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The Expensive Brunette Trend, Explained in 2024

For those who have naturally brown hair, it can feel like none of the popular hair color trends apply to you. However, the expensive brunette trend is *perfect* for those who want to accentuate their natural color with a seriously luxe look. 

What Is the Expensive Brunette Trend?

  • Dimensional, luxe color with shimmer and depth
  • Play up basic browns with pretty undertones
  • “Your hair but better” trend with subtle highlights

The expensive brunette trend is all about enhancing basic brunette shades with dimension, depth, and a touch of shimmer. Subtle highlights and a rich undertone that suits your skin shade is all you need to make your brunette color a little more luxe! 

By taking the authentic root color of your brunette hair and increasing the hue and vibrancy associated with the shade, you can rock expensive brunette trend, also known as the rich brunette trend.

While people can do some form of this trend with all hair shades, you’ll see the most dynamic results when you apply it to natural or dyed brown hair.

It might seem like a super simple change, but there are some critical steps associated with the process. Having brown natural or dyed hair color in a shade that suits your skin’s undertone is just the first of many.

Stylists will follow this up with a series of elements that refine your natural shade while enhancing the most critical aspects of your locks. Highlights, toners, and even lightweight, airy layers will accentuate the expensive brunette trend look. 

It’s critical to understand that the process doesn’t end once your hair is officially part of the expensive brunette trend. In order to keep your hair looking rich and glossy, you have to maintain it appropriately and incorporate specific products and methods. 

Take a look below to learn how to rock the rich brunette trend and look amazing doing it! 

How Do You Get Expensive Brunette Hair?

Back view of woman wearing the expensive brunette hair trend with styled waves in a beauty salon

Welly Saikat/Shutterstock

If you’re looking to branch out and take part in the latest hair trend, you need to first decide on the direction you want to take.

Mastering this look isn’t a matter of making an appointment and having a standard treatment done to your hair. There are a few different routes you can take to achieve this trendy color.

You can start with brown hair and add subtle highlights a shade or two lighter to get a naturally sun kissed look that’s super luxe. You can also enhance your current shade of brown with a toner rich in undertones that complement your skin tone (like gold, copper, or ash tones). 

Ultimately, having the expensive brunette trend boils down to the glossy, dimensional look. Whatever process you take to get the shade you desire is one thing, but to fully embody the trend, you must ensure that your hair has a high gloss level.

Consider Your Options

After deciding to explore the expensive brunette hair trend, decide if you want to go lighter with your current brown shade or accentuate your color with richer and darker hues. There are benefits to both routes. It ultimately comes down to personal preference! 

Most often, those who decide to lighten their brunette hair opt for balayage or highlights. Both of these options are great for adding a touch of dimension to brown hair to make it look a little more rich.

By keeping your balayage or highlight shade 1-2 shades lighter than your current color, you keep the look classy and soft. 

If you go for the balayage route, a stylist will gradually lighten your hair in various shades of the brunette from the ends to a few inches away from your roots. If you decide on highlights, your stylist will evenly distribute the lighter shade throughout your hair.

Alternatively, you can just as easily add lowlights – darker accents – through your hair to achieve a similar look without bleaching.

Lowlights work in darker strands throughout your hair, distributing them equally from top to bottom. The freehand painting distribution, or balayage style, will vary and is more customizable to your preference. Balayage tends to have more of a luxe, expensive look than foil highlights. 

While balayage and lighter hair colors come into play more frequently during the summer months, people tend to darken their shades in the winter months. All of these options will leave you with that expensive brunette trend look with lots of dimension and a soft, subtle contrast. 

Visit a Skilled Professional

Most people who want to wear the expensive brunette hair trend realize this is something only an experienced stylist can pull off. Someone with extensive time in the industry and knowledge of the trend will always be your best bet.

That means you shouldn’t go to a beauty school for a “cheaper” version of the expensive brunette look. And you probably don’t want to leave this job to a brand-new beauty school grad. 

Your hair color is unique and the color you’re starting with helps a stylist determine what steps they’ll take to get you to your desired results. Additionally, many people have highlights of various hues throughout their natural hair through sun exposure or genetics! 

A skilled stylist will be able to tailor your look to your specific hair colors. They can mix various dyes to create shades that will pair perfectly with what you see every day. Not only will this help ensure a uniquely luxe look specific to you, but it will pull in the natural tones that many don’t notice.

If budget is a concern, getting the expensive brunette hair look can be done at home, but you’re taking a major risk here. You can explore several options to accentuate your natural tint and give your hair a much-needed refresh.

If you decide to take on the task yourself, you should explore these products:

  • At-home hair dye in darker or lighter brown shades
  • A high-quality hair mask to bring out natural shine
  • Hair gloss to make the colors more vibrant and shiny
  • Store-bought highlighting kit to add dimension

Schedule Your Appointment

If you’re teaming up with a hair stylist to get the expensive brunette trend look, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation appointment with them first.

This gives you a chance to talk over what your end goals are for your hair. Knowing what direction – lighter, darker, balayage, highlights, color placement, etc. – you want will help your stylist plan out the route to get there.

If you’ve decided to take the job on yourself, be sure to have an extra set of hands nearby to help you if needed. Additionally, it’s wise to check out various tutorials to be able to gather a confident idea of what approach you should take.

After you’ve completed your look, it’s time to enjoy your gorgeously luxe new hair color. However, there are steps you should take to maintain the color for as long as possible. We highlight the top suggestions below to help you preserve your new color.

Maintaining the Expensive Brunette Trend

Classy woman in white blouse wears the expensive brunette trend with wavy hair in front of a gray background

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

Planning for the maintenance process is critical for the expensive brunette trend. After all, hair only looks luxe as long as the color is fresh and vibrant!

By implementing a maintenance regimen that speaks to your new shade’s unique needs, you will be able to preserve the look for longer.

High-Quality Hair Care

When it comes to preserving your new hair color, having products that preserve dye and prolong color is vital. There are several products that cater to this need, all within various price points to account for your budget. Selecting one that expressly preserves dyed hair is the best route to take for this need.

At minimum, you need a sulfate-free shampoo for dark colored hair. You’ll get even better results if you ensure all of your haircare products are sulfate-free and gentle on dyed hair. This prevents your products from stripping dye away prematurely. 

Wash Less Often

After coloring your hair, routine washing daily or every other day will dull the hue over time. In addition to using a high-quality product in the process, limiting yourself to washing your hair less often.

Try to shampoo only a few times per week or every 2-3 days is helpful. If you find it necessary, you can use a dry shampoo to control oil and shine on the off days. With less washing, you’ll keep your color vibrant longer. This applies even if you’re using sulfate-free shampoo labeled as color-safe! 

Avoid Heat Styling When Possible

Many of the most popular hairstyles involve heat styling in some form. Blow dryers, curling irons, curling wands, and straighteners become go-to tools for trendy looks. To keep your color intact, protect your hair by avoiding heating tools as much as possible.

A good heat protectant spray will help you avoid damaging your hair with heat, but heat can still fade dye. To keep your expensive brunette hair looking, well, expensive, minimize your heat styling as much as possible. Check out cute heatless curls styles to achieve gorgeous looks sans heat! 

Take Precautions at the Pool

If you plan to take a dip in the pool, you will want to pay special attention to your newly colored hair care before entering the water. The chemicals in many swimming pools can damage your hair and its color.

Many recommend wetting your head down and running a small amount of conditioner through your locks before jumping in the water. The conditioner acts as a protectant and keeps the color intact for longer, especially if you are an avid swimmer.

Maximize Moisture and Gloss

One of the most significant attributes of the expensive brunette trend is the high level of gloss and shine. Maintaining that glossy exterior can be challenging if your hair is dry. Incorporating deep conditioning sessions in your routine and following it up with a cold hair rinse will help keep it intact.

A clear or tinted hair gloss in between touch-ups is another way to maximize shine without losing color vibrancy. Schedule an appointment with your stylist for a gloss or pick one up at the store and do it yourself! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman in black strapless dress wears the rich brunette trend with wavy long brown hair subtly highlighted

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

New hair trends often come with a lot of questions. Look below to find answers as we highlight some of the most common inquiries! 

Is the expensive brunette trend just balayage?

The expensive brunette trend is not just balayage. It can mean a variety of things! This trend can be accomplished a few different ways.

While one of those routes is through a balayage, many others accomplish this through lowlights, highlights, all-over color with added dimension, and more. Choose the method that gives you the overall look you want, whether it’s subtle and soft or rich and deeply dimensional. 

What color is an expensive brunette?

There’s no specific brown shade that’s considered expensive brunette. Instead, the trend brings in your natural hair color and enhances it to create richer hues and accents with lighter or darker color. Your skin tone, eye color, and natural hair shade are all taken into consideration in the process.

Why is it called the expensive brunette trend?

The brunette trend for hair got its name from the luxurious results it produces. Taking the natural hair tint and adding rich textures and accents creates a vibrant color that brings your underrated tones to light. The result is a classy, rich look that seems to have been done by an in-demand, skilled stylist. 

How can I get expensive brunette hair?

There are several options you can choose from when you are looking to take part in the expensive brunette trend. While many people opt to consult with a hairstylist who has ample experience in this particular area, others decide to take on the task themselves at home. It’s up to you, but a pro is always the safest route to take. 

What is the most popular brown hair color?

While dark hair shades are the most common hair colors worldwide, the exact shades people get when they opt to dye their hair brunette or black will vary. However, ash brown is one of the most popular brown hair colors at the moment. The versatile shade is best for cool skin tones and compliments various eye colors.

So, What Is the Expensive Brunette Trend?

Brought to light by celebrity influencers Billie Eilish and Hailey Bieber, the Expensive Brunette Trend has quickly become one of the most popular looks of the past few years.

So, what is it exactly? This trend takes into account your natural color and pairs it with your skin tone and eye color to come up with a palette of shades that bring your natural accents to the surface. It’s all about enhancing and accentuating undertones and dimension in brown shades. 

With this trend, you get to decide if you want to go for a lighter look or a darker one. Additionally, you can opt to go to a salon and consult with a hairstylist on the shades and treatment or complete the process at home by yourself.

While the expensive brunette trend focuses on having a glossy texture with rich undertones, there’s also a lot of room for customization. Not only can you choose whether to go lighter or darker, but also the color application method, color placement, and undertone color.

You’ll quickly see that there are endless options with this popular trend. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!