Summer is always a veritable mash-up of beachy ombré looks and highlight inspiration. But the season (and subsequent seasons) has so many options for brunettes as well. Enter lowlights for brown hair. According to a few expert colorists, adding lowlights is an incredible way to up the dimension in your hair, with none of the damage of traditional highlights. “Whether a client is a gray-coverage brunette or just wearing her natural color, lowlights are always a wonderful idea for brunettes to create movement, texture, and reflection,” says colorist Kadi Lee. “When placed correctly, lowlights can even mimic the effect of a highlight, without hurting your hair.”
While the technique of applying lowlights is specific to each colorist—be it in wider panels in a foil or hand-painted via balayage for maximum detail and precision—the tone and shade is specific to you. “It’s usually chosen based on your skin tone and eye color,” Kaeding notes. Luckily, the best time of year to execute lowlights is immediately post-summer, when your hair tends to be faded and naturally lighter from extended sun exposure, notes Lee. “Or you can do it in the midst of winter, when your skin gets a bit paler. The depth from adding lowlights helps to maintain a richness to the clients overall complexion,” adds Lee.
If you’re hoping to get lowlights for your brown hair, the sky is the limit. From deep chocolates to rich chestnuts, adding lowlights is a low-commitment way to experiment with all the shades of the brunette spectrum. Below, find our favorite inspiration shots. Try to target a photo with a similar skin tone (and most importantly, similar hair texture), print it out, and bring it in for your next color appointment.