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What Hair Color Is Dominant: Black or Brown?

You can discover what hair color is dominant between black or brown by understanding its makeup. Hair color depends on the phenotypic modification of genes. The shaft, hair cuticle, and bulb represent the main structures of a single hair. One type of cell inside the hair bulb directly impacts hair color.

Melanocytes give you a variety of hair colors and dictates which hue is prominent. Continue reading to learn more.


How Hair Color Is Determined

How Hair Color Is Determined

The gene named MC1R represents a single class of melanin and determines the pigmentation of a hair follicle and its corresponding color. The more pigment produced, the darker the hair and vice versa. Discover the three types of melanin below.


The gene MC1R, when in an active condition, produces eumelanin. Eumelanin protects the skin from damage by sunlight. People who produce high levels of eumelanin tend to display dark tones.



When in an inactive state, MC1R produces pheomelanin. Unlike eumelanin, pheomelanin does not protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. People with high amounts of pheomelanin have reddish or blond hair.



Neuromelanin can be found in the brain. Neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s Disease, sometimes occur due to the mutation of neuromelanin. Parkinson’s bears an indirect relation to hair color.


What Hair Color Is Dominant?

Genes determine which of the five different colors a person will display. Blonde and red hair results from recessive genes, while black and brown hair remains genetically dominant.


blonde hair

Blonde hair color has a small amount of eumelanin and pheomelanin. Strawberry blonde consists of a high level of pheomelanin. The mutation of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms or the adenine guanine nucleotides represents a potential contributing factor to the blonde hair phenotype.



red hair

A mutation on the MC1R on chromosome 16 causes red hair color. This rare hair color results from high levels of pheomelanin and low levels of eumelanin.


White or Gray

girl with albanism and white hair

White hair does not have pheomelanin and eumelanin pigments. Patients with albinism, the rare skin pigment disorder, display white hair.



African black hair

Large amounts of eumelanin make black hair. Most people in Asia and Africa have black hair because they have lower levels of tyrosinase in their bodies.



Brown Hair

Brown hair color comes in many shades. People inherit the MC1R gene from parents with brown hair, which produces a higher amount of eumelanin and lower levels of pheomelanin.


Black or Brown: Which Hair Color Is Dominant?

Between black and brown hair colors, the brown hue is the clear winner. When determining what hair color is dominant, it comes down to genetics carried down from the biological parents. Each individual is unique, with a hair color specific to them.