Help your brunette teen find a new hair color that suits her.

Cute Hair Color Ideas for Teens With Brown Hair

by Erica Loop

While your brunette teen may think that blondes have more fun, she doesn't necessarily have to fry her hair and go platinum to fit in. If your teen is asking to try a new hair hue, get creative and help her decide on a cute color that complements her already brown locks. Whether she chooses -- with your help -- a permanent dye, temporary wash-out color or deeply shaded clip-on extensions, your teen can make a change in her appearance that fits her personality to a tee.

Permanent Shades of Brown

According to the hair care experts at, permanent hair color is typically an ammonia-based dye that can change or lighten the color of hair. Instead of totally transitioning from brown to another color such as bleach-blonde or ruby red, suggest to your teen that she tries a brunette variation. If your teen insists on a permanent hair color, and you agree with her decision, a slight or gradual change may look more age appropriate -- and prove less drama-ridden if the color should go bad -- than a drastic dye job. The beauty pros at "Allure" magazine recommend a sandy brown that is a few shades lighter than the original color to soften a teen's face, a caramel color for teens with darker complexions or a honey-brown hue to warm up a pale skin color.

Temporary Colors

Temporary hair colors, according to, are semi-permanent and typically only last for one to two washes. A temporary color provides an easy way for your teen to try on a cute new shade without having to get too attached to it. If your teen isn't sure exactly what color she wants to use, has a special occasion to go to or isn't ready for a long-term hair color commitment, go with a temporary dye. It's unlikely that your teen will get a full head of blonde locks with a temporary color, but she can try a highlight-type hue that is a few shades lighter than her natural color or she can go for a rich, darker mahogany or red-toned look.

Unnatural Colors

It's quite unlikely that your boss would gleefully accept you walking in on Monday morning with a head full of blue locks. On the other hand, the teen years are ideal for trying out funky, quirky and completely unnatural colors. Trying an unnatural color with a permanent dye may cause stress and drama-filled days when your teen realizes that she looks more like Strawberry Shortcake than a cute pink pixie. That said, a semi-permanent or temporary hue can jazz up her look or give her a new style for a special event such as a school dance, concert or night out with friends. Try pink, blue or purple for a pop. Or, perhaps try a rainbow-esque color combination of fire-tinged red and yellow or an aqua-blue and green to cover up a somewhat bland brown for a boost of brightness.

Clip-In Color

Brunette teens who want to add in a punch of color, but don't want to damage their hair or commit to a new shade, can try out a new look with clip-in extensions. This option is a cute way to dress up a blah hair color or create a style that coordinates with your teen's prom dress or night-out outfit. Add clip-in highlights underneath or on the sides to create a pop of color. For example, your dark-haired teen can clip in a bold green extension to match her emerald-green dance dress. Another option is to have your teen try natural light brown or blonde clip-in extensions to create a soft frame around her youthful face.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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