Chocolate Brown Hair: Colour Ideas & Tips

chocolate brown hair
June 15, 2020

Rachael Grant

Chocolate brown hair is among the most desired shades because of its playfulness that can tick both warm and cool hair colour boxes. Chocolate 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, such as blue and green, it will emphasise them even more. If, in contrast, 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 that 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 your 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.

The 10 Best Colours for Chocolate Brown Hair 

If you are anywhere between the darkest and the lightest hair colours, natural or treated, consider using one of the following colour shades . They’ll help you to achieve chocolate brown hair:

Some of the suggested alternatives above are semi-permanent colours. They will only good as good if you have similar or two to three shades of lighter hair. Furthermore, it won’t last forever, it’s likely to fade after a few washes. As always, read the instructions first, and make sure that you leave room for your hair responding to the colour in unexpected ways. Therefore, it is best if you let your chocolate brown hair transformation be completed by a professional. A pro colourist can pull the maximum of this rich warm colour. They do it by strategically playing with colouring techniques and several chocolate brown shades, or even recreate the illusion of chocolate brown by placing subtle red highlights on black hair.

Delicious Brunette Shades You Might Want to Try

Often, the confusion about chocolate brown hair arises from the fact so many women have a different picture of what chocolate brown is. If you want to find what is your perfect fit, you may want to consider these variations of chocolate brunette dyes:  


This brown colour is on the darker side of chocolate. It is a perfect shade for medium to dark skin or olive skin with dark eyes.


If you revamp a blonde into a brunette with chocolate brown colour, don’t be surprised if you get this golden, light brown colour. It looks amazing on medium skin with warm undertones.

Chestnut Brown

The chestnut shell mimics this brown colour that is closest to a chocolate brown due to the mix of dark brown and red.

Cinnamon Brown

Unlike the previous suggestions, this brown colour has plenty of auburn in it and many will recognise it as a mix between red and brown. Natural redheads can tone down a rich red by applying the spicy brown to their natural base.

Toasted Caramel

If you are hungry by the end of this list, it is not our fault: chocolate blend amazingly well with coffee, spices and confectionery. Why mess up good food combinations when we can use them for coordinating hair colours? Toasted caramel is another such mix of dark and light brown tones which can be achieved by pulling caramel highlights on chocolate brown hair.   

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Colouring Your Blonde Hair Chocolate Brown

Going dark brown from blond is a challenge. You will have to use a two-step colouring technique which includes dyeing your hair in a primary warmer base. Then you’ll be completing the look with the second application of chocolate brown colour. 

Here is how to recolour your hair from light to dark the proper way:

Step #1. Fill out the blonde base with dark blonde or light brown colour with auburn, copper, or mahogany tones

Apply the dye on damp hair to prevent damage and make sure you have enough colour boxes. Because you are not only dying roots, you will need one box for short to medium hair and two boxes for long hair. Don’t forget to wear gloves. If the colour has a bottle applicator, apply directly from the bottle starting from the roots and spread the colour out to the ends with your hands. Leave it on for about 20 minutes. It’s important to note that using a box colour will make it difficult for your hairdresser to change the colour later, so we wouldn’t recommend unless you’re desperate.

Step # 2. Use the main chocolate brown colour (combo or individual tube) after you have washed the colour from the previous application. 

In this second step, you will be actually covering the light red or orange tones with the beautiful dark brown to achieve the chocolate brown hair without any faults. 

(Tip: If you use only one colour, it is very likely that the final result will look green, sliver, or grey, missing the warmth necessary for chocolate brown hair.)  

Chocolate brown hair is the colour of luxury and allure. It is the friendliest shade for growing your hair long. It won’t be too dark to limit your styles to only darkest colours. But it will also not be as light to demand diligent hair care and be prone to split ends. In the end, make sure you protect your new colour by washing it with an adequate shampoo, applying masks, and maintaining its longevity for as long as possible.

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