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Blonds have more fun, redheads are fiery and bold, raven-haired beauties are exotic, but where does that leave brunettes? Many women think all brown shades are the same, but variety exists even in a monotone color palette. Chestnut brown and mahogany brown may share the same brunette base, but they are two distinct, vibrant colors.
Brunette hair encompasses hair colors from pale sandy brown to deep shades of off-black. The depth of your brown tresses is determined by the amount of nearly black eumelanin pigments in each strand; the more eumelanin in your locks, the darker your hair. Brunette hair is often considered to be plain or mousy because it lacks the flash of blond and black hair, but the variety and depth of both chestnut and mahogany browns have a beauty all their own.
Chestnut and mahogany hair share the same medium brown base tones, but have differing amounts of dark pigmentation. Chestnut hair is slightly lighter in pigment and reflects more light than mahogany locks, with a shade similar to a shiny acorn. Mahogany tresses are darker, absorbing a little more light and glowing with a rich, vibrant hue similar to a bottle of deep red wine.
Highlights and Lowlights
The differences between chestnut and mahogany hair is apparent by the highlights and lowlights of each hue. Chestnut tresses are infused with a plethora of blond and sandy brown highlights and dark, chocolate brown lowlights. Mahogany hair channels an internal fire, displaying fiery hints of red and auburn. Bits of dark plum and raven black are also present in many mahogany colors, imparting a bit of a dark side to this vivacious hue.
Proper care for both chestnut and mahogany manes is paramount for lasting color. Look for shampoos that are formulated for your individual shade, and wash as infrequently as possible. It might sound gross, but skipping daily shampooing keeps your color fresh and fabulous. Condition weekly with a super-rich deep conditioner or hot oil, and limit hot styling to prevent breaks and split ends. Cover your hair with a hat or scarf if you spend a lot of time outside, because the sun will lighten and distort your color.