The Ultimate Guide To Achieving & Maintaining Brown Hair Colour - AMR Hair & Beauty

The Ultimate Guide To Achieving & Maintaining Brown Hair Colour

Aug 02, 2020Rachael Grant

Do you need brown hair ideas? The possibilties are endless when there are so many different shades of brown available. It will certainly never get boring!

There is a good reason blondes with highlights use natural chocolate brown to restore brilliance... the shine is unparalleled. Even if you are a natural brunette, colouring the hair a couple of shades darker or adding highlights can be the shift you needed in your life.  

Let's dive into the incredible world of brown hair, including shades like light brown hair with highlights, ash brown, medium brown and chocolate brown. 



Light Brown Hair With Highlights

Let your imagination run wild with light brown hair with highlights. It’s one of the most versatile colours that suit everyone, especially if you experiment with well-chosen babylights, balayage highlights or any other combination of highlights and lowlights.

In case you need fresh ideas, here is some inspiration for soft brown hairstyles.

  1. Ash-brown and ash-blonde mix: Are you looking for an option in-between blonde and brown? This lovely colour is achieved with a subtle transition using colour melting. In case you prefer natural highlights on brown hair, this technique will be a better choice than standard balayage. 

  2. Natural honey blonde highlights: Almost imperceivable, these delicate warm blonde highlights will transform light brown hair with highlights that are two to three tones lighter than the natural hair tone. This is a safe choice, but nonetheless a gorgeous refreshment to keep long hair healthy.  

  3. Light brown hair highlights - board balayage: Using a board and a paddle to highlight brown hair isn’t necessary. However, using a hair curler and a heat-protective hair spray will undoubtedly make a difference. Curves bring attention to the highlights, while the spray keeps everything in place, preventing the heat from damaging bleached hair

  4. Golden girl highlights: A popular and cherished evergreen hairstyle for medium brunettes is a warm blonde that looks like it has golden strands pulled through it. It is an elegant and refreshing option that you can achieve without bleach, provided the hair falls under the light brown umbrella. 

  5. “Dark” light brown hair with highlights: On the light brown hair colour spectrum, this is probably the darkest you can still be considered a light brunette. With natural-looking balayage, you can deceive even your best friend with these elusive highlights.  

  6. "Autumn hair” highlights: Another colour combination you can achieve with semi-permanent colours is this late-summer and early-autumn blonde. 

  7. Sandy blonde: This cool light brown hair with highlights is so good it will make you proud to call every day a good hair day. For such perfection, you will need a full head of pastel beige foils. 

  8. Ombre highlights with hair extensions: If you have thin hair that doesn’t hold weight, volume and highlights on its own, consider hair extensions by beading longer brown tresses into shorter natural hair. Then, add the light brown highlights.  

  9. Cool balayage on virgin hair: Hairdressers are always happy to hear there are no highlights or colouring on natural hair. Virgin hair is easy to manipulate and colour coordinate. Almost anything can be pulled off on untreated hair. One example is these cool blonde highlights on very dark brown hair.  

  10. Gold brown hair with highlights: A true light brown hair with highlights will be somewhere in between dark blonde and light brown. You can achieve the desired warm tones with coppery gold highlights, such as this gold-brown that suits medium to dark skin tones perfectly. 

  11. Luscious caramel: You don’t need to bleach hair or go six to seven shades lighter to get light brown hair with highlights. Choose a permanent colour that will revamp a stale hairstyle with caramel nuances. Plus, you nourish the cuticle and prevent moisture from fleeing the hair.

  12. Rose light brown hair with highlights: To add a lovely berry hue to light brown highlights, hairdressers can add bleach foils and tone the highlights with a pastel colour toner. Maintain this variation of the light brown balayage highlights by renewing the rose gold around every two weeks. 

  13. Whipped strawberry cream balayage: For a subtler rosy undertone that resembles a natural light redhead, stylists can draw light blonde foils on the base colour as the first step. The next step is colouring the full scalp with a warm rose to subtly emphasise the lighter tones. If virgin hair is red, be careful with hair lightening because red-pigmented hair tends to be thin and more prone to breakage.

  14. Beige blonde balayage: For more impactful highs and lows with greater dimension, hairdressers should paint the hair with thicker highlights. The finishing look is not only a result of a well-combined colour but also a drop or two of nourishing argan oil treatment like Milk Shake Argan Oil.

  15. The beach blonde feel: Remember hair with interior depth? The first time hair highlights and lowlights went mainstream? Well, they are back. Now you can get beach hair with deep dimensional highlights. Braver and bolder than what we usually see on hair fashion pages lately, this casual hairstyle is ideal for an unexpected style revolution. (Ask for more light in the front to bring back 90s memories.) 



Medium Brown Hair Ideas

Medium brown hair is the closest to natural and untreated hair colour. Therefore, it can be the healthiest and the shiniest choice. If you are low-maintenance, that shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re going to make dramatic changes and experiment, you will quickly get bored with one medium brown hairstyle.

Even the classic shades of brown hair don’t need to be the same with the proper haircut, such as a fringe makeover and styling tools. Brunettes, don’t call your fabulous hair boring until you see these inspiring colours. Here we go!

Choosing Colours: Natural Brown, Golden Brown, Mahogany Brown, Copper Brown & More

  • Pravana 4.37 4Gv Golden Violet Brown 90ml: For a cooler brown shade, check out this violet-tinged hair dye. You will also be pleased to hear this collection does not contain parabens, sulphates, formaldehyde, phthalates and many other harmful ingredients. 
  • Pravana 4 4N Brown 90ml: For a natural brown hair colour, try this shade from Pravana. The collection is enriched with pure silk and keratin amino acids. Plus, there is low ammonia content to minimise damage to the hair.
  • Pravana 4.4 4C Copper Brown 90ml: If fans of copper hair want a more subtle look, they will love this dye. Brunettes can have a sneaky hint of spice after application.



How To Get Ash Brown Hair

You can find ash brown hair colour under many different names: ash brown balayage, chocolate balayage, brown babylights or ash brown foliage. Depending on the natural colour of the hair, you can use ash brown highlights or lowlights to lighten or darken the current colour.

By far and wide the trendiest variation of ash brown hair is applying some sort of blonde highlights to brunette hair. However, there are many methods and colouring techniques to achieve the desired look. As ash brown hair is not typically a drastic makeover, it's also one of the healthiest and safest options to enliven dull brown hair.


Is Bleach Needed To Create Ash Brown Hair?

You don't necessarily need to use bleach, although extremely black hair may need bleached highlights to achieve lighter nuances.

The good thing is that you can use demi-permanent and semi-permanent hair colours on existing caramel, honey or sunkissed blonde hairstyles. Instead of lightening,  you will use darker colours to achieve ash brown hair colour. In this way, hair will suffer the least possible damage if at all. 

Choosing Colours: Light Golden Ash Brown, Intense Ash Brown, Dark Ash Brown & More

Here are some colour variations to help you choose and match the desired ash brown:

  • Pravana 5.31 5Ga Light Golden Ash Brown 90ml: Harness the golden glow of sunlight with this light golden ash brown. It's easy to see why this collection is loved by hairdressers around the world.

  • Limitless Colour 4.1 Medium Ash Brown 100ml: A medium ash brown colour in an advanced colour-depositing cream. The success of the product is due to two main ingredients: Kakadu Plum and Bisabolol. These offer protection for the hair and scalp

Each of these tones will require a specific colouring formula, including different combinations of tube colours and developers for the roots and the ends.

What You Need For Ash Brown Hair Balayage

Brunette highlights and brunette blonde hair belong to the hairstyles that glow to the maximum when done properly with ash brown balayage. 

  1. Bleach, Three To Four Tones and Heat: Balayage can be a demanding hairstyle during the first application. Hairdressers can use three or even four different shades to achieve the soft transition from lighter ends to darker roots. Severe highlights will require bleach too. Heat is sometimes applied to further support the penetration of the lightener into the ends and help them stand out in contrast to the rest of the hair.

  2. Natural Balayage: Balayage looks more natural than full colouring. Ash brown balayage, in particular, can make a difference if you are considering cooling warm brown base colours for the first time. If you don't want to go overboard with ash brown hair changes, make it an ash brown balayage.

  3. Ash Brown Foilyage: For intense colour transformations, you need the help of foils. Similarly to the balayage technique, foliage is done by painting the hair with sweeping brush motions. Additionally, certain hair sections are wrapped in foil to help the colour give faster colouring results. Women with darker natural hair colour will need the assistance of foils with bleach. This helps to get a sufficiently light base. The follow-through after this first step includes toning the dimensional highlights with pink or silver blonde toner or semi-permanent colour.



Chocolate Brown Hair: Colour Ideas & Tips

Chocolate brown hair is among the most desired shades because of its playfulness. Plus, this shade looks great with almost any skin complexion. The darker frame around a pale face provides a nice contrast and looks fab with contouring or draping makeup. Moreover, if you have bright eyes, it will emphasise them even more. If you have dark eyes, you can make the most of the natural shine of chocolate brown hair with caramel highlights.

Although it looks simple, chocolate brown hair asks for some serious hairdressing skills, especially if you want to use professional colouring techniques, such as highlighting or balayage.

How To Get Chocolate Brown Hair

The most basic chocolate brown hair is either level 4 or level 5 colour with red tones. If you have naturally brown hair, it will be an easy one to achieve. But things get complicated if you want to transform a very light blonde or charcoal dark black to chocolate brown. 

  • Going brown from very light blonde: The problem with light blondes is brown colour loses its warmth when applied on platinum, pearly or even latte-coloured base. The outcome can be an unnatural grey without the red warm tones. Blondes will need to use a golden red in the first phase of the colouring to create a lighter base for the main colour. 
  • Dark Black to Brunette Colour Transformation:

     Black-haired women will need to go for lighter brown colour shades than chocolate brown to achieve the desired result. Otherwise, using level 4 or 5 colours may not change super dark black hair at all. Possible chocolate brown colour formulas for black hair include red auburn or golden red nuances. These are light enough to lighten naturally black hair to achieve brunette hair with reddish hues. Additionally, this will require some bleaching and peroxide to get it light enough to transform.

Choosing Colours: Light Chocolate Brown Hair, Dark Chocolate Brown Hair Or Even Chocolate Brown Hair With Blonde Foils

If you are anywhere between the darkest and the lightest hair colours, natural or treated, consider using one of the following colour shades. You can achieve a wide range of colours, from light chocolate brown to dark chocolate brown. Remember you can also play with unique tones or even accentuate chocolate brown hair with blonde foils.

Here are our recommendations:



How To Maintain All Types Of Brown Hair 

The problem with cooler hues is they tend to break down with washing, leaving brassy undertones. To maintain the hair, follow these tips and tricks

  • Avoid washing it more than twice a week to keep the colour from fading.
  • Use dry shampoo to keep the grease away from the roots.
  • Purple or blue toning shampoos for blonde hair can help you cover up the brassy tones and return hair to ashy perfection.
  • Apply conditioner after every wash because dry hair tends to lose colouring quicker than well-nourished hair.
  • Regular trims can get rid of split ends caused by repeated bleaching or highlights. 
  • Remember not to overapply shampoo toners to prevent dull-looking and overly smokey grey colour. Use most often at every second wash to allow a bit of fading before reapplying.
  • Use specific products for coloured hair. They are more gentle to the fibres and contain fewer harsh chemicals that could further harm the colour.

Overall, caring for the ash brown hair won't be much different than what you usually do to keep hairstyles healthy. Since this trend is not really a trend but a colour classic, you can wear it for a long time and still look delicious after every colour session. 

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