24 Ways to Wear Caramel Highlights on Different Hair Textures

Eunice Lucero | 27 February 2019
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Flirting with getting caramel hair color? We show our fave versions of this warm, sexy look on different hair textures.

Caramel highlights are by far one of the most popular colors to come out of the scene in the last few seasons, and with good reason. Warm and rich without being too overwhelming, caramel hair color is fairly democratic, flattering a ton of complexions across the board, particularly those with yellow undertones.

If you’re on the market for this fan favorite hair shade, look no further: We put together a list of all the possible variations and ways caramel hair color can look on different hair textures. Read on for the best ways to wear this pumpkin-spice inspired hue:

Caramel Highlight for Straight Hair

Blend, blend, blend! If you typically wear your hair straight, then it’s imperative you get highlights that are expertly smudged or massaged into your natural shade (some stylists actually tease hair while highlighting to avoid a harsh “line”). A subtle foil technique or better yet, some artfully done balayage helps nail that warm, natural sun-streaked look of brown hair with caramel highlights without any jarring demarcations.

1. Full Color

full color caramel highlights
Caramel brown hair is a sweet, bright shade as a single-process color as well. Photo credit: Dvora

In the event you’re truly in love with the sweet appeal of caramel hair (or have the warmth in your skin tone to rein it in).

2. Angled Bob

angled bob caramel highlights
Ask your stylist to pull the highlights lower on the shaft for a slimming effect.

Leave the shading towards the mid-lengths to tips for a more seamless look.

3. Blunt Bangs

blunt bangs caramel highlights
Subtle and well-blended highlights enliven a regular medium brown bang. Photo credit: Dvora

Wear your caramel highlights on the fringe area and around the hairline for a face-framing glow.

4. Blunt Bob

blunt bob caramel highlights
Tuck hair behind the ears for a grungier take. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

A few subtle streaks on the underside give a nice surprise.

5. Ironed

ironed caramel highlights
The test of expert blending: flat ironing your locks. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

For straight dark brown hair with caramel highlights, it’s better to keep the strips skinnier. Sections that are one to two shades lighter keep the look from being too streaky.

6. Hairline

hairline caramel highlights
Part to one side for a flirty flip.

For minimalists, super-thin caramel highlights around the face and fringe area subtly brighten up your features.

7. Sombré + Balayage

sombre balayage caramel highlights
Brown hair color is twice as sexy with a great balayage.

A sombré (“subtle ombré”) combined with some lighter balayage on the mid-lengths gives a smudgy, molten effect.

8. Sombré

sombré caramel highlights
Lighter ends have a cute beach-worn feel.

You can also leave the highlights towards the ends, for a sexy, natural end-of-summer feel.

Caramel Highlights for Wavy Hair

Perhaps the easiest way to wear caramel highlights, wavy textures have the benefit of making the changes in your hair color look just naturally sunlit. To keep your locks from frizzing, a cut with not-too-crazy layers—plus the help of a great serum, like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Smoothing Serum, helps keep flyaways away and puts the spotlight on your luscious caramel color hair instead.

9. Air-Dried

air dried caramel highlights
That tousled effect, tho! Photo credit: Dvora

Loose waves incur a bit of second-day sex appeal when left to dry on their own.

10. Rich-Girl Bends

rich girl bends
Bedhead never looked so sexy. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Rich caramel highlights give this morning-after wave just the right touch of presence.

11. Fringe Roll

fringe roll caramel highlights
Twist your fringe upwards and secure at the seam with a pin. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Feeling a bit retro? A tinge of a highlight is just the right touch of rockabilly to a victory roll.

12. Wavy Balayage

wavy balayage caramel highlights
This look is perfect for day to night. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Polished yet effortless, a.k.a. how we wish we all looked on the weekends.

13. Loose Waves

loose waves caramel highlights
A few spritzes of texturizing spray helps urge some relaxed bends in.

Recreate a set of relaxed, airy waves by prepping hair with a salt spray, such as Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, before air-drying.

14. Subtle Sombré

subtle sombré caramel highlights
A middle part keeps your look relaxed. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Ends that are one to two levels lighter than the base have a more natural effect. In this case, opt for a more muted caramel shade.

15. Wavy Lob

wavy lob caramel highlights
Keep any layers longer than the jawline for a fuller feel. Photo credit: Dvora

Wispy, delicate foil highlights definitely offer a super pretty contrast on darker hair.

Caramel Highlights for Curly Hair

Getting medium brown highlights is a clever way to freshen up curly hair without resorting to a cut or full color. Not only does it enhance your ringlets and gives them some definition and dimension, it also appears natural while not sacrificing style. A gel serum, like Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Curl Defining Gel Serum, helps keep your curls in check while providing a nourished gleam.

16. Afro

afro caramel highlights
The smudgy root keeps it lower maintenance.

Like a bright ray of sunshine, only sultrier!

17. Curly Lob

curly lob caramel highlights
A burnt-sienna version complements a bronzy glow. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

A black base graduates into rusty ends for an overall on-trend look.

18. Curly Ombré

curly ombré caramel highlights
Equally stunning, whether left down or tied up.

Starting your curls right where your ombré begins is a great way to keep your hairstyle looking cohesive.

19. Disco Curls

disco curls caramel highlights
A deep side part adds to the sex appeal. Photo credit: Indigiltalimages.com

Burn, baby, burn! An expertly blended caramel ombré breathes new life into these side-swept 1970s crimps.

20. Natural

natural caramel highlights
We love this crisp, fashionable take on caramel hair color. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Long, natural ringlets achieve more dimension with a few other lighter streaks blended in.

21. Natural Two-Toned

natural two-toned caramel highlights
A quieter caramel mixes in more seamlessly with a black base. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

By the same token, an edgy two-toned effect can also lighten a look without going too far.

22. Side Curls

side curls caramel highlights
Side-swept curls are a fun work look.

Some tight, proper corkscrews achieve some good-girl polish when swept off to one side.

23. Natural and Subtle

natural and subtle caramel highlights
Gives you a wee bit more time between touchups!

Soft, natural curls gain some subtle brightening with a lovely set of caramel highlights.

24. Top Knot

top knot caramel highlights
A trendy hairstyle to top off an equally head-turning shade.

Gathered into a top knot, and highlighted hair gets a fun, punky dip-dyed effect.

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