Research in Progress

Psychological Studies

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 369-375

First online:

Hair Color and Courtship: Blond Women Received More Courtship Solicitations and Redhead Men Received More Refusals

  • Nicolas GuéguenAffiliated withInstitut de Management de Bretagne-Sud, Université de Bretagne-Sud Email author 

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Previous research on the effect of hair color on people’s evaluation and behavior has revealed discrepant results and the real effect of both male and female hair color on their mating attractiveness has never been tested. In Study 1, female confederates wearing blond, brown, black or red colored wigs were observed while sitting in a nightclub. In Study 2, male confederates wearing different colored wigs asked women in a nightclub for a dance. It was found that blond women were more frequently approached by men whereas blond males did not receive more acceptances to their requests. However, in both conditions, red hair was associated with less attractiveness. Evolutionary theory and differences in mating preferences are used to explain the blond hair effect. Scarcity of red-haired individuals in the population and negative stereotypes associated with red hair are used to explain the negative effect of red hair.


Hair color Blonds Attractiveness Courtship behavior