A Breakdown of Meghan Markle’s New Brunette Hue—Straight From Her Hair Colorist

“Chocolate chestnut” is about to be everywhere.

<p>Getty Images</p>

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Both radiant and timeless, Meghan Markle’s beauty look is defined by her warm glow and sumptuous brunette lengths. And though the base tone of said lengths is natural, her ever-evolving, aspirational brunette comes down to a collaboration with colorist Kadi Lee of Highbrow Hippie Salon—and an immaculate taste level, of course. “She has a strong point of view, and it comes back to pretty hair,” says Lee of Markle.

Said POV manifested most recently as “chocolate chestnut brunette,” a subtle switch-up that effortlessly caught the world’s attention. “She’s just kind of become this iconic head of hair,” says Lee. “Because we know what works for her, and for the most part, we stick with it; it’s nice to allow ourselves the freedom to experiment a little and to adjust.”

Here’s everything you need to know about Markle’s signature hair color spectrum.

What is Meghan Markle’s signature hair color?

“I always describe Meghan as the true definition of a classic, rich brunette,” says Lee. “Like, before it was trendy, that is her lane.” And though consistently creating Markle’s deep shade may seem simple, it’s anything but. “It’s way harder than it looks,” says Lee. “Brunettes, in general, require a matching formulation, a knowledge of all hair types and textures and porosity, and the ability to practice some restraint. Meghan has a lot of hair, and it’s not only long, but it’s very dense. As a result, her hair always needs a variation in color and tone to create movement, and so it doesn’t appear flat.”

<p>Getty Images</p> Markle debuting her new "chocolate chestnut brunette" hair color in Canada last week.

Getty Images

Markle debuting her new "chocolate chestnut brunette" hair color in Canada last week.

What color treatments does Meghan Markle have done to her hair?

“No two appointments are ever the same with her,” says Lee. We always address a level of fading, and we always utilize lowlighting and deep shiny glosses to ensure longevity for her color.” According to Lee, Markle’s midwinter shade features heavy lowlights throughout, followed by two layers of glossing for “tone-on-tone reflection and really, really intense shine.”

In addition to lowlights and semi-permanent glosses, Lee and Markle have tried all-over color, gentle demi-permanent color, balayage highlights, and more, all in for the pursuit of the ultimate dimensional brunette. “We have a couple of general hard rules, the first being that I use extremely gentle, non-toxic hair color, and I never use color with any ammonia,” says Lee. And second? “The kind of hair color we do changes with the season, so I consider that along with whatever lifestyle changes are happening.” (Think: gentler approaches for delicate postpartum lengths and more.)

What makes Meghan Markle’s hair color so flattering?

The success of Markle’s hair color (in all of its variations) comes down to a quality of aesthetic warmth. “As far as this new hue goes, it’s a much warmer version of her classic espresso brunette: the addition of chestnut and chocolate tones makes things more dynamic, with flecks of red and gold throughout the lengths, especially when it’s in direct sunlight,” explains Lee. “Her skin tone also has this really beautiful healthy warmth to it, so colors with warm undertones just enhance that and give her a really amazing glow.”

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Tips for Maintaining Hair Color

Aside from a phenomenal colorist and thoughtful salon sessions, vibrant hair color boils down to hydration and protection. Lee is a fan of Virtue’s color offerings along with masks like the Meta Morphosis Hair Repair Treatment by Serge Normant and Christophe Robin’s Hydrating Melting Mask With Aloe Vera.

And as for color care tips? “The biggest thing I’d say is not to overwash,” says Lee. “If you’re on vacation and you’re going to be out in the sun, try to wet your hair first—the kind of creates a moisture barrier—and then spread a daub conditioner; it can honestly be whatever’s in the hotel and just put some on top of your hair. This creates a mask that adds shine and prevents the sun from baking the hair, changing your tone, and making it brassy.”

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