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Celebrity Colorists Share Their Formulas for Luscious Chocolate Brown Locks

If the question is how to take your client from summer to fall, the answer is chocolate brown. Get ready to screenshot—in the gallery below, top celebrity colorists reveal the formulas for their A-list clients’ luscious chocolate brown hues ranging from swirly milk chocolate to rich dark cacao and more sweet tooth-inducing shades. Browse through these dark brown hair color ideas below to find your perfect autumn shade!


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Naturally Blended Brunette Highlights

The formula:

  • I first did full highlights using Flash Lift, 20V for the roots and 30V for the ends.
  • Then I toned her with Redkin Shades 4N drop 8C for the roots and 5G (1.5oz), 6NB (.3oz), and 8N(.2oz) for the all-over gloss.
  • To maintain this hair color, I recommend Mr. Smith Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner.
  • For a mask, I recommend Oway Rebuilding Hair Mask. I would also add Mr. Smith Leave In for your ends as it’s UV protection.

Cherin Choi

Rich Brown

The formula:

Kazumi Morton

Shiny Dimensional Brunette

The formula:

  • She basically wanted everything lighter but super natural and wanted to feel brunette and not dip dyed or blonde at all! So for Hillary, I do a fine highlight all over her hair. I also balayage her ends very lightly.
  • Then I rinse everything and afterward, I use half Olaplex No. 1 and half water and then pour that all over her towel-dried hair.
  • Then I bring her back to the chair and I root her damp hair with L’Oréal Richesse. The hairline with 7 and her roots with half 6.01 half 7 and 9volume for 20 minutes then I do using Redken Shades EQ zone 2 of 8n +9nb so it’s super natural and not stripy at all.
  • Then after that I gloss her hair all over I use 9g + 8c for a minute.
  • Right now I’m loving the new Olaplex No. 4 and Olaplex No. 5—they makes the hair feel so soft. I also love the Gloss Moderne Masque, it smells like vacation!

Jacob Schwartz

Cold Brew

The formula:

Tauni Dawson

Pops of Light

The formula:

  • First I did a partial highlight with Wella Blondor and 20 vol.
  • Then in between the highlight foils I did a low light with Wella Color Touch using 15g 6/0 + 5g 5/3 with 1.9%. I let everything process and rinsed when the highlights were a level 7 gold.
  • Then we dried Lesley Ann’s hair and did a base partly to lighten and warm up her natural and partly to root the highlights.
  • Her base color was done with Wella Koleston Perfect 30g 6/2 + 15g 5/0 with 20vol for 30 mins.
  • Then at the shampoo bowl we did an all over gloss with Wella color Touch 7/0 with 1.9% for 5 mins.
  • I recommend Inphenom Shampoo and Treatment (conditioner) to keep this color rich and the hair feeling good!

Chris Greene

Dark Brown

The formula:

  • I use a level 6n and a 1/4 5n to create the rich brown base color.
  • Low lights with 6n and 10 vol full head.
  • Gloss with Redken Shades EQ 6 n with 2 caps 7c
  • I love my brunettes soft and rich. The key is not to go so dark so the hair color doesn’t look black.
  • I’ve been using Iles Haircare recently and I really like the way it makes the hair feel. Use the Iles Shampoo, Conditioner, and a No. 3 Leave On Serum leaves the hair super shiny.

Alen M

Toned Down Brown

The formula:

Jessica Gonzalez

Dark Dimensional Brunette

The formula:

  • Lift color to a level 7/8 via Schwarzkopf #varioBlonde blue lightener and 10 volume via foiled babylights.
  • Gloss over the highlights with equal parts of 6-0 and 6-12 using Schwarzkopf #vibrance line and 6 volume for 10 mins or until level desired is reached.
  • Shampoo with Kristin Ess Extra Gentle Shampoo because it’s sulphate-free and super nourishing for colored hair.

Matt Rez

Need more dark brown hair color ideas for fall? If you’re craving a caramel brunettes, try THESE colorist-approved formulas!



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