Brown hair needn't look mousey. In fact, a slew of celebrities show that brunettes can have dimension, texture, and gloss in spades. Here are a handful of the stars with our favorite brunette shades.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Who says brown hair is boring? Take it from Kate Middleton: You can do so many things with brown hair: darken it a rich espresso brown with subtle caramel highlights, lighten it to "bronde" or create an ombré, keeping the roots dark as the ends gradually shade lighter.
Another famous brunette, actress Mila Kunis has tried many different hair color variations, but this dark rich brown is a favorite. To keep dark brown colored hair from being too boring (all one shade is frequently boring), add in some highlights. Kunis uses balayage for her hair.
For those wondering if the ombré hairstyle trend is "over,", it is not. It's a fantastic option for women with brown hair, like model Lily Aldridge, who is perhaps even more famous for her ombré hair than for her Victoria's Secret modeling shoots. Here, she sports deep chestnut roots that fade to a tawny medium brown.
If your brown hair is mousey, it might be begging to go darker. Plus, it's way less harmful to go from light to dark than from dark to light. If you want to go super dark like Victoria Beckham, you can without harming your hair too much.
So should you do it yourself or consult a pro? All-over hair color is actually relatively easy to do with one caveat—if you are going more than a couple shades darker than your natural hair color, consult a pro, or risk ending up with an ugly orange tint that you'll have to get fixed.
Actress Salma Hayek is famous for her deep chocolate brown hair color, which almost always has copper and caramel highlights.
Colorist Kim Vo once told Harper's Bazaar that he likes for Hayek's hair to be "reverse ombré. Think dark chocolate roots swept into gold tips." Again, the balayage method works best for those gorgeous sun-kissed highlights.
Penelope Cruz has had many different brunettes shades over the years, but this color in particular is very flattering. She should know, she's a former spokesmodel for L'Oreal Paris hair dye.
What you will never find Cruz doing again, though, is dying her hair blonde. “I did it once when I was 19, and I lost half of my hair,” Cruz told OK Magazine in 2009.
Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba's pretty famous for her light brown locks, but she's not afraid to take risks either, telling InStyle magazine that she'd do anything to her hair for a role if needed. She's gone Marilyn blonde, bright red, and the deepest shade of brunette as a result.
The most gorgeous brunette hair shouldn't look as though it's been professionally-colored, but rather has been naturally colored by the sun. This is what highlights do. But the best highlights don't start at the scalp, according to famed colorist Harry Josh. He told Allure magazine that he likes to weave several intensities of hair color in, so no single streak is too obvious. He also employs a subtle gradation of color that's lightest at the tips. This leaves hair looking as if it was sun-kissed a few months ago, and grew out naturally.
Gisele started the bronde hair trend many years ago, and it remains a favorite color choice for women wanting to stay brown but with golden blonde highlights. To achieve the supermodel's famous color, her colorist Harry Josh leaves her natural honey brown base in place and simply adds in sunny highlights, which he starts half an inch away from her roots. If you don't have Gisele's perfect base, don't worry, you can get one with all-over hair color.