20 Stunning Blonde, Brown, and Red Hair Colors

Your next hair color awaits you.

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Should You Darken Your Hair Color?

Red head
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Whether you go for bold red, rich brown, or a glossy blonde, color can update any hairstyle and freshen up your look. The problem is that there are so many colors to choose from. 

To help you decide which direction to go, we're going to explore stunning hair colors. You will also find many tips that will help you find your perfect color.

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Gorgeous Dark Brown Hair

Woman with dark brown hair
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For an all-over brown color, this deep chocolate is a stunning option. It looks great on long and short hair and is really hot on thick hair with natural waves.

Should You Go Darker?

If you think you might look better with darker hair, New York City stylist Eva Scrivo offers a great tip in her book, "Eva Scrivo on Beauty." Since wet hair is a few shades darker than dry hair, put on your regular daytime makeup while your hair is still wet. If your complexion is brighter, Scrivo says you would look great with darker hair. ​

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Brunettes Can Get Highlights, Too

Woman with highlights
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People usually associate highlights with blonde hair, but they work beautifully in brunette hair as well. Weaving in lighter washes of color into dark hair can help add definition and dimension. 

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Rich Copper Highlights

Woman with copper highlights
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Highlights do not have to be blonde, either. Actress Odette Yustman has gorgeous copper highlights in her dark brown hair. It's a stunning pop of color that frames her face with elegance.

This is also a good example of getting your cut before you get any color added. It allows your stylist to customize your new color to your hairstyle so she can bring out your best features.

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Blah Brown Hair? Try Sun-Kissed Color

Blonde haired woman on beach
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Many women with brown hair feel that it's a little blah, maybe even boring. With a hint sun-kissed highlights, you can give it a new life. 

Jennifer Aniston is a perfect example of how well it can work. She often has that sun-kissed look on her naturally brown hair and it's great. For the most natural look, ask your colorist about the balayage technique. It's great for highlights because the color is painted on.

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Highlights Aren't Just for Summer

Blonde haired woman
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Scrivo writes in her book that women think they need highlights in the summer, but it's actually the opposite. You will want to get highlights in the winter when your skin tone can look dull. The sun will naturally lighten your hair in the summer, so you can actually save money and skip the salon visit in the summer months.

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Try an Ombre Shade of Brown

Ombre hairstyle on Ciera
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Not all brown is boring, especially ombré hairstyles on brunettes. The gradient color shifts from dark at the roots to brighter color and it looks great on long hair. Most natural brunettes aren't this golden, either. The hue is meant to resemble sun-kissed locks that have grown out.

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Finding the Right Shade of Red

Red headed woman
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When choosing a shade of red hair color, you'll want to pick one that's not only flattering to your complexion but also makes it glow from within. 

Know Your Skin Tone

To discover whether or not you can go red, you need to figure out if your skin has warm or cool undertones. Hold a piece a white paper up to your face. If your skin coloring appears to be pink, you're cool. If it appears yellow or olive, you're warm.

Warm skin tones look best with all sorts of shades, except bright blonde. You can look great in red because dark, rich tones will counteract sallowness. However, cool skin girls should avoid reds because they will bring out the pink in your skin.

Start With Temporary Color

If you're really not sure, try a temporary color such as a mousse, hairspray, or shampoo first. There's no commitment because they wash out after a few shampoos. However, you do need to be careful not to color already treated hair yourself. There's too much potential for damage.

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The Perfect Copper Red Hairstyle

Copper red hair
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This copper red is a fabulous option, especially if you have a funky or edgier hairstyle or look. It's very bold and is sure to get noticed on long, medium, or short hair.

Take Care of Your Own Roots

You don't need to run to the salon to get your roots done. Many people swear by Clairol Root Touch-Up as a quick fix between salon visits.

This touch-up matches almost all salon colors and comes in several shades for redheads, blondes, brunettes, and black hair. Users who have tried it report that the package only provides enough color for the temples, part, and hairline. The package suggests keeping it on for 10, but testers recommend leaving it for up to 15 minutes if you have stubborn gray hair.

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A Gorgeous Shade of Red

Christina Hendricks
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Famous for her role in "Mad Men," as well as her brilliant red locks, Christina Hendricks has absolutely stunning hair. It's surprising to find out that she's actually a natural blonde. She has obviously found the perfect color for her because she's had it most of her adult life.

Bring Pictures to the Salon

When getting your hair colored, it's best to bring pictures along. You can also show up a half hour early to peruse the salon's hair magazines for ideas. Simply describing a color to your stylist won't always work because "Irish setter red" may mean something different to her than it does to you.

Amy Huson, a colorist at the Marie Robinson salon, suggests in Allure magazine that you bring two pictures to the salon, one that you love and one that you hate. "This way the colorist is sure to see—not just hear—what you want."

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Not Everyone Can Get Away With This Red

Maggie Rizer
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The strawberry red that Maggie Rizer wears is a tricky color. Not everyone can get away with it. If your skin tone is similar to hers, it may be a good fit, though. The supermodel is seen with either this color or a dusty blonde and both look great.

Can You Color Your Hair When Pregnant?

Many pregnant women color their hair using ammonia-free hair color. Others opt for highlights. When they're done correctly, the color doesn't touch the scalp as much as all-over color does. To be safe, it's best to wait until after your first trimester to get your hair colored or highlighted.

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Let Your Gray Hair Go

Gray haired woman
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Once your hair turns gray it can be a hassle to keep it colored, which is why more women are opting to go gray. It is a gorgeous color and one you can't get out of a dye, though many young women try.

Whether you choose to go natural or want to cover it up, there are some tricks to gray hair that you'll want to know. For instance, it tends to have a wiry texture and you may want to warm up your makeup to keep your skin from washing out.

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Platinum Blonde Hair

Platinum hair
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Platinum shades are super edgy. Not every woman can get away with this look. It's best on olive skin and you have to have the right attitude to carry this look off. If you have a pink skin tone, it's not the best option because it can make you look sallow.

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Boost Fine Hair With Color

Woman shaking head with blonde hair

If you have fine hair, adding any color will give your hair body because coloring causes your hair's shafts to swell. If you have a good blonde hair base, you're best bet is to probably highlights, rather than overall color. That's because strips of color are much better than one-dimensional color.

Ask your stylist about lowlights, too. Lowlighting means darker strands are woven into the lighter ones, creating more depth and drama.

Your Highlight Options

If you use traditional foil methods for your highlights, keep in mind these are harder to care for once your roots grow out. Foil highlights require a precision application, which makes fixing dark roots costly. However, if you go with widely-spaced, less structured pieces of color (called hair painting or balayage), the touch-ups will be easier.

You can opt for either full or partial highlights. Partial means the stylist sticks to the top part of your head, instead of highlighting all over. If you have thick hair, you'll want to go partial or you will be there forever. In summer, ask your stylist to color the hair that shows when you wear a ponytail.

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Add Dimension With Multiple Colors

Woman with blond hair looking at flower
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The best hair color is multi-dimensional, not one-dimensional. A great big wash of blonde is boring unless there are darker and lighter strands woven within. For a good example of natural hair color, look at a child's hair. You'll see many different colors.

When getting your hair colored, ask your stylist to weave in up to three different colors if you're getting highlights. If you are getting all-over color, consider a few highlights around your face.

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From Dirty Blonde to Bronde

Woman with brown hair
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If you have dirty blonde hair, you can perfect the "bronde" look. It's a lovely mix of blonde and brunette. You simply get highlights and lowlights, keeping your "dirty brown bits" while adding in lighter colors for variation.

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California Blonde

Woman with blonde hair
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The California look is blonde, but not too blonde. It's just a little darker than platinum blonde and tends to look best with a few different shades mixed in. It's great with beachy waves to complete the surfer girl look.

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Honey Golden Blonde

Gwyneth Paltrow
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According to InStyle Magazine, Gwyneth Paltrow's blonde hair color is the most requested blonde color in Los Angeles salons. It's a gorgeous shade that works on many different hairstyles, especially if you share her fine, straight hair.

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Go From Brunette to Blonde

Kristin Chenoweth
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Kristen Chenoweth is not a natural blonde (you can tell from her roots, which are beginning to grow in), but her hair color is gorgeous. If you don't want obvious roots, get balayage instead of foil highlights. They grow in more naturally.

If you want to go completely blonde, it's typically a two-step process that involves bleaching the natural color out of your hair and then adding color back in. Progress with caution and never try this at home. Also, keep in mind that there will be extensive upkeep to going blonde.

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Dip-Dye Hair Color

Red tipped hair
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Dip-dye hair is a fun and popular look. It's a process that dips the ends in color, while the rest of the hair is left natural. It's not just a trend for teens, either. This one is popping up on women (and men) of all ages.