40 Best Brown Balayage Hair Colours to Inspire Your Next Look

Brunette balayage is still one of the most coveted hues for 2021.

Brown balayage is a colouring technique that creates a natural-looking hair colour on brown hair. It combines blondes, caramels, chocolates, light brown, coffee and mahogany tones, which are hand-painted to create a subtle style all over brunette hair.

If you’ve been contemplating trying out balayage on brown hair, scroll on below to our carefully-curated hair gallery, which proves that this trend works on just about everyone. We’ve pulled together 40 of our favourite brunette balayage looks – from the runways to Instagram – to help you feel inspired.

Balayage Dark Brown Hair

Woman with very long black and brunette balayage wavy hair
Credit: Instagram.com/rachelcbeauty

Ultra-thin chestnut highlights are a flattering way of adding life and dimension to natural raven and ebony tones. Credit: @rachelcbeauty

Subtle Balayage

Woman with long wavy dark brunette hair with subtle balayage
Credit: Instagram.com/hairbytracyf

If you’re someone who’s never coloured their hair before or you’re just conscious of taking on anything too high-maintenance, try an understated barely-there balayage. Credit: @hairbytracyf

Rich Brunette Tones

Woman with long wavy warm toned brunette balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/kellymassiashair

These rich, warm hues give this medium brown look a multi-tonal, autumnal feel. Credit: @kellymassiashair

Editor’s tip: Booked in to get balayage? Make sure you switch your usual wash and care to a colour protection range to keep your colour looking fresh. Enriched with camellia oil, the TRESemmé Colour Shineplex Shampoo and Conditioner gently cleanse and moisturise dyed hair, while also keeping your colour vibrant and shiny for up to 12 weeks.

Face-framing Pieces

Woman with long wavy brunette hair with face framing balayage
Credit: Instagram.com/xo.farhana.balayage

Adding lightness to sections of hair around the face opens up your face and can totally transform a look. Credit: @xo.farhana.balayage

Milk Chocolate Bob

Woman with a wavy chocolate brown balayage long bob
Credit: Instagram.com/deluxewilliamsburg

Dyeing your bob-length strands a light milk chocolate shade will make it that much sweeter! Credit: @deluxewilliamsburg

Hazelnut Brown Balayage

Woman with a wavy brunette A-line long bob
Credit: Instagram.com/emilymanderhair

The neutral hazelnut tones in this balayaged bob would suit a variety of different skintones. Credit: @emilymanderhair

Frosted Brunette Balayage

Woman with a straight dark brown to ashy grey balayage bob
Credit: Instagram.com/themaneartistry

The shimmering silver tones in this dark brown to grey balayage are giving us major ice queen vibes. Maintaining darker roots makes it easier for those with naturally darker hair to rock lighter, more ashy tones without them looking washed out. Credit: @themaneartistry


Woman with brunette wavy hair with blonde face framing highlights
Credit: Instagram.com/duruyakp

Opt for a balayage that focuses on the areas where the sun would naturally lighten your hair for the most natural, beachy results. Credit: @duruyakp

Glossy Dark Brown Balayage

Woman with long dark brown curly hair with subtle balayage
Credit: Instagram.com/themaneartistry

If you feel like your brunette is looking a little flat, choose subtle warm tones a couple of shades lighter than your base colour. This will help to enhance your current colour and give it a new lease of life. Credit: @themaneartistry

Editor’s tip: Coloured hair tends to be on the drier side so to keep your lengths looking shiny and healthy, we recommend trying a serum. The TRESemmé Colour Shineplex Serum helps your hair to retain moisture while smoothing down any frizz and the lightweight formula won’t weigh down your strands.

Cool Brown Balayage

Woman with tousled mid-length cool brown balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/marissa.canaria

Many brunette balayage looks are warm or red-toned, but cooler shades can look just as flattering. If you’re not sure which to go for, we recommend talking to your colourist to see what tones they think would work best for you, based on your skin tone and eye colour. Credit: @marissa.canaria

Bronde Tones

Woman with bronde balayage hair with face-framing highlights
Credit: Instagram.com/charlie_edwardsandco

Bronde is one of our favourite ways to wear blonde balayage on brown hair. Beloved by stars like Chrissy Teigen, Gisele and J-Lo, the multidimensional blend of blonde and brunette tones are what hair dreams are made of. Credit: @charlie_edwardsandco

Brunette Balayage on Long Hair

Woman with long wavy dark brunette balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/beyondblonde

Because balayage is focused on the ends of the hair, it’s the perfect look for those with flowing long locks. Adding interest to the ends stops the hair from looking weighed down and limp and adds shape to the overall look. Credit: @beyondblonde

Copper Brunette Balayage

Woman with long dark wavy brunette copper balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/hair_by_skylae

This stunning copper balayage combines glossy deep brunette with ribbon highlights of warm copper. Credit: @hair_by_skylae

Dark Brown with Framing Highlights

Woman with dark brunette hair with light ash brown balayage
Credit: Instagram.com/ahmetcobain

How beautiful is this Pinterest-worthy ash brown balayage? Piecey ash highlights are just what you need to break up block colour and add dimension. Credit: @ahmetcobain

Cocoa Balayage on Dark Hair

Woman with dark long hair with cocoa brown subtle highlights in her hair
Credit: Instagram.com/sincerely__melissa

A quick way to make naturally dark hair look interesting? By going just a shade or two lighter than your current hue to get this stunning result. Credit: @sincerely__melissa

Cinnamon Swirl Brunette Balayage

Cinnamon-inspired brunette balayage on medium length dark brown hair
Credit: Instagram.com/sincerely__melissa

The cinnamon blonde tones in this hue are a refreshing change from the usual gold and browns. Credit: @sincerely__melissa

Editor’s tip: Loving this look? To recreate it, we suggest using the VO5 Tame & Shine Spray, as this will not only give your hair an ultra-glossy finish, but it also contains heat defence to protect your hair from straighteners – bonus!

Sun-kissed Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

Woman with long curly bronde balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/suetyrrellstylist

You can’t go wrong with sunny blonde tones, especially if you have really dark hair. Credit: @suetyrrellstylist

Brown Balayage on Long Bob Haircut

Woman with long bob haircut with light chocolate balayage highlights in it
Credit: Instagram.com/thekathair

Give your on-trend bob or lob cut a fresh colour upgrade with lighter tones woven into it. Credit: @thekathair

Golden Balayage on Light Brown Hair

Woman with blown out, long light brown hair with golden balayage hair colour
Credit: Instagram.com/kalicolourshair

The reason why golden blonde balayage is great for brunette hair? It does a wonderful job of framing and brightening your face.Credit: @kalicolourshair

Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

brown balayage natural hair
Brown balayage on natural hair. Credit: indigitalimages.com

This is a great example of how to work soft brown balayage on natural black hair. Just remember to keep your roots and face-framing tresses dark, and work the richness and warmth of your chosen hues close to your face, as this will help to compliment Afro-Caribbean skin tones.

Caramel Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

brunette balayage with caramels
Soft caramels make for romantic locks! Credit: Instagram.com/denizprocksch

Don’t be fooled into thinking brown balayage is boring because it is anything but. Dark-haired babes can have so much fun with this trend and end up rocking multi-dimensional hair. We especially love this look that combines soft caramels with brunette balayage – isn’t it just dreamy?! Credit: @denizprocksch

Auburn Balayage on Brown Hair

Brunette Balayage with warm reds
The perfect Autumnal shade! Credit: Instagram.com/carlybellhair

Combine different shades of red and auburn with brown balayage to create a warm, lit-from-within finish. Credit: @carlybellhair

Balayage Brown to Red

Woman with long wavy dark brown to red balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/whiteshairdesign

Want something a little more daring? Nothing can beat a few well-placed red highlights, paired with hints of brown and ultra-dark roots.

This look screams drama and it will give your mane a whole new lease of life, leaving a lasting impression on all who gaze upon it! Bold beauty lovers, this is one for you. Credit: @whiteshairdesign

Brown Blonde Balayage

Balayage dark hair with fringe
Fringe-tastic! Credit: Instagram.com/jillian_r

For soft, sultry tresses, pair brunette balayage with a fringe to help frame your face and emphasise the different shades in your hair. Opt for feathered bangs with your brown balayage, like this Instagrammer, and you’ll have a look that is fresh, flirty and fun. Credit: @jillian_r

Chocolate Brown Balayage

Woman with long glossy wavy chocolate brown hair
Credit: Instagram.com/luxyhair

Keep things on the dark side and go for a look that embraces your natural shade. If you’ve got very dark tresses, caramel, chocolate and cocoa balayage highlights will look stunning when applied from the mid-lengths down to the ends of your hair. Credit: @luxyhair

Classic Brown Balayage

Balayage on brown hair
The no colour, colour. We love! Credit: Instagram.com/courtneygus_hair

Think soft, has-she-hasn’t-she colour for your most natural look yet! The ends combine varying shades of browns, with just a tiny hint of blonde, for that extra depth. This will ensure that your colour never looks flat, working with your natural base tones to enhance every strand! Credit: @courneygus_hair

Subtle Balayage on Brown Hair

Balayage on brown hair
Low maintenance colour at it’s best. Credit: Instagram.com/hairbyrhie

For a natural-looking sunkissed look, keep the colour transition super soft. The roots of your hair should be kept uncoloured, while caramel and brown highlights make it look as if you’ve spent your days on a tropical beach. For a more sleek finish, simply blowdry or straighten your hair for silky smooth strands. Credit: @hairbyrhie

Brown and Pink Balayage

Rose gold balayage on dark hair
Golden rose on a dark base. We love. Credit: Instagram.com/n.ingramluck

Think soft pinks, rose golds, a touch of blonde and, of course, brunette balayage highlights to complete the look. Lighter shades applied from the mid-length will give your hair the wow factor. Credit: @n.ingramluck

Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

Balayage with dark chocolate tones
Hair so good, you’ll do a double-take! Credit: Instagram.com/robertgardnerhairstylist

If you want to stay true to your natural colour while also adding extra richness and vibrancy, go for brown balayage with shades of coffee and dark cocoa. Credit: @robertgardner

Glossy Brown Balayage

Dark shiny hair on brown balayage
The ultimate glossy finish. Credit: Instagram.com/ana.rinsesalon

The best thing about brunette balayage is how glossy and healthy-looking it can make your hair appear! Chat with your stylist about shades that will work with your natural colour, to give you a brilliant high-shine finish. Credit: @ana.rinsesalon

Rose Gold Balayage on Brown Hair

Rose gold balayage for brown hair
Match your phone to your hair with rose gold tones! Credit: Instagram.com/colorbyashley

We’re loving this rose gold-inspired look that has been created by mixing browns, caramels and toffee blonde shades. It’s sweet, it’s feminine and it’s got our names written all over it. Credit: @colorbyashley

Brown Balayage on Long Hair

Dark balayage hair with caramels
Long tumbling waves complement the stunning colour. Credit: Instagram.com/alissonacostaoficial_

The hand-painted effect of brunette balayage gives darker hair a dose of vibrancy. Chunkier flashes of colour work together with thinner highlights, giving your hair a beautiful, glamorous edge. Credit: @alissonacostaoficial_

Caramel Balayage on Brown Hair

Subtle balayage for long hair. Credit: Instagram.com/lydiaemillen

Take a leaf out of Lydia Millen’s book and keep your brown balayage au natural. It’s a practical and low-maintenance hair colouring technique, which is probably why it has become the colour of choice for many fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Credit: @lydiaemillen

Warm Brown Balayage

Woman with long curly bronde balayage hair
The colour trend also works on short hair! Credit: Instagram.com/alluringblandishment

To subtly and effortlessly add definition to your curls, choose brown balayage highlights that are just a few shades lighter than your natural hue. Whether you have a TWA or an ultra-bold ‘fro, it will make your curls pop.  Credit: @alluringblandishmen

Light Brown Balayage

brown balayage short hair
Brown balayage on short hair. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Why not try working warm brown hues to highlight the layers and textures of a choppy long bob? Taken from the runway, this fab ‘do nails two hair trends at once: beautiful brown balayage and a practical mid-length lob. Sign us up!

Brown to Blonde Balayage

Use brown balayage to show-off your braids. Credit: Instagram.com/kennaleeann_hairstylist

Brown balayage looks amazing when it’s worn down but another great plus point of having different tones in your hair is how it can enhance braided hairstyles, like this. Credit: @kennaleeann_hairstylist

Beautiful Balayage Brown Hair

chocolate brown balayage hair
Brown balayage on long hair. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Want another reason to love the balayage hair colouring technique? Then know that you can personalise your look to suit your skin tone and face shape (yes, hair contouring is a thing!).

Work with your stylist to figure out the best shades and placement for your complexion, and you’ll soon have a look that flatters your face and suits you to a tee.

Balayage Brown on Black Hair

Brown long bob. Credit: Instagram.com/@hairbytawnee

Worried that brown balayage won’t work on Asian hair? Don’t fear: the key to rocking this trend is to keep your brown tones within the caramel colour spectrum.

Because these soft hues are still within the warm colour range, it flatters medium, yellow-based or tanned skin tones without looking harsh or brassy. Credit: @hairbytawnee

Chocolate Brown Balayage Highlights

Relaxed hair can rock the colour trend too. Credit: Instagram.com/brandilou88

If you’re still on the fence about brown balayage and black hair, this look is sure to tip your vote in favour of ‘yes’. Work the lighter colour further down the hair length, and it will help to slim and enhance all the right features in your face. Credit: @brandilou88

Copper Brown Hair Balayage

Lovely long hair with caramel balayage. Credit: Instagram.com/jessicaannebach

Blending caramel tones with your brown balayage will make for a seamless colour combination that works whatever the season. Credit: @jessicaannebach


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