Brown hair with blonde highlights is a pretty popular look. Because it is so common, though, you may need some help finding a look that will stand out.
As a professional colorist, I have managed to combine all shades of brown and blonde. I can guide you through all the ways you can pull off this look.
Check out what styles may be just right for you.
Do you want your dark brown hair with blonde highlights to look as natural as possible? Then, go with dark blonde highlights. This way, you are only going a few shades lighter than your naturally dark hair.
Here are some great examples of how to pull off dark brown hair with blonde highlights.
Here, the dark brown roots are paired with a beautiful amber color that is very close to the natural hair color. As a result, the blonde highlights are blended in really well with brown hair.
Image by @soniasilva_hairstylist via Instagram
This look has caramel blonde highlights. This is great for anyone looking for cool tones to brighten up their hair but doesn't want to go too lighter either.
Image by @_dalia_ayala via Instagram
What's great about this dark brown hair with blonde highlights style is that you have chestnut brown hair highlights woven in with the honey blonde highlights. This adds dimension to the hair while resulting in a far more natural look too.
Image by @gugliottisalon via Instagram
Medium brown hair looks absolutely amazing with dark blonde highlights. The shades of brown and blonde hair are closer together and this creates a warm, natural look.
If you prefer something more toned down with your brown hair and blonde highlights style, check out this look out for inspiration. It is lovely how the blonde and brown hair balance each other out.
Image by @lasismica via Instagram
Image by @hairbytinam via Instagram
In case you're looking for a brighter version of the chestnut brown hair with blonde highlights trend, this may be better suited to you:
Image by @lasismica via Instagram
Image by @samcheevs via Instagram
The caramel honey blonde highlights brighten up the style considerably, making it perfect for those summer months.
Want to keep the lightening process to a minimum? Then, light brown hair with dark blonde highlights is the way to go. At most, you will probably have to lift your hair a couple of shades.
Take a look at how absolutely seamless this light brown hair with blonde highlights style is! First off, the blonde highlights are just a shade or so lighter than the light brown hair.
Secondly, the stylist has opted for very thin blonde highlights which makes the strands blend perfectly - you really can't tell where one color begins and the other ends!
Image by @emma_at_scalpthair via Instagram
Here, you have chunky blonde highlights, but the blending is still well executed. This is done by starting the blonde highlights at different lengths, creating a more haphazard and subtle look.
Image by @hair.babe.ash via Instagram
This is one of the more preferred options for brown hair with blonde highlights. This golden shade is warm and complements dark hair really well.
Here, the blonde streaks start closer to the roots in thinner strands but become chunky blonde highlights as the color heads towards the tips. This is a great option if you want to add dimension and brightness to a darker shade.
Image by @saloncentric_edison via Instagram
Image by @bree_quecolour via Instagram
Image by @evoluiratihairartistry via Instagram
These blonde highlights have a lovely burnt hint which allows them to blend in perfectly with the dark brown shade. This color is perfect for fall or those cooler, cozier months:
Image by @golden_hair09 via Instagram
The blonde highlights have brown undertones which creates a more natural effect when entwined with the dark brown hair:
Image by @hairbymermaidsteffy via Instagram
This look is just scrumptious! You have the chocolate hair with buttery blonde highlights. If you're looking for an overall warm tone for your brown hair with blonde highlights, this is the combination to go for.
It looks particularly great on neutral or warmer skin tones as it adds a lovely glow to your skin.
Image by @itakeyou via Pinterest
Image by @kaitlynjeannesalon via Instagram
Image by @shawnalynne.thebeautician via Instagram
This particular shade of brown hair with blonde highlights looks good on straight hair as well. As you can see, the streaks are narrower and have a more regular pattern to them. However, as both shades complement each other so well, it turns out beautifully!
Image by @pretty_little_stuff_by_lydia via Instagram
If you want to brighten up a style, subtle blonde highlights in your light brown hair is a great way to go.
As you can see here, the mixture of blonde and brown hair is barely noticeable. At the same time, the brown sections add depth while the blonde highlights add dimension to the look:
Image by @cosmeticchameleon via Instagram
When you usually think of ash blonde hair, you may imagine black roots or highlights. However, this range of blonde highlights works just as well with dark brown hair too.
The look created here is interesting and it is important to take note of the subtle coloring technique used:
Image by @kristiin__k via Instagram
While it may appear that the brown hair is only at the roots, there are shades of brown woven lower down into the shaft of the hair. As you can see, the ends of the hair are also a lighter brown.
As ash blonde highlights tend to be cool toned, having brown strands at intervals helps to balance this out with some warmth. This helps the lighter shade to work better with the natural hair color.
Here, the brown and blonde hair are evenly spaced between each other. This helps to create that ash blonde look that you are more familiar with:
Image by @pronouncedjayseen via Instagram
If you have medium brown hair, ash blonde highlights are actually a great idea. These shades of brown tend to be more cool-toned as well and this fits right in with this shade of icy blonde highlights.
Image by @juliavecina via Instagram
Image by @paintedbyv_ via Instagram
These are more in line with silver blonde highlights, but are still a gorgeous idea:
Image by @allcutupsalon via Instagram
If you want a cool-girl take on the brown hair with blonde highlights trend, this is a color scheme you should consider!
Image by @hairby_kenziek via Instagram
The iciness of the ash blonde highlights complements the lighter brown hair beautifully. It gives off a laid back vibe that is quite unusual at the same time. Perfect if you are trying to make a hair statement.
It's easy to assume that this take on brown hair with blonde highlights can create a jarring effect, but it doesn't have to be the case.
The key here is to choose a lighter shade that works well with your dark brown base. This way, while you're going with lighter blonde highlights, there is less of a contrast as the shades appear to match.
The other trick is to have thinner highlights - these blend into the dark hair more easily, creating a softer look.
Image by @pursuit_salon via Instagram
With this brown hair with blonde highlights look, the bangs are also dyed blonde. The highlights then start from a more natural point, gently blending into the dark chocolate brown hair.
Image by @hair.by.stefani via Instagram
Of course, if you want some contrast, you can make this happen without having your blonde highlights appear too out of place.
What the stylist has done is to have honey blonde highlights that peter out into platinum blonde highlights. This prevents a sharp contrast between the natural hair and the dyed sections.
Image by @melaynemanes via Instagram
For this brown hair with blonde highlights style, the stylist has darker blonde sections on top with the lighter sections being on the bottom. This way, the most visible sections are closer in color to the natural hair but the lighter highlights at the bottom still give the style some edge.
Image by @thenativejadesalon via Instagram
If you have medium dark hair, then you can afford to go lighter with your blonde streaks.
Check out this particular style - the stylist has used very light, almost platinum blonde highlights and mixed them in with darker caramel highlights. The highlights are also narrower. All of this helps the brown hair and the blonde highlights to integrate better.
Image by @hairby.madisonkylie via Instagram
Image by @hairbystephspellman via Instagram
If you would like to go brighter instead of just lighter, here is a great look to consider. When opting for brighter colors that naturally fit in better with the brown color scheme, you can afford to go with chunkier blonde highlights:
Image by @rebeccashairstudio via Instagram
Image by @ via Instagram
Light brown hair with blonde highlights is actually a great look. Once again, there is some overlap in terms of undertones with these shades. This allows them to match really well.
Hesitant to go too light? Well, here is a nice compromise. The very light shades of blonde hair are woven into golden highlights. This creates a bit more color dimension, preventing the lightest shade of blonde from standing out too much.
Image by @jordynolivia.b via Instagram
If you prefer very light blonde highlights, then this is some great inspiration. This is a good shade if you have a naturally light walnut hair color. The silver highlights really stand out but complement the dark roots well.
Image by @rawsynergyhair via Instagram
Image by @luxeconceptsalon via Instagram
Image by @cosmoconnie_ via Instagram
On paper, you wouldn't think that this light brown hair with blonde highlights combination would work, but it does! As you can see, the natural hair and the dyed sections are evenly spaced, allowing them to blend seamlessly together.
Image by @khughesok via Pinterest
There is more than one way to do brown hair with blonde highlights. Blonde balayage is a great way to have blonde highlights while still making your brown hair stand out.
In fact, this is one of the most common ways for brown and blonde hair to work together. The style is subtle and looks more natural. Due to this, balayage highlights don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The trick here is that the balayage highlights are just a few shades lighter than the dark brown hair. This way, you get a far more authentic and laidback look.
Image by @lockandshade via Instagram
Image by @thejawedhabib_amritsar via Instagram
This barely-there balayage is understated but still absolutely stunning. The brown slowly gives way to a champagne blonde. The transition here works well for two reasons. First, the icy blonde highlights are painted on and second, the various shades complement each well as they have similar undertones.
Image by @saintcloudcosmoprof via Instagram
There is no need to play it safe with your brown hair with blonde highlights look. If you do want a deep contrast between your natural hair color and your balayage, here is a look you can go for. The fact that both shades are cool tones is what pulls this style together.
Image by @bud.haruka via Instagram
If you want to instantly lighten and liven up your look, here are the balayage styles you should consider:
Image by @ via Instagram
Image by @bscissorhands via Instagram
Do you want to go lighter, brighter, and just a bit more summer with your brown hair with blonde highlights? Well, this is a great option, particularly if you already have lighter brown hair to begin with.
This is an absolutely beautiful look if you have short brown hair. What makes this look work so well is that it includes highlights as well as balayage. This allows the streaks to start higher up on the hair and gently blend in with the natural strands before the tops become completely lighter.
Image by @lipstickandlocks__halstead via Instagram
Blink and you miss it with these gorgeous brown hair with blonde highlights styles! The transition is so subtle you will barely notice it. Best of all, you barely have to lighten your hair to achieve these looks.
Image by @gustohairdressing via Instagram
Image by @grace_lipstickandlocks via Instagram
If you want to go bold with your brown hair with blonde highlights look, this is the way to do it.
The very nature of ombre is to create a high contrast between your natural brown hair and the ends. Due to this, you will typically go with much lighter blonde highlights towards the end. Prepare yourself for a look that is going to stand out.
If you want summertime, beachy vibes, you can't do it any better than this style. While the shade difference between the base hair color and the blonde highlights is worlds apart, the gradient manages to balance these two shades out.
Image by @JohnnyRamirezcolor via Pinterest
The other way to soften this ombre look is to end the style with darker shades of blonde highlights. Take a look at these honey blonde highlights that are woven into short dark brown hair.
Image by @xhavensrdrohanm via Pinterest
Here, the addition of darker highlights helps to bridge the gap between the brown and the blonde highlights:
Image by @isabelsiddle via Pinterest
Image by @vieirajudy13 via Pinterest
If you prefer a no-holds-barred look, check out this short curly brown hair with blonde highlights do. The trick here is to make the gradient very subtle. This way, it appears that there is no color in between the dark and light hair. At the same time, the soft gradient ensures that these two shades still work together.
Image by @berends1773 via Pinterest
Want brown hair with blonde highlights but blonde streaks just aren't your thing? Well, this light on light ombre trend is just right for you!
What's great about having lighter brunette hair is that you have the freedom to go much lighter with your ends. If you have warm brown hair, choose wheat colored ombre tips.
Image by @xoxoashxoxo via Pinterest
If you have more golden brown hair, you have the benefit of having a more gentle gradient for your ombre. Check out this beautiful yet subtle look that is perfect for long brown hair:
Image by @waddle5429 via Pinterest
Most shades of brown tend to have red undertones. This makes blonde highlights with hints of red in them a perfect combination.
In this case, the reddish blonde highlights help to brighten up the sandy brown hair while still looking completely natural:
Image by @beautyby_morganalexis via Instagram
This is more of an ombre look but as you can see, the blonde and red highlights helps to bring a gleam to the darker section.
Image by @smartys_hairstylists via Instagram
If copper blonde highlights are more your thing, check out this look. As you can see, the coppery hues and the brown blend beautifully together. While the overall style is subtle, it still stands out from other blonde highlights ideas.
Image by @megangrace.hair via Instagram
Sometimes, you don't want to go all out with your highlights on brown hair. If this is the case, then face framing highlights - also called a money piece - is a great way to get the best of both worlds:
Image by @everything_bynino via Instagram
Image by @melrosehairstudio_ via Instagram
Image by @_litvinova_julia via Instagram
Image by @salonrenewml via Instagram
Image by @hairbylaurh via Instagram
You can choose a darker shade that is closer to your natural shade or you can go the high contrasting route and choose a shade that is a lot lighter.
This is a fairly new trend but has taken off pretty quickly. It is an unusual take on the brown and blonde highlights look.
Here, the blond hair is hidden under the brown section. Due to this, the blonde highlights are only visible at certain points.
This is great if you don't want your highlights to be too obvious. It also works if you don't want to do the same thing as everyone else.
Image by @marieaxelle.n via Instagram
Image by @choartemi via Instagram
Image by @jay_sal via Instagram
Image by @marinazarpas.hairstudio via Instagram
Image by @marioncoiffure_hair_colorist via Instagram
Image by @carlalacombe31 via Instagram
Blonde highlights are a great option for brown hair. Darker shades of blonde work well with dark brown hair while lighter shades of blonde are better-suited to light brown hair.
Yes, as these colors go really well together, it does create a polished and attractive style.
There is no specific term for this look. Instead, it will depend on the shades of brown and blonde that you choose for the style.
Warmer blonde tones look good with dark brown hair while cool toned blonde shades are better-suited to light brown hair.
From subtle to bold, there are tons of brown hair with blonde highlights ideas to choose from. All you have to do is to narrow down your favorite and let your stylist work their magic.