4 Best Highlights for Dark Brown Hair: Amp Up the Glam!

4 Best Highlights for Dark Brown Hair: Amp Up the Glam!

The best highlights for dark brown hair, revealed.

As every woman with dark hair knows, there’s nothing more thankless than highlighting your hair, only to find it looks exactly the same. (Kidding. Sort of.) While dark brown strands are notoriously hard to highlight, it’s not impossible—you know, as long as you follow a few simple rules. No biggie, right?

First, make sure to only go a few shades lighter than your hair color. Too much contrast between your highlights and your natural color will give your hair that not-so-sought-after striped look. If you want to go super bold and make a statement, a professional stylist can make sure your tresses look edgy with a side of dayuuum. Otherwise, stick to subtler shades that give your hair dimension.

If you’re taking a DIY approach, choose a highlighting kit that’s labeled for your starting point, as opposed to your desired highlight hue, since the results will vary depending on your base color. (For example, you’ll want to find a kit that says “for brown hair” instead of “blonde highlights.”) As someone who once—okay, twice—unintentionally dyed her hair orange, just trust me.

Finally, don’t skip the strand test. Brown hair lifts in stages: Brown, red, orange, then yellow, and the line between beautiful caramel highlights and pylon orange is very, very, fine. Simply follow the kit’s test instructions, and if you like how your strands turn out, you can use that tested time on the rest of your hair. To go lighter, just reapply for another five minutes.

Here are 4 best highlights for dark brown hair that’ll look stunning:

1. Caramel

By incorporating shades of caramel, your dark brown hair will come to life with plenty of dimension and sheen. The trick is to use two or three different shades to create a more natural (and stunning!) effect.

2. Copper

Try adding copper highlights to the inside layer of your hair so they gently pop through for that extra layer of dimension. Bonus: You won’t have to worry about the whole roots thing.

3. Red

Adding warm red tones to your hair are a fabulous contrast—especially if you find brown hair to be a total snore. That said, reds are really challenging to maintain, so make sure to use hair products that keep that sheen… well, visible, for as long as possible.

4. Blonde

Dark blonde highlights are a great way to lighten your hair without going overboard. To avoid a streaky look, try applying your highlights to wet hair, which can help give them a softer, more sun-kissed look.

What do you think are the best highlights for dark brown hair?

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Woman with brown hair image via Shutterstock

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).