45 Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights Looks
If you’re a natural brunette, chances are at some point you’ve thought about dressing up your brown hair with some blonde highlights. Whether you embraced the frosted blonde styles of the ’90s or super chunky highlights of the early ’00s, you’ve probably noticed how different modern blonde highlights look. Coloring techniques like ombre and balayage that focus on concentrating highlights towards the ends of strands make for easy growing out, and often mimic natural lightening of hair from the sun. If you’re looking to get a more intense highlighting job than the sun can provide, a talented stylist will be able to revamp your strands with a wide range of blonde highlights, from subtle platinum peekaboo color to bold balayage and everything in between. Read on to see 45 of our favorite brown hair with blonde highlights looks, showcasing some of the best in modern hair coloring techniques.
1Ashy Blonde Balayage
Put an ashy blonde balayage over your dark brown hair for a nicely contrasting highlight style that will lighten your look without completely transforming it. We love this highlighted look for the summer, but it’s a good choice for any time you’re feeling like your hair color needs a refresh.
2Subtle Warm Blonde
This super subtle caramel shade will warm up your brown hair without making you look like you’ve gone fully blonde. Because these highlights are only a few shades lighter than the base color, this style looks incredibly natural and will grow out like a dream.
3Brown Hair Blonde Ombre
Go bold with your blonde highlights by treating your dark brunette roots to a champagne blonde ombre style. This is a good option for ladies who have tried a subtle balayage and are looking to take their color style to the next level.
4Warm Contrasting Blonde on Brown
This dark auburn base color and blonde highlights both have very warm undertones, making them go together well despite featuring a pretty substantial dark-to-light contrast. Try this warm, luxurious balayage if you want your brown hair to look warm and cozy in time for fall.
5Peekaboo Blonde Highlight
The ultimate subtle highlighting technique, peekaboo highlights refer to any contrasting color applied to hair’s underneath layers. Movement allows a pop of color to peek through, but showing roots and grow out time won’t be an issue. If you’re looking to test how your hair will respond to chemical lightening, this is one of the most low-commitment blonde highlight styles you can try.
6Brown Blonde Balayage Bob
If you’re a fan of the trendy textured-ends bobs and lobs that have been on everyone’s minds and heads lately, you’ve probably noticed that dimensional color does an excellent job accentuating the haircut. For anyone starting off from a medium or light brown base color, this blonde balayage helps to brighten up the style and makes fine hair appear thicker.
7Chunky Balayage Brown Blonde
Do you like big, bold highlights but don’t want to feel like you’re wearing a dated looking style? This chunky balayage strikes the perfect balance between the unnatural highlights of decades past and boring, one-dimensional hair color.
8High Blonde Ombre
This blonde ombre begins quite high up towards the roots, meaning you should carefully choose your shade of blonde highlight with your skin tone in mind. As a general rule, fair complexions look good with very light blondes, while women with deeper skin tones should choose a richer blonde shade like honey or caramel.
9Face Framing Blonde Balayage
These blonde highlights are heavily concentrated around the face, creating a natural frame the brightens up your features and doesn’t subject all of your hair to chemical lightening. Your strand, style, and wallet will thank you!
10Strawberry Blonde Ombre
For red-tinged brown base colors like this medium auburn style, a reddish blonde highlight provides wonderful contrast without looking out of place. This strawberry blonde highlight creates a unique look while still employing modern trendy hair coloring techniques.
11Rich Bronde Color
This dreamy color in between brown and blonde has become the ultra-trendy hair color called “bronde”. If you’re looking for a hair color style that straddles the line between the two shades instead of looking like obvious blonde highlights placed over a brown base color, this is the latest highlighted look to shoot for.
12Blonde Dip Dye On Brown Hair
With a less blended line of demarcation that some ombre styles, these dip dye highlights get their name from looking like hair was literally dipped in another color. These fun, edgy blonde highlights are perfect for anyone looking for a bold color style that doesn’t necessarily look natural.
13Brown with Dirty Blonde Highlights
Cool, dirty blonde highlights over an ashy brown base color looks nice with olive skin tones. These cool colors also help to neutralize redness in fair but ruddy complexions, and are a good choice for anyone looking for a lighter hair color that’s not necessarily warm and sunny looking.
14Brown and Blonde Framed Bob
If you’re highlighting a shorter hairstyle like a bob or long pixie, make the most of your limited canvas by concentrating highlights around the face. This balayage look will grow out well if you’re growing your hair longer, or you can go in for touch-ups every few months to keep your bob looking chic, short, and perfectly highlighted.
15Sandy Brown With Contrasting Blonde
This sandy brown shade looks nice with olive complexions or medium-warm skin tones, while darker cool complexions may look washed out against this ashy shade.
16Hints of Blonde On Dark Brown Hair
If you’ve got a shorter hairstyle like a bob or pixie, high contrast highlights can drastically change your look, and will be right up against your face. Going subtle to start is a good way to test out blonde highlights for your first time, creating a sophisticated style that makes the most of a minimal amount of highlighting.
17Bold Blonde Ombre
Go really bold with this blonde ombre highlight over your medium brown base color. The extra addition of face framing highlights that begin higher up the hair’s shaft helps to create some depth and variety in this style, and follows one of the biggest hair color trends of this year.
18Shaggy Blonde Highlights
This diffused blonde color is the perfect way to highlight a shaggy, tousled cut that’s somewhere between poker straight hair and the perfectly polished waves. With blonde color beginning fairly high up towards the roots, highlighted bangs make for a big impact, and you should carefully choose your shade according to your complexion.
19Tigers Eye Balayage Style
Tiger’s eye is a super trendy brown and blonde color scheme that mimics the golden brown and amber bands of color in a tigers eye stone. In this style, we see fairly large ribbons of golden blonde applied using a balayage technique, giving hair a luxurious looking mixture of both brown and blonde shades.
20Brown & Blonde Sombre
Sombre is an ultra low-key subtle ombre style that puts just a tiny touch of contrasting color at the ends of your hair. For shorter hairstyles like this long bob, a very subtle highlight allows you to experiment with color without worrying too much about how the shade will look against your skin tone.
21Bold Chunky Brown Hair Blonde Balayage
One of the boldest blonde on brown highlights on our list, this balayage style features heavily applied highlights in thick ribbons of color. Give this style a try if you’re looking to seriously brighten up your brown hair color, especially in time for a new season or big life change.
22Warm Blonde Ribbons
If you’re looking for a warm, rich and reddish-tinged way to dress up your dark brown hair, these warm blonde highlights are a dream come true. Thin ribbons of this warm, reddish blonde shade create an excellent color palette for autumn or winter.
23Cool Brown and Blonde Style
Cool, dark brown gets a nice dose of contrast with these ashy blonde highlights, creating a look that’s bold but still looks appropriate with similar cool tones in each shade.
24Blonde Highlighted Undercut
This sophisticated pixie hairstyle pairs a fairly short undercut with longer pieces along the top, creating a look that’s bold and fun with some styling versatility. A heavy amount of blonde highlighting throughout hair’s longer pieces turns this into a light and summery look, while darker brown roots help to keep the style grounded and mature.
25Edgy Blonde Ombre Bob
If your edgy, choppy bob is ready for some equally bold color, try this intense blonde ombre style. This blonde shade will brighten up your face with any hairstyle, but works especially well next to these short, face-framing bangs.
26Short and Straightforward Brown & Blonde Highlights
A traditional short bob looks perfect with blonde highlights of varying thickness. Select a color that’s significantly cooler than your brunette if possible–the contrast will look more striking when your hair is straight. We love how the model’s highlights vary from platinum to a caramel color; ask your stylist to recreate this color gradient for a more natural, blendable highlight.
27The Rachel Brown Blonde hair
Rachel Green’s iconic blonde-and-brunette bob on the TV series “Friends” is perhaps the most popular highlighted look of our age! Pair medium-length feathered layers with a warm blonde highlight for an instant 90s throwback. This color combo also looks great when wavy or curled; play around with different styling tools to find a look that works best with your coloring.
28Beach Bum Waves
If you’re looking to step outside your comfort zone, consider contrasting a soft brunette with ashy highlights. To recreate the model’s effortless, beachy vibe, spray your hair down with a sea salt mixture and toussle into waves. The contrast of brown and blonde just screams “boho chic”. If you’re looking to further style your hair, try creating small braids on the underside of your hair or stringing beads throughout your strands for a stronger indie vibe.
A choppy, layered pixie cut looks perfect with highlights. Amp up the contrast for this sexy ‘do and select a blonde that is cool to your warm brown or vice versa. For added “oomph”, ask your stylist to really saturate your ends. Style with pomade in the mornings for that ‘just got out of bed’ look. This cut and color work especially well on ladies with oval or thin faces.
30Glam Rock Chic Brown Blonde hair
Ashley Tisdale really knows how to rock the punk princess vibe! Take a note from her book and combine dramatic platinum highlights with brunette looks for a grungy, rockstar vibe. A few spritz of texturizer and smoky eyes amp up the coolness factor when paired with this dazzling combination. Throw on a studded jacket or black choker to add even more drama to your look!
31A Touch of Gold
If you’re a fan of highlights but aren’t sure if you want to take a dramatic plunge, have your stylist give you a few golden streaks that are only a few degrees blonder than your chocolate locks. Wear your hair natural or take sea salt spray and a curling wand to create no-hassle boho waves. This color combo works well on everyone, but looks very natural on darker-skinned gals.
32Striking Streaks Brown Blonde hair
This chocolate-and-vanilla combo is especially daring due to the chunky highlights peek-a-boo effect throughout the model’s curls and straight cut bangs. If this is a bit too out-there for you, only have your stylist highlight the majority of your hair and style in loose curls to blend the colors together. If you want that extra ‘va-va-voom’, however, highlight several chunks of your hair and keep curls loose for seperate colors.
33Curled to Perfection
Thick blonde highlights on only the top layer of hair create a dazzling, fairy tale effect when paired with loose curls. We love the model’s burgundy-tone brunette paired with ashy blonde highlights! This look requires a professional’s touch to keep the color only on one layer of your hair, so make sure you find a stylist who has experience working with layers and coloring.
34Bombshell Brown Blonde Highlights
This warm, two-toned look is a knock-out! To recreate the model’s bombshell duo, pair golden-caramel highlights with darker curls for blowout look. Style curls with a wide barrel curling iron and set with hairspray to create the ultimate bombshell effect. This look also looks cute on longer hair; play around with different pins and barrettes to add even more embellishment.
Another ‘do that doesn’t require the vast majority of your hair to be highlighted, a few thin strips of gold a few shades off from your brunette is a sexy style that can be played up or down. For the ultimate peek-a-boo effect, curl your hair with a wide barrel curling iron and set with hairspray before leaving the house. This color combo looks beautiful with a variety of styles, so play around with different updos or leave your hair loose.
36High Contrast Brown Blonde hair
Thick, chunky platinum highlights with a dark chocolate base create a high-contrast look that Avril Lavigne would be proud of. This look has a very punk, very grunge feel so it might be a bit too wild for a strict business environment, but it’s perfect for those with more lax work dress codes. Again, we recommend going to a professional as this style will most likely require heavy bleaching and toning; this is also a high-maintenance color combo as your blonde will fade over time, so be prepared to invest in color maintenance.
This beach bum combo of golden highlights and a lighter brunette creates a warm, gentle color that would work best for ladies with a tan complexion. This color combo would be especially dazzling during the summer months–visit your stylist before hitting up the beach for fab bikini photos! Curls and waves look especially good with this color. For an added touch of sweetness, try pairing a flower crown with your new color.
38Best in Braids
Thin blonde highlights that increase in saturation as they approach your tips look especially fabulous with longer lengths. We love how the model styles hers with a loose braid. Select a blonde that’s a bit warmer than your natural color for the best effect; this is another color combo that looks wonderful for tanned ladies. If you want even more drama, try a lighter shade of blonde.
39Choppy and Chunky
This asymmetrical, layered bob looks even cuter with chunky platinum highlights paired with a warm brunette. After getting your hair colored, style your tresses with a flat iron and some high-hold hairspray; you may also need a pomade to separate your strands for extra color variety and drama.
40Hints of Caramel Highlights
We absolutely love warm combinations of blonde highlights and brunette locks! To recreate this sweet, summertime vibe, pair a caramel/gold blonde with a darker base. In order to blend the colors together, you will have to keep your hair curled: a wand or curling iron and hair spray would be best.
41Ashy Brown Blonde hair
Cara Delivgne’s beautiful brunette hair is ever more enhanced by her ash blonde highlights. Have your stylist highlight the majority of your hair and straighten daily for the highest impact of color. A middle part looks extremely fierce with this look and if you want even more drama, pair dark eye makeup or lips with your ashy new ‘do.
Unevenly placed golden-caramel highlights over a brunette base look very modern and very hot. There’s no need to worry about perfect placement; the more uneven the highlight, the better the effect. Style your hair with loose waves and touch up with sea salt spray to maintain a sexy, mysterious vibe.
43Cool to the Core
Cool blondes paired with brunette hair always look cool and chic. To recreate this style, have your stylist create chunky, cool blonde highlights throughout your locks and style into loose waves with a curling wand. Run your fingers through your hair to further separate your highlights and you are good to go!
44Snow Queen Style
Dark, almost-black brown hair looks especially daring when paired with frosty, platinum or ash blonde highlights. We love how the model’s layered pixie cut and sideswept bangs make this dramatic color combo look even more fierce! To recreate this style, shear off your long locks and style in the morning with pomade and a flat iron.
45Sun-Kissed Brown Blonde hair Strands
Not all highlights need to be thick or dramatic to create a beautiful, stunning style. Thin, golden highlights with a soft brunette base look sweet and natural–this style is reminiscent of a summer spent outdoors, allowing the sun to naturally bleach your strands. Have your stylist recreate this darling duo and then style your hair however you like. We love the model’s messy bun paired with her messy highlights, but experiment with different styles to find your favorite!