The best brunette hairstyles for all lengths

Update your style with these on-trend colours and cuts

Best brunette hairstyles
(Image credit: Westend61/GettyImages)

Take your pick from these gorgeous brunette hairstyles

Blondes may have more fun (or so it's said) but brunettes are far from boring. Brunette hairstyles are so versatile in both style and tone –for example,brown hair looks great cut short, in an updo, or worn long and loose. So take advantage of your natural beauty and shake-up your style with an enhanced colour or cut.

Do blondes have more fun with colour?

"Both blondes and brunettes have fun options when it comes to hair colour," says Robert Eaton, British Hairdresser of the Year and Creative Director at Russell Eaton. "Pastel shades look beautiful on blondes, but if you’re a brunette you can go for richer tones or add glosses to switch it up."

Why not change your current look to glossy multi-tonal hues, like Kate Middleton? Adding reddish or deeper brown to your natural hair can warm mature features and knock years off. Alternatively, trybalayage – a sweeping technique that gives hair a natural sun-kissed look. If you can't get to the hairdressersthese salon-worthy home dyeing kitswill do the trick.

What colour is best for older brunettes?

If you're going grey like the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate is proof that brunette hairstyles rock with or without a touch of grey. Try adding some lowlights or multi-tones to your brunette hair to enhance your natural-looking colour and minimise grey.

"The key is not to go too dark or solid looking, as this is one of the things that can be quite ageing," advises Robert. "Instead, go for a softer, more multi-tonal colour. I always recommend my clients, who are looking for a softer colour, to try our Deluxe Re-growth service, which is a global application of colour, with a softer hairline that’s just a shade or so lighter. This creates a face framing effect, which stops the hair colour looking too dense and helps to hide grey hairs."

If your hair appointment falls through or you can't book one in right now, Color Wow Root Cover Uphides your grey in an instant. Available in four shades (blonde, light brown, medium brown and dark brown) and including pigments that adhere to your hair without stickiness, this is a nifty way to conceal those pesky grey hairs.

Fringe or no fringe?

If you're happy with your colour and fancy a change but don't want to do anything drastic, why not add a side fringeor, if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, a blunt fringe. They're very youthful and work especially well on thick, straight hair.

You could also add layers or extensions to your hair – it's a simple tactic that will completely alter your look in an instant.

Inspirational ideas for brunette hairstyles

Ready for the new you? Robert recommends you continue to embrace new styles and colour as you age. "Hair is and always has been the ultimate fashion accessory and is a really easy way to change your look," he says. "People should keep on doing this as they get older."

Click through our gallery to find your perfect brunette hairstyle...

Long wavy brunette hairstyle

Long wavy brunette hairstyle

While extensions may conjure up images of reality TV celebrities and nylon hair, when done professionally, they can really boost your confidence and knock years off your look. Natural hair extensions will blend in with your real hair, thickening fine locks and adding the length you've always wished for to brittle locks. Brunette hair extensions also look the most natural, so you can afford to go a little longer than your blonde friends. Hair by Ken Picton

Short brunette hairstyle with side fringe

Short brunette hairstyle with side fringe

Add a youthful edge to your current crop with a long, asymmetric fringe. A side fringe is more flattering to round faces than a blunt, unforgiving version. Make sure your fringe is no longer than your face to keep the hairstyle neat.

Long curly brunette hairstyle

Long curly brunette hairstyle

Add some romantic curls to your hair for summer and channel relaxed boho style. To create the look, forget the curling irons - the new waving wand is the way to go. Simply wrap sections around the wand, hold for up to ten seconds and release to reveal tumblng waves. Hair by AVEDA

Sleek side-swept brunette hairstyle

Sleek side-swept brunette hairstyle

Ultra glam and feminine, this glossy chestnut hue will suit anyone with naturally brunette hair who wants to lift their colour. Light-reflecting, all-over colour is easy to achieve - we recommend Nice N Easy Dark Auburn Permanent Hair Colour. Hair by Karine Jackson using Organic Colour Systems

Short bob brunette hairstyle

Short bob brunette hairstyle

Growing out a crop? This in-between bob is the easiest way to work through that awkward stage. Ask for a fringe and blunt ends and go for semi-regular trims to keep your hair looking healthy while it grows.

Wavy bob brunette hairstyle

Wavy bob brunette hairstyle

Add some glamour to your shoulder length hair with deep waves. Use heated rollers to set hair into large curls, then gently tease out into big soft waves with your fingers. Once you have achieved your desired look, hold the style with high control hairspray - and don't touch! Hair by Hob Salons

Half-up brunette hairstyle

Half-up brunette hairstyle

An easy way to dress your hair up for an evening out is to try this half-up hairstyle. So simple to create, just pull the top sections around to the crown, securing with bobby pins or a small bulldog clip around the back of the head. Tease the top up and out, leaving some of the front section of the hair loose, to soften your face. Hair by Headmasters

Glam updo brunette hairstyle

Glam updo brunette hairstyle

Looking for something special for an event? Create an updo with the wow-factor and make sure you stand out from the crowd. To achieve, place the hair in a ponytail, on top of your head. Wind the loose hair around and then up onto the base of the pony. Secure with kirby grips and don't worry about being too fussy - a few loose ends stop this look from being to severe. Hair by Karine Jackson using Organic Colour Systems

Mid-length brunette hairstyle with fringe

Mid-length brunette hairstyle with fringe

A fringe can be tricky to keep under control. The easiest way to wear this trend is to keep it blunt and heavy. A thick fringe will stay in place all day and will update the plainest of hairstyles. Wear just above the eyes for a sultry look.

Long glam brunette hairstyle

Long glam brunette hairstyle

Avoid going all out on styling every day - add some no-fuss layers into your long hair to give shape and volume. This will also help to give texture.

Loose updo brunette hairstyle

Loose updo brunette hairstyle

Keep your evening look youthful with a messy up-do. This is so easy to create - it can be done in minutes - but looks fabulous for any occasion. Create soft curls with tongs, loosening them as you go to avoid ringlets and simply gather your hair to one side and pin roughly.

Mid-length brunette hairstyle with fringe

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

Mid-length brunette hairstyle with fringe

Struggle to keep you wavy locks under control? Don't fight it - embrace the look with shaggy layers and a long fringe. Hair by Hairaisers

Plaited bun brunette hairstyle

Plaited bun brunette hairstyle

Update your classic bun with this plaited style. Pull the hair into a high ponytail, securing at the crown or on top of the head. Loosely plait the pony and weave up into a bun. Secure with bobby pins and a quick spritz of hairspray. Hair by Karine Jackson using Organic Colour Systems

Short cropped brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

Short cropped brunette hairstyle

Adding a fringe to your cropped hairstyle can really shake up your look. If you have fine, elfin features or an oval face, try a blunt fringe to flatter your features and knock years off your look.

Low ponytail brunette hairstyle

Low ponytail brunette hairstyle

Elegant and classic, a low pony is a great everyday updo that anyone can wear. Make sure you tease your hair at the crown of the head - soft volume will stop this look being too severe. A few loose strands around the face can also help to relax this hairstyle.

Long wavy brunette hairstyle

Long wavy brunette hairstyle

Loosen up and set your hair free with some sexy rock chic curls. Create the look with hot curling irons. Once hair is sectioned off and curled, allow to cool before pulling out the lengths of the ringlets to create this bedhead look. Hair by Hooker & Young

Layered bob brunette hairstyle

Layered bob brunette hairstyle

This sophisticated haircut is attractive to almost any face shape. The level layers are great if you like trying out different hairstyles. Hairstyle by Headmasters

Bobbed brunette hairstyle

Bobbed brunette hairstyle

If you have brunette hair, adding a reddish hue throughout can really lift your look, flattering mature features and warming your skintone. Make sure you keep it natural though - don't go too light or too dark. Consult a stylist before taking the plunge.

Long wavy brunette hairstyle with straight fringe

Long wavy brunette hairstyle with straight fringe

If you are naturally dark, but want to give your hair a lift, opt for a bitter chocolate hue to create depth and texture. This is not a good colour to try if your hair is naturally light - the dark colour will wash you out.

Bobbed brunette hairstyle

Bobbed brunette hairstyle

Add texture and depth to your classic bob with choppy layers - they'll instantly soften your features and enhance cheekbones, providing you with an altogether more youthful look. Add loose waves for after-hours glamour.

Long brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

Long brunette hairstyle

Dream of looking polished every single day? Now you can! Always part hair on the side - it's far more flattering on mature features. Style hair using the new BaByliss Big Hair for salon-worthy hair, every day.

Lob brunette hairstyle with fringe

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

Lob brunette hairstyle with fringe

Forget drastic measures like botox to hide those wrinkles and opt for a fringe instead. A blunt cut is still big news this season and is best worn just below the eyebrows to draw attention to your eyes. Keep it heavy for a more youthful look. Hair by Mark Leeson

Pixie crop brunette hairstyle

Pixie crop brunette hairstyle

If you love the look of cropped hair, but are unsure of whether to take the plunge or not, this longer-length short hairstyle could be for you. Hair cut to the nape of the neck, with an eye-skimming fringe is so much more forgiving than a pixie crop.

Long wavy brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

Long wavy brunette hairstyle

Romantic styles are back in vogue and were all over the catwalks this season. adapt the style to your hair with some soft, pretty waves. This style will work best on medium to long hair, so the weight will keep the curls loose for a more relaxed, boho vibe. To achieve these curls, wind hair around one inch curling barrels and hold. Let go, and spritz with hairspray to keep the curl in shape. Hair by Mark Leeson

20s brunette hairstyle

20s brunette hairstyle

Light-reflecting brown hair is perfect for vintage waves. Even on short hair, the 20s trend is easy to create. Run a small amount of mousse through damp hair to create hold, then use these Trevor Sorbie Rubberised Sectioning Clips to create waves in the hair and leave to dry. Spritz with hairspray to ensure your style holds throughout the evening. Hair by Hob Salons

Long sleek brunette hairstyle with fringe

Long sleek brunette hairstyle with fringe

For a soft and more rounded fringe ask for longer sides, which will frame the face and allow you to create more flattering updos. Hair by Hairaisers

80s brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: BEDHEAD STUDIO)

80s brunette hairstyle

Big hair is back! Remember the bubble perms of the 80s? Well they've been reinvented! More relaxed and luxe, create the look with curling tongs and a setting spray. Tease out your curls for the volumous, natural look seen here. Hair by Rae Palmer

Sleek cropped brunette hairstyle

Sleek cropped brunette hairstyle

Lift dull brown hair with a reddish tint. If you want to achieve this look at home, Nice 'n Easy Permanent Colour in Medium Reddish Brown makes getting the perfect colour foolproof.

Tousled lob brunette hairstyle

Tousled lob brunette hairstyle

Layers equal instant volume. Nothing is more flattering than clever layering in a long bob, and will cut down on styling time. This is also a great anti-ageing hairstyle.

Long glam brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

Long glam brunette hairstyle

Glam up your look with some luxe, 70s disco waves. Use large heated rollers to section off the hair. Once cool, tease out your curls and brush with a large paddle brush to create soft, sexy waves. Hair by Mark Lesson for FHI Heat

'Bedhead' brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

'Bedhead' brunette hairstyle

What's so special about this long, soft and natural look? The subtle and sexy colouring, which lifts a flat brown to a radiant deep hazlenut, plus a clever cut with a deep, sideswept fringe. Hair by Jo Hansford

Plaited updo brunette hairstyle

Plaited updo brunette hairstyle

Create a whimsical, Victorian updo with loose French plaits. Pin the ends under the hair at the nape of the neck to secure. Hair by Michael Barnes

Long brunette hairstyle with fringe

Long brunette hairstyle with fringe

Create some bounce this summer with loose, romantic waves. Use a wide curling tong to section off hair, the run fingers through the ends once cool. Spritz lightly with hairspray to hold, but don't be too fussy, as this look isn't about neat, perfect ringlets. Hair by Hairaisers

Long glam brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: BEDHEAD STUDIO)

Long glam brunette hairstyle

Give yourself a confidence boost with some luxe, tumbling curls. Heated rollers are the best way to achieve this look - just don't touch once your style has set, or you will lose the curl. Hair by Rae Palmer

Glam updo brunette hairstyle

Glam updo brunette hairstyle

Look to the future for your next evening out and create a look-at-me updo. Simply pull hair to the side and twist up and over, securing with pins as you go.

Long brunette hairstyle with fringe

Long brunette hairstyle with fringe

A long fringe is flattering to most face shapes - and a cheap alternative to Botox! Ensure it skims your eyes for a sexy, youthful look.

40s brunette hairstyle

(Image credit: Andrew O'Toole)

40s brunette hairstyle

Create soft, romantic waves for your next event. The ultimate glamorous hairstyle, 40s finger waves are easier to create than you may think. These curls are set with a one inch curling barrel, and teased out lightly to give a softer, more natural look. Set with hairspray to finish. Hair by Ken Picton

Long straight brunette hairstyle

Long straight brunette hairstyle

Sleek locks always look classy. If you feel you are always battling frizz, try Bumble and Bumble's Concen-Straight Smoothing Treatment to relax curls and help you to achieve this smooth look with minimal effort. Hair by Ken Picton