Variations of light brown/dark blonde hair dominate our Instagram and Pinterest feeds more than any other shade, from bronde to tortoiseshell to caramel color. The way the light catches the subtle variation within the hues makes it the most nuanced hair color family, and we’re here for every single hue.
To inspire your next salon visit, we spoke with three celebrity colorists who specialize in caramel hair color: Michael Canalé (Jennifer Aniston’s longtime colorist), Matrix stylist George Papanikolas (Hannah Jeter and Ana de Armas), and Rita Hazan (Beyoncé). Take a look at the colors they think are the most stunning below.
“This is one of my most-requested looks in the salon,” says Papanikolas. “The placement of the highlights is very strategic, focusing on the face frame, natural part, and ends. It’s a great way for brunettes to add lightness and dimension to their hair, and it’s universally flattering.”
Warm Honey Caramel
“These warm tones are a great complement to neutral and golden skin tones,” explains Papanikolas. “If your hair tends to bleach out very late, you can ask for a warm golden gloss to give the hair a sheer finish.”
Pumpkin Spice Caramel
Pumpkin spice has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, including beauty. Says Papanikolas, “This is a great way for very dark hair to go lighter. To avoid the look from feeling brassy, you should be very strategic with a few highlights.”
“This is an ideal shade for clients who don’t want to see any red or orange undertones,” says Papanikolas. “It’s very flattering on fair skin and olive tones. Keeping the highlights very delicate allows them to lighten past the warm tones.”
Light Golden Brown or Dark Golden Blonde
“It’s important when trying to achieve that perfect caramel shade to decide if you want to go lighter or richer,” says Hazan. “You can go one way or the other to achieve that perfect balance of lightness in the hair. Caramel is always a warm shade, so either way you go, it has to have that perfect balance of warmth.”
This sticky-sweet shade errs more on the side of the rich melted ice cream topping variation than the yellow candies. Hazan describes it as “a warm caramel shade, but not orangey.”
If anyone knows sandy blonde color, it’s the magical hands behind Jennifer Aniston’s beige mane. This particular color is great for someone who wants a more ash hue instead of the warmer spectrum of caramel. Canalé describes it as “medium blonde with a cool tone.”