25 Chic Brown Balayage Hair Color Ideas You’ll Want Immediately!

brown balayage

Who’s ready for some major, beyond gorgeous, brown bayalage inspo? We’re talking that perfect rich color of brownie batter, with shimmering ribbons of buttered toffee, and hand-painted pieces the color of caramel.

Am I the only one that thinks of hair color in terms of food? Okay, good ;).

Balayage has taken the hair color world by storm because of the color melt effect it gives, which looks like you spent a lot of time in the sun and swimming in the ocean. Shhh, no one needs to know you just spent a couple hours in the salon instead.

If you’re new to the idea of balayage – you’ll love my guide to balayage, where I answer all your burning questions about balayage here!

My Balayage Hair Color Journey:

I started sharing my favorite hair color inspo over a year ago in one of my most popular posts ever on blonde balayage. Since then, it’s been read and shared across social media over a million times.

You know what this told me? Y’all are as obsessed with hair as I am! Hooray! So, since then, a few things have changed in my life – namely, my hair color. When I wrote that original post, I was deep into the blonde highlight and balayage look, but when Covid shutdowns started, I took the opportunity to let my hair heal and went dark for awhile.

In fact, I wrote a whole post on how I dyed my hair at home using a custom color from a mail order, color at home, subscription service called eSalon. Still highly recommend, btw.

I stayed dark, with no highlighting or lighteners at all for over a year. And then, the itch came back. You know what I’m talking about – hair lovers. It was time to mix it up. That’s when I started collecting all of my favorite brown balayage hair looks to get inspired.

And, wow oh wow, are these good. All of these are true works of art from serious hair masters. I am linking all of their Instagram accounts with the photos to give them these creators much-deserved credit for their beautiful work – and also to encourage you to pop over to their pages and show them some love (or just drool over all the bigtime hair inspo).

I hope you find your new favorite and you take it and run to your favorite hairstylist (or find one of these artists near you). The need to transform is real. Don’t fight it. I support you. #HairMatters

The Best Brown Balayage Hair Color:

1. Caramel Brownie Brown Balayage by @mertayyildizogl

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2. Pecan Toffee Brown Balayage by @xo.farhana.balayage

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3. Milk Chocolate Caramel Glaze by @muratkilichair

brown balayage

4. Fresh Brown Balayage by @bariskaragozz

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5.  Salted Caramel Brown Balayage by @mikaatbhc

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6. Makeover Monday by @glamourby_melissa

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7. Chestnut Brown  Balayage by @kellymassiashair

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8. Hazelnut Ribbons Brown Balayage by @angela_doeshair

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9. Chocolate Mousse Brown Balayage by @rodrigobencck

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10. Chocolate Swirl Brown Balayage by @hairrbyemily

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11. Spiced Cider Brown Balayage by @hairbyydani

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12. Maple Latte Brown Balayage by @glamhairbyheather

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13. Cinnamon Cremé Brûlée by @thathairmagic

brown balayage

14. Chocolate Cake with Ganache Glaze  by @nyllfigueiredo  @razzohaircare

brown balayage

15. Sunkissed Brown by @kaansayar1

brown balayage

16. Biscoff Brownie Brown Balayage by @lindsay.magyar

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17. Chocolate Cinnamon Roll Brown Balayage by @thathairmagic

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18. Caramel Macchiato Brown Balayage by @texasbalayage

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19. Brownie Batter by @hairbyamybee

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20. Warm Chestnut Chocolate Brown by @tabetha_and_co

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If you love hair, you will just soak up Tabetha’s Instagram page. She also shares her formulas for how she achieves her looks – like this one here:
brown balayage

21. Drop Top Brown Foiyalage by @tabetha_and_co

brown balayage

Another beautiful transformation from Tabetha.

22. Milky Way Brown Balayage by @hairbyydani

brown balayage

23. Coffee with Cream by @createdbyami

brown balayage

24.  Color  Transformation  Brown  Balayage  by  @brit_bellasalonandboutique

brown balayage

You don’t need to be afraid to go darker. Blondes don’t always have more fun. Look at the depth of this gorgeous brown and how it makes her skin glow and her beautiful blue eyes pop!

25.  Naked  Ice  by  @kimwasabi

brown balayage

Kim is another super hair genius. These were her notes for this incredible transformation: tease foilayage technique will get you the most natural blending and maximum lightness. She goes on to share her exact formula. If you love hair transformations, you have to check out her page. Also, don’t miss her incredible layering technique. It’s FABULOUS. 

Tips for Caring for Color Treated Hair:

Remember to keep your hair healthy when coloring. I’ve been coloring my hair for many, many years and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to keep hair healthy or restore it once it has become damaged. Here are my favorite products (affiliate links used).

When trying to heal damaged hair or keep hair healthy, start from the inside out. Consider putting collagen in your water or tea. I like Vital Proteins. It dissolves quickly and is tasteless. I drink a scoop a day in a cup of tea. It really helps with healthier, thicker hair growth that can withstand styling and coloring. This collagen helps my hair and nails grow faster and I do see a difference with wrinkles, too. See my full review of it here.

As for products, it’s really important to use hydrating hair products, as well as products that will repair the condition of your hair and protect it against heat damage. Here are some of my favorites:

  • I love a good hair mask and I’ve tried a lot of them.
  • Always use a heat protectant when heat styling. This has been my favorite lately. 
  • Let your hair air dry when possible. I wrote a whole post on how to air style hair so it’s not frizzy.
  • Or, you can use heatless curl stylers to avoid hot tools. Here’s a great heatless curls set with great reviews.
  • Use a hair oil through the middle and ends of your hair the night before you wash your hair. If you are close to a Trader Joe’s, they have a hair oil that is under $10 and I really love it. It works very well. Just don’t put it on your scalp or it’ll make your hair really oily.
  • Use a shampoo and conditioner that is color safe and won’t strip color.

Regular use of great products, drinking lots of water and collagen, and letting hair air dry when possible will help your color stay shiny and your hair stay healthier longer.

Your Balayage Questions Answered:

There are a lot of questions out there about balayage, so I wanted to answer a few of them in case you’re wondering.

What is balayage on brown hair?

A brown balayage is when highlights, often in several different colors, are added to brown hair using a hand-painted technique. This gives the highlights are a more natural look compared to weaving. Plus, the hand-painted pieces do not go all the way to the root all the way through your hair. Some start higher and others lower, which blends them in to your hair for a more dimensional and natural color that looks like you just spent a lot of time at the sun (instead of the salon).

Does brown balayage need bleach?

Any time you are lightening your hair color, bleach and lighteners are involved. These do damage the hair, so this is why using deep conditioners, treatment products and also heat protectants when heat styling are really important. Balayage does last longer than highlights that go to the root, because the grow out is less obvious, which can extend your hair appointments and limit damage to your hair.

Does balayage damage your hair?

Anytime you are putting lighteners or bleach on your hair, there will be damage. I have definitely noticed that the more lighteners I use, the quicker my hair starts to feel more like straw. Only once in my life did I have to stop coloring my hair for a year or two while my hair recovered, so you usually can lighten your hair for a long time without significant damage. Try to space out your hair appointments as long as possible and use a stylist that knows how to choose a lightener that is the best fit for your hair. If a stylist uses lighteners that are too harsh for your hair, it can irreparably damage your hair. And, of course, don’t forget that the products you use matter. Reach for super hydrating and color safe products, hair masks, leave-in conditioners and heat protectants.

Will balayage cover grey roots?

Balayage can work well if your grey hairs are spotty or concentrated in certain areas, because the stylist can intentionally paint over them to help break them up or hide them, without adding color to all of your hair. This can prevent color damage to a lot of your hair resulting in healthier looking hair. However, if you have a lot of grays growing in, you may need to do a root process to blend them all in.

Is balayage better than highlights?

The difference is in the look, so this will be a personal choice. If you like all of your highlights to be more uniform and go all the way to the root of your hair, then using a traditional weave and foil technique is going to get you the look that you want. If you like the softer, more dimensional and less uniform look of hand-painted highlights, you might love the balayage technique.

More Balayage Hair Color:

What do you think? Which one is your favorite? I have to say – I might be staying in the brown balayage hair color for awhile, so I have time to try as many of these as possible. Or, if you’re ready to warm it up – check out my new post with 20 fiery hot red balayage hair looks!

Looking for even more stunning hair color? You might like these posts:

Thanks for reading!

Have a fabulous day,





  1. Susan Heger
    November 16, 2021 / 5:44 pm

    Do you sell you color formulas ? I need one of them for my daughter and a stradegy. I love them all beautiful!!

    • Erica
      November 19, 2021 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you! I do not – but you can always take a picture to your stylist and ask them to recreate it!

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