Good Hair Tinting Colors for Brown Hair

Beautiful and shiny hair can be achieved with a simple tint.

Photo: Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images

Perhaps you've wondered why your hair colorist uses a tint on your brown hair rather than a regular dye. Although the difference between hair dye and tint are minimal, there is enough of a difference for a colorist to use one over the other. There are some great colors and tinting products to take your brown hair from drab to fab and fierce. Get ready for a new you.

Differences Between Dye and Tints

Sometimes women get confused with terms like tinting and dying. Mike van den Abbeel of Mosaic Hair Studio in Orlando, Florida says that the difference between a tint and color is that tints are temporary colors that last from a few weeks to a few months and color lasts much longer, which is why it is usually known as permanent color. Eli Mancha, artistic director at Lock & Loaded in Chicago and hairstylist of the year finalist for the 2011 North American Hairstyling Awards, says that the main difference between the two is that permanent hair color contains ammonia which opens the cuticle and lifts the natural level. So ladies, don't freak out if your stylist is about to use a toner. It's actually better for your tresses.

What a Tint Does

Although tinting the hair and coloring it can be a bit similar, a tint can do some great things for your locks. Mancha says that tinting is a great way to add shine and richness to your hair without the full commitment of a permanent color. Also, he says that you don't have to worry about the roots growing in because your natural hair is not lifted. Bring on the fabulous hair with little upkeep; the tint basically just washes out. Abbeel says that tints can only deposit color on the hair shaft, but cannot lighten the natural color of the client's hair. If you want to know if blondes have more fun, this isn't the way to go. He says that tints are best when you want to change or enhance the tone of your hair. Abbeel says that he uses tints to enhance shine and to change a client's hair tone. However, tints can make a person's hair darker without the damage of regular hair dye -- a more mysteriously darker and fiercer you.

Best Products

Mike Petrizzi of De Berardinis Salon in New York loves Herbal Essence's Natural Instincts brand because it's one of the lowest ammonia drugstore products out on the market. He also says that it gives you a shiny gloss and even helps blend away those pesky grays without overly processing your luscious locks. For a more professional job, Petrizzi recommends Redkin's Titanium series of color for brunettes. If you're a budget-savvy diva, Alan Gold, creative director of the Haig & Co. salon in Philadelphia, says that Garnier, Natural Instincts and Frederic Fekkai are great for at-home use. However, he says for a more professional 'do, see a professional.

Choosing a Color

Petrizzi says that if someone is a dark to medium brunette, "using the 6T with 20 volume developer will produce a gorgeous lighter palette that would look stunning with some tawny caramel highlights -- think Tyra Banks and Jennifer Lopez." If that's what it takes to get tresses like Miss Tyra and JLo, sign up ladies. He says that for beautiful olive skin tones and fierce dark hair, going lighter can often produce not-so-fabulous orange-brass results. "Make sure to use a product that has an ash tone to help negate any unwanted warmth," says Petrizzi. He says he loves combining 6G and 8GN to achieve a cool gold color, like a "coffee with a lot of milk." Delish! Gold recommends staying close to your natural base and to complement your skin tones.

Related Videos




Alan Gold; Haig & Co. Salon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mike van den Abbeel; Mosaic Hair Studio; Orlando, Florida Eli Mancha; Lock & Loaded; Chicago, Illinois Mike Petrizzi; De Berardinis Salon; New York, New York

Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Eye Shape
or Register
typeF's Survival Guide


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account