Hair Colors and Lowlights for Brunettes

Lowlights are difficult to place on darker hair, but can be effective in creating multidimensional color.

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Who said blondes have to have more fun? Just because you're a brunette doesn't mean you have to have flat, one-dimensional hair color. There are a whole bunch of glamorous highlight and lowlight options that will show off your natural color, whether it's a deep chocolate brown or vibrant auburn.

Dark Brown

If you have dark brown hair you might be at a loss with lowlights. Highlights could stand out too much, while lowlights could hardly stand out at all, but if you get the right shade, your color will be subtle and multidimensional. If you want natural-looking highlights choose a shade that's one or two shades lighter than your natural color -- don't go any lighter unless you want to make a statement. For lowlights, pick a deep black, but not one that has blue undertones or it will look unnatural. Because your hair is so dark you can try a velvety dark red or purple hidden underneath the back of the hair and pull it off much easier than girls with lighter hair. It will add a subtle shimmer when light hits your hair but won't stick out like you dyed your hair with Kool-Aid.

Medium Brown

If you have medium brown hair, lowlights will give you the chance to transform your color from mousy to dark and sexy -- think Meagan Fox's deep brown hair. For an alluring look that's both mysterious and sexy, ask your stylist to give you subtle auburn lowlights like Fox's. It will darken your hair but also make the chocolatey undertones shimmer. If you want a less subtle look, ask for dark chocolate lowlights with sun-kissed highlights around your face to brighten your eyes and complexion.

Light Brown

If you have light brown hair, lowlights make the largest impact. You can go edgy and choose a black or red lowlight that will immediately stand out, or you can go for natural-looking color. For a natural-looking lowlight on light brown hair, you want to choose a shade that is only one or two tones darker than the color you have and in the same color family. This means that if your hair is ashy you want to steer clear of burgundies and auburns, and if your hair has warm undertones you can choose deep chocolates. It should be noted that if you do add lowlights to your hair it will look more medium brown. If you want a blonder look, you should go the route of champagne highlights around the crown.


Auburn hair is a deep shade of medium brown with red undertones. This shade can vary from almost a chocolate brown with a red shimmer to an almost ginger kind of brunette. Lowlights for this hair color are complicated because there are so many different shades. If you have auburn hair that's closer to a deep brown than a gingery red, pick a lowlight that will bring out your natural browns like a deep maple color. This kind of color will make the red tones in your hair stand out. If you have a gingery tone, you want to go with something that is brassier. Choose a caramel-colored lowlight to play off of the subtle orangey tones in your hair.

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