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Brunettes Are More Attractive, Study Shows

The science of attraction gets a dye job.

| October 3rd, 2011
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Brunettes Are More Attractive, Study Shows

Add this to the long list of reasons why blondes may have more fun: A new study being published later this year shows they’re more likely to get picked up at a bar (but not because they’re hotter).

We’re guessing you’ve heard all the hype about blondes. Often, studies on hair color show that they’re rated more attractive, younger and healthier than darker-haired damsels (even though 90 percent of the world’s population is brunette). They’re also more likely to rake in a higher salary and tend to marry richer. But if you’re already reaching for the bleach, hold off.

STUDY: Blondes Earn More, Marry Richer

A 2011 study in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, led by YouBeauty Attraction Expert, Viren Swami, Ph.D., put hair color to the test in the real world and found that brunettes may get the last laugh. 

In the first part of the study, a fair-skinned woman hit up three different nightclubs on three separate occasions—as a brunette, a blonde and a redhead. (Her hair was professionally dyed to look as natural as possible.) The researchers found that when she showed up with blonde locks, men were more likely to approach her.  

STUDY: Redheads Feel More Pain

But the second part of the study was more revealing about how men interpret hair color, suggesting why they might have saddled up next to the blonde at the bar.

The researchers asked men from the same nightclubs to rate photographs of the same woman with blonde, brown or red hair. As a brunette, the men rated her more attractive, intelligent, approachable, competent and arrogant (because of those superior brains, perhaps?). As a redhead, she was rated more temperamental (old stereotypes die hard), but as a blonde, she got the short end of the stick: The men thought she was needier.

MORE: The Best Hair Color for Your Skintone

So then why are the men more likely to approach the blonde if they think she’s less attractive, less intelligent and needier? We won’t mince words here: The researchers suspect that the men might think blondes are easier. Still reaching for the bleach? 

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