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Brunette or Brown hair color is the second most common natural hair color in the world. However, because brown hair comes in a wide variety of tones, from golden tones, to ash tones, to purple tones, to bronze tones, and so on, drugstore brands often carry more brown colors than any other colors. It is characterized by higher levels of the dark pigment eumelanin and lower levels of the pale pigment pheomelanin and range from levels 3.5 (darkest brown) to 6.5 (lightest brown). People with brown hair are usually categorized as brunettes and are common in most parts of the world.
Light Brown and Lightest Brown
Light brown is a great way for natural blondes to go darker without making a drastic change, and it is also a great way for dark brunettes to lighten without going blonde. Light golden brown colors almost always end up with accidental red tones, but neutral light brown is very flattering, almost universally.
Medium brown is essentially universally flattering, however this does depend on the undertones of the hair. Color brands will carry medium brown with some variations in undertones. Any medium golden brown or medium neutral brown shade will flatter all complexions, as long as one takes measures to ensure that eyebrows are kept close in color to that of the hair.
Red based browns are generally not as kind to those with olive or deep skin-tones, and those that are pale in complexion, if seeking red tones, should stick with browns based in orange pigment for ultimate suitability.
Darkest Brown and Dark Brown
Darkest Brown is a brown shade that is closest to black or black browns but still identifiable as brown. Not all hair dye brands carry a darkest brown shade, as many of them simply go from dark brown to black. Darkest brown shades are often neutral- most brands have yet to make a darkest brown with any specific undertones.
Darkest brown will suit people who naturally have very dark hair. Often, natural blondes with blue eyes make the mistake in thinking that dark or darkest brown hair color will enhance their eye color and be flattering- instead, it will wash them out, unless their eyebrows are also extremely dark. These colors are fabulous on people with olive toned skin.
Tones of Browns
Brown hair dyes come in a variety of dessert/food themed but not exclusive to colours: honey, caramel, toffee, chestnut, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon or woods such as maple and mahogany.
Brown with ash tones is a pretty good way to cover gray, because it often looks really natural. However, it might make a person with warm toned skin look sickly. It is ideal for people with cool toned skin or olive toned skin.
Brown with blue tones is rare to find (at least by this name), but you may find that dark ash browns actually have a blue base, which means they are really flattering for people with dark, cool toned skin.
Brown with bronze tones is a great mid-level between red tones and golden tones. However, some people complain that bronze brown looks "orange" or brassy. These tones are flattering though, but mostly on people with very warm toned skin.
Brown hair color with golden tones is usually a very flattering color, especially for people with warm toned skin, whether fair or dark. However, drugstore versions of golden brown color tend to develop red tones or bronze tones over time due to oxidation.
Neutral tone brown is universally flattering, with different depths for different skin tones. Dark neutral brown is probably the most flattering shade for people with olive toned skin. A lighter neutral brown flatters most fair complexions.
This is deep, intense, vibrant or subtle purple, violet or red-violet toned brunette shade. It tends to be universal complimenting for all skin tones, as long as you can carry a dark shade because this shade usually is medium, dark to almost black range.
You won't find that many purple-toned browns in the drugstore but they do exist, usually under the guise of the word "burgundy brown". Usually, the purple tones mix with red tones. These shades look great on people with dark, cool toned skin.
Brown with red tones is a very popular color, and seen often on the drugstore shelves. The good thing about reddish browns is that you don't need to worry about oxidation. Instead, you need to worry about fading, since red tones do fade fast. Treat reddish brown hair like you would treat red hair if you want the red tones to be apparent and get a good red color-depositing conditioner.
Reddish brown color should be avoided if you have olive toned skin or cool toned skin that is darker than a natural redhead's skintone. A purposefully clashing reddish brown is another thing, but only if you are going for a more eccentric look.