Inspo Alert: 55 Looks to Add Caramel Highlights to Your Brown Hair

Caramel highlights are warm-toned, golden highlights that can range from blonde to amber and even darker, chestnutty tones, depending on your tastes. Just like caramel syrup, this brightening hue is the perfect colour to try when you want to transition your hair from dark to light or vice versa.

This honeyed-brown can be achieved all over, with highlights, ombré or even caramel balayage, which is one of the most sought-out looks around, mostly because it is universally flattering.

Do want to try this look for yourself, but are feeling a little indecisive about which hue to go for?  We’ve rounded up our fave examples of caramel highlights on light and dark brown hair. There’s bound to be a look here you’ll want to try now or save for your lookbook.

Soft Caramel Balayage

Soft caramel balayage
We’re starry-eyed over this look. Credit:

Wait, this isn’t natural? This gorgeous, subtle balayage dye job will keep them guessing.

Rich Caramel Highlights

Rich caramel highlights
Look at those caramel waves. Credit:

With these dazzling highlights, your dark locks will be given an instant, summery refresh. Lock in that extra glow with Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo, created to protect your hair from daily tear while keeping it healthy and shiny.

Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo

Dark Brown Hair With Tawny Highlights

Dark chocolate hair with tawny highlights
Divine! Credit:

The addition of tawny highlights makes this espresso mane look even more eye-catching.

TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Shampoo

Editor’s tip: Remember to use a wash and care system specifically formulated for dyed hair. We’re currently fawning over the TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Shampoo and Conditioner, as it helps keep coloured hair healthy-looking, all while helping maintain your hue’s vibrancy.

Short and Sweet Caramel Accents

Woman with short bob with caramel accents
Oh-so-sweet. Credit: Arianna Sharfman

If you’ve got short hair, take a style cue from this beauty, who wears her wavy bob with trendy caramel blonde accents.

Caramel Blonde Balayage On Dark Brown Hair

Woman with dark brown hair with golden blonde highlights around face-framing
The perfect everyday colour. Credit: Arianna Sharfman

Caramel is great for adding warmth to dark tones! If you haven’t got the confidence to pull off a full head of caramel, this gorgeous look is destined for you.

Warm Caramel Balayage

Woman with dark brown hair with grown out caramel highlights
That embellished headband completes the look. Credit: Arianna Sharfman

You might think your dark hair is too dark for highlights, but this warm shade is all the proof you need to know you can try it.

Long Caramel Hair

Long caramel wavy hair
Are we dreaming? Utter perfection. Credit:

In this example, caramel teams perfectly with long, Rapunzel-worthy hair. Protect your mane from colour touch ups with SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo, created to revitalise and nourish your hear, while protecting them from daily stressors.

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo Front Bottle View

Face-Framing Caramel for Brunettes

Face-framing caramel hair
Show this to your hair stylist. Credit:

By strategically placing a few caramel tones around the face, you can instantly refresh your brown hair and brighten up your complexion.

Caramel Money Pieces

Caramel money pieces
All things caramel. Credit:

Is anyone else tempted to try these caramel money pieces?

Caramel Babylights on Dark Brown Hair

Chrissy Teigen with loose glamorous long wavy dark brown hair with subtle caramel highlights
Chrissy Teigen is the queen of caramel hair. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

In this example, Chrissy Teigen has subtly brightened up her dark brown hair with caramel babylights. We suspect she’s had them palm painted, as they look beautifully seamless.

Soft Highlights

Soft caramel highlights
Soft and silky caramel hues. Credit:

These soft highlights are great for those who want to seamlessly blend caramel tones with their rich brunette manes.

Toffee Balayage on Mid-Length Hair

Toffee Balayage on Mid-Length Hair
Toffee hair? You bet. Credit:

This toffee balayage colour is perfect for enhancing waves and adding dimension to medium-length brown hair.

Golden Caramel Blonde

Josie Redmond with side-swept golden caramel blonde hair, wearing black low cut top on the red carpet
Move over, Goldilocks! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

This is what happens when you take a classic caramel up a few notches! Keeping her base caramel, Josie Redmond moves her natural light brown hair closer to blonde with the addition of dazzling golden tones.

Light Brown Caramel Hair

Light brown caramel hair with waves
Look at that hair! Credit:

In this example, this beauty’s light brown base is brightened up with some golden caramel tones. This colour is perfect for those who want to later transition to full blonde.

Caramel Blonde Ombré on Light Brown Hair

Caramel Blonde Ombré on Light Brown Hair
A delightful blend of caramel and light brown. Credit:

Who doesn’t want strands that always look sun-kissed? This warming colour combo is made for the summer.

Caramel Blonde Highlights

Caramel blonde highlights
A dreamy look. Credit:

Nothing brightens up a chocolate base quite like warm, caramel blonde highlights!

Dark Brown Hair with Caramel Blend

Karrueche Tran on the red carpet with long wavy dark brown and honey caramel hair, wearing leopard print with nude jacket on the red carpet
Honey caramel will become your new obsession. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Want glowing skin? Take a cue from Karruenche Tran and keep your roots dark, then introduce a gorgeous blend of light and dark blonde caramel tones through your mid-lengths and ends.

Caramel Melt

Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet with long, sleek dark to light caramel hair, wearing glittery outfit on the red carpet
Jennifer Lopez is another caramel hair devotee to watch. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

The boldest way to upgrade natural brown hair is with a caramel colour melt, like Jennifer Lopez’. This method makes your base colour looks like it is ‘melting’ into the other tones in your hair.

True Caramel Brown

Caramel brown wavy hair
Can we sport this style every single day? Credit:

This deliciously rich caramel hue is just what you need to make your brown hair feel new again.

Caramel Brown Ombré

Taylor Hill on the red carpet with long sleek dark brown hair with shiny caramel highlights, wearing a black satin top
Look at that shine! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

This lovely shade is full of shimmering tones that will boost your brown hair and make it stand out.

Chocolate Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights

Chocolate brown hair with caramel highlights
This hair hue is a firm favourite. Credit:

You can’t go wrong with caramel! It instantly revives dark brunette strands and takes your look to a whole new stylish level.

Sultry Caramel Hair

Gisele Bundchen with long chestnut brown hair with caramel highlights in it, wearing satin dress on the red carpet
This colour has got the supermodel seal of approval. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Gisele Bündchen’s strategically placed caramel highlights run down the sides of her supermodel waves, perfectly framing her face and drawing attention to her facial features. If you want the same effect, you know what to do…

Toffee Tones on Dark Hair

Paris Jackson on the red carpet with tawny caramel hair swept to the side and styled into retro curls, wearing orange top
This tawny shade is perfect for year-round wear. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

What’s not to love about Paris Jackson’s toffee brown hair with caramel highlights? Teaming the shade with glamorous, side-swept curls give this caramel hair colour extra retro charm.

’90s Caramel Hair

Behati Prinsloo with her ashy caramel blonde hair styled into a romantic updo, wearing leopard print on the red carpet
This will become your favourite date night hairstyle. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Iconic ’90s supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Laetitia Casta made caramel highlights part of their signature look, so it’s no surprise that modern-day models are doing the same.

Take Behati Prinsloo for example, she gives her dark brown hair a ’90s makeover with these soft, sun-kissed caramel highlights.

Honey and Caramel Waves

Honey and caramel waves

Can’t decide between going light or dark? This bronde colour is the ultimate compromise. We also can’t get over those beachy waves!

Caramel Gloss

Caramel gloss
Caramel gloss vibes, 24/7. Credit:
If you’re a natural brunette wanting to test out the caramel waters, getting a semi-permanent glossing treatment is the way forward. This will temporarily add a gorgeous glaze to your hair and cause less damage overall.

Bob With Chunky Pieces

Chunky pieces caramel hair
Chunky hair is always chic. Credit:
Subtle but still very effective, this beauty has had chunky highlights blended into her bob to create the ultimate winter ‘do.

Dimensional Caramel

Cleo Wade with long naturally curly bob with caramel and blonde highlights in it, wearing a patterned top on the red carpet
These curls look so playful! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

To warm up your curls, ask your stylist to work with your natural brown, incorporating light and dark caramel brown shades to add brightness and dimension.

Sandy Hair

Jessica Biel with ash brown hair with sandy caramel hair, wearing white top on the red carpet
This sandy dye job will give your face a fresh, youthful look. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Jessica Biel’s soft, sandy hue is a great hue to layer over a medium brown base.

Lived-In Hair

Jessica Alba with long dark brown hair with grown out caramel highlights
Caramel highlights grow out beautifully. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

The best thing about caramel highlights? They grow out gracefully, and Jessica Alba’s lived-in mane is a serious case in point.

Caramel Streaks on Dark Brown Hair

Jasmine Tookes with shoulder-length dark hair with caramel highlights in it on the red carpet
Caramel highlights can work for all skin tones. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

This skin-flattering colour combo is destined for those of you with really dark brown hair. The gold-fleck caramel streaks in it give Jasmine Tookes’ medium-length mane an endless summery feel.

Copper and Caramel Tones

Copper and Caramel Tones
Beautiful! Credit:
A combo of copper, caramel and red creates the perfect autumn tones.

Chestnut-Caramel Waves

Chestnut-Caramel Waves
This hair hue slays. Credit:
If you’re looking for a wintery take on this colour, this chestnut-caramel hairstyle is all you need.

Beachy Highlights

Caramel hair: Woman with tousled dark brown hair with caramel highlights, wearing white Bardot top outside
Because who doesn’t want hair like a beach babe? Credit:

On the topic of summer, this beauty proves that caramel hair is the secret to beach babe-worthy hair. Whether you’re hitting the beach or not, you’ll need a good sea salt spray to mimic these tousled waves.


Woman with medium-length dark brown hair with caramel highlights, styled into loose curls wearing yellow top and posing outside
Goldrush. Credit:

This warmed-up golden mane is more about bringing a stylish dimension to chocolate tresses. By copying this highlight pattern, you won’t need to worry about the colour being too high maintenance.

Blended Caramel Macchiato

Blended Caramel Macchiato
Coffee-inspired hair? Yes please! Credit:
Balayage never fails to make hair look healthy and full of volume, as demonstrated here with this flawless, coffee-inspired blend of brown and blonde tones.

Golden Ponytail

Golden ponytail
Showing off your caramel highlights will be easy. Credit:

As if we need another reason to love this colour combo. Whether it’s a half-up, half-down updo or a ponytail with hair slides, your caramel hair colour will make any hairstyle look interesting.

Cute Babylights

Brown caramel babylights
Babylights are a finer, more delicate form of highlights. Credit:

Looking for a simple way to give your mane an uplifting change? Then hand-painted caramel babylights are a great way to switch up your hair while maintaining your base colour. These fine caramel highlights add warmth and depth to darker tones and look natural.

Face-Framing Highlights

Face-framing highlights
Face-framing highlights will always look good. Credit:

The placement of highlights can have more of an effect than you might think. If you have a long face, add highlights around your hairline to frame and accentuate your facial features, just like this lovely lady.

Her dark brown hair with caramel highlights is given a fresh update with the addition of blonder pieces at the front.

Warm Caramel Ribbons

Warm caramel ribbons
Warm-up your complexion with fiery red tones. Credit:

Wondering if a caramel hair colour will suit your skin tone? Getting ribbons of warm caramel highlights done throughout your mane is an ideal way for those with mid-tan complexions to try this flattering shade.

Fresh Highlights and Balayage

Woman with fresh brown highlights and balayage
Get the most natural results with a blend of balayage and highlights. Credit:

Balayage hair is just like traditional highlights, except they start further down from the roots and are less uniform than classic highlights. Instead, your stylist will place the colour from approximately a quarter or mid-way down the hair shaft, depending on your desired finish.

This colour technique helps to achieve brown hair with caramel highlights in a more low-maintenance way, as regrowth is less of an issue.

Subtle Undertones

Beyonce with long straight caramel brown hair with blonde highlights, wearing rose gold dress on the red carpet
This caramel brown hair colour is brightened up with some highlights. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

New to colouring your hair or just prefer a more understated style? With caramel brown hair at the tips, this soft and subtle colour shows that sometimes you don’t need to go wild with the colour to make a big difference.

Hidden Caramel Tips on Brunette Curls

model with curly brown hair with very subtle blonde highlights at the tips
This curly-haired look is giving us serious hair envy! Credit:

How fantastic does this light dip-dye look on curly hair? Pretty amazing we think. This warm brown hue has only slightly been lightened at the very tips, giving a natural sun-kissed effect that seriously freshens up this curly ‘do.

Pecan Pie

model with curly brown hair with very subtle blonde highlights at the tips
Pecan pie inspired hair is always a winner. Credit:

Everything about this sweet look is goals!

Caramel Blonde Highlights on Curly Hair

Caramel Blonde Highlights on Curly Hair
We can’t stop staring! Credit:

This look injects some life into dark chocolate brown curls, thanks to the touch of caramel blonde highlights at the ends.

Light Brown Hair with Caramel Tones

Light brown hair with caramel tones
Make your straight hair shine. Credit:

Looking for a way to add a little more pizzazz to straight hair? Caramel highlights will do just the trick, taking your colour from flat to fab without you even needing to style it.

Red to Caramel Colour Melt

Red to caramel colour melt, wavy hair
Caramel highlights don’t just work with brunettes, they pair wonderfully with red hair too. Credit:

The shier sister of ombré, colour melting is a softer take on the graduated colour look. Cutting out any harsh lines so that one colour flows seamlessly into the other, gives the hair a “melted” effect.

Light Ash

Light ash wavy hair
Go ashy with lighter caramel blonde tones. Credit:

Ashy tones are still massively in right now and this lighter ash caramel variation is all you need to work the two trends together.

Deep Highlights

Deep highlights on dark hair
Add vibrancy to ultra-dark strands with multi-dimensional highlights. Credit:

This rich hue is great for the brunette who loves their colour but wants to give it a new lease of life. As you can see here, curling your hair will help to bring out the different tones running through the lengths. 

Autumn Blends

Autumnal hair colour, wavy brown hair
Falling leaves and autumnal hair hues. Credit:

Thinking of going a bit darker as we head into A/W? This blend of rust and golden caramel highlights creates an earthy, autumnal feel that’s perfect for transitioning through the seasons in style.

Piecey Caramel Highlights

Piecey caramel highlights
If you crave volume, this colour can help you achieve it. Credit:

You’ve got the blunt cut bob everyone’s talking about, but now what? If you still want a way to fake volume, try getting piece-y caramel highlights done throughout your hair, like this.

Caramel Swirl

Caramel swirl wavy hair
Mmmm, caramel swirl in hair form. Credit:

Who doesn’t want their hair to look good enough to eat? This multi-dimensional hue magically blurs the line between brunette and caramel!

Glossy Brown and Caramel Hair

Glossy brown and caramel wavy hair
Caramel hair never looked so good. Credit:

A stunning example of glossy caramel highlights on dark brown hair.

Tawny Highlights on Dark Brown Hair

Tawny Highlights on Dark Brown Hair
Tawny and fabulous. Credit:

These tawny balayage tones work together to bring soft, caramel hues to naturally dark hair.

Caramel Brush-lights

Caramel brushlights
A gorgeous caramel look. Credit:

That’s right, you can achieve this easy caramel look with a paddle brush! This technique is perfect for those who want natural-looking results.

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