50 Caramel Highlights on Light and Dark Brown Hair

Caramel highlights are sticking around.

Caramel hair is simply a warm-toned light brown hair colour (similar to caramel syrup), and its the perfect colour to transition your hair from dark to light, or vice versa. You can get all-over caramel hair done, or just opt for caramel highlights, which are one of the most sought-out hair colours ever, mostly because it is universally flattering.

Want to try this look for yourself, but feeling a little indecisive about which hue to go for? Well, luckily for you, the versatility of caramel tones are endless; ranging from all-over colour to ombre, highlights and balayage.

Ahead, see our favourite examples of caramel highlights on light and dark brown hair. There’s bound to be a look here you’ll want to try in 2020!

Short and Sweet Caramel Accents

Woman with short bob with caramel accents
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
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
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.

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

True Caramel Hair

Eva Mendes with medium-length textured caramel waves, wearing green on the red carpet and posing
Sweet enough to eat. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

If you’re still wondering what true caramel hair looks like, just take a look above to see how Eva Mendes pulls off this illuminating shade.

Long Caramel Hair

Woman with long caramel waves
Credit: Instagram.com/razzohaircare

In this example, caramel teams perfectly with long, Rapunzel-worthy hair. Credit: @razzohaircare

Face-Framing Caramel for Brunettes

Woman with face-framing caramel highlights on medium brown hair
Credit: Instagram,com/suetyrrellstylist

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

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 Caramel Highlights

Woman with light brown hair with subtle caramel babylights
Credit: Instagram.com/ivanikolina

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

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

Woman with long light brown caramel hair
Credit: Instagram.com/hairstylebyrosa

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. Credit: @hairstylebyrosa

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Caramel Blonde Ombre on Light Brown Hair

Woman with long caramel blonde hair
Credit: Instagram.com/erdemkirameraquaflorya

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

Caramel Blonde Highlights

Woman with caramel b;londe highlights with wavy hair
Credit: Instagram.com/krystalizedhair

Nothing brightens up a chocolate base quite like warm, caramel blonde highlights! Credit: @krystalizedhair

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.

Psst…Copying this tousled hairstyle will allow you to show off your new hue, in the best way possible.

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

Woman with long caramel brown hair
Credit: Instagram.com/glenhew

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

Caramel Brown Ombre

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

Woman with dark brown hair with caramel highlights
Credit: Instagram.com/jessicascotthair

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

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 Caramel 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 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.

Gorgeous Caramel on Brown Hair

Sofia Vergara with long dulce de leche caramel hair styled into loose curls on the red carpet
Sofia Vergara’s shade might be the one for you. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Sofia Vergara’s milk chocolate curls seriously stand out because of the addition of subtle honey caramel tones. To steal her look, make sure you have a curling wand at hand.

Honey and Caramel Waves

Woman with light brown hair with caramel and honey highlights
Credit: Instagram.com/thecolorconnoisseur

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

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Multi-Toned 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 Caramel 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 Caramel

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.

Dark Hair with Soft Caramel Pieces

Woman with dark brown hair with subtle caramel accents
Credit: Instagram.com/daniellelouisette

After an eye-catching look? This cool and contrasting mix of dark hair and caramel tones are exactly what you need to achieve your hair goals. Credit: @daniellelouisette

Summer Caramel Hair

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: Instagram.com/camilamonrrone

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. Credit: @camilamonrrone

Sexy Caramel Balayage

Woman with long dark brown tousled hair with face-framing dark caramel highlights
This is how you take your winter hue to sunnier heights. Credit: Instagram.com/brittsully

We like this hair colour like we like our coffee: simple, dark and sweetened up some caramel syrup. Who else is pinning this look? Credit: @brittsully


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

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. Credit: @chrisgreenehair

Caramel Ponytail

Woman with long dark brown hair with caramel highlights styled into a low ponytail, wearing hair slides and posing in a bedroom setting
Showing off your caramel highlights will be easy. Credit: Instagram.com/sincerelyjules

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. Credit: @sincerelyjules

Cute Caramel Babylights

Caramel highlights: Close up dark brunette caramel babylights on shoulder-length wavy hair
Babylights are a finer, more delicate form of highlights. Credit: Instagram.com/hairartistrybm

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. Credit: @hairartistrybm

Face-Framing Highlights

Caramel highlights: Brunette woman with wavy caramel face-framing highlights
Face-framing highlights will always look good. Credit: Instagram.com/__the_colour_code__

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. Credit: @__the_colour_code__

Editor’s tip: Keep your hair in its best condition by using a deep conditioning hair mask at least once a week. Tackling dryness as well as helping your colour stay bright and fresh, we suggest using the Love Beauty And Planet Blooming Strength & Shine 2 Minute Magic Masque.

With Amazonian Muru Muru Butter and rose absolute, this miracle masque will help moisturise your coloured hair and also leave it with a healthy-looking gleam.

Warm Caramel Ribbons on Chestnut Brown Hair

Caramel highlights: Back view of a woman with warm toned caramel highlighted hair, curled into loose waves
Warm-up your complexion with fiery red tones. Credit: Instagram.com/prissyhippiebeautyshop

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. Credit: @prissyhippiebeautyshop

Fresh Highlights and Balayage

Caramel highlights: Long brunette wavy hair with caramel balayage and highlights
Get the most natural results with a blend of balayage and highlights. Credit: Instagram.com/trichologybyma

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. Credit: @trichologybyma

Read more: Hold off on that salon appointment, grown-out roots are officially trending

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.

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Hidden Caramel Tips on Brunette Curls

model with curly brown hair with very subtle blonde highlights at the tips
This curly-haired look is given us serious hair envy! Credit: Instagram.com/emmachenartistry

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. Credit: @emmachenartistry

Caramel Ombre

Woman with naturally long curly hair with dark brown base and light caramel blonde hair posing
Disco hair, don’t care. Credit: Instagram.com/golden_barbie

If you want to make your curls stand out, try to keep your roots a dark caramel and go for a blonde ombre dye job at the ends, like this. Yep, we can’t stop staring, either. Credit: @golden_barbie

Caramel Blonde Highlights on Curly Hair

Woman with natural curly hair with caramel highlights in it
Credit: Instagram.com/romeufelipe

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

Light Brown Hair with Caramel Tones

Shot of woman in a salon with long and straight caramel hair
Make your straight hair shine. Credit: Instagram.com/remakemxl/

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. Credit: @remakemxl

Editor’s tip: Give your coloured tresses a major dose of TLC with the TRESemmé Colour Shineplex Serum, which is designed to provide frizz control and leave your mane feeling soft and looking super shiny.

Red to Caramel Colour Melt

Caramel highlights: Dark red to caramel ombre shoulder-length curly hair
Caramel highlights don’t just work with brunettes, they pair wonderfully with red hair too. Credit: Instagram.com/loco1805

The shier sister of ombre, 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, it gives the hair a “melted” effect. Credit: @loco1805

Light Ash Caramel

Caramel highlights: Light caramel coloured long curly hair
Go ashy with lighter caramel blonde tones. Credit: Instagram.com/julianoasmar

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

Rich Highlights

Caramel highlights: Side view of a woman with long dark caramel highlighted hair, loosely curled at the ends
Add vibrancy to ultra-dark strands with multi-dimensional highlights. Credit: Instagram.com/beautyfied_by_josie

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. Credit: @beautyfied_by_josie

Autumn Blends

Caramel highlights: Close up wavy caramel colour melt hair
Falling leaves and autumnal hair hues. Credit: Instagram.com/pk_hair

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. Credit: @pk_hair

Piecey Caramel Highlights

Caramel highlights: Woman with bobbed dark brown hair with caramel highlights, wearing white and posing outside
If you crave volume, this colour can help you achieve it. Credit: Instagram.com/salsalhair

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. Credit: @salsalhair

Caramel Swirl Hair

Woman with dark hair and melted caramel balayage
Credit: Instagram.com/jessicascotthair_salon

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

Glossy Brown and Caramel Hair

Woman with caramel ombre hair
Credit: Instagram.com/vanessakoeb

A stunning example of glossy caramel highlights on dark brown hair. Credit: @vanessakoeb

Editor’s tip: Want your hue to always look glossy? Just set it with the VO5 Tame & Shine Spray!

Tawny Highlights on Dark Brown Hair

Woman with dark brown hair with caramel highlights
Credit: Instagram.com/jessicascotthair_salon

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

Caramel Brush-lights

Woman with medium-length dark brown hair with caramel brush lights
Credit: Instagram.com/hairbymendez

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. Credit: @hairbymendez

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