Current Psychology

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 136–149 | Cite as

The Intermingling of Social and Evolutionary Psychology Influences on Hair Color Preferences

  • Verlin B. Hinsz
  • Casey J. Stoesser
  • David C. Matz


Hypotheses were tested as explanations for why men and women have specific hair color preferences for mates. Traditional evolutionary psychology approaches suggest that men should prefer light hair on women because it signals youth and health, while women should desire dark hair on men because it signals maturity and stability. Repeated exposure predicts people prefer the hair color on mates they are exposed to most frequently. Uniqueness implies that men and women should desire the least prevalent hair colors on potential mates because of its scarcity and rarity. Findings primarily support traditional evolutionary psychology predictions and occasionally the repeated exposure hypothesis, but not uniqueness predictions. Sex and regional differences indicate that social and evolutionary processes combine to influence hair color preferences.


Repeated exposure Uniqueness Evolutionary psychology Hair color preferences Sex differences Regional differences Mate preferences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verlin B. Hinsz
    • 1
    • 3
  • Casey J. Stoesser
    • 1
  • David C. Matz
    • 2
  1. 1.North Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Augsburg CollegeMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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