When you hear the word “caramel,” you think of a rich and decadent confection, right? And when it comes to hair, that is exactly what you’re getting, too — a sumptuous color that lends a beautiful glow and enhances the depth and dimension of your tresses.
Whether you’re a brunette looking to add more life to your hair or a blonde who wants to experiment with other shades, caramel highlights are a great choice. They are versatile and complement a wide range of hair colors and skin tones, and they also work beautifully with any length and style. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can make them as subtle or as bold as you want. Choose a low contrast and thin highlights if you want just the softest glow, or opt for chunky ones if you want a really standout look.
Sound tempting to you? Check out these caramel highlight styles we’ve gathered to inspire your next hair color.
Olivia Munn's Caramel Highlights
The highlights on Olivia Munn’s dark brown hair are perfectly blended and look very natural. They definitely add a delicious gleam to her dark brown hair.
Isla Fisher's Caramel Highlights on Brown Hair
Here, Isla Fisher is wearing a medium brown hair color to which she’s added a lighter shade of caramel. The result is a sleek and smooth balayage look that has a luscious glow to it.
Idina Menzel's Dark Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
Dark brunette Idina Menzel is wearing caramel highlights on her hair, which give it subtle radiance and the dimension it needs. Get highlights like these if you want a touch of brightness to your dark base.
Naomi Campbell's Caramel Highlights on Black Hair
As you can see here, caramel highlights work beautifully with black hair. They add life and a dose of sexiness to Naomi Campbell’s black hair, and the overall look complements her skin tone flawlessly.
Cobie Smulders' Caramel Highlights on Light Brown Hair
Caramel highlights are a great way to add subtle depth and dimension if you have naturally light brown hair. The result is a brunette look that really pops.
Kate Middleton's Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
The Duchess’ highlights look like streaks of radiance on her brown hair. With a color combo this dazzling, all you need is a bit of sunshine for an even more stunning look!
Sara Sampaio's Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair
Even the subtlest caramel can add a beautiful pop of color to dark brown hair. Here, model Sara Sampaio is wearing well-blended highlights on her tresses and the result is a lustrous shade of brown that really draws attention.
Alicia Key's Dark Hair with Caramel Highlights
Alicia Keys has opted for a reddish tinge that really pops against her dark hair. It’s simple yet so elegant and a good choice if you want something on the understated side.
Sofia Vergara's Light Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
Caramel highlights not only look chic on light brown hair, they’re easier to maintain too. Because it’s a low-contrast look, the colors fuse seamlessly with each other, which means fewer trips to the salon for touch-ups.
Freida Pinto's Black Hair with Caramel Highlights
Love the combination of caramel highlights and the black underlayer on Freida Pinto’s hair here. The placement of the highlights ensures a beautiful sun-kissed glow.
Gal Gadot's Caramel Highlights on a Dark Lob
Gal Gadot is wearing a dark lob with waves and highlights that accentuate the messy style. This is a good example of how color can add dimension and enhance the texture of hair.
Zoey Deutch's Chocolate Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
Mmm, chocolate and caramel — what could be more tempting? Zoey Deutch’s color is a delicious mix of the two shades and the result is a brunette style that’s warm, natural-looking, low-maintenance yet so beautiful.
Natalie Portman's Caramel Hair with Highlights
Here, Natalie Portman is looking stunning wearing this caramel-colored ‘do with highlights. Love the fiery hue plus the pops of brightness given off by the blonde.
Emma Stone's Red Hair with Caramel Highlights
If you have red hair like Emma Stone’s, you can spice it up further with caramel highlights for a more dimensional look. The two colors complement each other perfectly, resulting in a chic and sexy shade of red.
Lisa Rinna's Short Brown Hair with Caramel Highlights
Here, Lisa Rinna adds more life to her signature short ‘do with caramel highlights on a dark base. The edgy style and the fiery color combine to form a really bold and head-turning look.
Riley Keough's Caramel and Blonde Highlights
We’ve seen caramel with blonde highlights, now let’s look at blonde with caramel lowlights. We think this ‘do on Riley Keough is a gorgeous way to wear blonde — the lowlights add depth and give the color a more natural finish.
Padma Lakshmi's Subtle Caramel Highlights
If you want it as natural and low-key as possible, add just a few highlights to your brown hair like Padma Lakshmi does here. This is all about understated elegance and works well with Padma’s skin tone.
Priyanka Chopra's Caramel Balayage
Here, Priyanka Chopra is wearing caramel highlights that are more noticeable against her dark brown hair but still make a subtle contrast that feels natural. This is proof that just a few caramel highlights can make a dark hair color pop.
Selena Gomez's Short Black to Caramel Ombre
Selena Gomez’s dark lob gets a sassy dye job with this caramel ombre. There are also some highlighted pieces at the front which frame her face nicely and create an illuminating effect. This is an example of how an ombre can work on shorter lengths.
Zendaya's Caramel Highlighted Cornrows
Zendaya’s cornrows look beautiful and the specks of caramel add an even more eye-catching element to the look. It’s a ‘do that makes a statement both style-wise and color-wise.
Nico Parker's Caramel Highlights on Afro Hair
Here, Nico Parker is wearing a voluminous afro in a caramel color with dark roots. It’s another example of a standout look made even bolder via a stylish dye job.
Kaitlyn Dever's Caramel Hair with Subtle Highlights
Kaitlyn Dever is wearing a caramel color that she’s jazzed up with highlights in a slightly brighter hue. It’s a luscious color combo that complements her skin tone beautifully.
Adriana Lima's Bold Caramel Highlights
Here’s a caramel highlight style that’s bolder than what we’ve seen so far. The highlights are chunky in places and make a sharp contrast to the dark base, resulting in a dazzling look overall.
Barbara Palvin's Caramel Ombre
We all love ombre hair, and if you want to incorporate caramel into your look, why not give this style a go? It starts with a dark caramel at the top and then brightens into a light red down the ends. Stunning!
Sophia Bush's Caramel Highlights on Chocolate Brown Hair
Sophia Bush’s chocolate brown hair gets gorgeous pops of brightness with those ribbon highlights. We think this is elegant and bold without going over the top.
Sarah Paulson's Caramel Highlights on Short Hair
Caramel highlights look beautiful on any length of hair. We’ve seen a lot of long styles so far. Now here’s something that’s shorter featuring a dark brown color with chunky highlights. A bob is so classic but we think this color combo brings a lot of modernity to it.
Katharine McPhee's Short Caramel Ombre
Another bob, another caramel highlighted style. Katharine McPhee is wearing a deep chocolate hue to which she’s added caramel tips for a really cute ombre look.
Lily Aldridge's Subtle Caramel Ombre
We think this subtle ombre style on Lily Aldridge looks flawless from the top to the ends. Both the caramel highlights and the beautiful wavy styling are to die for!
Ava DuVernay's Caramel Highlights on Dreadlocks
Just as caramel looks stylish on afros and cornrows, it can also give dreadlocks that extra cool factor. Here, Ava DuVernay is sporting her signature locs with subtle caramel highlights.
Beyonce's Caramel Hair with Face-Framing Blonde Highlights
Rounding up our list is Queen Bey sporting caramel-hued tresses with blonde highlights. We love any hairstyle she wears but this one looks really gorgeous against her skin tone, and we like how the face-framing highlights illuminate and accentuate her pretty face.