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Brown Hair – Radiate Style

Anthony Anders
WRITTEN BY
Woman with brown hair

There is just something sexy about the richness of a brown hair color. Brunettes show their confidence by staying true to their natural shades, but will turn it up and be playful with underlying vibrant hues that give a prismatic interest when hit by sun light.

From your milk chocolates to your chestnuts; brown hair brings a timeless sense of feminine beauty to your choice in color.

Brunettes offer a casual commitment to change unlike some of the other color options available to you. Since they will hover in the safety of the middle ranges of the color spectrum, you can simply go up or down a few levels to alter your hair color palette. This also allows for those who may have a tendency to change every season (or with the arrival of your new fashion magazine in the mail.)

The benefits of going brunette

Brunettes have a solid balance of color so they are not as likely to wash out a fair complexion as perhaps a lighter blonde or darker color selection may do. Think of milk chocolate. Think of coffee with a splash of cream. Think of caramel. Think of all the delicious options available to you in choosing to go brown.

Brown hair also benefits from the personalization that only highlights can offer. Brunettes work wonderfully in tandem with both highlights and lowlights which also offer greater options for seasonal adjustments. Rich chocolates and tobacco shades benefit by subtle latte shades of lightening or by adding the depth of some random pieces of cinnamon for warmth.

The possibilities are endless. Or if you so desire, personalize your hair by adding both highlights and lowlights strategically placed to show off your style and personality!

Brown hair can be easily maintained by occasional color baths of semi/demi permanent dye to refresh the ends in between touch ups. Most brunette colors do have complementary formulation options that will help you keep your brunette rich and luxurious. There are also many color enhancing shampoo options to aid in the upkeep.

What style goes best with brown hair?

As there is no definite rule for any color to style match, you cannot go wrong with long brunette hair with soft, long layers. (This is not to say that a rich brown pixie cut will be any less sultry.)

Think of the beauty of Eva Medez, Brooke Burke, or Vanessa Hudgens.

If you want a color that will flatter most any skin type, has a palatable degree of maintenance, and a timeless appeal, check out the options that brown hair has in store for you. Some may say brunettes play it safe with hair color – I think they are playing it sexy.

Brown Hair - Radiate Style, 4.1 out of 5 based on 11 ratings
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34 COMMENTS
  1. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    i need to find a colour i can do at home on my natuarly curly hair which has underlying red and gold tones which can be a pain as i have been trying to keep blonde not bleach but a light blonde.i like ash colours but hasent worked on my hair i have always used a hairdresser but want to do it myself now what do you suggest and also my regrowth is grey now

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    Hey Karen,

    So are you looking for a new ash color, or have you give up on that idea if it’s not worked previously? Let me know a little more about what you would like from your new hair color and I will get searching for you.

    I love a new hair color challenge! :-)

    Susie x

  3. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I used clairol herbal essence medium reddish brown but ended up with burgundy hair color. I’m 47 and only wanted to get rid of the gray and bleached out color from too much sun. I’m not happy with the results as this is the second time what is on the box is not the actual color in it. I’ve been using clairol for years without these problems and don’t color my hair but twice a year. How do I tone this color down without ruining my hair ?

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    Hey Sherry,

    I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with this hair color!

    You can tone down your hair color, especially red color, by using a clarifying shampoo. Brands like Redken, Paul Mitchell and Pantene have all brought out a range. Try washing your hair with this thoroughly a few times and you should see results.

    This method would be kinder to your hair, however if you find that the color is not toning down then dying your hair with a lighter shade may be the way to go.

    Good luck!

    Susie x

  5. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi !

    I have dark brown hair and i want to try and get it to a light brown. Is stripping my hair then adding an ash light brown the only way?
    Thanks x

  6. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi Lucy,

    You can try this yourself, however to achieve the best shade and tone I would definitely suggest to go to a salon and discuss with your colorist. Light ash brown is quite a specific color and can be a little more tricky to achieve on your own.

    Good luck and feel free to let us know how you go on!

    Susie x

  7. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I am a brunette and need to know if Soy 4plex 4NN would work for me. I need to cover up gray.

  8. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi Lisa,

    I have only good news for you a this product from Clairol should definitely cover up the grey! Evidence shows that this hair color provides long lasting results, I hope it does for you!

    Please come back and let us know how you get on.

    Susie x

  9. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I WANT TO COLOUR MY BLACK VIRGIN HAIR DARK BROWN WITH COPPER STREAKS PLEASE HELP ON HOW I GO ABOUT IT AND WHAT DYE I SHOULD USE

    THANX
    REGINA

  10. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Regina,

    The first time dying your hair is exciting and virgin hair is great for coloring, however as it’s your first time I would definitely suggest to use a salon/well known hair dresser.

    If you really want to dye your hair yourself there are a few tips I would suggest:

    - Choose a well known and popular brand like Loreal/Clairol etc and look for a shade of brown that is just two shades lighter than you own.
    - Perform a skin test on the inner of your arm and a strand of hair 24 hours before to check for any reaction. As long as there is no reaction go ahead and use the product.

    I hope this helps and if you need any further information please ask.

    Thanks

    Susie x

  11. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi Susie,

    Great site! Its really helped me get my head around all the dyes. I have dark brown virgin hair and I wanna dye the ends of it to a light brown, so its a graduated look from dark to light. But because its my first time, I wanna try a semi-permanent dye in case I ruin it. I cant really afford the salon at this time either!

    So to lighten my hair to that colour, should I use the lightest shade of brown or a blonde? I am confused about which brand to get too, or does it not matter much?

    Thanks!

  12. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Sita,

    Thank you very much, I am glad you found us so helpful!

    To lighten your hair, as it is virgin, I would try light brown. You may find that does enough to lighten as your hair is such a blank canvas! I would stick to well known brands like Loreal or Clairol, they give fantastic results. However, as it is your first time dyeing you hair I would suggest to perform a skin test first to make sure you don’t have any reactions to the product.

    I hope this goes well for you and let us know how you get on!

    Susie x

  13. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I have darker blond hair with about 35-50% gray. I want to go back to my natural color I had in high school which was dirty dishwater blond in summer but brown with red gold highlights in winter. Can you help me out? My husband really likes me with red hair. My mom has a gorgeous muted shade of red brown that I really like but don’t know how to achieve.

  14. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Marsha,

    Hair dyes are so effective now that it should cover your grays no problem!

    From reading what you have mentioned about red hair, I would suggest to try a Chestnut Brown. It’s quite a strong brown color with a red tint. I have personally used “Virginia Chestnut” by Loreal and loved the result.

    I hope this helps!

    Susie x

  15. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I have been dyeing hair since long time due to graying. I am 43. My natural color was dark brown, which looked near to black. The stylist at the salon is forcing me change my shade to dark blonde, at the moment i am using light brown shade of loreal casting creme gloss. She thinks its too strong for my age. She says when we age we should shift to lighter shades. Although there is not much visible aging.
    Can u guide me to a shade lighter to light brown.

  16. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Farah,

    I have had a look and found two options for you; Loreal Excellence Creme Pro Keratin, number 7 Dark Blonde or Loreal Excellence Creme Pro Keratin, number 6.3 Light Golden Brown.

    Remember a stylist is there to advise and help create the look you want. You shouldn’t feel forced to have a particular look, you need to make sure you are happy with it.

    Susie x

  17. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    thanks a lot. I will check them out. I did try a mousse dye , light golden brown , i have forgotten the brand name. My gray hair became some shade of darkest blonde. If i had continued to use that shade , most probably my hair would have got streaks. But to my family , i looked old. Basically i also didn’t enjoy the streaks done three years back. It was done to camoflage the gray hair.

  18. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I understand what you mean Farah.

    If you don’t mind me asking, why did you originally lighten your hair from dark brown to light brown? Was that advice from the salon or did you fancy a change?

    Susie x

  19. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Because dark brown dye was way too dark than my original color. Although my hair were not light brown , but L brown dye seemed better matched. Now i want to go a shade or two lighter, but after L brown , shades r turning towards red or blonde. And this is whats confusing me. I dont want a big change , rather stick to safe shade. But want to to soften the sharp contrast of too dark hair and fair skin color, plus the oncoming ageing.

  20. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    even this light brown makes my hair look quite near to black.

  21. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Dear Susie,
    Your website is really very informative. I was reading about henna dyes. I would really like to try them, as they r chemical free. And can be used when needed. By the end of 4th week my grays are quite prominently visible.
    Can you please suggest me some henna dye brands, which are available in the market.
    One more question, do you think our particular facial features correspond to only particular shades. For example, asians have normally black hair. So they should stick to shades in dark or semi dark catagory. I have seem asians getting blonde , but somehow it never appealed to me , as it was not a natural combination. What do u say ?

  22. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Farah,

    Henna is a natural product, however Henna Dyes are mixes that create different colors. Going blonde for Asian hair isn’t as popular, but it can suit well. It completely depends on the individual!

    I can help you find a good Henna Dye, if you don’t mind me asking, where is your nearest town/city?

    Susie x

  23. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    thank you. I live Abu Dhabi, UAE. are these henna dyes chemical free, as said ?

  24. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Farah,

    Yes Henna is chemical free. I had a look and found somewhere called the “Beautiful Henna Centre” in Abu Dhabi. You can try their Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/beautifulhennacentre for more details.

    You may be able to buy Henna Dyes at a drug/beauty store.

    Susie x

  25. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    thank you. I never knew about this centre. Will definitely try them.

    Another problem, which is severe these days, is of extreme dandruff. I have searched a lot in the market for anti dandruff shampoos for color treated hair. But no luck. If i use the normal anti dandruff ones , will they effect the dye on my hair. I heard they fade the color.
    At the moment i am controlling it with oilling. Have to do every 2, 3 days, but if i forget or don’t get time, then the scalp gets very itchy and too much flaky.
    Please advice on this also.

  26. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Sorry to hear you are having problems finding a shampoo that works with both. I have heard good reviews about Garnier Fructis shampoo but this may not work for all.

    It might be worth consulting a doctor about this issue…

    Susie x

  27. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I tried colouring my hair golden brown and it turned out light golden kind of yelowish,and i want a caramel tone like lauren conrad’s haircolour, i use schwarzkopf. how can i get the caramel colour?

  28. VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hey Lee,

    Caramel sounds lovely and Lauren Conrad’s hair is beautiful.

    Caramel is usually created by an all over color in golden brown and beige blonde highlights.

    Do you want to stick with Schwarzkopf or would you be happy for me to suggest other products?

    Susie x

  29. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    hi susie, in what ways are ammonia free dyes better for the hair. Are their colors different from the regular dyes.

  30. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    I have naturally dark brown hair and I want to go light brown and maybe later add blondish highlights. My problem is I have NEVER found anyone who can do this without my hair ending up with red in it. I have told different stylists over the years that I do NOT want any red in my hair and they all say…”Oh, no problem”. Then when they are done my hair has red tones in it! This keeps me from going to the salon sometimes for years. Finally I’ll get up enough courage and find a new person to go to but the same thing always happens. Please tell me what you recommend. How do I get my dark brown hair to be light brown without red in it?

  31. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi, I have been using Igora Royal for many, many years. The color I always used is 6.60 but now I want to go a little more lighter (pale).. What color should I use and how can I do it. I also have light copper highlights in my hair.

    Thank you so much for your time and advice!!

  32. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi,
    very interesting article about hair color!
    Thank you!!!

  33. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Hi, im getting married in 2 weeks and yesterday had my hair coloured at a salón. Previously i had accidentally used a dark brown permanant dye on my hair about a year before (on my medium Brown hair) and so half my hair was a different brown with the te growth. To cut a long story short, the colorist didnt want to lift the colour out but match the top to the bottom (I asked for med ash brown) but she dyed it all and now my hair is almost black! I look washed out. Can another salon lift this neutral Brown colour out and change it to a warm chocolate colour? Im seeing another salon in 2 days. Can this be corrected so soon after also? Please give me some advice, I dont want to look washed out on my wwedding day :( Thanks.

  34. VA:F [1.9.20_1166]
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    Oh, she used a permanent dye by the way and dyed the top bit twice to match the bottom.

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