29 Stunning Brown Balayage Hair Styles to Highlight Brunette Hair

Updated on December 28, 2023
Lauren Long By Lauren Long
Lauren Long

Creative Writer, Lifestyle Blogger, and Skincare and Wellness Enthusiast

Table Of Contents

    Brown balayagePIN

    29 Stunning Brown Balayage Hair Styles to Highlight Brunette Hair

    Balayage, balayage, balayage.

    Balayage is one of the most popular hair trends we’ve seen over the past few years, and what’s not to love? The bespoke hand-painted highlights create a stunning sun-kissed blend that looks unique every time and on each client.

    While blonde balayage is the traditional way of highlighting the hair, brown balayage offers a stunning multidimensional effect by blending different tones of brunette hair.

    Brown balayage is popular because it:

    • Blends brown highlights with the base color
    • Gives a sun-kissed effect on brunette hair
    • Creates natural-looking highlights
    • Combines multiple shades of brown hair color

    Brown Hair Balayage vs. Highlights

    It is a common misconception that highlights are only blonde. Highlights can be any color darker than the base color of the hair. Brown hair highlights are typically caramel, honey brown, copper brown, and vibrant shades, but they could also be mocha hair highlights on deep espresso brown.

    The types of brown highlights include:

    • Classic highlights
    • Chunky highlights
    • Teasy Lights
    • Babylights
    • Strandlights
    • Balayage
    • Foilyage

    Brown balayage is a highlighting technique, as it lightens select areas of the hair. They are different from classic highlights and most other types of highlights, as there are differences in the application method and the results.

    The chart below compares brown hair balayage vs. highlights.

    Brown Balayage Brown Highlights
    • Natural or existing base color
    • Brown tones swept onto the mid-shaft to ends
    • Densley colored brown ends
    • Hand-painted
    • Natural or existing base color
    • Brown highlights from the roots to ends of the hair
    • All over thin highlights
    • Applied with aluminum foil

    While North American salons first started using the bespoke balayage highlighting technique in the 1990s, the balayage hair trend has only become a huge phenomenon in the past decade.

    Brown balayage involves three main steps:

    1. Selecting the hair to apply balayage
    2. Hand-painting bleach highlights to the selected hair
    3. Applying brown hair color all over or hand-painting colored highlights to the bleached hair

    Depending on the shade of your current hair and the brown balayage color you desire, you might be able to skip the bleaching step. Remember, when dying your hair lighter than your existing color, you can choose a shade two times lighter without requiring bleach for most hair types and colors.

    If you’re excited to try brown balayage, check out some unique ideas for inspiration. We’ve gathered 29 trendy brown balayage hairstyles for 2023.

    Chocolate Brown Balayage

    Indulge in the sweet, mouthwatering sensation of creamy milk chocolate. Chocolate brown hair is a rich brown shade with gold and slight red undertones. To add dimension to your dark brown hair, choose a vibrant chocolate brown balayage.

    If you want to try out chocolate brown balayage without the commitment, you can purchase clip-in chocolate brown balayage hair extensions.

    Caramel Brown Balayage

    Who can resist a sweet, creamy caramel? Caramel brown hair is a warm blend of light brown and golden blondes. Sweep this shade into medium brown hair, and you’ll get delicious caramel brown balayage.

    Caramel Brown Balayage Short Hair

    Caramel brown balayage is an irresistible hair color that looks amazing on every hairstyle. If you have short curls, a choppy bob, or a pixie cut, go for caramel brown balayage short hair.

    Caramel Red Brown Balayage

    Caramels, ginger snaps, and milk chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth. When you infuse caramel brown with hints of ginger snap and pumpkin spice, you get caramel red brown balayage.

    Mushroom Brown Balayage

    Mushroom Brown BalayageInstagram@qiaohairPIN

    Channel your inner nature lover. Mushroom brown balayage gives serious earthy vibes; it is perfect if you want a greyish-brown balayage with cool undertones.

    Infused with creamy browns and dusty greys, the mushroom hair color resembles the portabello mushroom cap it is named after.

    Ashy Brown Balayage

    Ashy Brown BalayageInstagram@dedy_madaPIN

    Ash brown balayage is one of the hottest brunette balayage trends in 2023. If you like ash brown hair color and want to emphasize the grey and silvery tones, you’ll love ashy brown balayage. It’s a slightly more metallic and frosty than other cool-toned brown balayage colors.

    Medium Brown Balayage

    Medium Brown BalayageInstagram@phillhairPIN

    When you want brunette balayage hair that isn’t too dark or too pale, you can’t go wrong with medium brown balayage. Swirl in shades of your favorite medium brown hues for a multidimensional chocolatey bronze color.

    Medium brown hair colors include:

    • Milk chocolate
    • Golden bronze
    • Caramel brown
    • Cinnamon brown
    • Chestnut
    • Ash brown

    Honey Brown Balayage

    Oh honey, honey.

    When you’re in the mood for warm and cozy hair color, honey brown balayage is a trendy blend of cocoa and honey hues. Honey hair blends golden blondes and amber browns with hints of red for a casual shade with vibrance.

    Honey Chestnut Brown Balayage Hair

    Here’s a shade for people who love warm and earthy tones. Honey chestnut brown balayage combines the sweet golden bronze of honey on a backdrop of rich chestnut brown. It’s a multidimensional blend of those golden red browns melted into a stunning bespoke balayage.

    Pink Balayage on Brown Hair

    If you’re a girly girl who can’t do without a little pink in her hair, why not incorporate it into a beautiful brunette balayage? Pink balayage on brown hair takes your favorite rosy shade and swirls it into chocolatey brown.

    Auburn Copper Balayage on Brown Hair

    Want brown balayage that’s elegant and sexy and can pass for your natural color? Auburn copper balayage on brown hair combines firey red with ginger tones on a rich brown base. The balayage highlights blend authentic rouge and scarlet shades into a multidimensional reddish-brown color.

    Blonde and Brown Balayage

    Gone are the days of choosing between being a beautiful brunette and a blonde bombshell. Brunette hair with blonde hand-painted highlights is the classic balayage hair. There are so many combinations of shades to make blonde and brown balayage unique for you.

    Warm Brown Balayage

    When it’s time to warm up your hair color for the cooler months, or if you want brunette hair that brings out your natural glow, it’s time to explore the warm brown hair color options. Colors like caramel brown, light milk chocolate, honey, and amber are the perfect ingredients for warm brown balayage.

    Warm brown hair colors have three primary undertones:

    1. Copper red
    2. Golden brown
    3. Honey

    The chart below compares warm-toned to cool-toned brown balayage.

    Warm Toned Brown Balayage Cool Toned Brown Balayage
    • Chocolate, honey, auburn browns
    • Red, orange, and yellow undertones
    • Suit people with golden skin undertones
    • Mushroom, espresso, or ash browns
    • Blue, green, and violet undertones
    • Suit people with pink skin undertones

    Red Brown Balayage

    There’s something very alluring about a ravishing redhead. Red hair is bold, confident, edgy, and elegant. When contemplating between being a brunette or a redhead, red brown balayage allows you to be both at once. You can choose natural colors like copper and auburn or use a dramatic contrast like crimson red on mocha hair.

    Golden Brown Balayage

    Let these be the golden years of hair color! Brunette hair blended with golden hues makes one 24-karat hair color. Golden brown balayage weaves golden blonde, bronze, and amber colors into chocolatey brown or chestnut hair for a multidimensional balayage with a luminous glow.

    Brown Balayage Short Hair

    What do we love the most about brown balayage? It’s a versatile highlighting technique that accentuates every hairstyle. Brown balayage short hair provides dimension to cropped haircuts. We love warm brown balayage highlights on pixie cuts and choppy layers.

    Blue Balayage on Brown Hair

    If you’re looking for a vibrant balayage to makeover brunette hair, look no further than bright turquoise blue. We love the contrast between vivid colors and milk-chocolatey shades, so if you’re bold and courageous, go for blue balayage on brown hair.

    Zohna Tip

    Keep vivid balayage colors localized on your hair, so applying a color wash to the highlights is easier to maintain their vibrance.

    Red and Brown Balayage

    Reddish brown hair colors are one of the most popular choices because they’re vivid enough to attract attention while authentic enough to pass for your natural hair.

    Change hairdo from a solid auburn or mahogany hair color and go for a multidimensional red and brown balayage. We love bright ginger snap balayage highlights on rich chestnut hair.

    Chestnut Brown Balayage

    Chestnut Brown BalayageInstagram@76_stylePIN

    Chestnut brown hair is an earthy, rich brown with warm red undertones. Part of the brunette family, it has slightly more copper and golden tones than milk chocolate hair. Chestnut brown balayage sweeps this multidimensional reddish-brown color onto a darker brown base.

    Black to Brown Balayage

    Maintain the mystery of dark raven hair with the vibrance of warm brown balayage. Black to brown balayage transitions the jet black of deep espresso into lighter shades of brown like caramel, chestnut, and amber. It’s perfect if you want black hair with a touch of vibrance.

    Honey Blonde Balayage on Brown Hair

    Nothing says a sugary hair color like sweet honey blonde. Honey blonde hair is a warm, golden shade with amber, blonde, and slight red tones. When painted onto rich brunette hair, you get a stunning, multidimensional honey blonde balayage on brown hair.

    Subtle Balayage on Brown Hair

    So you like the idea of brown balayage, but you want something subtle. Choosing a color a few shades lighter than your base color creates a subtle contrast. You will also need to select the hair you want for brown balayage highlights.

    There are five popular options for subtle balayage on brown hair:

    1. Partial balayage
    2. Balayage money pieces
    3. Root blur balayage
    4. Balayage ends
    5. Peekaboo balayage

    The chart below compares different options for subtle balayage on brown hair.

    Type of Subtle Brown Balayage Descriptions
    Partial Balayage
    • Hand-painted highlights
    • Swept onto specific sections of the hair
    Balayage Money Pieces
    Root Blur Balayage
    • Hand-painted highlights
    • Swept into the roots
    • Create a blended grow-out
    Balayage Ends
    • Hand-painted highlights
    • Swept onto the ends
    Balayage Peekaboos
    • Hand-painted highlights
    • Single chunky highlight
    • Hidden on under layer of hair

    Cool Brown Balayage

    Chill out; it’s okay to play it cool. Cool brown hair colors are those with grey, ashy, and icy tones. If you have fair skin or a cool complexion, cool brown balayage is the most flattering choice for you. Combine any brunette colors to create your unique brown balayage.

    Cool brown hair colors include:

    • Ash brown
    • Mushroom brown
    • Espresso
    • Ash chocolate
    • Plum brown
    • Cool dark brown

    Grey Balayage on Brown Hair

    Grey hair is no longer a color for embracing age naturally. Charcoal, slate, and smoky shades are trendy hair colors for people of every age.

    We love grey balayage on brown hair colors like espresso and other cool, dark shades. To blend with a warm brown shade, chocolate brown compliments grey hair.

    Silver Balayage on Brown Hair

    Welcome to the future of hair color. This balayage hair is glowing with a futuristic metallic shine. Silver balayage on brown hair adds chrome and metallic hues on a rich brown base. Silver and gold balayage highlights together create a striking contrast on brunette hair.

    Rose Gold Balayage on Brown Hair

    If you thought life was pretty in pink, it’s gorgeous in rose gold! Rose gold hair is a beautiful blend of golden blonde and rosy reds with a metallic shine. Sweep subtle pink and blonde tones onto warm brunette color for a luminous rose gold balayage on brown hair.

    Strawberry Blonde Balayage on Brown Hair

    Is anyone else a sucker for strawberry blonde hair? This rosy pink wash on golden blonde hair makes strawberry blonde balayage an irresistible trend. If you like chocolate-covered strawberry blonde, you’ll love strawberry blonde balayage on brown hair.

    Natural Brown Balayage