52 Stylish Caramel Highlights For A Perfect Hair Look

Color your tresses in amazing hues that never fail to grab the attention of others.

Reviewed by Danielle Wilkinson Brucklacher, Licensed Cosmetologist
Written by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Aparna Harry, MA (English Literature)  • 

The thought of caramel brings up a picture of heavenly, golden-brown syrup glazed on a cake or oozing out from your favorite chocolate. So, it makes complete sense that someone thought to color the hair that color. In this article, we have curated a list of the best caramel highlights. Why are so many enamored with this shade? Because it is the perfect blend of sex appeal, class, and glamor! No matter your natural hair color – red, brown, blonde, black, white hair, or caramel highlights will bring the heat to your tresses. These highlights make your hair look more voluminous and glossy. They help face your face shape, so all your beautiful facial features shine through. And they can give you that perfect beachy sun-kissed hair looks we all crave.

But before we head into our hand-picked list of the best caramel highlights, we have something for you DIY hair coloring fiends. Scroll down to learn how to grace your tresses with caramel highlights that you can boast about doing yourself! Swipe up.

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • Caramel highlights complement people with warm skin tones with a hint of yellow or olive.
  • If you have straight hair, get somber highlights for a molten effect and to avoid harsh lines.
  • Hydration is the key to maintaining caramel highlights, and regular conditioners won’t cut it. Use hair masks after shampooing to maintain them.

What You Need

  • Old towel
  • Box of caramel hair color
  • Hair brush
  • Bowl
  • Thin hair tint brush
  • Fine toothed comb
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Timer

What To Do

  • Mix and prepare your caramel hair color in a bowl according to the instructions given on the box.
  • Drap an old towel around your shoulders to avoid staining your clothes.
  • Part your hair down the middle.
  • Starting from near your face, pick up thin 1/2 inch sections of hair that you want to highlight and apply the caramel dye to them from the roots to the ends with the thin hair tint brush. When choosing which sections to highlight, think of where the light would naturally hit your hair.
  • When highlighting the hair on the sides and the back of your head, apply the dye only from the mid-lengths of your hair and pull it down till the ends with the help of a fine-toothed comb.
  • Leave the color on for the time duration indicated on the box. It should be around 25-30 minutes.
  • Check the dyed hair every 15 minutes to see what shade your hair has reached.
  • Wash off the caramel dye with water until it runs clear.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.

Well, now that you’ve successfully highlighted your hair with a beautiful caramel shade, let’s look at the many gorgeous ways you can style it.

52 Stunning Ideas For Styling Your Caramel Highlights

1. Chocolate Caramel Highlights

Chocolate Caramel Highlights
Image: Shutterstock

This is the perfect hair color if you are a brunette looking for subtle experimentation. A slightly toned down and dark hue of caramel foregrounds the base color, adding depth to natural brown hair. color.

2. Deep Caramel On Dark Hair

Deep Caramel On Dark Hair
Image: Shutterstock

Deep caramel highlights look absolutely luscious on black or dark hair. The harmony of deep caramel against jet black makes the hair stand out and look fuller. You can pick a caramel shade as intense as your natural hair color and create a rich play of colors.

3. Warm Honey Caramel Abundance

Warm Honey Caramel Abundance
Image: Shutterstock

This caramel highlight is sultry, sophisticated, and looks elegant. This intense tone of caramel honey is deep and rich. Strategically placed highlights on the sides and front brighten the face and add dimension to the hair.

4. Warm Caramel Highlights

Warm Caramel Highlights
Image: Unsplash

Warm caramel highlights can take your dark brown hair to another level. The streaks of caramel at the end of the hair enhance the chocolate brown shade of your hair. The transition is subtle and perfect for anyone who avoids dramatic colors and highlights.

5. Caramel Balayage

Caramel Balayage
Image: Shutterstock

If you have light brown hair, you are lucky enough to try out almost any shade of brown or caramel. Light caramel balayage stands out against brown hair, adding a rich depth. You can pair it up with dark warm sweaters for winter and channel your inner forest nymph.

6. Cool Caramel Highlights

Cool Caramel Highlights
Image: Unsplash

Not sure about the caramel tone you want to go for? A cool toned-down caramel is an excellent choice for black or brown hair. The ashy shade adds an element of lightness to otherwise darker hair.

7. Caramel Highlighted Ends

Caramel Highlighted Ends
Image: Photo By Thaís Sarmento On Pexels

If your profession does not allow you to experiment with colors or even if you are uncomfortable with significant hair changes, then go for this minimalistic caramel highlight. The contrast between golden caramel against dark brown hair makes it an absolute tease. It also works well for fine hair, making it appear thicker than it is.

8. Dipped Caramel Ends

Dipped Caramel Ends
Image: Photo By Cecilia Tripp On Pexels

These caramel highlights look natural and give your hair a sun-kissed look. So take the caramel-colored dive, and try this soft caramel shade with a deeper, richer base color to create this look.

9. Golden Caramel Highlights

Golden Caramel Highlights
Image: Unsplash

Doesn’t this three-toned hair color reminds you of a cup of hot cocoa with caramel and shaved chocolate? This color blend is perfect for brightening your fall look. The darker roots blend into a deep chocolate brown shade, which melts into a bright, light caramel shade – a perfect blend for warming up your hair!

10. Black To Dark Caramel Ombre

Black To Dark Caramel Ombre
Image: Unsplash

Can’t decide between colors? Well, why not try them all? This caramel ombre look will fulfill all your hair color fantasies. Pick all the fantastic colors from the chocolate and caramel family, along with a blonde under color for a pop of brightness. The variation of colors adds an intense dimension to the hair.

11. Orange Caramel Highlights

Orange Caramel Highlights
Image: Photo By Chermiti Mohamed On Pexels

Did anyone say pumpkin spice? Well, this burnt orange-caramel color melt on chestnut brown tresses is a subtle take on the gorgeous fall color. The darker roots progressively lighten and melt into vibrant orange-caramel tones, adding a whole lot of depth! These highlights are perfect for dark brown hair.

12. Caramel And Blond Symphony

Caramel And Blond Symphony
Image: Unsplash

If highlights seem too intimidating, try going for a cascading show of shades for your hair. Beginning with darker hues of brown and caramel that melt into blonde tips, showcasing a smooth color transition.

13. Baby Caramel Highlights

Baby Caramel Highlights
Image: Unsplash

One of the most sophisticated looks on the list, this one is utterly simple and gorgeously amazing. Caramel babylights on the upper layers melt into gorgeous darker caramel at the tips. The base color is placed against the caramel, creating a stunning but subtle color contrast.

14. Warm Caramel Blond Blend

Warm Caramel Blond Blend
Image: Unsplash

Blonde and caramel is one marriage you cannot break up. They seamlessly blend in together. This blonde and caramel combo adds a rich, lush depth to the tresses. The variation of tones and hues of caramel streaks across the hair complements both dark and medium brown hair.

15. Thick Caramel Highlights

Thick Caramel Highlights
Image: IStock

Rich caramel color at the ends makes your hair appear heavy and volumized. To achieve this look, pick a light caramel shade that stands out against your base color. The smooth caramel shade accentuates the dark base color.

16. Caramel Highlights On Red Hair

Caramel Highlights On Red Hair
Image: Unsplash

Redheads really are God’s favorite, aren’t they? Caramel could be an excellent choice for red hair. Why? Because this blend creates a firework! The honey-caramel chunky highlights against brown or chestnut hair look spicy yet comforting. Thinking of giving a fall update to your hair color? This is it!

17. Chocolate Caramel Indulgence

Chocolate Caramel Indulgence
Image: IStock

The natural-looking ribbon of dark caramel works well with warmer palettes of brown and black. Chocolate caramel highlights make your mane appear thick, healthy, and voluminous.

18. Mahogany Caramel Babylights

Mahogany Caramel Babylights
Image: IStock

Deep mahogany with caramel goodness? It’s the ultimate dreamy yet earthy combo possible. Mahogany is a hue between brown and red, making it an excellent rich, warm color to go with a brown base. Muted caramel babylights complement mahogany hues and enhance the reddish hue, adding depth to it. The result will leave you with a lush and rich hair color.

19. Coffee Caramel Highlights

Coffee Caramel Highlights
Image: Shutterstock

This shade combines the richness of espresso with warm hues of caramel. This tone of caramel adds warmth and richness to darker hair.

20. Thick Salted Caramel Highlights

Thick Salted Caramel Highlights
Image: Shutterstock

This warm slated caramel shade looks stunning on olive and warm skin tones. These light highlights will blend perfectly with darker blonde hair. So, if you were thinking of going bronde, why not take this caramel plunge?

21. Caramel Highlights On Jet Black Hair

Caramel highlights on jet black hair
Image: Shutterstock

If you have naturally jet-black hair, let me start off by saying that I envy you. Because the beauty of jet black hair is elevated by highlights, no matter what color they are in. The caramel highlights in this style look like they are just melting down her coal black hair.

22. Caramel Sunset

Sunset caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Paint your hair in the colors of the sky at dusk by going for this gorgeous hair look. Caramel highlights have been handpainted at the mid-lengths of her chocolate brown hair that add some beautiful depth and dimension to it. Style this look in some curls to create the illusion of movement in your hair.

23. Golden Caramel Balayage

Golden caramel balayage highlights
Image: Shutterstock

If you haven’t hopped onto the balayage train already, what are you even doing with your hair? Try out this stunning balayage done with streaks of golden blonde and caramel. With these rich hues of gold and caramel running through a dark base, this is a look that is fit for royalty.

24. Soft Caramel Babylights

Soft caramel babylights
Image: Shutterstock

Don’t you just envy babies for the delicate and natural way their hair is light in some places and dark in others? Well, you can recreate that effect by going for some babylights in your hair. Soft caramel babylights can give your hair that perfect sunkissed look that you’re looking for.

25. Sandy Caramel Balayage

Sandy caramel balayage highlights
Image: IStock

When shades of brown, gold, and blonde come together, the look they create is one for the ages. This magnificent sandy brown and caramel balayage is proof of the same. The shades come together to create a truly multidimensional hair look.

26. Dark Caramel Balayage Ombre

Dark caramel balayage ombre highlights
Image: IStock

Why decide between a balayage and an ombre when you can get both? This balayage ombre is exactly what you need to get the best of both worlds. The cool-toned caramel highlights start halfway down her dark brown hair and make for a gorgeous hair color look.

27. Caramel Face Framing Balayage

Caramel face framing balayage
Image: IStock

Isn’t it great that we live in a day and age when we can use certain hair coloring techniques to contour the shape of our face? These stunning caramel highlights with gray undertones have been done in a way that they frame her face and streamline her round face shape.

28. Mahogany Caramel Highlights

Mahogany caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

When you mix two luscious shades together, the resulting color is bound to be absolutely opulent. This mahogany tinted shade of caramel is so vivid that you need only a few subtle highlights of this shade in your dark brown hair to create a look that is fit to be sported by a queen.

29. Caramel Color Melt

Caramel color melt highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Imagine molten caramel dripping down a bar of chocolate. Isn’t that a stunning visual? You can recreate that effect on your hair by going for this handpainted color melt in a rich shade of golden caramel on your medium brown hair. The dip dyed look of this style is simple yet chic.

30. Caramel Highlights On Light Blonde

Caramel highlights on light blonde hair
Image: IStock

Imagine molten caramel dripping down a bar of chocolate. Isn’t that a stunning visual? You can recreate that effect on your hair by going for this hand painted color melt in a rich shade of golden caramel on your medium brown hair. The dip dyed look of this style is simple, trendy, and chic.

31. Caramel On Chocolate

Chocolate hair with caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Everyone knows that caramel and chocolate are a match made in food heaven. So, how about trying out this heavenly pairing on your hair? Bump up the look of your rich chocolate brown hair by complementing it with some robust caramel highlights.

32. Intense Caramel Balayage

Intense caramel balayage highlights
Image: IStock

Well, there’s balayage and then there’s BALAYAGE. This particular look falls in the latter category.  This full blown balayage covers the lower half of her deep brown hair almost entirely with a rich caramel shade. You could pair this color job with some shaggy waves and straight cut bangs to give it a more hipster vibe.

33. Copper And Caramel Highlights

Copper hair with caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

When shades of red and caramel come together, you best believe there’s some magic that’s about to happen. Check out this look, for instance. The metallic copper and caramel highlights pop and fizzle on the vivid auburn base. Styled in curls, this style is perfect to be sported at a wedding.

34. Rose Gold And Caramel Highlights

Rose gold hair with caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Be it bags, shoes, jewelry or clothes, rose gold seems to be ruling the roost in the fashion industry. So, of course, the hair industry needed to get onto the bandwagon and come up with a rose gold hair color. This rose gold and caramel highlights on dark brown hair is the stuff dreams are made of.

35. Sunkissed Caramel Highlights

Sunkissed caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Transform into the bohemian beach bum of your dreams by trying out this chic hair color look. These super subtle caramel highlights on dark hair pop gorgeously when hit by natural sunlight, thus giving your hair that perfect sunkissed look.

36. Metallic Caramel Highlights

Metallic caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Thanks to a sudden onslaught of gold, copper, and silver liquid lipsticks and eyeshadows in drugstores and all over Instagram, metallics have become a huge fashion trend. So, it’s no surprise that they managed to sneak their way into the hair color industry as well. These caramel highlights have a metallic sheen to them that make them look ultra reflective and mesmerizing.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Straighten your hair and create a relaxed, subtle flick on the edges to flaunt the beautiful metallic caramel hue.

37. Caramel Opulence

Opulence hair with caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Add a dash of color to your boring brown hair with the help of some bright caramel highlights. You don’t need to go full balayage with this look. Simply scatter a few caramel highlights where the light would naturally hit and reflect off your hair to create a truly opulent hair look.

38. Caramel Eclipting Highlights

Caramel eclipsing highlights
Image: IStock

If you peruse the Explore feed on your Instagram on a regular basis, you must’ve noticed the words ‘hair eclipting’ starting to pop up quite often. This new hair coloring technique uses the highlights in your hair to alter the shape of your face in the most flattering way possible. Here, you can see her face framed by soft caramel highlights that enhance her cheekbones and jawline.

39. 50 Shades Of Caramel

50 shades of caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Please don’t hate me for giving this beautiful hair look such a cringeworthy name. It just fits the look perfectly! Her naturally dark brown hair have been highlighted in various shades of caramel and blonde to give her hair some stunning dynamic and dimension. With her hair straightened out and left loose, the effect created by the various colors blending together is breathtaking.

40. Deep Caramel Balayage

Deep caramel balayage highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Give yourself that perfect East Coast Princess look by sporting this posh hair color look. Get your hair colored in a rich mahogany shade and then highlight it with streaks of robust caramel to create a sophisticated hair look. Straighten your hair and throw on a bodycon to party the night away in style.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Balayage looks great on loose waves or curls. Use a curling iron to create big, loose waves, and run your fingers through them for a carefree, natural appearance.

41. Caramel Face Framers

Face framing caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Does your style lean more towards ‘natural’ and ‘minimalist’ as opposed to ‘flamboyant’ and ‘out there’? Then, this style of highlights will suit your taste perfectly. Go for just a few caramel highlights around your face to flatter its structure and give you an understated yet sexy look.

42. Dusty Pink And Caramel Highlights

Dusty pink hair with caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Walk into any store or open any shopping website and you’ll see them flooded with all things dusty pink. The best part is that this gorgeous shade looks great as a hair color as well. Dusty pink and caramel highlights on blonde hair work amazingly well together to give you that perfect feminine and flirty look.

43. Thick Caramel Highlights

Thick caramel highlights
Image: IStock

You don’t always have to go for that “naturally” sunkissed look with those subtle highlights. Thick, prominent highlights that really pop have a beauty all their own. These copper tinted caramel highlights have been done in thick streaks all over her auburn hair to create a bright and bold hair look.

44. Luxurious Caramel Highlights

Luxurious caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Now, not all of us can be a part of the top 1% and move around in high society circles. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look the part! These luscious caramel highlights on deep brown hair are the epitome of luxury and style. All you need are some diamond earrings and a ridiculously huge ball gown to complete the look.

45. Brownie Caramel Highlights

Brownie caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Who doesn’t love a brownie to get their quick sugar fix? Show off your love for this sinful sweet treatby sporting this stunning hair look. The subtle caramel highlights running through a rich chocolate brown base make for a rich and delightful color job.

46. Ultra Glossy Caramel Highlights

Ultra glossy caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Ever envied those celebrities with their ultra-glossy hair that you see in shampoo ads? Well, you can get their look too by trying out this hair color! These super glossy caramel highlights done on beautiful dusty brown hair will make you look like you’ve just stepped out of a movie set.

47. Cool Toned Caramel Highlights

Cool toned caramel highlights
Image: IStock

Just because you want to get caramel highlights doesn’t mean that they have to be warm-toned. Cool-toned caramel highlights with a slight gray undertone to them also look fabulous on dark brown or ash-blonde hair. Style this color in waves to complete your rock-chick look.

48. Intense Caramel Highlights

Intense caramel highlights
Image: Shutterstock

Caramel highlights don’t always have to be light and flirty. You could also create a dark and mysterious hair look with them. You could use a deep caramel shade to highlight the bottom half of your jet-black hair to give off some seriously sexy and sinister vibes.

49. Caramel Zebra Highlights

Caramel zebra highlights
Image: Shutterstock

OK, I know even the thought of getting zebra highlights may make you want to run in the opposite direction. But, I’m not talking about zebra highlights the (awful) way they were done in the early 2000s. The 2017 variation of this hair color technique is much more subtle and elegant. Get them done in a rich caramel shade on your naturally brown hair to give yourself a sophisticated look.

50. Caramel On Fire Highlights

Caramel on fire highlights
Image: IStock

Set your hair game on fire by sporting these magnificent caramel highlights in a myriad of different shades. The milk chocolate brown of the base really pops with the golden, caramel, and light brown highlights that are blending with it. Style this look in curls to get the full effect of these gorgeous colors.

51. Chocolate Hair with Strawberry Blonde Highlights

Strawberry blonde highlights on chocolate hair
Image: Shutterstock

The multidimensional curls bring variations of brown and strawberry blonde. The bright blonde highlights give a sun-kissed feel to your tresses. The strawberry blonde goes with any shade and creates a harmonious look on warmer hair colors. Freshen up your natural brown shade with a bold new hue of pinkish blonde.

52. Walnut Brown Balayage

Walnut brown balayage hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Walnut brown shade is one of the latest hair color trends. It adds warmth, richness, and multi-tonal style to your mane. It delivers a minimalist list yet can make eyes turn with the evident transition of color. This metallic walnut shade can add warm highlights to your brunette hair, and the soft waves enhance the shine and depth.

Infographic: How To Take Care Of Your Highlights

These caramel highlights are really something to die for. But while you decide to get them, you must also know how to take care of them. Check out the infographic below to learn more about caring for caramel highlights.

caramel highlights (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Caramel highlights are suitable for every hair color. They provide shape to your face, add volume to your hair, and impart that perfect beachy vibe. You can visit a salon or you can easily get those caramel highlights at home with the help of a box of caramel hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair comb. Ensure that you detangle all the knots before you highlight your hair. You can go for a wonderful caramel balayage, caramel color melt, or rose gold and caramel highlights but do not step out on investing in haircare products to keep your mane healthy. Do not forget to style your hair in curls to get the full effect of those brilliant highlights!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to bleach your hair to get caramel highlights?

If you have blonde or light brown hair, you don’t have to bleach your hair. However, you must bleach darker hair colors like red, dark brown, and black to achieve caramel highlights.

Do I want highlights or balayage?

You can choose any coloring techniques as per your desired results. Balayage is a hair coloring technique that gives your hair highlights with a more natural, ombre, sweeping highlight color. It usually creates less bright looks than highlights. Highlights are done closer to the scalp and on specific hair sections within foil or mesh sheets.

Is caramel blonde or brown?

The caramel shade is a mix of blonde and brown. It looks like a sunkissed brown shade.

Do caramel highlights fade?

Yes, like all hair dyes, caramel highlights will fade. But, you can use color-safe products and toners to keep your hair color fresh and get color refreshers.

Ready to elevate your hair game? Then check out this captivating tutorial video below and master the art of creating exquisite caramel highlights.

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