Glorious locks, shining tresses, Rapunzel, Goldilocks… Throughout history, and in fairy tales and legends, a woman’s hair has been seen as a manifestation of her femininity and desirability. (Sorry guys.)
Many of us have a love hate relationship with our hair. Our hairstyle is one of the most noticeable aspects of our look. It can show off our personalities and highlight our face and in Second Life we can change it on a whim.
In RL our hair obsession is a multi-billion dollar industry, including hair dyes, styling products, wigs, celebrity hairdressers and hairstyle magazines. The endless media ‘reports’ on celebrities ‘new do’s” fuel the idea of forever changing your ‘look’. Luckily in SL it’s easy peasy to make a change and we are spoiled for choice. We can even be a redhead one day and a blonde the next with no worries that our hair will fall out due to constant colour changes.
Scientifically, hair Colour is formed by a substance called melanin produced at the root of the hair bulb by groups of specialised cells called melanocytes. Melanin itself consists of two types: the ratio of these two types creates the hair colour in each individual.
Let’s look at colour types and personality traits generally associated with them.
Contrary to the belief that red hair colour was given to us by Neanderthals; science has shown that it’s a result of mutation of a gene in chromosome 16. Red hair has even been represented in various artworks including that of Michelangelo. It’s said that in Europe red hair is valued and respected. Statistics say that nearly 10% people in Scotland and England have red hair. Around the world red heads are bullied or teased with words like “ginger” which can be psychologically damaging for the recipient.
Personality traits associated with red hair:
Mysterious, romantic, passionate, alluring and fiery. Other traits attributed to redheads are - explosive, bad tempered, opinionated, seductive or sexually promiscuous.
Naturally occurring blonde hair very rare. It occurs naturally in northern Europe (Scandinavia) and America. Unusually it’s also been seen in nearly 5 to 10% of the indigenous population of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific where the inhabitants predominantly have very dark skin. Until recently it was assumed that blonde hair was a result of gene flow, a trait passed on by ancient traders and travellers who visited different countries, centuries ago. Today it’s been established that a single gene is responsible for it. The people of the Solomon Islands attribute their blonde hair colour to a diet rich in fish, and sun exposure.
Personality traits associated with blonde hair:
Females with blonde hair are generally thought of as high maintenance. A survey has shown that the divorce rate is also higher in this category. Blonde hair is perceived to be feminine, youthful, naive and obedient and more fun. Apparently gentlemen do tend to prefer blondes.
Predominantly seen in Asia, South America and Africa, this hair colour is considered exotic in Europe just like blondes and redheads are in the rest of the world. A study conducted on a woman who visited a nightclub on three different occasions, changing her hair colour from red, to blonde and then brunette. The result was that most men said that they found her most appealing, attractive, approachable, dependable and “seemingly better at relationships” as a brunette.
Personality traits associated with brunette hair colour:
The majority of Nobel Prize winners are brunettes. They are thought of as very hard working people. They are supposedly more serious and tend to form long term relationships.
Just as men prefer blondes, women are known to prefer men with dark hair. Deep, introspective and meditative, this personality type is serious and melancholic.
Personality traits associated with black hair colour:
Black haired people are thought to be interested in religion, poetry and spirituality. They are serious and self-centred but also tend to suffer from self-doubt. They make great psychologists, therapists etc.
Allegedly in RL, if you colour your hair with a shade other than your natural hair colour, it will more than likely influence your behaviour and after a while you will even adopt the stereotypes associated with said colour.
My avatar has always been brunette, and I’m brunette in RL. I’ve always felt that I don’t have the right attitude to be blonde. What are your opinions on hair colour and what it says about you and your avatar?