Optical techniques have gained substantial interest over the past four decades for biomedical imaging due to their unique advantages, which may suggest their use as alternatives to conventional methodologies. Several optical techniques have been successfully adapted to clinical practice and biomedical research to monitor tissue structure and function in both humans and animal models. This paper reviews the analysis of the optical properties of brain tissue in the wavelength range between 500 and 1000 nm by three different diffuse optical reflectance methods: spatially modulated illumination, orthogonal diffuse light spectroscopy, and dual-wavelength laser speckle imaging, to monitor changes in brain tissue morphology, chromophore content, and metabolism following head injury. After induction of closed head injury upon anesthetized mice by weight-drop method, significant changes in hemoglobin oxygen saturation, blood flow, and metabolism were readily detectible by all three optical setups, up to 1 h post-trauma. Furthermore, the experimental results clearly demonstrate the feasibility and reliability of the three methodologies, and the differences between the system performances and capabilities are also discussed. The long-term goal of this line of study is to combine these optical systems to study brain pathophysiology in high spatiotemporal resolution using additional models of brain trauma. Such combined use of complementary algorithms should fill the gaps in each system’s capabilities, toward the development of a noninvasive, quantitative tool to expand our knowledge of the principles underlying brain function following trauma, and to monitor the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in the clinic.