If you have naturally dark hair and are feeling an itch to try something brighter, you may think that blonde is the only option. While a buttery balayage can give that sun-kissed effect in the summer, come mid-September, it's a warmer, more subtle melted-caramel color that everyone's asking for.
According to colorist Chad Kenyon, a caramel tone — think pale brown with flecks of gold or cinnamon — is the prettiest middle ground between blonde balayage and chocolate brown. "Caramel tones look amazing on girls with darker hair that want to go lighter without going blonde," explains Kenyon. "The end result is so fun for fall because it's multi-dimensional, and often reads as glossier than a bleach blonde."
Ahead, find your visual guide to melted-caramel highlights, plus up pro tips on how to ask for it at your next appointment.