Young brunette woman looking her smart phone outdoors
Image: Shutterstock/Ramon Espelt Photography

How To Get The Perfect Shade Of Brown Hair For You

Rocking a classic brunette shade is the way to go if you want to look classy and sophisticated. From the brightest light browns to the deepest chocolaty hues, there are plenty of shades to consider. But like other shades, certain colors work best with certain skin tones. Below is your guide for choosing the best brown shades for your skin.

Golden Brown

Somewhere between brown and blonde (you may even see it referred to as “bronde”), golden brown is a light hue that shimmers with hints of the deepest blonde hues. This shade looks stunning on light skin with cool undertones, as the golden hues will add plenty of warmth. A great way to get this look is to get a light brown base with wispy highlights of a shade or two lighter.

Cool, Light Brown

This light brown, sometimes called ash brown, is a cool, muted shade that works great on warmer skin. The cool hues will balance out the warmth, and make features pop. This lighter shade pairs well with light skin, as well.


This gorgeous shade is mostly a deep chocolate color, but with hints of ruby throughout. It’s a warm shade that will add depth and character to cooler toned skin. The dark nature of the shade makes it look like a natural choice with darker hued skin, as well. Very fair skin types might want to avoid it. The dark hair could make you look washed out, unless you’re going for a high-contrast statement look.


Walnut is a dark, cool shade that is somewhere in the medium brown realm. It looks great with warm undertones like olive skin. Adding a slight ombre or highlights could add dimension to this look.

Dark Espresso

This shade has the deep hues of coffee, true to its name. It’s a sleek, cool shade that looks great with warm and dark skin tones. Adding lighter, chocolate hues towards the bottom can give this look charm and dimension.

Darkest Brown

This brown is so dark, it actually looks black. It’s the darkest of the brown colors, sitting somewhere around a two on the hair color chart (with one being a pure black). It looks great on dark skin tones. It’s also a very versatile shade, with blue bases in the shade sitting well against warm skin tones and non-blue bases sitting well against cool tones.


While not specifically a color, ombre tones are a popular option for brunette hair. Thanks to the wide array of brown shades, from almost black to golden hues, contrasting the hues makes a huge impact. Try for a darker shade at the top of the hair, and go with a lighter shade of brown near the tips of the hair.