Hairstyle Guru

13 Hottest Brown Hair Colors for 2016

Step aside, platinum blonde and rainbow hair colors—brown is bursting onto the scene, with its entourage of bronde, caramel, auburn, and black in tow. Of course brown hair has always been around, but it’s often given short shrift by all those focused on blonde basking in the spotlight. These days, though, more and more women in the public eye are choosing the rich hue. Kristen Stewart, Olivia Wilde, Dakota Fanning, Drew Barrymore, and even Cara Delevingne have all made the switch from blonde to brown at one point or another. So check out the 13 trendiest shades of brown hair below and get inspired by this versatile shade.

1. Bronde


We’re cheating a little bit with this one, because “bronde“—that hot new hair color in between brown and blonde—is more a blonde hue, in our opinion. But because the issue isn’t totally clear cut, we threw it into the mix. In true bronde form, this particular hair color isn’t quite brown or blonde. But it’s 100% gorgeous, with its rich color and sleek, straight, touchable strands.

2. Light Ash Brown


These pretty long ash brown curls have caramel balayage applied to the ends, so the overall effect is a multitonal eye dazzler. (The dramatic cascade of curls don’t hurt, either!) The subtle but intriguing shade also works beautifully with this woman’s skin tone.

3. Honey Brown


Dyeing your mane with this honey brown shade is going to be an excellent way to spice up your look for spring. This color can even stay with you through the summer, given its warmth and tiny bit of shimmer. Of course it will only help to have thick, long, healthy hair, which this woman has in spades. But even those of us who need a boost in that department might experience a feeling a bit like a sugar rush when stepping out with this gorgeous hue.

4. Auburn


This stunning shade has oceans of depth to it. There’s honey, caramel, red, and of course a nice helping of brown. The hue complements this woman’s gorgeous skin tone, the bouncy curled-in waves add drama and elegance, and the long parted bangs pump up the trendy factor.

5. Warm Medium Brown


Global icon Kate Middleton has not only a heart of gold but also an incredible head of hair. When you look at her long, bouncy brown curls, just remind yourself that she’s frickin’ royalty. If she weren’t this put together, the universe would be severely unbalanced.

6. Medium Ash Brown


Cuteness alert! We love the color of this hairstyle, which is another medium brown shade but has more of an ashy quality to it. We’re also cooing over the spunky cut, with its short, choppy layers. The messy waves and imperfect side part make this one heck of a fun, chic look.

7. Medium-Dark Ash Brown


Zendaya’s well known for her gorgeous medium-dark brown natural curls, and here they look no different than how they usually do: truly stunning. Also on point: her perfectly arched brows.

8. Dark Ash Brown


This sultry color—a dark brown that’s heavy on ash tones— is so lovely when paired with a medium-long hairstyle of full, thick waves. Not to be outdone is the shine factor: this woman’s mane gives off a sheen that’s unparalleled.

9. Dark Brown with Caramel Coloring


The soft, subtle wave in this woman’s hair helps to bring out the equally subtle caramel balayage that’s been tastefully applied toward the ends (versus at the roots). Our favorite part of this swoon-worthy ‘do is the base color, a rich dark brown.

10. Chocolate Brown with Medium Brown Balayage


This luscious color palette is going to be big in 2016. You’ve got a deep chocolate brown for the base color, and after that you’ve got a medium brown color applied to the ends in a verrry subtle balayage effect. We’re talking “blink and you’ll miss it” subtle. But you can’t miss this woman’s gorgeous waves, which play up the color famously.

11. Chocolate Brown/Deep Ash Brown


How pretty is this head of hair? This woman’s long, shiny waves are exquisite, but what really steals the show is her hair color. This shade has more ash tones in it than the previous one does, but it has the same rich chocolate base. Either way, the effect is impressive.

12. Dark Chocolate Brown


Megan Fox is well known for her characteristic dark waves, the color of which often borders on pure black. Here her mane is awash in a deep chocolate brown, and it looks sensational. We’re detecting ever-so-subtle hints of medium brown hightlighting throughout, too, which is a great way to warm up a dark base tone.

13. Dark Brown/Black


Ashley Greene looks beautiful with her hair dyed in this sophisticated, sexy tone. This shade is a deep, deep brown—it’s so dark that it’s borderline black. But there are still subtle chocolate tones throughout that warm it up. We’re also loving the subtle waves bringing an overall sense of movement and dynamism to her mane.

Kay Wilson

Kay Wilson works your typical beige-collar office job by day (the collar used to be white, but she repeatedly spilled coffee on it). By night she keeps things interesting by spilling red wine, runs, reads, and blogs at Hairstyle Guru.

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