Brown hair is the most common hair color in the world? Real Talk!

Updated: Sep 22

The struggle is real, for those with brown hair. We are told that brunettes make up 97% of the planet by ignorant people who dislike our hair strands. Some of us may not even realize that we are a world minority. A minority? How can this be true? Read on.

Brown hair is the most common hair color in the world?

I would like to start this off by saying that there are misnomers going around that have consistently been said about us and our brown hair shades. People have often used this to shame us out of our confidence or by telling us that we are generic, default, and not unique. Where did this brunette bias come from, anyway? The assumption that brown hair is the most common in the world can only come from a lack of knowledge. Especially nowadays. Onward to my research on this, I ran across a brunette article called "14 Struggles Only Brunettes Can Really Understand" by Blair Waldorf. She quotes:

"Brunettes make up 97% of the world population, according to a paper from the University of Pennsylvania. So let's face it. Our hair color isn't exactly "unique".

Funny how the actual article that the University of Pennsylvania wrote stated that black hair is the most common among humans.

Black is the most common hair color in the world, and is due to a large amount of eumelanin. 

- University of Pensylvania.

Isn't it ironic? Looks like she is lumping brown hair with black hair. We do see that a lot. But even experts understand that the genetics to make black hair are vastly different than the genetics to make brown hair due to a pattern of polymer bonds. You can read that on the blog "The Difference Between Black Locks & Brown Locks".

Also, I ran into this at

What is the breakdown by percentage of genetically blond, brunette, and red haired people, worldwide?

(("If we are talking about natural hair color, red heads are the rarest and brunettes are the most common so that would make blondes somewhere in the middle. The exact stats are out there but I don't know them. A lot of women go blonde around mid to late 40's only because having salt and pepper isn't exactly for everybody and blonde is easier to maintain when your hair has enough white in it. I say that excluding the many woman who embrace the grey and look amazing doing it. I personally like being a blonde after being a brunette most of my life. One day I'll embrace the grey. One day far, far away from today."))

- Julia Huskey, studied School of Hard Knocks & Human Behavior at Philosophy of Everyday Life.

In response to this lady's comment, many ignorantly assume that brunette hair is the most common in the world because it is more prominent in the West. Not exactly true on a worldwide scale. The brown hair color scheme is certainly more common than lighter hair shades. So lets point that out before we move on. But it is certainly not the most common worldwide. Statistically, brown hair is from 11% to 20% of the world population, as most non-Westerners have black hair.

So now, this 'know-it-all' decides to chime in and give me his two cents and 'statistics' based on what he has seen in European countries. I will put his comments in double parenthesis.

Fact #1: Brown hair is the most common hair color in Europeans.

Fact #2: Black hair is the most common hair color in the world.

So here we go with the debate.

Jack Smith: (("Not correct. Brunettes are around 71%, not 11%."))

Sonya: "Where are you getting your information from? Brown hair is not common among Africans, Asians, and Indians. Take it from someone who has done the research. Brown hair shades are common among middle Easterners and Europeans. It’s apparent that you have never been outside the West.

"Black hair is the darkest and most common of all human hair colors globally, due to larger populations with this dominant trait. It is a dominant genetic trait, and it is found in people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. It has large amounts of eumelanin and is less dense than other hair colors."

Jack Smith: ((Despite black hair is dominant, it isn’t the most common hair color because the gene is quite rare (maybe 7% has the black hair gene). Most people HAVE brown hair, followed by blond, then black and finally red. Even my 14-year-old sister knows that.))

Sonya: "Non-Semitic Middle eastern people and Europeans are the people that are most likely to have brown hair. Most non-European people have black eumelanin.

((Stop making up BS. And if you’re going to lie, don’t make it so obvious. If you said 50%, at least most people would have believed you. But 11%? No way! That’s like saying an apple is a pear.))

Sonya: If you are getting your sources from websites that lump brown hair with black hair, you’re not going to get all the facts. The question I hear asked a lot is:

“Can raven-haired women be classified as brunette?” Or “Is there such a thing as having black hair at all”?

Though brown hair may be lumped in with the black hair, it is very different from black hair and other hair shades that may differ.

((Dominant only means if you have one dominant and one recessive allele, the dominant allele is going to dominate over the recessive allele (i.e. brown hair is dominant, that means if you have one brown-haired gene and en blond-haired gene, you will have brown hair). But the black hair gene isn’t very common and thus most people wouldn’t have black hair (only 6–7% has black hair).))

Yes, brown hair is dominant over lighter hair colors. We ALL know this. No less beautiful, though. But when he states that ((6-7% has black hair))?? This guy does not know what the heck he's talking about. Ok, moving on.

Let's explain further. Black and brown eumelanin are both significantly different based on a pattern of polymer bonds, brown being the lighter expression of Eumelanin. This manifests in all different shades. There are numerous shades of brown hair such as Mousy Brown, Walnut, Chocolate, maple chestnut, auburn, red/brown, medium brown, dark brown, etc. Medium brown is considered standard. The latter one is considered as the standard brunette.

And though there are more people who possess brown hair in the West, more shades of brown exist than shades of any other hair color.

Check out the 15 different brown hair shades that will knock your socks off: Post | Brunette Beauty

Jack Smith: ((No. Black hair is not brunette. Yes, there is such a thing as black hair but it’s quite rare (5–8%). Black hair is most common found in Italy, Spain and Turkey but it’s still not very common (percentage is under 50%). My father has British and German Ancestry and my mother has Scandinavian, German and East European Ancestry. My father has medium to dark brown hair and my mother has light brown hair (many mistakes it for blonde). My mother used to be blonde until she was about 20 and then her hair began to darken.

Sonya's Note: Now this guy is admitting that black hair is not brunette, which is true. He got at least one thing right.

Jack Smith: ((I was blond until 12–13 and then my hair began to darken. It went to dirty blond at 16 and at about 20, my hair turned light brown (with some blond highlights).

None of my niece or nephews have black hair. I wonder if my girlfriend and I are going to have a child with black hair. We’ll see. No one in my family has black or red hair. All are either blonde or brunette. These are the most common hair colors.))

Sonya's Note: Also, he states how he hasn't seen many people with black hair in his corner of the globe. And virtually every European country consisted of mostly people with brown hair shades and how it is most common in these areas. I wonder why? Maybe he should step outside of his corner of the globe and visit non-western countries for once. He will find that most people of non-western nations have black hair, and black hair most common. And again, this depends on what part of the world you visit, as to what is more common, or what is less common. So does this not show that he did not read anything I wrote? Do these look like brunettes to you???

Australian Aboriginals


Indian Hair

Jarawa Hair

African Hair

Panamanian Hair

Sri Lankan Hair

I don't know about you, but I see black hair on most non-whites. And non-whites make up a sweeping majority of the world population. Who can argue with that? I guess this guy thought he could. He has no idea what he's talking about.

Jack Smith: (("About 71% are brunettes. Is this wrong? In the US, about 75% (brunette: 75%, blond: 16%, black: 7%, red: 2%) are naturally brunettes. In Europe, about 67% (brunette: 67%, blond: 25%, black: 6% and red: 2%) are.

Different resarches has different results (varying from 60%—80%). But at least everyone (but you) knows that 11% is definitely incorrect. If it really was correct, most people I see on the streets would not have brown hair. But here in Philadelphia, I can assure you that at least 6 in 10 have brown hair.

I myself have brown hair and both my parents have brown hair as well. I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters. One of my brothers is blond and the other is brunette. One of my sisters is blond and the rest are brunettes. No one in my family has really dark hair (the darkest is like medium brown).

I’ve also been to many countries in Europe and yet, most people are either blonde or brunette. Sorry, but you are just wrong. Even 100% is closer than 11%.

Thanks for your attempted tutorial. Maybe try to differ between reality and some statistics you made up.))"

Sonya's Note: "It seems that a lot of these Aryan minded people have 'brown hair'. They must lead such empty lives to be so self-hating."

Sonya: "Again, have you ever been to Africa, India, China, Sri Lanka? Japan? They are ethnic groups where you will see black hair most common.

Myth # 1

“Black hair exists, but the occurrence is very rare.”

Myth #2

“Brown hair is the most common hair in the world.”

So let’s kill two myths with one stone.

Fact # 1

Brown hair is the most common hair color only in Western societies such as Central and Northern Europe, the US. But brown hair only consists of 11% if the world’s population at large and around 6% of them are of European/Russian (white) stock.

Fact # 2

It may be very commonplace for brown hair shades to existing in Western countries, but not so much in non-Western countries, as black hair consists of 83% of the world’s population at large, which is mostly found in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries and even some parts of Europe. It is, however; very commonplace to spot non-western people as to having black hair.

Here is the chart: Most Common hair color by azelinthompson

As Gwydion Madawc Williams wrote:

“Most of the human race has black hair. Only in Europe was hair variable, with Brown hair the most common.”

She ended by saying:

“Also found in the Greater Middle East, among Australian Aborigines and Melanesians. They ought to be called ‘brunette’, but I am not sure if they are.”

Jack Smith: (("Stop arguing. Here in Philadelphia, I rarely see a person with black hair (it’s like 1 in 20). Most people are either blond or brunette. And even in Italy (where black hair is much more common), it isn’t very common (the percentage of black hair is something like 20—30%).

Check the statistics. 75% of white people (this includes USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and white people living all across the world) has brown hair (this includes all shades of brown).

75% is three quarters and 11% is barely one tenth. That’s a bit of a difference isn’t it?

I’ve pretty much been to every country in Europe. And I’m sorry to say, you’re guess of “11% has brown hair” is very wrong. It’s an 86% error.

Saying 100% would result a 33% error and saying 25% would result a 67% error. Your guess of 11% was an 86% error and is considered “completely wrong” or “out the left field”.

No offense but even my 5-year-old niece seems to know more than you."))

Sonya's quote: "Again, you are talking about percentages on average for Western countries, not the worldwide average. It is apparent that you haven't read anything I wrote. No offense, but it is you who is uneducated about the world. You have a lot to learn. Moving on, now. Tatty by!"

(as Reaver would say ;) )

tatty bye!

(Btw, this guy reported this comment as harassment. What a big baby! So hell-bent on being right that he can't stand to be wrong. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you're wrong.

👇 👇 👇 👇

Seriously? Over hair color??? What a loser!

👇 👇 👇 👇

So remember this, brunettes! We are not as common as some would say. We've got the widest variety of hair shades in the world! We are a lot smaller than 70%, and that is an indisputable fact. Fair skin paired with various brown hair shades and eye colors are not only an OK thing but a beautiful thing. So let's celebrate our unique shades and keep loving them! They will simply have to deal with it!

It's all about the brunette! 🙌 #classy #darkfeatures #nohate #lovebrowneyes #LoveBlueEyes #LoveGreenEyes #AmberEyes #brunettes #DarkAndLovelyLocks 👸🏻😍👌

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At Brunette Beauty® we celebrate European beauty in the Brunette division. We encourage traditional values, confidence and for brunette and bronze beauties to rock their natural look with confidence. We are proud of our hair and our heritage! 

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