Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

[The following sidebar was written for the current Arvada Center program guide, artscentric, as a sidebar to the feature on Legally Blonde, "A Fair-haired Scholar."]

Vintage ad for Clairol campaign
Vintage ad for Clairol campaign
In Legally BlondeThis query, and the subsequent notion that it is true, was actually popularized by an advertising campaign for Clairol in the 1950's. It was wildly successful, with the number of blondes shooting up 413 percent in U.S. markets.

Genetically speaking, only about 19 percent of women are natural blondes in North America and Europe, but if you go by hair color, far more than one in five women are blonde. So, statistics regarding blondes can be misleading, because distinctions between natural and dyed blondes are often overlooked.

Regardless, here are some interesting facts about blondes and their dark-haired counterparts:

  1. Generally, blondes take longer to get ready. A study conducted in 2009 (with over 3000 participants) found that blondes take 6 minutes longer than their darker-haired counterparts to get ready.
  2. Natural blondes have more hair than natural brunettes. Natural blondes have approximately 120,000-147,000 hairs, while brunettes have 100,000-120,000.
  3. Gentlemen prefer blondes-or not! Although some reports state that Caucasian men generally prefer fair-haired women, one study found that brunette men preferred brunette women, blonde men equally preferred blondes and brunettes, while blonde, brunette, and red-headed women all preferred dark-haired men.
  4. Blonde waitresses earn better tips. In a 2009 survey of 482 waitresses conducted by Cornell University, blondes earned significant higher tips than their brunette counterparts.
  5. Brunettes are perceived to be more intelligent. Research has shown that raters perceive women with dark hair to be more intelligent at a first meeting.
  6. When women dye their hair lighter, they feel like they have more fun. Lighter-haired women have been proven to go out more (3 nights/week for blondes versus 2 for brunettes) and to feel more confident and youthful.

Bob Bows


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