Caramel Hair Dye Reviews: Get That Sun-Kissed Glow

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Ahhh, sweet, sweet caramel hair. That heady blend of brown and blonde that’s all sun-kissed, beachy, alluring and lustrous.

The toasted blonde, light brown look has got our heads in a spin. From catwalk to sidewalk, it’s everywhere we look right now. But which is the best caramel hair dye you need to get the look at home?

Here’s everything you need to know about how to get your own captivating golden tresses.

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TOP PICK!

L’Oreal Excellence, Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Excellence Creme Hair Colour 7.31 Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Best for: Long-lasting caramel color.

We loved that this dye comes with a ph-friendly shampoo in the box and a comb applicator to apply the dye with ease.

It does make a difference. There’s also a pre-dye serum and a lightweight nourishing mask which left our hair feeling so smooth and soft.

Color-wise, it’s really on the golden side and a lovely rich toffee tone that gave our mid-blonde hair real depth.

It lasted well too with minimal fade. Go for this for long-lasting results.

Pros

  • Comes with a pH-friendly shampoo in the box
  • Comb applicator for easy application
  • Pre-dye serum and lightweight nourishing mask included
  • Golden tones and rich toffee tone gives hair real depth
  • Minimal fade with long lasting results

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other dyes

What color is caramel hair?

This golden color is a creamy mix of light brown and blonde. It’s multi-dimensional tones make your skin shine and your eyes pop.

It’s a warm color because of its golden notes, so will suit those with warm undertones.

Its many shades also work amazingly as a base for other on-trend styles such as ombre, balayage and highlights.

And it blends fabulously well with dark roots for a grown out root style.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

best caramel hair dye pinterest board

Can I dye my hair caramel at home?

You certainly can!

This is a great color to DIY at home. The color results you’ll achieve all depends on what color you hair is now.

If your hair is light brown to dark – try blending lighter shades with your darker hair to add depth and texture. Ombre and balayage looks will be perfect for you.

If you want to go all over caramel, you may need your hair pre-lightened first to achieve the gorgeous golden effect.

If your hair is light blonde and lighter – you can dye your hair all-over or you can add subtle rich lowlights or babylights.

Experiment with darker tones and lighter hues for multi-dimensional fabulousness.

Which is the best caramel hair dye?

If you’re ready to sweeten up your hair at home, here are the best caramel hair dyes you can buy today


#1 Schwarzkopf Color Expert Omegaplex Hair Dye, Medium Caramel Blonde

Schwarzkopf Keratin Color Permanent Hair Color Cream, 7.5 Caramel Blonde

Features & ingredients:

  • Natural-looking rich and long lasting hair color performance.
  • Intensely nourishes and protects for up to 8 weeks.
  • The after color conditioner is enriched with 4 oils.
  • For silky, shiny and stronger hair with less breakage.
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Reviewers say:

“I love this hair dye, so easy and nice to use. It’s gentle on my skin and my hair, and doesn’t stain my forehead when it drips on my skin.”

“This is a great color with easy application. It has a bit of a smell when being applied but doesn’t last long. It also turns your hair a bit darker than it is. So I wouldn’t leave it on as long next time.”

“My hair is just below shoulder length and there was more than enough dye to cover it all evenly.  I left on for the maximum time it said to cover my greys and it did the job. All over even color and no greys. The color came out as stated in the box which is fab! It’s perfect.”

Our experience:

This is a super lush color with gorgeous multi-dimensional tones.

We tried it on mid-brown hair to give it some richness and the color came out darker, but a lovely cool iced light brown. Go for this for cool, dark tones.

Pros

  • Easy and gentle application
  • Effective coverage for greys
  • Long-lasting, even color
  • True-to-box shade
  • Multi-dimensional tones

Cons

  • Slight odor during application
  • Hair may darken more
  • Risk of staining skin

Best for: Cool, dark caramel hair color.

#2 L’Oreal Excellence, Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Excellence Creme Hair Colour 7.31 Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Features & ingredients:

  • A permanent hair dye that gives you a luscious color in under 30 minutes.
  • Enriches your hair and visibly improves its look and feel.
  • Contains Pro-Keratin and Ceramide to leave your hair looking smoother and feeling stronger.
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Reviewers say:

“The hair dye itself as a color is lovely, it doesn’t look too flat or monotone like other dyes I’ve used in the past. It’s really reflective in the light and makes my hair look really healthy from root to ends.”

“I used this to cover up some old blonde highlights and found they covered really well. They didn’t end up being too warm and they haven’t faded either within the weeks after dyeing. I would definitely recommend it.”

“I hadn’t colored my hair in a while, so this was a good test for covering more grey than usual. The result is better hair quality than before. It’s soft and shiny. The color is holding up well and gets better with further washes. Its quite a modern hue.”

Our experience:

We loved that this dye comes with a ph-friendly shampoo in the box and a comb applicator to apply the dye with ease. It does make a difference.

There’s also a pre-dye serum and a lightweight nourishing mask which left our hair feeling so smooth and soft.

Color-wise, it’s really on the golden side and a lovely rich toffee tone that gave our mid-blonde hair real depth. It lasted well too with minimal fade. Go for this for long-lasting results.

Pros

  • Lovely, reflective color
  • Effective coverage for highlights
  • Long-lasting without fading
  • Improves hair quality
  • Includes helpful accessories (shampoo, comb applicator, serum, mask)

Cons

  • Color leans towards golden tones

Best for: Long-lasting caramel color.

#3 Clairol Nice’n Easy Semi-Permanent Hair Dye, Light Caramel Brown

Clairol Nice'n Easy Liquid Permanent Hair Dye, 6 Light Brown Hair Color, Pack of 3

Features & ingredients:

  • Drip-free creme.
  • Simply shampoo-in, leave for 45 minutes for rich conditioning and color and shiny hair.
  • The built-in conditioners travel with the color deep inside the hair.
  • Leaves hair soft and silky with radiant shine.
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Reviewers say:

“I’ve been using this color for a few months and I love it! My hair feels so healthy and is so shiny!”

“I used this color for the first time and it came out exactly the shade on the box – lovely dark caramel hair.”

“I felt like a change from my normal light brown hair so tried this one. It’s a lovely color. My roots are brown and the rest of my hair has got a nice golden hint to it.”

Our experience:

Cover your surfaces for this one as it went everywhere! We used this shade on light brown hair to add some golden tones and the result was a lustrous, warm chocolatey color.

It’s more medium brown than it is light brown and has shimmering tones that catch the light. Go for this for a warm brown look.

Pros

  • Leaves hair feeling healthy and shiny
  • Achieves color as depicted on the box
  • Adds golden tones for a warm, lustrous look
  • Suitable for a change from light brown hair
  • Results in a medium brown with shimmering tones

Cons

  • May be messy during application

Best for: Caramel-chocolate brown color.

#4 Garnier Nutrisse Brown Hair Dye Permanent, Brown Sugar

Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse Nourishing Creme, 63 Light Golden Brown (Brown Sugar) Permanent Hair Dye, 2 Count (Packaging May Vary)

Features & ingredients:

  • Permanent nourishing hair colorant.
  • 100% grey hair coverage.
  • With Nutrisse nourished hair means better color.
  • The after color hair conditioner is enriched with avocado oil, olive oil and blackcurrant oil, as well as Shea Butter and nourishes hair even after coloring.
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Reviewers say:

“The color was exactly as on the box (that never happens!!) for once it didn’t come out darker than shown! Also my hair was super soft and shiny…even before applying the conditioner my hair felt soother.”

“I quite messy, but this didn’t drip once and was so easy to apply. The color is a smidge darker than I hoped for, but I think it’s because of my previous color.”

“My hair was rather damaged before use, but it feels really good right now.”

Our experience:

We used this on light brown hair to add a golden sheen.

It’s all over coverage is fabulous and the result was a light brown color with tons of shine. It fades a touch quicker than some of the others on the list but it soothed and restored our damaged hair a treat.

Pros

  • Color matches the depiction on the box accurately
  • Leaves hair feeling super soft and shiny
  • Non-drip formula makes application easy
  • Provides coverage without dripping
  • Restores damaged hair, leaving it feeling good

Cons

  • May result in a slightly darker color than expected due to previous color
  • May fade quicker compared to other dyes

Best for: Soft and shiny caramel hair.

#5 L’Oreal Paris Excellence Age Perfect Dark Soft Golden Blonde

L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Permanent Hair Color, 7G Dark Natural Golden Blonde, 1 kit

Features & ingredients:

  • Flattering, luminous color, full of highlights
  • Up to 100% grey coverage, less visible re-growth
  • Replenished hair, full of body & shine
  • Root re-growth is less visible and elegantly blended.
  • Enriched with Pro-Collagen and Pro-Ceramide.
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Reviewers say

“The color is really, really beautiful. It’s produced more than one shade of blonde but in a soft natural way and looks only marginally different to my salon’s efforts.!”

“The product was easy to use with little mess and the final result was a color I could be proud of. My hair felt in good condition and looked shiny/healthy. My scalp was unaffected and my greys had disappeared.”

“The finished result was fab – multi tonal color thanks to the layered tone technology, and the color blended exceptionally. My hair felt super soft and very manageable to style.”

Our experience:

Age perfect is all about the grey coverage so we used this on blonde hair with lots of grey to cover.

It was easy to apply and we left it a good 10 minutes more than advised to make sure the stubborn greys around our temples were fully covered.

And they were! The result is a soft color blonde that has kept the natural lights in our hair. Go for this if you need subtle coverage.

Pros

  • Beautiful, multi-tonal color
  • Soft, natural-looking blonde shades
  • Easy to use with minimal mess
  • Leaves hair feeling soft, shiny, and healthy
  • Effective grey coverage without irritation to the scalp
  • Multi-tonal color thanks to layered tone technology
  • Hair feels super soft and manageable after use

Cons

  • May require longer processing time for stubborn grey coverage
  • Color outcome may vary depending on individual hair type and starting color
  • Subtle coverage may not be sufficient for those seeking more dramatic results

Best for: Soft caramel coverage.

#6 Garnier Olia Golden Dark Blonde Hair Dye Permanent.

Garnier Hair Color Olia Ammonia-Free Brilliant Color Oil-Rich Permanent Hair Dye, 7.0 Dark Blonde, 2 Count (Packaging May Vary)

Features & ingredients:

  • Olia’s permanent hair dye formula with oil maximises the color result.
  • No ammonia for a pleasant scent. 
  • Powered by 60% oils which visibly improves your hair.
  • Maximum color performance for lavish, vivid and long-lasting color.
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Reviewers say:

“Loved this hair dye, covered all my grey hair and left it feeling soft and nourished. While developing it didn’t smell strong or burn my eyes like some.”

“This was easy to use, didn’t drip or go everywhere. The result was a lovely color that looked really natural and left my hair soft and healthy feeling. Very happy!”

“This color is absolutely amazing and matched my current color very well. Color was very easy to mix and apply.”

Our experience:

This is a gorgeous shade that we tried on pre-lightened hair.

It’s dark blonde so not quite brown and has warm red undertones so be careful if your hair draws red. We love Olia hair dye for always making our hair feel so soft.

Go for this one for a great all over natural multidimensional tones.

Pros

  • Excellent grey coverage
  • Leaves hair feeling soft and nourished
  • Minimal odor during application
  • Easy to use, doesn’t drip or create a mess
  • Results in a natural-looking color
  • Hair feels soft and healthy after coloring
  • Color matches well with existing hair color
  • Easy to mix and apply

Cons

  • May produce warm red undertones, which could be undesirable for some
  • Results may vary depending on individual hair type and starting color
  • Dark blonde shade may not provide sufficient coverage for those seeking a darker color

Best for: Natural caramel color.


TOP PICK!

L’Oreal Excellence, Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Excellence Creme Hair Colour 7.31 Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Best for: Long-lasting caramel color.

We loved that this dye comes with a ph-friendly shampoo in the box and a comb applicator to apply the dye with ease. It does make a difference.

There’s also a pre-dye serum and a lightweight nourishing mask which left our hair feeling so smooth and soft.

Color-wise, it’s really on the golden side and a lovely rich toffee tone color that gave our mid-blonde hair real depth.

It lasted well too with minimal fade. Go for this for long-lasting results.

Best caramel hair dyes at a glance.

Hair dyeLooks likeBest forBuy it now
Schwarzkopf Colour Expert Omegaplex Hair Dye, Medium Caramel Blonde

Schwarzkopf Keratin Color Permanent Hair Color Cream, 7.5 Caramel Blonde

Cool, dark caramel hair colour.
L’Oreal Excellence, Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Excellence Creme Hair Colour 7.31 Natural Dark Caramel Blonde

Long-lasting caramel hair colour.
Clairol Nice’n Easy Semi-Permanent Hair Dye, Light Caramel Brown

Clairol Nice'n Easy Liquid Permanent Hair Dye, 6 Light Brown Hair Color, Pack of 3

Caramel-chocolate brown.
Garnier Nutrisse Brown Hair Dye Permanent, Brown Sugar

Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse Nourishing Creme, 63 Light Golden Brown (Brown Sugar) Permanent Hair Dye, 2 Count (Packaging May Vary)

Soft and shiny caramel hair.
L’Oreal Paris Excellence Age Perfect Dark Soft Golden Blonde

L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Permanent Hair Color, 7G Dark Natural Golden Blonde, 1 kit

Soft caramel coverage.
Garnier Olia Golden Dark Blonde Hair Dye Permanent.

Garnier Hair Color Olia Ammonia-Free Brilliant Color Oil-Rich Permanent Hair Dye, 7.0 Dark Blonde, 2 Count (Packaging May Vary)

Natural caramel colour.

Buyer’s guide: How to choose the right hair dye for you.

Whether you’re trying out something daring or just looking for a subtle change, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which hair color is right for you.

We’ve got your back (or hair!). Read on to learn how to choose the perfect hair dye that will give you the look of your dreams.

Consider your hair type & texture

Let’s start with the basics. Different dyes work better on different types of hair.

Porous hair, for example, tends to absorb more dye than non-porous hair.

Thick and coarse hair will take longer to process the dye than thin hair.

Knowing your own type of hair and texture will help you choose the right dye and make sure it sticks around longer.

Check your skin tone

Hair color that complements your skin tone is key to finding the perfect shade for you.

It might seem counterintuitive at first but knowing which colors look good on warm or cool skin tones is essential when selecting a dye.

For warm tones, try warmer caramel shades or golden blonde colors; if you have cool undertones, opt for deeper colors like caramel brown or chocolate mocha.

You can also consult a professional stylist who can advise which colors suit your skin tone best!

Permanent vs Semi-Permanent Permanent dye

The next step in choosing the right dye is choosing between permanent and semi-permanent options.

If you want something more long-term then permanent color is probably what you need.

If a temporary change is what you’re after, or you’re not sure if caramel hair will suit you, then semi-permanent may be better for you.

Permanent color often lasts longer and also gives more intense vibrancy compared to its semi-permanent counterpart so keep this in mind when making your decision.

Base color & strand test

Finally, when choosing any type of hair dye – whether it be permanent or semi-permanent – try and keep within two shades lighter or darker than your base color.

This will make sure it looks natural and suits you and helps with root regrowth too. Don’t forget to match your hair color level to the chart on the side of the box dye and ALWAYS do a strand test before you start!

How to dye your hair at home.

Caramel hair dye FAQs

What number is caramel brown hair color?

Caramel brown is a super trendy option right now because it’s versatile and looks great on a variety of skin tones.

As for the number, it can vary depending on the brand and line of hair dye!

Some common numbers to look out for are 5, 6 and 7 in the hair color chart.

These numbers represent the level of darkness, with 1 being black and 10 being the lightest blonde.

Is caramel brown hair a warm color?

If you’re looking to switch up your hair color with something that will compliment your skin tone, caramel brown may just be the way to go.

This warm and rich hue is perfect for those who want a slightly lighter brown shade that is still natural-looking.

And yes, when it comes to color theory, caramel brown is definitely considered a warm color!

It has undertones of red and orange, which are typically associated with warmth and coziness.

That’s not to say cool skin tones can’t wear it too – caramel highlights, balayage and ombre looks all pair well with ashier colors like ash brown, ash blonde or neutral light brown.

So whether you’re going for a beachy, bronzed look or a more sophisticated, year-round style, caramel brown is a versatile and trendy choice.

What skin tones suit caramel hair dye best?

Caramel hair dye is incredibly versatile and suits a wide range of skin tones. It tends to complement warm skin tones beautifully, adding a radiant glow, but can also add warmth and depth to cooler skin tones.

If you’re unsure, consider consulting with a professional colorist to find the perfect shade of caramel for your skin tone.

How long does caramel hair dye last?

The longevity of caramel hair dye depends on the product type (semi-permanent, demi-permanent, or permanent), how often you wash your hair, and the condition of your hair.

Generally, semi-permanent dyes last about 4-6 washes, demi-permanent around 20-28 washes, and permanent dyes will last until your hair grows out or you dye it again.

Can caramel hair dye be applied on dark hair?

Yes, caramel dye can be applied on dark hair, but the process might require lightening your hair first to achieve the desired caramel shade.

This is especially true for darker hair types where the caramel color needs to show vividly. For the best results, you might want to visit a professional salon.

Is caramel hair dye damaging to my hair?

Like all hair coloring processes, applying caramel hair dye can be damaging, especially if lightening is involved.

However, using quality products and following up with proper hair care, including deep conditioning treatments and minimizing heat styling, can help mitigate damage and keep your hair healthy.

Can I achieve caramel hair dye look at home?

Yes, achieving a caramel hair color at home is possible, especially with the wide range of at-home dye kits available.

It’s crucial to follow the instructions carefully and consider doing a strand test first to ensure the color meets your expectations. If you’re aiming for a significant color change, consulting a professional might be a better option.

How can I maintain my caramel hair color?

Maintain your caramel hair color by using color-safe shampoos and conditioners, limiting exposure to the sun and chlorinated water, and using heat protectant sprays when styling.

Additionally, consider using a color-refreshing gloss or toner between dye jobs to keep your color vibrant.

Will caramel hair dye work on previously colored or treated hair?

Caramel dye can be applied to previously colored or treated hair, but the results can vary based on your hair’s history and condition.

It’s recommended to consult with a professional colorist who can assess your hair and recommend the best approach to achieve your desired shade of caramel.

Parting words.

So, which is the best caramel hair dye to get that sun-kissed look?

It really depends on your natural colour and how light you want it to be.

If you have dark brown or black hair, go for a warmer shade like rose gold, chestnut or amber.

But if you have light brown or blonde hair, you can go for a cooler shade like ash blond or pearl.

No matter what colour your hair is, always do a strand test first to make sure the dye doesn’t leave your locks looking brassy or orange.

With these tips in mind, achieving beautiful caramel hair is easy! What are you waiting for?

Found your perfect shade? We’d love to see it! Tag us on Instagram @coloredhaircare or Facebook and share your hair dye success stories. Looking for more hair care tips? Check out How to Look After Colored Hair: 11 Expert Secrets For Long-Lasting Color.

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Our Research & Review Process

To ensure our recommendations are as comprehensive and reliable as possible, we’ve undertaken an extensive research effort.

We cite scientific evidence and journals, collect real user reviews and gather impartial perspectives from hair stylists, users, and experts in the field.

Additionally, we conduct hands-on testing by using products and applying hair dyes not only on our own locks but also on real human hair extensions and hair pieces of different hair type, textures and lengths.

This rigorous approach allows us to provide you with insights into which products genuinely live up to their promises.

As always – please consult with a professional hair colorist or stylist for advice on how to color your own hair at home. It’s different for everyone!

Author

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!