Pair of chickens:
We're starting to see brown hair color everywhere as people ditch summer's faded color in favor of fall's warm tones.We take a close look at brown to see its unique shades and color variations, the best colors to pair it with, and who looks best with brown braids.
Discover wonderful ways to rock brown hair every season and get our top tips to find the right brown hair color for you!
What is brown hair color?
Brown hair color is a medium to light shade of auburn, just like American chestnut color.It has beautiful gold and red tones that show up best in the light, giving the color a shiny, dimensional effect.
Brown is an earthy color with a lot of depth. It's richer and more complex than the basic brunette shades.
There are many variations in brown hair color, so you need to be specific if ordering this color from a salon (or if you plan to buy your own color box).Color your hair at home).
The color level can range from medium brown (level 5) mahogany to light copper brown (level 6-7), amber brown or golden brown. You can choose shades of brown that lean a little more toward red than gold, or have more golden undertones than auburn.
Brown can be used alone as a general color but is also a popular color forBalayage,dim lights, or reflections in warm basic tones. Brown hair color looks great when combined with other warm colors.
Great color combos for lowlights, highlights, or balayage with brown hair color are:
- Hot blondes like strawberry blonde, honey blonde or caramel blonde
- Warm chestnut tones such as chocolate brown, golden brown, bronze or sienna brown
- Warm red tones such as copper, cinnamon, reddish brown, rose gold or orange tones.
Brown hair color can even work as a balayage orombre colorin combination with neutral black! Because it's a warm shade, it doesn't pair well with cool blue-blacks, or cool blondes, browns, or reds.
brown hair shades
Brown hair color has a brown undertone - it's the obvious color that shows most clearly. Shades of brown hair that are less noticeable at first glance are gold (yellow) and red.
These are the colors that tint the color slightly, giving it a unique robust auburn hue.You'll see hints of gold and red undertones in auburn in any lighting, but they become more apparent when light hits the color directly (e.g. direct sunlight).
Depending on how you mix your brown hair color, you may end up with a true brown, a little more reddish, or a shade that looks more golden.
Golden or yellow undertones of brown add warmth and lighten the brown tone to a medium or light brown. The red undertones in brown also add warmth, depth and dimension to give the color a slight red cast.
Colors similar to brown hair color.
There are some colors that brown is very similar to, with some important differences. The most similar colors are:
- golden brown
- mahogany brown
Brown hair color is very similar to auburn which has copper red undertones with brown and gold undertones. However, unlike auburn, auburn tends towards chestnut and has more golden (yellow) undertones than red.
Brown also resembles caramel tones, which can range anywhere from blonde to brunette on the hair color spectrum.
Like caramel, chestnut shares the same comforting warmth and golden undertones. But unlike caramel, maroon has red undertones that give the color a reddish appearance that caramel doesn't share.
Golden brown and maroon are also similar shades. Golden brown can take on an almost coppery or bronzed effect when maroon tones are mixed with golden undertones.
Chestnut has the same golden undertones but with added red undertones giving it a redder appearance than bronze.
Mahogany brown also resembles the deeper shades of maroon. Like chestnut, mahogany has reddish undertones that give it a slightly reddish hue, especially in sunlight. However, mahogany does not have the same golden tones as chestnut.
10 gorgeous shades of brown for hair color
With 3 recognizable colors in the mix (brown, gold and red), chestnut has many color and color variations to consider. It's also the perfect shade of brown to mix and match with other hair colors for multi-colored balayage, ombre, or highlight looks.
Take a look at some of our favorite brown color choices for different shades and depths!
1. Light copper brown
Slightly lighter than true brown, this warm brown shade is strong on copper undertones. It really moves in a real brown way on the border between red and brown. This is a great shade for fair skin tones with warm undertones, but we'd love it for medium to deep skin tones too!
2. True chestnut with shadow root
With a bit of auburn and gold in the mix, this true brown shade is a classic choice for warm-toned women who want more dimension in their color.
A dark root of espresso brown eyeshadow adds some ombré depth to the look and makes it easy to maintain. We especially love this shade on medium to deep skin tones.
3. Gradient Copper Golden Chestnut Balayage
Why choose between medium and light browns when you can have both? This balayage color fades from a deeper, richer brown with faint reddish undertones to a lighter golden brown at the ends.
4. Auburn with blond highlights
Combining some warm tones creates a unique, dimensional shade of brown that perfectly complements your complexion. Here, a chestnut in red tones provides depth.
And warm, honey-blonde tresses are interwoven to brighten the look. With lots of red in the chestnut color, this shade pairs well with natural redheads turning brunette!
5. Balayage espresso, brown and honey blonde
A deep espresso color from root to midshaft anchors this multicolored look with some depth. This is perfect as the light brown balayage adds rich dimension from the mid shaft down.
Small shades of honey blonde bring a bit of shine to the color without overpowering the robust auburn and chestnut tones.
6. Light golden brown
Soft brown tones allow the golden undertones of the brown hair color to shine through, and a shallower depth allows those undertones to show through even more. This rich shade shimmers in a shimmering coppery brown with golden undertones that make it sparkle in the sunlight.
7. Rich siena nut
Taking some lightness away from the golden tones, this sienna brown is darker in the lower layers for a rich, full-bodied feel. You get plenty of sienna brown, auburn, and subtle gold in this multicolored shade.
8. Medium copper brown
Fans of light copper tones will want to incorporate more copper brown into the shade for a bright, dimensional hue that feels alive. Golden copper shimmers in the sunlight to show you a new version of its color every time the sun's rays hit your hair.
9. Rich reddish brown
Stock de belleza/Shutterstock
Medium to deep skin tones look great with rich, warm brown undertones, with less gold and more auburn. We love how vibrant the color appears on natural spirals! For an even more dimensional look, add caramel or honey blonde highlights for little highlights.
10. Chestnut and caramel balayage with honey
Brown is a great base color for a lighter balayage, like this caramel to honey gradient. As long as you keep the tones warm, you can create tons of unique color duos and trios with brown as your base color!
Does brown hair color suit you?
Brown hair color is one of those rare shades that can look good on all skin tones, from light/fair to deep. However, you will look best with brown hair if you have warm or neutral undertones. Cool tones can collide with warm tones of brown, gold and chestnut red.
It's easy to determine how warm or cool your undertones are when you're not sure which category you fall into.
- hot undertonesThey are most flattered by gold jewelry, warm clothing colors like red, yellow, orange, and brown, and often have greenish streaks.
- neutral tonesThey look equally good with gold and silver jewelry, can wear clothing of any color, and can be bluish-green in color or have no discernible stripes.
- cool undertonesThey are most flattered by silver jewelry, clothing in cool or pastel colors like green, blue and purple, and often have bluish or purple streaks.
If you fall into the warm or neutral toned categories, brown hair color is a great choice for you!Each shade of brown can work for different skin tones (light/light, medium and deep).
But you may find it more flattering to go for lighter browns for lighter skin tones and deeper, richer browns for medium to deep skin tones.
If you have cool undertones, skip the brown and consider more flattering shades of brown or dark blonde without the warmth. Ash brown, mocha brown, ash blonde, bronde (brown or dirty blonde), and cool beige blonde are all great choices that don't clash with cooler tones.
Now that you've learned all about brown hair color and its unique rich golds and reds, what else do you need to know before you make an appointment to dye your hair or start mixing your hair color at home? We're so glad you asked!
Here are some final tips to keep in mind before going for brown hair color:
- Not a fan of red tones? It's going to be golden.Chestnut is often confused with golden brown, which is a similar color but distinctly different, without the hint of reddish brown that chestnut is famous for. You get all the warmth and lightness of golden tones without the reddish undertones if that's more your style.
- Hate gold tones? Wow redhead.Golden undertones can be beautiful, and we think they're a key element of what makes auburn so alluring and dimensional. But gold tones can seem too muchcheekyfor some, so if that's your train of thought, skip the chestnut and go straight to the red. You get that reddish depth with just enough brown to balance it without the golden highlights.
- Shake up your current chestnut color with red or burgundy.If you're already rocking a brown hair color, you can mix things up a bit by having your stylist apply some deep shades of brown or burgundy to the color for a whole new look.chestnutis brownish-red whileBurgundyIt presents lilac-plum tones with red undertones.
- Know how long you want your color to last.If you only want to tan for a short time or just for the season, this is something to considersemipermanentes Herzinstead of permanent color. Semi-permanent color lasts 20-24 washes (approx. 1-2 months), while permanent color lasts indefinitely and is more difficult to cover up when you're ready for a change.
- Try on a new cut to show off your new color.Haircuts always make a new color look more impressive and transformative, so take the opportunity to try something new with your mane! If you end up trimming it, layering it or trying bangs, this is a great way to update your look along with the beautiful shade of brown. Discover tons ofWomen's hairstyles here.
So is brown hair right for you?
Wait, did you just become a brown hair color expert? We think so! A beautiful shade for any skin tone, this warm auburn tan could be the perfect color to completely transform your tresses.
Whether you have warm or neutral undertones, love the reddish-gold undertones in this rich brown shade, and like the idea of customizing your brown hair color to perfectly match your skin tone, we say go for it.
Brown is a classic brunette color that doesn't get tired of easily, and while it definitely gives us a fall vibe, it can be a great shade for all seasons.If you are planning on getting a tan, take a second to virtually test the color with our amazingStyling-Test-ToolFirst.
You can try the color brown (or any shade you like) along with cute new haircuts and styles without committing to anything in real life. It's a great way to see what you'd look like with brown hair before you officially take the plunge!