16 Photos of Dark Brown Hair With Caramel Highlights to Inspire Your Summer Hair Color

priyanka chopra jonas, taraji p. henson, and dakota johnson with caramel highlights
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle.com

If you have been researching "highlight hair pictures" on your quest for summer hair inspiration, look no further. The perfect way to go lighter for summer without going full-on blonde, and keep your status as a brunette is by asking your colorist for caramel highlights. Warm caramel also happens to be one of the most flattering (and popular) highlight shades for dark brown hair.

Caramel highlights on dark brown hair can be achieve through hand-painted balayage or foils to lighten up the base in a subtle way. When the color is evenly distributed and placed on the right areas, it should mimic what the sun does naturally: give the hair a more dimensional look. Keep scrolling to see how stars like Eva Longoria, Jasmine Tookes, and Jennifer Lopez sport caramel highlights.

01 of 16


Ciara in black lace. top and black blazer with fishtail braid

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

To really show off your dark and light hair color, a messy braid like Ciara's will do the trick. Her fishtail braid is neat and show a stark contrast in hair color, but her loose pieces blend her caramel highlights beautifully.

02 of 16

Hannah Jeter

hannah jeter with caramel highlights and beachy waves
Getty ImagesOwner

Hannah Jeter's caramel color begins at the top of her head, but gains momentum closer to her tips, for a full on light caramel to blonde moment. Her beach waves give the color even more dimension.

03 of 16

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson in blue mesh top with curly ombré hair
Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Taraji P. Henson added caramel highlights to her dark brown curls to create an ombré look that we just love styled this way.

04 of 16

Jasmine Tookes

Jasmine Tookes with shoulder length loose waves and caramel highlights
Getty Images

Jasmine Tookes's caramel highlights begin a few inches away from her hair line, growing lighter as they reach the tips.

05 of 16

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria in white button down blouse with dark brown hair and caramel highlights
George Pimentel /Getty Images

Eva Longoria's face-framing caramel highlights draw attention to her facial features.

06 of 16

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards with subtle caramel highlights

Getty Images

Stick with a subtle use of the color, like Jennifer Lopez does here, if you don't want to add too much caramel to your hair. Over time, you can ask your colorist to add in more and more caramel highlights until you reach a light blonde shade, which Lopez has also sported.

07 of 16

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale in pink glitter one-shoulder gown with wavy hair and caramel highlights
Taylor Hill /Getty Images

Kate Beckinsale's caramel highlights on her dark brown hair stand out even more when styled in loose, cascading waves.

08 of 16

Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka Chopra Jonas in champagne top with dark hair and caramel highlights
Steve Granitz/Getty Images

A darker caramel highlight warms up a deep brunette base as seen on Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The color almost has a touch of auburn to it, and perfectly complements Jonas's skin tone and dark features.

09 of 16

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn in black and gold belted top with Dark Brown Hair With Caramel Highlights
John Shearer/Getty Images

Olivia Munn's subtle, sun-kissed highlights are really only visible from the middle to the tip of her hair, giving off beautiful copper vibes throughout her undulating waves.

10 of 16

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman with red lips, and a bob with caramel highlights
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Natalie Portman brightened up her brunette bob with a set of caramel highlights that frame her face when worn in waves.

11 of 16

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara in black and silver dress with red lips, long hair and Brown Hair With Caramel Highlights
John Shearer/Getty Images

Sofia Vergara's highlights are focused towards the ends of her hair, but there isn't a harsh line of demarcation. Bring this photo to the salon if you want a super natural and lived in look.

12 of 16

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez in strapless lime satin dress with Dark Brown lob and Caramel Highlights
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

Selena Gomez is bringing '90s chunky highlights here. To create the look, her colorist added thick streaks throughout the lower half of her bob.

13 of 16

Dakota Johnson

dakota johnson with dark makeup, long hair with bangs, and caramel highlights
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Blink and you'll almost miss the subtle, face-framing caramel highlights added to Dakota Johnson's chocolate brown base. The placement of these highlights are a foolproof way to brighten up your face, even if you have bangs that are not as colored.

14 of 16

Halle Berry

halle berry with micro bangs and bob and caramel highlights
Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Halle Berry didn't just surprise everyone with her micro bob and bangs on the 2021 Oscars red carpet, she also debuted a fresh set of caramel highlights throughout the short cut. The color is the work of the actress' go-to colorist, Tracey Cunningham.

15 of 16

Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bundchen with wavy hair smiiling

 Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Gisele Bündchen is the poster girl for caramel hair. Here, her trademark long and loose waves show off several shades of blonde, bronde, and caramel all at once. Invest in a good sea salt spray to get her look.

16 of 16

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes with soft caramel highlights and a side part
Getty Images

Katie Holmes's barely-there caramel highlights are perfect for brunettes who want a little color but with very low maintenance.

Related Articles