Are you blessed with brilliantly dark locks? Or do you dream of having chocolate-colored tresses? Whether your natural hair color is of the brunette persuasion or not, trying out dark hair is nothing to be afraid of. Because no matter what your natural coloring is, there’s bound to be a dark shade that works for you. Let’s explore some dark hair color ideas that can work for every hair type and length.

7 Sensational Dark Hair Color Ideas

The fact that most people on the planet have black or dark brown hair doesn’t make being a brunette any less amazing. From chestnut brown to dark chocolate, there are a multitude of beautiful dark hair color ideas to choose from. Not sure what shade of brown will work for your tresses? Follow along and see which brunette shade will make your hair look like it was done by an expert colorist (or Mother Nature).

1. Chocolate

Dark hair color ideas: woman with straight, brown hair

Chocolate brown hair is a classic brunette shade that can pair well with any hair type or complexion. Whether you have straight or curly tresses, chocolate hair color is both elegant and natural looking for most people. 

Chocolate is one of the best dark hair color ideas because it’s so versatile. Though it’s in the warm brown family, this shade also looks flattering on people with cool undertones (those with pink or blue pigments to their skin). We think it looks particularly adorable on short hair — like pixie cuts or bobs.

Since this is a medium brown hair color, chocolate brown can be seamlessly layered over both lighter and darker shades. If you want to experiment with this shade without going all the way, ask your stylist for chocolate highlights or lowlights.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon brown is the perfect in-between hue of brown and red hair. It’s kind of like the brunette hair’s version of rose gold. This warm brown shade combines red, gold, and brown tones to create a beautiful medium brown hair color that works best on those with warm undertones (those with peachy or gold pigments to their skin). 

Because it’s such a lively tone, we think this shade really complements the swirly dynamics of curly hair. Another great thing about cinnamon brown is that it can be as dark or light as you want. You can go with a vampy dark tone or if you want to stick with a light brown hair color, you can choose a dusty sunkissed shade of cinnamon.

Pro Tip: Unsure about how bold you want to go with cinnamon brown? Try out some subtle highlights throughout your locks.

3. Caramel

Caramel brown is a warm, sunkissed shade that brings a summery vibe to your tresses no matter what season it is. This golden brown tone works whether you want balayage, face framing highlights, or an overall caramel tone. The honey brown charm of caramel can be combined with many other dark hair color ideas to give you dynamic brunette locks that turn heads.

Though caramel is a warm shade, it can look fabulous whether you have cool or warm undertones. Warmer complexions can totally handle an overall caramel color. But those with cooler complexions should try out caramel highlights — dramatic chunky highlights are a fun trend to try now.

4. Ash Brown

Ash brown is a gray-tinted shade of brown that looks excellent on those with cool undertones. Although it’s a lighter brown tone, this brunette shade looks amazing when layered on top of a dark brown hair color

Light brown highlights or ombre in an ash tone looks ultra-modern when paired over a dark hair color like espresso. If you want to try out a blonde hair shade without committing to light locks, choosing this bronde hue is the perfect stepping stone from blonde to brown. 

Pro Tip: Going from dark to ashy may cause some hair damage. To help restore your locks, use a weekly hair mask.

5. Mahogany

Woman with straight, brown hair

Mahogany is a brilliant deep brown shade with fiery hints. This reddish brown hue has a dark brown base layered with a maroon or purple sheen. Mahogany brown is one of the most brilliant brown hues and looks best on those with warm tones to their skin. It’s a particularly beautiful combo with soft waves that accentuate the dimensions of this color.

If you’re daring enough to commit to this alluring shade, how you move forward with a dye job depends on your current hair color. For those already rocking black or dark brown hair, layering the reddish tones of mahogany can be done fairly easily with a mahogany brown highlight or gloss. But if you have a lighter hair color like dirty blonde or ash brown hair, recurring dye jobs and root touch-ups will be required.

6. Espresso

Dark hair color ideas: woman with long, curly, brown hair

If you love the edginess of black hair but aren’t quite ready to commit to a shade that dark, espresso brown is the color for you. This mocha-hued hair color idea definitely brings the drama and glamour of black hair but still has chocolatey tints that keep the color interesting.

Espresso can work on both warm and cool undertones depending on which direction you take the shade. If you have pink or blue undertones, you can totally rock an all-over espresso tone. But if you have peachy or golden undertones, an espresso brown with slight hints of chocolate or caramel will better suit your golden complexion.

7. Black

Ever so dramatic and mysterious, black hair makes a bold statement. And since there are literally no hair shades darker than black, you won’t have to use bleach or even highlights to get this tone. But that doesn’t mean this raven hue is low maintenance. Maintaining black hair means fairly frequent hair dye sessions, especially if you have a naturally light brown or blonde hair color.

Root upkeep can be a beast, so if you’re set on achieving a glamorous black hair look, you need to commit to regular visits to your hairstylist. We’d recommend this shade for those with cool undertones or darker skin tones. Black also compliments straight long hair or even short haircuts like lobs — but only if they are full of shine and radiance.

Pro Tip: For added shine, use a custom hair serum to soften hair and thermally protect it from heat damage.

Maintain and Care for Your Dark Hair Color

Now that you have all these dark hair color ideas, have you decided which brilliant shade is right for you? Are you gunning for an ash brown or chocolatey shade? Or do you want to have a red tinted tone like mahogany or cinnamon brown? Maybe even a mega-dramatic hair color like black or espresso? Whatever shade of brown you choose, you’re sure to impress everyone with your new color.

Once you’ve picked out the best dark hair color idea for you, it’s time to work on preserving it. Luckily, there’s a hair washing combo made to help your color last. Function of Beauty’s custom shampoo and conditioner is formulated for your unique hair type, texture, and moisture level. Plus, when you choose color protection as one of your added beauty goals, this duo can help prevent dulling and fading, encourage optimum color retention, and protect your tresses from UV rays. Take the hair quiz to start working on your personalized hair care formula today.