20 Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights Looks

If you’re a natural brunette, chances are you begged your mom when you were younger to take you to the salon for blonde highlights. These frosty strips seem to be all the fad: the hair aisle at your local market has DIY highlight kits and almost every summer, your friends don’t fail to point out your natural golden streaks. If you’ve never taken the plunge and are curious how the style would look on you (or if you’ve gotten blonde highlights before but you’re looking for a fab new style), this article is for you! We’ve compiled 20 of the best brown hair with blonde highlights styles that are sure to inspire you. A note of caution: we strongly recommend getting your highlights done by a professional, because fixing a bad at-home dye job requires some serious $$$.

1Short and Straightforward

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.

2The 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.

3Beach 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.

4Frosty Pixie

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.

5Glam 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!

6A 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.

7Striking 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.

8Curled 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.

9Bombshell 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.

10Hide-and-Seek Highlights

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.

11High 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.

12Glamour Goddess

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.

13Best 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.

14Choppy 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.

15Hints 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.

16Ashy 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.

17Gradient Warmth

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.

18Cool 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!

19Snow 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.

20Sun-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!

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