Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

Blonde highlights add interest to brown hair.
Blonde highlights add interest to brown hair.

Brown hair with blonde highlights will take your ordinary brown hair to outstanding. Various effects can be achieved depending on the method and colors used.

Reasons for Highlighting Hair


You can add depth to light brown or even dark blonde hair with blonde highlights. By adding more than one blonde tone, even more depth can be achieved.


If you have thin, fine, or straight brown hair, blonde highlights will add much-needed body. This is because hair color causes the hair shaft to swell, making the hair seem thicker. It also roughs up the cuticle, or outer surface of the hair shaft, preventing it from lying flat against the head.

Enhance Skin Tone

Another reason to color brown hair with blonde highlights is to brighten up your skin tone, especially if the highlights are concentrated around the face. Warm blondes will enhance eye and skin color and actually brighten your face.

Blend Gray

If your brown hair has started to gray, you may want to consider blending your gray with blonde highlights rather than opting to color your entire head. Blonde highlights are very effective in blending gray hair, and add body to the hair at the same time. Because gray is a cool tone, it can make brown hair appear drab. Blonde highlights will counteract this and make your brown hair a much warmer and more flattering color.

Achieve a More Flattering Color

Although brown hair can be beautiful, it can also be somewhat ordinary. Blonde highlights will take plain brown hair to a whole new level, creating a sun-kissed, vibrant effect.

Techniques for Creating Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights

There are several ways to add blonde highlights to brown hair, including:

Hair Painting

Painting blonde hair color or bleach on with a small, fine brush can be done either at home with a highlighting kit purchased from a retail store, or can also be done in a salon by a professional hairdresser. Painting fine strips of color onto the hair gives a natural, sun-bleached look.


  • Relatively inexpensive
  • The initial application as well as touch-ups is easily done
  • It is easy to control where the highlights are placed.
  • Produces a natural look.


  • Hair painting can be somewhat messy.
  • Because there is no foil or other material between the sections that are highlighted, if the product is runny or applied to heavily, bleeding may occur, resulting in a blotchy effect.
  • Only one shade of blonde can be added to the hair unless the hair is processed, rinsed, dried, and another application is performed.

Highlighting with a Cap

Brown hair with blonde highlights can also be created by pulling strands of hair through a special highlighting cap using a tool resembling a small crochet hook. This method is good for short, straight hair that will pull easily through the perforated holes in the cap.


  • Quick and easy
  • Can be done at home, or in the salon
  • Little to no bleeding of color since the cap stays between the highlighted hair and the hair that is to be left natural
  • The desired effect can be controlled by the number of strands pulled through the cap as well as their thickness


  • Can be painful, especially for those with thick, long, or curly hair, or those with sensitive scalps
  • Might be somewhat hard to control how even the highlight is since all the hair is under a cap and the hairline as well as thick and thin areas of the hair cannot be seen
  • Only one color can be added at a time


One of the newest and most popular ways to highlight hair is with highlighting foil. In this technique, the strands to be highlighted are wrapped in pieces of special foil. Because of the complexity and skill required for this method, it might be best to have it done by a licensed colorist in a salon.


  • Many different looks can be achieved by varying the placement of the foils
  • More than one color can be added to the hair at one time
  • Highlighting with foils gives the stylist the most control over the final result


  • Can be expensive, especially if done in a high-end salon by an experienced colorist
  • Takes more time to do than the other methods
  • Good results hard to achieve without going to a salon

Modern Highlights

Hair color is more popular than ever, and highlighting with blonde tones is a great way to add some color to your plain brown hair without having to color the entire head or get extremely frequent touch-ups.

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Brown Hair with Blonde Highlights