As a girl who has dyed her hair since she was 16, with a best friend, mother, sister and husband whom have all done the same, I’ve often wondered why things feel different with each new box of chemical colourful change. It’s been said that people make their initial judgement on others within three seconds, or something ridiculous like that. But how much of this judgement is based on your colour?

I’ve recently just got back from the most wonderful city break, with my husband, to Vienna (book your tickets now!). While we were there, he pointed out I was getting a lot of looks from people, I brushed this off as flattery on his part until I noticed it myself. Then we noticed something else, there was not another Ginger in sight…anywhere. I basically had an Orange beacon on my head. It then transpires that the only Gingers we could find were models in magazines. Although ‘model walk’ became our little in joke for the holiday, it did leave me wondering what was going on. I was an orange haired pink coated girl, in a sea of black clothed chic, blondes and brunettes. Did I look like a living cartoon? Was this to be the judgment bestowed on me?

After we got home I started to notice everyone’s hair colour and decided to check with the seat of all knowledge, Google. To the Austrians it seems I was not a cartoon…I was in fact a Witch. Great news. I discovered that in Germanic Folk Lore, women with red hair and green eyes (two for two), have long been connected with Witch Craft. Which may then explain why even in modern day society, red heads occasionally receive watered down persecution (watered down from the Witch Hunt genocides of old I mean). Although these ideals are old, it’s the oldest social conditionings that tend to stick with us, even on a subconscious level.  Don’t get me wrong I’m sure the people of Austria weren’t watching and waiting for me to drop my cauldron, but there weren’t any other Gingers walking about the place. And from a brief glance, no hair dye to allow it either. The colour Orange (which is more my shade than red) has many different meetings and connotations in various cultures. Red heads are independent and passionate. From the red heads I know and love, I can see why the Germans might think us Witchy. We’re strong willed and follow our moral and ethical standards. Some tend to be brassy and the rarity of Gingers naturally, creates a feeling of the unknown, but aside from my other witchy pastimes I’ve never cast a spell.

We all know the old saying (that now feels like a slur) of blondes being “more fun”. Socially this saying has really impacted the world in ways people don’t always see. The reason it feels like a slur, is that as a mouse brunette (naturally) I was always told through “playful comments”, that I wasn’t as fun and pretty or as WOW, as my blond class mates and counter parts. But as a natural colour, blonde hair is said to be very rare, occurring naturally in Western Europe and North America and amazingly the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific, with a population of people of colour. Breaking the idea that only white people have blonde hair. In anime, characters with ‘yellow hair’ covey three types of personality traits, the Dumb Blonde, the Troublemaker and the Handsome Prince…make what you will of that.

Brunettes,  although being “less fun” are often perceived (by men looking at women) to be all but fun if the information I recently found is to be true. ‘In a study conducted on a girl who visited a nightclub […] with her hair colour changed from red, blonde and brunette […]; most men said […] they found her most appealing, attractive, approachable, dependable and “seemingly better at relationships” as a brunette’. Now isn’t that interesting. As a colour browns primary symbology relates to that of humility and the element of earth. These two symbologies are deeply ingrained into the psyche it seems, with the overall ‘appealing elements’ of the brunettes holding similar elements, to be humble and almost more naturally beautiful, without change or effect through cosmetics.

Black is the new black. So mysterious, classy, exotic and mysterious…wait did I say that. As the chosen colour’s for handsome princes and bad boys alike, this is the colour that is said to make a girls heart flutter. In anime and the western world as referenced by snow White’s little lover boy. Symbolically black holds each of these meanings, as well as mourning. But let’s be honest the odd ‘goth mourner’ can even be sexy, it’s rare but it happens. Black subconsciously as a hair colour conveys depth and also tradition in some parts of the world and thanks to the Kardashian clan, the darkest Brown to black is beyond on trend.

Two of the latest hair colour trends NOW, are pink and grey. I’m writing this as I sit at a bar waiting for friends to celebrate a hen party. My bar tender has grey hair and looks amazing. But I digress, as a colour grey is a mix of white and black, this hair colour as well as insinuating age and therefore wisdom…Yeah, also shows a personality mixed of light and shade. Whilst ensuring connotations of wisdom for the natural grey, it creates a sense of personal style for the young. Whereas pink screams personal style of any age. At varying shades I believe pink can work on anyone, even the great Helen Mirren gave it a go and rocked it. It screams feminism and even looks great on men. It’s quirky and stylish, shown most recently by Sienna Miller. It’s a fun and flirty colour but is doesn’t always translate that way into the male eye and if that’s your priority, when decided on your hair, your going to need to play it safe.

But seriously does anyone think about boys when colouring their hair? Like really? No way! Just do you!

Published by Hannah Doyle