These Dark-Hair Inspo Pics Scream Fall, and I've Been Saving Them All Summer

Last fall, I set out to match my hair color to Megan Fox's. I walked away with the dark, espresso-toned hair of my dreams. At the time, I thought it would just be a temporary change, but after realizing how dark hair complements my features better than light hair, I've been consistently maintaining a darker vibe.

For some reason, I always had a mental block against dyeing my hair darker—if I was going to pay for a different hair color, I always figured it should be lighter than my natural shade! If you've been considering going dark, too, I've compiled some of my favorite dark hair ideas from Instagram—these dark hair ideas are great for both adding dimension to already dark hair or going darker. 

Subtle auburn streaks


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

If you want a super understated way to add a pop of brightness to dark hair, weave in a few face-framing light pieces. This will instantly add more dimension to your hair. 

Cherry ends


(Image credit: @cassiskovic)

If you want to concentrate your color toward the end of your hair, opt for balayage focused from the mid-shaft to the ends. A warm cherry shade looks great on a dark brunette base. 

High-contrast money pieces


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

One of the best ways to add more dimension to a dark base is to opt for thin, high-contrast money pieces around your face. This gives the illusion of being kissed by the sun. 

Neutral black


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

Next time you're in the salon, add a glaze to keep black hair shiny and light-reflecting. 

Caramel ribbons


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

Carefully placed caramel-toned ribbons do wonders for brightening up your face. Keep the tones warm and the highlights subtle for the most impact.

Subtle espresso ombre


(Image credit: @nikkilee901)

Ombres might not have the same pull they used to, but a super subtle take like this one is a great way to add dimension to hair. Try to only fade hair by one or two shades. 

Deep brown


(Image credit: @cassiskovic )

Opting for a dark brown is a great option for simple hair with minimal upkeep. Add fine highlights in for a bit of movement. 

Milk chocolate


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

A lighter shade of brown helps bring more light to your face. 



(Image credit: @cassiskovic)

An easy way to shake things up if your hair is naturally dark is by adding a semi-permanent gloss. Red tones look good on everyone. 

Blue-leaning raven


(Image credit: @cassiskovic)

A blue-ish hue looks great on anyone with cool undertones. It will complement your features without appearing too harsh. 

Chocolate balayage


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

Keep your base color deep and add in some thin, hand-painted milk chocolate tones. These will make hair appear naturally sun-kissed.

Negative space highlights


(Image credit: @cassiskovic)

Negative space highlights are all about playing up your natural hair color with very subtle strands of lighter color. Instead of using highlights as a way to add lightness to hair, you're using them here to give a darker shade more dimension.

Vanilla cold brew


(Image credit: @cassiskovic)

A few expertly placed blonde highlights can transform dark hair. These ribbons can look natural while still being a fun change. 

Copper balayage


(Image credit: @cassiskovic)

Copper balayage will add tons of of dimension to dark hair. It's also a great way to warm up your features. 

Cinnamon streaks


(Image credit: @leletny)

Add a few red-toned streaks to dark hair to warm up your face and add body. 

Our favorite dark hair products:

Next: Yes, Blonde Balayage Is Still In—25 Fresh Takes to Show Your Colorist

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.