10 Hair Colors That Will Convince You to Get Caramel Highlights

Why choose between brunette and blonde when you can have both?

<p>PeopleImages/Getty Images</p>

PeopleImages/Getty Images

Not quite brunette, but certainly not blonde, caramel-colored highlights offer the best of both worlds for that perfect sun-kissed effect. There’s a reason the color family is so popular when it comes to natural, lived-in highlights: It’s nearly universally flattering, with a range of hues that can be customized to complement just about any skin tone. Plus, caramel highlights catch the light just so, creating unparalleled dimension that brightens the complexion and creates visual depth to hair. But don’t take our word for it: Read on for 10 of our favorite caramel hair colors that prove the hue really is for everyone.

Caramel Contrast

Use a caramel tone on dark black-brown hair to create a bold, multidimensional contrast. To keep highlights from looking too streaky, ask your stylist to use a balayage technique—this will help create a chunky effect that still feels lived in and blended.

Lived-In Color Swirl

For an effortless summer look, focus those warm caramel highlights throughout the mid-lengths and ends of the hair, leaving the crown its natural dark shade. The cascading highlights make the grow-out process a breeze, while the lived-in color pairs particularly well with soft, beachy waves.

Barely There Highlights

Keep things subtle by keeping highlights within the same color family as your natural hair. The caramel tones add a hint of dimension without looking too done, and there’s virtually no upkeep needed—keeping you out of the salon as long as you’d like.

Face-Framing Tint

They’re not exactly money pieces, but something about these face-framing, cooler caramel highlights feels quintessentially ‘90s to us—though there’s no denying the nostalgia that comes  with the Rachel Green haircut. The highlight placement is a foolproof way to brighten up the face with a low-maintenance, high-impact dye job.

Honeycomb Caramel

Caramel shading perfectly melts into honey-hued tips for a bold color story perfect for warm weather. Ask your stylist to keep highlights piecier and sparser at the top, slowly building dimension down the lengths of the hair.

Blended Golden Kiss

Give dark brown hair more life and dimension by weaving blended golden highlights around the face and through the ends. It’s a universally flattering color combination that adds a lightness and a touch of warmth to an otherwise one-note shade of brown.

Warm Balayage

Hand-painted balayage helps bring a natural warmth to the face while creating a more seamless blend throughout the hair. The result is a lived-in hair color that’s multidimensional and varied without leaning too brassy or orange. For a more blended effect, consider adding multiple shades of highlights (and even lowlights) to create a truly unique look.

Melted Cool Caramel

An ashy caramel balayage against a cool brown base creates a beautiful lived-in effect that still packs a punch on the color front. To keep the color looking more natural, use those brighter tones sparingly, interspersing them throughout the hair with other, slightly darker tones.

Subtle Sun-Kissed Effect

For a sun-kissed effect, ask for true caramel face-framing pieces, with the color subtly interspersed throughout the lengths and layers. With a light hand and well-placed highlights, you can create some serious dimension that still feels natural—it’ll just amp up your existing color.

Summer Warmth

We love the warmth and depth achieved by interspersing blonde, bronde, caramel, and brown highlights, as seen above. It gives the effect of a summer spent in the sun (sans the skin damage and sunburn). The color feels fresh yet timeless.

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