15 Gorgeous Ways to Add Lowlights to Brown Hair

Gradient Lowlighting
Photo: @lacyredway

Every year, summer has a way of triggering a color crisis for brunettes. Go brighter, it beckons. How about a few touches of golden blonde herea few strokes of bright caramel there? We can't argue: Brunettes rock warmed-up shades like nobody's business. But as our tans fade and temperatures drop, we're ready to go back to our roots—sort of—while keeping every bit of the dimension and richness of summer color.

What's the easiest way to embrace your dark side? Look to brunette lowlights. Unlike highlights, which are usually at least two shades lighter than your natural color, lowlights take things in the opposite direction, going at least two shades darker. Colorists will often incorporate both highlights and lowlights to create a multi-dimensional look, but if you let lowlights go solo, your natural color becomes the highlight.

These streaks can be done free-hand, as with the balayage method, or more traditionally, with foils. The key is selecting a shade specific to you. Find your match among these 15 brunette looks with gorgeous lowlights.

01 of 15

Cool Brunette

Cool Brunette
@kristin_ess

These Joanna Gaines-esque waves are calling our name. Flowy locks look flawless with a combination of dark ash brown and cool brown-black. Simply stunning!

02 of 15

Warm Brown Medley

Lowlights & Highlights
@johnnyramirez

Colorist Johnny Ramirez executes multi-dimensional color beautifully with classic autumn shades: deep brown, medium brown, and warm honey. If you're a middle-of-the-road chocolate brown, request mocha lowlights to temper the honey highlights.

03 of 15

Gradient Lowlighting

Gradient Lowlighting
@lacyredway

This is a clash we can get behind. Cool dark brown and warm chestnut meet halfway, and somehow look better for it.

04 of 15

Lowlighted Shag

Lowlighted Shag
@mizzchoi

How can you make a modern shag even cooler? Add cool-toned dark mocha lowlights. Tousled styling will flaunt your enviable dimension.

05 of 15

Hazelnut Blending

Hazelnut Blending
@johnnyramirez

Keep the old and usher in the new. Blend existing hazelnut or caramel balayage with dark brown lowlights for a layered look that'll transition seasons seamlessly.

06 of 15

Darkest Mocha

Darkest Mocha
@stephengarrison

If your Starbucks order involves anything espresso, you'll appreciate the intensity of these mocha lowlights. Think moody monotone is a touch too dark? Break things up with a few subtle babylights around the face.

07 of 15

Chocolate Brown

Chocolate Brown
@chrisgreenehair

Dimensional and warm, this mane begs for bonfires and cozy hay rides. Resist the urge to add caramel highlights, and instead, let your natural chocolate base shine with dark brown lowlights.

08 of 15

Shadow Rooting

Shadow Rooting
@mizzchoi

Who knew drawing attention to dark roots could be a worthy goal? Colorist Cherin Choi pulls it off, complementing dark brown locks with even darker roots. To fight fading and add shine, she added clear gloss from midpoint to tips.

09 of 15

Blended Bob

Dark Espresso
@riawna

Blend dark with darker to imitate this gorgeous bang-laden bob by hairstylist Riawna Capri. The cool-toned take on cacao hair color looks striking against all skin tones.

10 of 15

Espresso Lowlighting

Espresso Lowlighting
@stephengarrison

If your base is chocolate or chestnut, weave in dark espresso strands to create richness without too much contrast. Low-key waves flaunt the twists and turns of your color.

11 of 15

Ashy Lowlights

Ashy Lowlights
@lacyredway

Lean into those cooler hues. Autumn is all about earth tones, and mushroom brown mingled with dark ash brown lowlights falls firmly into that category.

12 of 15

Smoky Brown

Smoky Brown
@gulevich.vladimir

Whether you are graying gracefully or opted to fast-forward the clock with an ashy gray color, brown-black lowlights will blend beautifully into your smoky strands. The end result is both elegant and impervious to trends.

13 of 15

Subtle Lowlighting

Subtle Lowlighting
@mizzchoi

It's okay if your friends can't figure out why you look different. These barely-there lowlights darken chocolate brown by a smidge, building in just enough dimension to keep your color from looking flat.

14 of 15

Dimensional Bob

Dimensional Bob
@christinesilvermancolor

With chocolate tips and dark brown lowlights, this bob pairs rich color with a no-fuss cut. Translation: You can wear it to parent-teacher night and then a fancy dinner, no problem.

15 of 15

Dark Caramel

Dark Caramel
@laurenburke901

Let those summer caramel highlights go, sister. If you went lighter for spring and summer, ask for dark chocolate lowlights to shift your aesthetic toward autumn.

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