As we approach spring, it's natural if you're considering refreshing your hair color or sprucing up your tone to add a more dimensional feel. Enter golden brown—a multifaceted hue that combines the best of both worlds if you love elements of blonde and brunette. Don’t sleep on golden brown hair: It is not a monolith, and while you'll find levels and variations across most brown and blonde shades, this hair color is not only low-maintenance but also the perfect color to refresh your look for a new season. Below, find 14 standout examples of golden brown hair color, all with detailed insights by color experts Jessica Gonzalez and Natalie Rotger. Keep scrolling to learn more.
Meet the Expert
- Natalie Rotger is a colorist at Jenna Perry Hair Studio in New York City.
- Jessica Gonzalez is a celebrity hairstylist and colorist at VV’A Hair Salon in New Jersey.
Golden Brown Hair Color
Choosing a shade: Golden brown is a color that suits most people. Almost everyone can find an intensity that works for them.
Maintenance level: This depends on the natural color of the hair. If you’re naturally darker and going for a bronze base color, it would be low-maintenance, says hair colorist Jessica Gonzalez, since it’s not a huge contrast. If you’re a natural blonde, color is likely to fade faster, so the hair would have to be retouched pretty often, around every six to eight weeks. A low-upkeep option for both brunettes and blondes is doing a series of glosses. To maintain your color at home between appointments, try a color-depositing shampoo or conditioner, such as the Alchemic system from Davines.
Similar shades: Caramel, honey brown, toffee
Price: It depends where you’re starting based on your hair color. If you’re already blonde or brunette, the salon cost could be less if you decide to achieve the look through a gloss, which often starts on the lower end of color services (around $125 or more). If your base color is drastically different or you prefer a more permanent color or highlight, the cost can be anywhere from $200 up. For best results, the investment of seeing a professional is worth it.
Soft Golden Curls
If you’re looking to spruce up your curls, a soft balayage is a great way to achieve an effortless look. Without adding too much color, you can keep your curls healthy while maintaining your new golden brown hue.
“I always recommend my brunettes get 'tone on tone' warm highlights,” Rotger says. “This is for an extra glow with a seamless grow-out.”
You can never go wrong with honey-hued tones for a warm, bright feel.
Dark to Light
A simple and conventional way to keep a low-maintenance look is by keeping your natural hair base and sprucing it up with brighter ends.
Toffee-colored ribbons throughout a golden brown hair look always bring out the eyes.
Touch of Golden Brown
Kisses of golden brown highlights will add grit and hold while minimizing damage to the hair.
For those who want to play on the honey side of golden brown, a look like this can easily be done with a glaze for a low-maintenance touch.
If you’re wanting more of a drastic change, Rotger recommends asking your colorist for caramel ribbons painted throughout your hair to give the illusion of an overall base color without the commitment.
Golden Box Braids
If you're looking to add dimension to your protective style, golden brown box braids are the perfect combination.
Knotless Senegalese Twists
Senegalese twists are one of the most popular protective styles, and a great way to make them stand out is with a touch of golden brown. “Golden brown hair is all about illuminating the face,” Rotger explains. “Peeks of cinnamon and honey hues will give you an automatic glow.”
“Painting on bronde highlights will accentuate natural texture and movements,” Rotger says.
Curls naturally get drier faster, so going fully blonde may require a lot of care to restore moisture. Golden brown is a nice way to introduce some color and still keep it healthy, according to Gonzalez.
This lighter version of a chestnut hue will add some glow to your look.
This look on Beyoncé is a perfect play on golden brown hair if you’re a natural brunette and just want to add some dimension while still being low-maintenance.
We're having a moment where the "expensive brunette" look is getting the recognition it deserves. And while golden brown hair works for almost anyone, you'll want to work with your colorist on finding the ideal shade to match your undertones—a more neutral variation is amazing at complementing warmer undertones, and the golden side of this hue can help to warm up a cooler complexion. While brown hair is a versatile color option, there are a lot of nuances. If you're not already brunette, getting the perfect shade can be tricky, but with the right knowledge and colorist, you'll achieve the best tone for you in no time.