalistic, authentic aesthetic.
#52: Delicate Ash Blonde Balayage for Chocolate Hair
If you want to go even lighter, consider making over your dark brown hair with blonde highlights. It produces a stylish and brilliant contrast, no matter what your skin tone is. However, if you’re fair-skinned, you might want to ask your colorist to decrease the number of ash blonde sections around your face to avoid looking too washed out.
#53: Extra Long Hair with Toffee Highlights
A vibrant brown hair color with highlights, the dark brown and toffee combination, will undoubtedly look fabulous all year round. If your hair is extra long, you can request that your hairdresser implements an increased number of highlights to give off a bold, modern impression.
#54: Natural Highlights
These auburn highlights look completely natural! Perfect for any time of the year, auburn coloring makes you look as if you haven’t set foot into a salon. Because these highlights are so understated, you can take this dye job straight from the boardroom to the after-work happy hour. It’s a look that’s as versatile as you are!
#55: High Contrast Caramel Blonde Balayage
The caramel blonde hue in this balayage example is a stark contrast to the model’s natural dark hair color. The gradual transition from the roots to the end is subtle enough that it doesn’t look too harsh or overpowering, but it still makes the maximum amount of impact.
#56: Dark and White Chocolate
If you do not shy away from bold solutions, a high degree of contrast in hair hues, like these dark brown highlights, can look very fresh and eye-catching.
#57: Gorgeous Milk Chocolate and Copper Balayage
A coloring that suits every complexion, milk chocolate tresses with glimpses of copper and dark roots is an elegant and classy combination all year round. Simply curl your hair with a curling iron and run your fingers through it with a smoothing balm for a polished, glamorous appearance.
#58: Medium Layered Cut
Brown is not the typical shade of choice as highlights for black hair, because it may not show up. It is not a bright color, but it will provide sun-kissed vibrancy and dimension in deeply saturated strands. This style is ideal for women who want a low-key hairdo that is stylish enough to transition into a variety of different settings.
#59: Soft Warm Brown Balayage for Black Hair
You can instantly add warmth and intrigue to dark hair with highlights. Dyeing your black hair is ideal whenever you fancy a change, but don’t want to commit long-term. The result is a soft, matte color that looks dreamy and distinctive.
#60: The Sparkle
Your deep natural hair hue will sparkle with new life if it’s accentuated with highlights, 1-2 tones lighter than your natural hair color.
All celebrities are actively using highlights and ombre to present their breathtaking hairstyles on the red carpet and big events. Follow their best examples, borrowing the ideas you like and creating your own individual style.