There are a ton of ways to add highlights to brown hair.

By Erin Lukas
Updated May 17, 2019
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In a time where the names of hair color trends can easily be mistaken for popular beverages and desserts, brown hair with blonde highlights is a combo that doesn't have an expiry date.

A few of the many reasons why the hair color remains a classic is that it's universal for any shade of brunette, easy to maintain, and is always seasonally-appropriate. Whether your brunette base is a deep chocolate brown or rich auburn, there's a shade of blonde out there that'll warm up and add dimension to your color.

When deciding how blonde to make your highlights, Dilek Onur-Taylor, a stylist for The Salon by InStyle Inside JCPenney, says it never hurts to come prepared to your appointment with a colorist. Collect images of hair color you like and don't be afraid to ask questions before taking the plunge.

"Some things to take into consideration include how much time you want to commit to the upkeep of blonde highlights, your lifestyle, and your at-home maintenance regimen," Onur-Taylor says. "An experienced colorist will analyze your hair, your skin tone, and eye color to determine the most complimentary colors, technique, and whether you should go lighter or brighter with your blonde locks."

Onur-Taylor says if you are looking to for a subtle change, you should consider, "almost there, lit-from-within highlights of blonde." A dramatic change might include bold, face-framing pops of blonde to "bring out your best features." "There is a perfect shade of blonde for everyone out there," he says.

There are a ton of ways to add highlights to brown hair, but the colorist recommends following a less-is-more approach to get the most realistic look. For instance, balayage and baby lights are a way to mimic natural, sun-kissed pieces that would occur from, as Onur-Taylor puts it, "a summer well spent in the sun."

Even though highlights are less of a commitment than going full-on blonde, you should still take a little bit of extra care with your color to prevent any brassiness from coming through. Onur-Taylor suggests using a violet-based shampoo like Matrix Brass Off, which will help prevent brassiness. Follow it up with a hydrating conditioner and weekly deep conditioning treatment. If you use heated styling tools, like a curling or flat iron, you'll also want to use styling products that contain a thermal protectant.

"A good at-home haircare regimen will keep your blonde highlights shiny, healthy and add longevity to the vibrancy of your hair color," he says.

As for what your brown hair with blonde highlights is going to look like, keep scrolling to see how 10 celebs wear the hair color.

Jasmine Tookes


Dakota Johnson


Priyanka Chopra


Halle Berry


Shay Mitchell


Lucy Hale


Gemma Chan


Jennifer Lopez


Kate Beckinsale


Olivia Wilde


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