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 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
In the event that 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
Leave the shading towards the mid-lengths to tips for a more seamless look.
3. Blunt Bangs
Wear your caramel highlights on the fringe area and around the hairline for a face-framing glow. Maintain your vibrant color with a weekly mask like Nexxus Color Assure Lasting Vibrancy Deep Moisture Mask, your hair will be fresh and soft like virgin hair.
4. Blunt Bob
A few subtle streaks on the underside give a nice surprise.
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.
For minimalists, super-thin caramel highlights around the face and fringe area subtly brighten up your features.
7. Sombré + Balayage
A sombré (“subtle ombré”) combined with some lighter balayage on the mid-lengths gives a smudgy, molten effect.
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 oil, like The Good Stuff Frizz Control Oil, helps keep flyaways away and puts the spotlight on your luscious caramel color hair instead.
Loose waves incur a bit of second-day sex appeal when left to dry on their own.
10. Rich-Girl Bends
Rich caramel highlights give this morning-after wave just the right touch of presence.
11. Fringe Roll
Feeling a bit retro? A tinge of a highlight is just the right touch of rockabilly to a victory roll.
12. Wavy Balayage
Polished yet effortless, a.k.a. how we wish we all looked on the weekends.
13. Loose Waves
Recreate a set of relaxed, airy waves by prepping hair with a salt spray, such as Nexxus Between Washes Beach Waves Tousled Texture Sea Salt Spray, before air-drying.
14. Subtle Sombré
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
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 Define & Shine Serum Gel, helps keep your curls in check while providing a nourished gleam.
Like a bright ray of sunshine, only sultrier!
17. Curly Lob
A black base graduates into rusty ends for an overall on-trend look.
18. Curly Ombré
Starting your curls right where your ombré begins is a great way to keep your hairstyle looking cohesive.
19. Disco Curls
Burn, baby, burn! An expertly blended caramel ombré breathes new life into these side-swept 1970s crimps.
Long, natural ringlets achieve more dimension with a few other lighter streaks blended in.
21. Natural Two-Toned
By the same token, an edgy two-toned effect can also lighten a look without going too far.
22. Side Curls
Some tight, proper corkscrews achieve some good-girl polish when swept off to one side.
23. Natural and Subtle
Soft, natural curls gain some subtle brightening with a lovely set of caramel highlights.
24. Top Knot
Gathered into a top knot, and highlighted hair gets a fun, punky dip-dyed effect.