40 Brown Hairstyles with Blonde Highlights That Are Too Pretty To Pass Up
Just because you're naturally a blonde or brunette doesn't mean that you can't ever dip your toes — er, strands — into the opposite side of the hair color spectrum. That's what we call getting the best of both worlds. For brunettes, it's incredibly easy to lighten up your overall look and embrace a more multi-dimensional mane by adding a few strokes of golden blonde here, a couple drizzles of honey there.
There's almost never a bad time to add some fresh, bright blonde onto a brunette base, no matter the season or reason. Whether you're drawn to wonderfully blended looks like tortoiseshell brown, subtle tweaks like a caramel blonde color melt, or unexpected shades like smoky ash bronde, there is a gorgeous new hue just waiting to be taken to the salon. Here are 40 brown hair ideas with blonde highlights to find inspiration.
Get the most bang for your hair color buck by focusing largely on the ends and incorporating a whole scheme of colors, from chocolate brown to caramel to honey blonde.
Chocolate Brown Hair with Beige Blonde Highlights
The goal of this look is to make everything mold together seamlessly for a rich finished color. The pure chocolate brown is matched with a neutral beige blonde for a unified palette.
Short Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
This cool-toned brown bob got some cool-toned blonde to match, making it a perfect sandy color.
Tortoiseshell Brown Hair with Honey Blonde Highlights
Tortoiseshell hair—the blend of chocolate brown, chestnut, caramel, and honey—is one of the trendiest hair colors for brunettes ever. Adding a little extra honey blonde in the look makes for an even more statement-making style.
Platinum Blonde Money Piece
If you're interested in giving dark brown hair a zing of very light blonde, less is more. Enhance the face-framing pieces around your face with platinum blonde, and blend the color around the face. Solid brown, instantly refreshed!
Dark Brown Hair with Caramel Blonde Highlights
These roots are super dark, making it easy to go bold and striking with caramel blonde balayage around the face and towards the ends.
Ash Brown Hair with Golden Blonde Ombré
We never thought such a pretty waterfall of color was possible before setting our eyes on this wavy mane. Starting with a medium cool brown and ending with the perfect golden butter blonde achieves a flawless look.
For the subtlest kick of color that still feels like a statement, request blended baby balayage throughout in a warm golden shade.
Toffee Blonde Babylights
Give your complexion an almost metallic-like golden glow with complementary caramel babylights on warm brown hair.
Ashy Brown Hair with Icy Blonde Highlights
The cool blue-gray tones in this ashy brown hair look even more eye-catching with fine icy blonde highlights throughout the layers.
Dark Brown Hair with Face-Framing Blonde
This ashy dark-as-coal brown takes well to bold face-framing touches of golden blonde.
If you're stuck between wanting more blonde and more red in your hair tone, choose a tawny toffee blonde and go heavy on the balayage.
For a super low-maintenance approach, ask to focus around the face on those flattering "money pieces," with subtle and sporadic balayage throughout to tie it all together.
Ashy Brown Hair with Honey Blonde Highlights
Ashy brown means that your locks lean towards cool tones, such as blue, rather than warm tones, such as red and gold, like chestnut browns do. This ashy light brown works with these cool honey highlights to create a cohesively cool style.
Brown Hair with Platinum Babylights
Adding super subtle platinum highlights gives a subtle, yet intense touch of dimension to dark chocolate brown hair. Tread lightly, as highlights this much lighter than the base color can go too far if done too heavily.
We won't ever get over how absolutely dreamy this multi-dimensional color is, especially when going from dark brown all the way to golden honey.
Warm Blonde Ombré
Choose golden, honey, and caramel tones to create a color melt from chocolate brown roots. It's guaranteed to light up the whole look.
Ash Brown Lob with Cool Blonde Balayage
It's easy to underestimate the cool factor behind ashy tones, but don't be afraid to be a little late to the party. This extremely dark ashy brown shade works well in tandem with cool blondes, like this icy shade.
Sandy Brown Crop with Blonde Highlights
We love a crop with long side-swept bangs, and this style has the perfect balance of light brown base that's amplified with highlights and lowlights.
Brown curls can get an easy update with subtle blonde balayage that focuses on the ends. It makes ringlets and spirals glow a little extra.
Ice Blonde Balayage
Darker cool-toned brunettes can keep with the flow of things by adding balayage in other cool tones like ice blonde. Keep the roots dark, and blend down seamlessly.
Heavy Golden Blonde Balayage Highlights
If you're naturally brunette (but want to be blonde), this is a great option to keep things low-maintenance. Ask for robust hair color from midway down to the ends in the blonde of your choice, but keep the roots blended and dark to minimize grow-out lines.
Dark Brown Hair with Heavy Blonde Balayage
This dark brown mane makes a statement with platinum ombré ends, which will still grow out flatteringly and make touch-ups not as frequent.
Chestnut Brown Hair with Face-Framing Blonde
This mahogany-toned brown hair gets a little boost from face-framing golden highlights that match the warm tones of the hair.
Curly Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
Nothing revives some dark brown ringlets like golden blonde highlights. Curls are often approached with a free-hand technique, such as balayage, to give dimension without completely transforming your hair color.
Chestnut Brown Hair with Soft Blonde Ombré
The sun-kissed lower half of this hairstyle makes it look silky smooth and buttery soft. The butterscotch tone of the blonde works with the warmer brown shade perfectly.
Dark Brown Lob with Buttery Blonde Balayage
This most thoughtful style uses very determined touches of lighter blonde to really play up the dark chocolate brown color of this lob-length cut.
Bronde Stacked Bob
Where does the brown start and blonde end? That's the point! This perfectly blended stacked bob is our answer for defining the term: bronde.
Baby Caramel Melt
It's almost like you're transitioning to full blonde—but without any of the upkeep or harsh grow-out. Keep a shadow root in your natural color and finish with a delicate melt of caramel blonde color.
Light Brown Hair with Amber Blonde Highlights
We can't imagine a better pairing than this sweet cola brown and buttery honey blonde. They come together for a pretty cream soda finish.
Dark Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
This look injects some life into dark chocolate brown locks using thin, very subtle blonde highlights. The touches of blonde catch light in a way flat brown hair lacks.
Chocolate Brown Hair with Caramel Blonde Balayage
These sweet-as-sugar, caramel-tinted honey blonde highlights are enough to make us book an appointment at our salon right now.
Light Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
This light brown lob gets an icy touch with platinum blonde highlighting that looks more uniform and full coverage.
Medium Brown Hair with Buttery Blonde Highlights
This tousled mane of hair makes the most of its natural thickness by placing perfect golden highlights starting at the crown and working down in artful balayage strokes.
Cool Blonde Balayage
If your hair is already blessed with a cool brown base, invest in a few key pieces of icy blonde around the face to lighten things up with little-to-no maintenance needed.
Sandy Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
It's hard to go wrong with sandy brown hair, unless you're leaving it flat in color. Inject some personality into the beige tone with blonde highlights that match the neutrality of the sandiness.
Brown Hair with Copper Blonde Highlights
This cinnamon brown hair benefits from some copper and blonde highlighting, especially around the face and on any layers.
Medium Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights
If you have neutral brown hair, honey-beige highlights are the way to stick with your tone and lighten things up with balayage done with a heavy hand.
Light Brown Hair with Natural Honey Highlights
This cohesive look only goes a shade or two lighter than the base color with highlights that mix into the natural brown.
Layered Brown Hair with Strawberry Blonde Balayage
This chunkier balayage starts closer to the dark brown roots, making quite the cherry-cola statement—perfect for the lady who loves a pop of red!