Coffee brown hair color is far from dull and surprisingly versatile. The beauty of this dark brown shade is that it offers a spectrum of warmth and depth that still ranges from light to dark, similar to your morning roast. A trip to the dark side is loaded with a dimensional richness that’s sure to shine in just the right light.
If you’re a natural brunette, enhancing your hair’s colors can be extremely low-key with minimal maintenance. Lighter natural tones, however, will have a more demanding schedule to keep up with this hue. “If you’re naturally lighter, going significantly darker creates a ton of maintenance, bringing you in for a root touch-up every four weeks,” says colorist Olivia Casanova. But regardless of your natural base, “this look can be achieved multiple different ways,” she tells us. To find out more, we tapped Casanova and colorist Olivia Holohan.
Keep reading to see our list of 25 coffee brown shades you’ll want to show to your colorist.
COFFEE BROWN HAIR COLOR
CHOOSING A SHADE: “Coffee brown hair can look great on all types of hair textures, and with any skin tone,” says Casanova. “It’s versatile enough that your colorist can tailor the hair color tone to complement your skin’s underlying tone.”
MAINTENANCE LEVEL: “If you’re naturally brunette, this is pretty low maintenance,” notes Casanova. “If you’re naturally on the lighter side, this will create a lot of maintenance for you, usually involving regular root touch-ups [every four weeks].”
GOES GREAT WITH: Honey-toned highlights or thick, fluffy brows.
SIMILAR SHADES: Chocolate Brown, Dark Brown
PRICE: An all-over gloss can start at around $100, but taking a multi-dimensional route with lowlights can get up to $400+. An at-home dye or gloss can get you by for much less, but leave the roots and lowlights for a salon professional.
This rich espresso shade on Mila Kunis makes her lighter-colored eyes pop with its contrast. “One can achieve coffee brown hair by deepening and richening up their brunette color,” says Holohan. “Whether that be with an all-over gloss or lowlights.”
Dark and Dewy
Natural beauty Solange is serving up this visually effortlessly look to popular demand. Dewy eyes, dewy lips, and loads of texture add to her dark, coffee brown hair color.
Warm and Vibrant
Here, Maya Rudolph demonstrates how warmer shades of brown can appear lighter due to red undertones, giving hair an all-around vibrancy. If tresses begin to look a bit brassy growing out, an at-home toner will help neutralize your color back to its desired shade. Casanova recommends IGK’s Mixed Feelings Toning Drops ($29) for brunettes.
Some of us prefer a lighter roast but need our coffee-brown color nonetheless. If you go on the lighter end of the spectrum like Lily Collins, consider keeping your brows true to that darker coffee grounds color for a natural feel.
Rich and Sultry
Olivia Munn’s deep shade of solid coffee-brown color appears full of body. In case you don’t have long, thick tresses, don’t be discouraged, there are ways to feign a fuller ponytail.
When pulling darker strands up into a tighter style, try using an eyeshadow or hair powder in dark brown to fill in any hints of scalp.
Warmer coffee brown tones grow out beautifully against naturally darker hair colors. Talk to your colorist about adding seamless warmth that will grow out nicely, in case you can’t make it to the salon for a touch-up as soon as you’d like. These thoughtful decisions will keep your color extremely low-maintenance.
If you love a good smoky eye and berry-colored lip, consider Mindy Kaling’s coffee-hued tresses. It’s the perfect color to add to the depth and richness of your go-to look while remaining extremely versatile.
Coffee brown hair looks beautiful on every skin tone and can be adjusted to suit your exact coloring. “If you have an olive skin tone,” says Casanova, “I’d recommend keeping your coffee brown hair on the warmer side.” Shay Mitchell is the perfect example.
Tessa Thompson’s color has a life of its own. We love to see it emanate its light through bouncy natural curls and perfectly placed highlights. If you have a curly mane and are looking for highlights, consider pintura. The technique highlights individual curls to bring you truly customized color.
A dark, bold brow and a fluffy lash pair beautifully with hair shades on the darker side, like Jenna Dewan’s coffee-hued bob. It’s a simple yet refined beauty statement. To get her glossy finish, invest in a shine spray.
Put your maintenance woes to rest with coffee brown hair like Aurora Perrineau. This color is extremely low maintenance, with easy upkeep and accessible at-home products that will get you by between salon appointments.
Sleek and Shiny
Sophia Bush shows us how darker hair colors can really shine with the right product and style. Adding a little shine spray over your slicked-back ponytail will pair beautifully with a good cheekbone-highlighter moment.
Step away from the hot tools and embrace your hair’s natural texture. Wearing your hair in its natural state will not only cut down on styling time but it will also lend movement and dimension to single process color. Just look at Geraldine Viswanathan as proof.
Cool, Muted Waves
Whether you wear your strands curled, stick straight, or somewhere in the middle, Freida Pinto’s cool shade will give your style a feathered ease. This is one color that will look good no matter the season.
A Good Gloss
To keep your color rich and vibrant, use a good gloss treatment between appointments so your hair will appear shiny and healthy all year round. Then channel Old Hollywood, like Zoe Kazan here, with voluminous retro waves.
Coffee brown hair doesn’t need much to dress itself up. Francesca Hayward shows us how a clean parting or a few loose curls can jazz things up without appearing overly done. Simple statements go a long way with this shade.
Choosing a solid color, like a deep coffee-toned brown, works really well on hair that already has a lot going for it. If your strands have natural movement and texture like Jenny Slate’s, consider a rich hue to complement.
A Little Oomph
Natural makeup tones can help keep this hair color look effortlessly natural and bold, but Angela Bassett knows that adding a little something extra—like this hint of bright purple—makes the entire look more lively and vibrant.
Pop of Color
Consider bringing that rich hair color closer to lighter-colored eyes with a soft, feathery bang à la Rashida Jones. A lash-grazing length will highlight eyes and help to make them pop. Any excuse to wear a dark liner won’t hurt either.
Coffee brown is an all-over color that can later serve as the perfect base for ombré or balayage treatments. Here, Jessica Alba’s caramel highlights add some interest to her dark tresses and even work to brighten her complexion.
If you like your makeup bronzed and your lips lined, a rich shade of coffee brown hair will pair perfectly with your ’90s beauty vibes. Kaia Gerber nails the monochrome mood to a T.
The Perfect Pairing
One way to make your all-over coffee brown shade stand out in a sea of high maintenance highlights is to pair it with a cut that is flattering for your face shape. Mica Argañaraz’s curly shag takes her color further and allows it to complement her features on a whole new level.
Some of you may just be a natural coffee brown brunette to begin with, but it’s no excuse to turn a blind eye to caring for your color. Casanova recommends using a moisturizing, color-safe shampoo, especially if you went darker than your natural color. Using color-safe shampoos and the occasional conditioning mask are going to go a long way for your strands and color, dye job or not.
When you have a good color job like Olivia Culpo, you’ll want to let some of that hair fall forward around your face, whether wearing it up or down. Even a good updo won’t be able to keep you from showing off your coffee brown strands.
Given the richness and boldness of coffee brown hair color, it pairs really well with warm tones. Those whose skin has gold, yellow, or peachy undertones will find the dark brown shade extremely flattering. Case in point: Jasmine Cephas Jones.
Is coffee brown color cool, warm, or neutral?
Coffee brown is a warm color. However, if it’s too rich for your liking, consider adding neutral and/or cool brown highlights to soften it.
Is it possible to dye your hair with coffee?
Yes, albeit temporarily, and only if you have light brown, blonde, or gray hair, to begin with. Remember to use caution if dying your hair with coffee at home since it can stain.
What skin tones does coffee brown hair color best complement?
Coffee brown hair color complements medium and dark skin tones with warm and neutral undertones. However, that’s not to say that it will not pair well with a fair complexion. Those who have fair skin with warm or neutral undertones will find coffee brown hair flattering. If your skin has cool undertones, you can add cool-toned highlights to coffee brown hair to better suit your complexion.