Meghan Markle Debuts Chocolate Chestnut Brunette Hair Color

The Royal Family (and former members of the Royal Family) might not be totally synonymous with setting trends, but if Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s latest strands have anything to say about it, we might just have a must-try hair-color to round out the last weeks of winter.

“The mixture of red and golden undertones makes a dynamic shade of brunette,” shared the Duchess’s go-to colorist Kadi Lee of Venice’s Highbrow Hippie on Instagram (Meghan debuted the new look at the recent Invictus Games). “It not only gives skin the healthiest glow, especially during the colder months of winter, it also provides the hair with a next level high power shine.”

Why Chocolate Chestnut Brunette Is Trending

“I’ve been doing so many rich brunettes lately,” celeb colorist Chad Kenyon. “Warmer, richer hair color looks are trending again, partly because clients gravitate toward deeper hair color as the cold weather looms.”

While that might sound kind of seasonal-obvious, Kenyon adds that, “the current embracement of warmer-toned tints all started with cooler—aka, ashier—blondes trying out neutral and now, dare we say, golden, butter-cream blondes!”

He also points out that this is one color trend that has morphed from Cowgirl Copper—which he considers “still very much happening!”

“Now, we’ve landed on chocolate-chestnut brunette to round out the darker levels of hair color trends,” he adds. “I’ve always loved creating rich and radiant warm brunettes. I’m more inclined to formulate these looks to give creamier results by adding in a subtle amount of coolness with glimmering gold, so the warmth is more deep, golden-chestnut brunette, as opposed to copper– or violet-tinted brunettes.”

Wendy Gutkin, lead research hair stylist for Schwarzkopf Keratin Color, adds that this is one shade that looks great on just about everyone— thanks to its combination of depth and warmth that provides a rich sophistication without washing skin tone. 

“If you are coming from a dark color, make sure you stay within two shades of your starting color when you lighten the hair,” she advises. “Any color that pulls lighter can start making the hair look orange. If you are coming from a lighter color, make sure you are no lighter than a medium blonde for best results.”

How to Maintain Chocolate Chestnut Brunette

Gutkin also says it’s important to provide your hair the best possible care when turning chestnut. “Keratin Color 6.33 Light Gold Brown ($14) is a nourishing salon-quality product that does this while providing long-lasting and 100-percent color coverage from root to tip. The regimen starts with a pre-color serum that works to keep the hair strong and healthy looking and ends with a nourishing conditioner that includes K Bond Plex, which provides up to 80-percent less hair breakage, as compared to untreated hair.”

The bottom line, Gutkin says: “When used with a good color-formulated shampoo and conditioner in your daily routine, anyone can pull off this gorgeous and shiny color.”

Celebrity hair stylist and House of Frieda expert Dave Stanwell is also behind the shade, and especially likes it for its versatility.

“I really love chocolate chestnut brown and there are quite a few levels of depth and lightness that make this color quite versatile for most clients. I like that it can be a deep, rich color for any brunette that just wants to add gloss or reflect to their natural hair. I also use this tone of color to lift a darker-head client up a few shades and it can throw all these lovely warm tones. I find this is the one color that lasts and gives the hair that glossy, voluminous look.”

The best way to achieve it, Stanwell says, is to find what depth or lightness you are looking for, and which tones work best with your skin tone. “Sometimes, adding highlights under can give this color the variation and texture, so it also doesn’t look too flat or just can give the hair cut some pop.”

To maintain in-between appointments, he also recommends at-home products like John Frieda’s Brunette Luminous Color Glaze ($13). “It’s a great product to brighten or add a little depth,” he says. “Multi-use products that have heat protectant are important, like John Frieda’s Daily Nourishment Leave In Conditioner ($9) and Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum ($9).”

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