12 Highlights And Lowlights Styling Ideas For Light Brown Hair

Enhance your natural light brown tresses with these coloring tips and tricks.

Reviewed by Paul Labrecque, Master Stylist Paul Labrecque Paul LabrecqueMaster Stylist facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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There are two sure ways to add oomph to your tresses in the hair coloring biz – highlights and lowlights. These coloring styles add dimension and depth to your locks and enhance your natural hair color. Keep reading to look through some highlights and lowlights styling ideas to accentuate your hair.

Highlights are hair colors two tones lighter than your natural hair color (or base color, if you have colored your hair). Lowlights are two tones darker than your base hair color. The experts say that highlights should be added when you want more movement and dimension in your hair, while lowlights provide your tresses with more depth and volume.

And if you have ever wanted to color your hair but backed away because of the hair damage stories, these coloring techniques do not cause much damage. And they take little to no maintenance to look fresh! To give you an idea of how highlights or lowlights would look, scroll down and check out the top coloring trends. We have also added DIY highlights and lowlights tutorials for you to try out at home. So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading to know more!

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo a few days before coloring to clear buildup and balance the hair porosity so that the color applies evenly.
  • Before coloring your hair, do a patch test to ensure that your skin won’t react to the chemicals and that the color is the shade you want.
  • If you plan to use an ammonia-based dye, deep condition your hair a day before to prevent dryness caused by ammonia.
  • Lowlights look good on bleached and blonde hair. They act as a transition shade and add warmth to the locks.

How To Highlight Your Hair At Home

What You Need

What To Do

  1. Start off by brushing out all the knots and tangles from your hair.
  2. Drape a towel around your shoulders to protect your clothes from getting stained and put on your gloves.
  3. Mix your bleach in the bowl using your tint brush (follow the instructions given on the box).
  4. Mentally map out where you want your highlights to go before you start bleaching your hair.
  5. One by one, pick up the sections of hair you want to highlight (don’t pick up sections of hair that are wider than an inch) and coat them with bleach from about half an inch below the root to the tip using your tint brush.
  6. If you feel that your tint brush is not doing a good job of coating your hair with bleach from all sides, you can opt for a small toothbrush to get the job done.
  7. Cover your bleached sections of hair with strips of aluminum foil to separate them from the rest of the hair and to help the bleach develop faster.
  8. After 15 minutes, remove the bleach from a small section of hair to check how much it has lightened. If it has reached your desired shade, wash it all off from the rest of your hair. If not, reapply bleach to that section of hair and leave it on for another 15 minutes before checking again. Don’t leave bleach on for more than 45 minutes as it can seriously damage your hair.
  9. Once your strands have lightened to your desired shade, wash it off with water.
  10. Follow the instructions given in the toning solution box to apply toner to your hair. This will get rid of the brassiness (orange tone) from your bleached sections and help blend your highlights more seamlessly into your hair.
  11. Wash off the toner after the duration of time indicated on the box.
  12. Shampoo your hair with purple shampoo and condition it to restore the moisture back to your hair.

6 Highlights Ideas For Light Brown Hair

1. Golden Blonde Balayage Highlights

Golden Blonde Balayage Highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Blonde accents on light brown hair give it a delicate and feminine look. It adds drama to the hairstyle with golden streaks running through them, giving a seductive peek-a-boo look.

2. Honey Blonde Highlights

Honey blonde highlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

Give your sandy brown hair a gorgeous sunkissed look with these honey blonde highlights. These light hued highlights add a sense of airy brightness to your brown base color to create a gorgeous dual toned hair look. Style this color job in loose curls to complete your boho look.

3. Smokey Brown Balayage Highlights

Smokey brown balayage highlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

Create a fusion of warm and cool tones with these balayage highlights that’s the stuff dreams are made of. Warm caramel highlights blend with cool blonde highlights at the edges of chocolate brown hair to create a gorgeous smokey hair look. Style this color look straight to make the most of the movement and dimension created by these beautiful shades.

4. Copper And Blonde Highlights

Copper and blonde highlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

Just because you have brown hair does not mean you can only go for blonde highlights. Let your hair down and go crazy with some bright copper highlights edged with a soft blonde shade at the tips. Go for some dented curls when styling this hair look to showcase the dynamic beauty of these fiery highlights.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Bright copper highlights can be a good option for those with olive to dark complexion. They help flatter the skin tone.

5. Dark Blonde Highlights

The dark blonde highlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

Having deep coffee brown hair would make people envy you anyway. But highlight them with a dark blonde hue and you’ll have that sexy, mysterious look down pat. A dark blonde shade is also the perfect way to add some oomph to your hair look without going over-the-top. Style this look in some loose waves to complete that casually chic style statement.

6. Maple Brown Highlights

Maple brown highlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

If subtlety is your goal whenever you style yourself, then brown highlights on brown hair is the ultimate way to go about that. Yep, you heard me right. Complement your light chocolate brown hair with some rich maple toned highlights just a shade or two lighter than your base to create this gorgeously understated hair look.


What You Need

  • Hair brush
  • Towel
  • Vaseline
  • Sectioning clips
  • Bowl
  • Tint brush
  • Hair dye of your choice (since you have light brown hair, a dark brown dye should work well to lowlight your hair)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Color safe shampoo (specifically made for dyed hair)
  • Conditioner (should be included in the hair dye box)

What To Do

  1. Brush your hair to remove all the knots and tangles from it.
  2. Drape a towel around your neck and apply Vaseline all along your hairline, at the nape of your neck, and on your ears to prevent your clothes and skin from getting stained.
  3. Since lowlights are done on the undersection of your hair, roll up and section away the top section of your hair.
  4. Follow the instructions given on the dye box to mix your hair dye in the bowl with your tint brush.
  5. Now, one by one, pick out the sections of hair that you want to lowlight and apply dye to them with a tint brush from about 1/2 an inch below the roots right till the tips.
  6. Cover all your dyed sections with aluminum foil.
  7. Leave the dye on for the time indicated in the instructions given on the box.
  8. Wash off the dye with cool water until the water runs clear. Do not shampoo.
  9. Condition your hair with the conditioner included in the hair dye kit.
  10. Use color safe shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair after 48 hours.

6 Lowlights Ideas For Light Brown Hair

1. Dark Brown Lowlights

Dark Brown Lowlights
Image: Shutterstock

Bored of the same old brown hair? Break the monotony and get yourself these dark brown lowlights. Those with light brown hair can get deep brown lowlights at the top to add dimension, volume, and beautiful contrast to their look.

2. Chocolate Brown Lowlights

Chocolate brown lowlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

When your natural hair color teeters between light brown and blonde, it lends you a great opportunity to play around with lowlights. Some chocolate brown lowlights would work perfectly to add some depth to your light brown tresses. Style your hair in a half up style to showcase your lowlights in all their glory.

3. Subtle Dark Brown Lowlights

Subtle dark brown lowlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

A good lowlights style should blend seamlessly into your natural hair color. Though you can’t clearly see the dark brown lowlights in this look, the peek you get from under her mahogany tresses is enough to add tons of volume and depth to her hair.

4. Warm Brown Lowlights

Warm brown lowlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

Tired of your same old boring brown hair? Add some beautiful warmth to your single toned brown hair with the help of deep brown lowlights that create some dimension in your hair without screaming for attention. Curl your hair up to blend the lowlights with your natural hair color and add movement to your hair.

5. Auburn And Mahogany Lowlights

Auburn and mahogany lowlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

When it comes to lowlights, you can experiment with some interesting hues to create a totally unique hair look. Auburn and mahogany brown lowlights can work wonders to infuse life into dull mousy brown hair. And if you’re looking to go in for a major hair transformation, get your hair styled in soft beachy waves to create a stunning hair look.

protip_icon Quick Tip
This shade of lowlight looks perfect on warmer skin tones.

6. Lowlights And Highlights Fusion

Fusion of highlights and lowlights for light brown hair
Image: Shutterstock

Confused about going in for lowlights or highlights? Well, you can go for both! Blending lowlights and highlights makes for the ultimate multidimensional hair look that no other color job can compete with. So, go for some ashy blonde highlights and mocha brown lowlights on your light brown hair to create that magical hair look of your dreams.

Infographic: The Best Highlights And Lowlights To Try

If you are ready to experiment with your hair and change your look, try these crisp highlights and lowlights. Whether you are aiming for a subtle change or a dramatic transformation, these can elevate your hairstyle to new heights. Check out the infographic below to learn about the trending highlights and lowlights that can transform your hair.

the best highlights and lowlights to try(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Highlights are hair shades two tones lighter than your natural tresses. In contrast, lowlights are two tones darker than your base hair color. If you want more movement and dimension, highlights are the way to go. If you are looking for depth and volume, lowlights should be your chosen poison. These coloring trends effectively transform and accentuate your hair, without making it look artificial. They also enhance your facial features and face shape. With the right lowlights or highlights, you can focus or soften lines and features. You can also ask a professional in a salon to get some ideas and know what’s in fashion right now. So, scroll up and check out all the amazing highlights and lowlights styling ideas to get your brain tingling.

brown hair with blonde highlights and lowlights

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Are lowlights better for hair than highlights?

Lowlights are better than highlights. Since lowlights use shades darker than your natural hair color, they blend in naturally. Even if they start fading, it will not be obvious. Therefore, they are low maintenance, do not require frequent touch-ups, and are budget-friendly.

Do lowlights cover gray hair?

Yes. Lowlights can do a good job covering gray hair as they are a few shades darker than your natural hair and make for a cool overall look.

How do you know if blonde highlights will suit you?

It’s best to consult with a professional hairstylist to determine if blonde highlights will suit you based on your skin tone, eye color, and natural hair color.

What are some popular techniques for applying blonde highlights and lowlights to brown hair?

Some popular techniques for applying blonde highlights and lowlights to brown hair include foil highlighting, balayage, and ombre.

How often do I need to touch up my blonde highlights and lowlights to maintain their color and brightness?

It depends on the individual’s hair growth and how quickly their natural hair color grows out. Typically, touch-ups are needed every 6-8 weeks.

How do I prevent brassiness or unwanted tones from developing in my blonde highlights and lowlights?

Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to wash colored hair. Additionally, using a toner or purple shampoo can help neutralize unwanted brassiness.

What are some tips for styling brown hair with blonde highlights and lowlights?

Use heat-protectant products when styling your highlights. You can also use a lightweight oil or serum to help add shine and prevent frizz.

How do I care for my hair after getting blonde highlights and lowlights to prevent damage and breakage?

After getting blonde highlights and lowlights, use deep conditioning treatments regularly and avoid over-washing the hair to prevent damage and breakage.

Can blonde highlights and lowlights be combined with other hair coloring techniques, such as ombre or balayage?

Yes, you can combine highlights and lowlights with balayage or ombre to create a unique look. Consult a professional hairstylist to find the perfect look as per your skin tone and hair color.

Key Takeaways

  • Highlights and lowlights perfectly enhance the beauty of light brown hair while also adding dimension.
  • Highlights are two tones darker than your base hair color whereas low lights are two shades lighter.
  • Both highlights and lowlights are low maintenance and cause minimal damage.

Discover the magic of creating breathtaking highlights and lowlights with this easy hair tutorial video. Follow the step-by-step instructions to achieve the perfect look. Time to unleash your inner hairstylist!

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Paul Labrecque
Paul LabrecqueMaster Stylist
Paul Labrecque is a renowned master stylist and creative director with over 25 years of experience. He completed his hairdresser training from Jingles International. His clients include movie and television stars, musicians, socialites, and other celebrities.

Read full bio of Paul Labrecque