I'm pretty sure there are no subspecies of Brutes.Vidmaster Thane wrote:I wish they would use all species styles. H2, H3, and HR brutes should all be considered subspecies and be treated like how HR did Skirmishers and Jackels. Same with the Sangheili, the Bungie Elites and 343 Elites should be subspecies if Sangheili.
I think the best explanation for differing appearances is the simplest one: the Brutes on the front lines shave themselves so they have fewer places for the enemy to grab, and so they can better fit into their armour without pulling their hair out. These are the same reasons real-life soldiers have to wear their hair short.
The thing to keep in mind is that we never really see Halo 2's Brutes at the forefront of battle until they take the Elites' roles. Meanwhile, in ODST, all the Brutes you encounter, as in those deployed to the front lines, are mostly shaven. It's entirely possible that the Brutes that worked behind-the-scenes on High Charity and other places were not required to shave themselves, as they were not likely to see combat.
In Halo Wars 2 we see several different ways the Brutes wear their hair among the Banished. Some go partially shaven with it made up in some way (Atriox with drealocks), some going for a more natural look (Decimus going the Tartarus route) and others going for practicality and shaving themselves completely (Pavium, Voridus and various warriors).
Bottom line, I think it makes more sense for the Brutes to have style preferences, rather than sub-species.