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Blond Bimbos and Brainy Brunettes: The Origins of Hair Stereotypes

We’ve all heard the saying “blondes have more fun” but where did that concept come from, and is there actually any merit to it? Stereotypes are certainly nothing new, and hair has its fair share of them. In fact, it would seem that for every hair color, there is a stereotype to go with it. These stereotypes have been around for longer than anyone can remember, but their origins are not completely lost. Here’s an in-depth look at how some of the popular hair personality myths came to be.

Blond Hair

Stereotype: Dumb and Ditzy

When you think of the words “hair stereotype,” more often than not, blonde is the first hair color that comes to mind – and the stereotype that comes with it is not a good one. Blondes are often portrayed in moves and media as being ditzy or clueless, but the truth is that the association between blonde hair and lack of intelligence goes back much further than movies and magazines. In ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal wrote that the empress Messalina hid her dark hair with a blonde wig for her nightly visits to the brothels. During that time, the Romans believed that only respectable women had dark hair, while blonde hair was associated with prostitution. At one point in Roman history, prostitutes were required to wear blonde wigs. It is believed that this is what resulted in the common perception of blondes being unintelligent, fun-loving party goers.

blond woman

Though actually quite intelligent, Marilyn Monroe used her blonde bombshell looks to catapult herself to stardom. Marilyn won critical acclaim for playing a ditzy blond airhead in the films “Some Like it Hot” and “The Seven Year Itch”. Photo by sasha065 

 

Red Hair

Stereotype: Hot-tempered

The common belief is that people with red hair have a fiery temper. It’s tempting to think that this is merely an association between the color red and the emotions it evokes, but there is more to it than that. Historically, the Norse god Thor (most commonly associated with thunder, lightning and storms) was often depicted with red hair. In addition, the apostle Judas was also often portrayed with red hair, linking red hair with the association of the betrayal of Jesus. These two factors are most directly responsible for the association of red hair with a brazen or hot temper.

red hair woman
 
Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, was one of England’s most famous red-heads. Historians have depicted the queen as being hot-tempered and indecisive. Photo by mware2012.

 

Brunette Hair

Stereotype: Plain Jane

Brunette and black hair are the most common hair colors worldwide. Unlike blonde or red hair, brunette hair is a typical hair color for all ethnicities. Though it may not be as exciting, this is precisely the reason that brunettes are typically associated with stability and dependability. It’s not that there are no historical brunette figures who have done crazy or notable things, it’s just that the trait is so common that the behavior doesn’t become associated with it. Of course, there is no scientific proof to back up any of these claims, so don’t feel boxed in by your hair color.

blond woman
 
Actress Sandra Bullock made a name for herself by playing “girl next door” roles in films like “While You Were Sleeping” and “Hope Floats”. Photo by hair transplantation new york
 

Today we have to luxury of being able to change the color of our hair quickly and easily, and even the ability to restore hair that has been lost.  A hair transplant can be done seamlessly by the experts at Nu/Hart. You can even call 24/7 at 800-776-7775 or visit us online!

Do you have a favorite hair color? Leave a comment and let us know!