21 Best Brown Balayage Hair Colours to Inspire Your Next Look

Jeanette | 10 April 2019

Thought balayage was reserved just for blonde highlights? Well, these brunette balayage looks will prove you otherwise!


Balayage, which is the French word for sweep or paint, is easily identified by its subtle tones. Brown balayage often combines caramels, chocolates, light brown, coffee tones and mahogany tones, which are hand painted to create a natural-looking style.

Love the idea of working balayage on brown hair? Step forward to our carefully-curated hair gallery, which proves that this trend works on just about everyone. We’ve combed the web to bring you our favourite looks – from the runways to Instagram – to help you feel inspired. After all, it’s high time someone set the record straight about brunette balayage hair and how to make it work for your style!

1. 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 barely-there 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.

2. 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 actually have to 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

VO5 Tame & Shine Spray

Editor’s tip: Balayage loves waves, so make the most of your gorgeous colour with tousled tresses. We suggest using the VO5 Smoothly Does It Tame & Shine Spray, as this will not only give your hair an ultra glossy, wavy finish, but it won’t weigh your hair down either (bonus!).

3. Auburn balayage on brown hair

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

Brunette babes can really have some fun with their colour! We love these Autumnal hues, that work amazingly well on dark hair. Combine different shades of red and auburn with brown balayage to create a warm, lit-from-within finish. Credit: @carlybellhair

4. Balayage brown to red

Brown balayage
A little bit fiery, a whole lot lovely. Credit: Instagram.com/rhiannon__711

Want something a little more daring? Nothing can beat a few well-place 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: @rhianon_711

5. 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

6. Chocolate brown balayage

Dark hair balayage
Dark, caramel, chocolate swirl. So good! Credit: Instagram.com/mrhairartistry

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: @mrhairartistry

7. Classic brown balayage

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

Think soft, barely-there 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 each and every strand! Credit: @courneygus_hair

8. Subtle balayage on brown hair

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

For a real sun-kissed 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 smooth perfection. Credit: @hairbyrhie 

TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Shampoo

Editor’s tip: Whatever brunette balayage colour you choose, ensure that you make the most of it with a tailored wash and care set.

We suggest trying the TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Vibrance Protection Shampoo and Conditionerwhich will gentle cleanse your strands and help to keep your hue looking its best!

9. Brown and pink balayage

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

Creative, fun hair is taken to a new level when you combine a multiple shades into one ‘do. 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 serious ‘wow’ factor we all crave!  Credit: @n.ingramluck

10. 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, but add richness and vibrancy, go for brown balayage with shades of coffee and dark cocoa. No one will suspect you’ve been to the salon and yet you’ll have a look that’s utterly stunning! Credit: @robertgardner 

11. 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

12. 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

13. Brown balayage on long hair

Dark balayage hair with caramels
Long tumbling waves compliment 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. We simply love, love, love it! Credit: @alissonacostaoficial_

14. Caramel balayage on brown hair

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

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

15. Warm brown balayage

The colour trend also works on short hair! Credit: Instagram.com/alluringblandishment

Thought balayage was only suitable for straight or wavy hair types? Then consider this your colouring wake-up call, naturalistas, because brown balayage is an incredible way to up your mane game this season!

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

16. 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!

17. Brown to blonde balayage

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

If perfectly executed, brown balayage can also improve the look of your braided hairstyles. Take the above style for example: we love how it highlights and upgrades this simple side braid, making the weaving motion all the more captivating. Credit: @kennaleeann_hairstylist

18. 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 T.

19. 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

20. 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

21. Copper brown hair balayage

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

Don’t go thinking that balayage is a seasonal colour transition, either, as it works as a year-round look! Blending caramel tones with your brown balayage will make for a seamless colour combination that works come rain or shine – meaning you’ll be just as ready for the beach as you are for pumpkin carving. Credit: @jessicaannebach


Have we tempted you with these sumptuous brown balayage looks? We thought we might. But if you’re still looking for a few more ideas to make sure you make the right choice, take a peek at our Balayage page for all the latest ways to work this highlighting technique!