While there's an entire wheel of hair color options—dark blonde, strawberry blonde, dark brown, red, and even rose gold—there's something classic, rich, and endlessly beautiful about a medium-brown. It's actually the most common hair color and includes a blend of warm, and cool tones.
There are variations of medium brown hair, of, course; whether it be 3D-color with highlights and dimension or a single tone, the options are kind of endless and no two colors look exactly the same. We turned to the experts get the inside scoop on this oft-overlooked staple, from the best ways to mix it up, to why it's so universally flattering on every skin tone—and they really delivered.
To go medium brown, you first have to get a single process all-over color, Carolina Ortega at Rita Hazan Salon says. Specific tones all depend on what you want—whether you're looking to cover gray or just want to change your natural color. If you have naturally lighter hair and want to go medium brown, Jasmine Sea of SALT Hair mentions it's really important to add warmth so the color doesn't end up looking flat or dull.
Another important factor to consider is hair texture. It doesn't change or enhance your desired color in any way, but Ortega says it does affect the speed of application and the amount of time color needs to stay on the scalp.
Also, consider how coarse your hair is, especially if you're going from a darker to a lighter color, as lightening can be more challenging, and takes longer the coarser hair is. Fine hair has fewer cuticle layers, Sea says, which can make lightening easier and less time-consuming.
It’s also helpful when you have visuals if you're not sure where to start. Ortega suggests booking a consultation first. This allows you more time with your colorist to speak one on one. Bring reference pictures, she says, as you always want to aim for images that have a similar skin tone to yours.
Below you'll find all the celebrity inspiration and stylist creations in every variation of medium-brown. Keep scrolling to see them all— and a little tip? Bookmark your favorites for your next salon appointment.
Medium Brown Hair
Choosing a Shade: Ortega says that yellow, tawny, or peach skin tones (warm) look best with golden highlights, and can also look great with red, auburn, dark brown or reddish-golden highlights. While pink or blue (cool) undertones look best with more neutral to ash tones.
Maintenance Level: It's low maintenance, but depends on your natural base color. Go in for a refresh every 12 weeks, or 2-3 months But, if you have grey roots or naturally light hair, you'll have to get touchups every 4-6 weeks.
Chrissy Teigen's gorgeous hair is something we've come to rely on—always soft and a warm mix of dark blondes and brunette.
Unless properly toned and highlighted with a second color, like caramel, toffee or milk chocolate, like with Chrissy's expertly painted hair, Ortega says that medium brown hair can look dull on olive undertones.
Alyssa Coscarelli is a freelance fashion writer with an expansive wardrobe to boot, but we're also loving her easy shag style and impeccable color. It's effortless and easy but never boring. Plus, short hair is easier to style than you'd think.