Physical appearance and wages: Do blondes have more fun?

The Researchers: D. W. Johnston, from Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Published In: Economics Letters, Vol. 108(1), pp.10-12, 2010


Blondes earn more, marry richer.


We may think women with blonde hair have more fun, but stereotypes aren’t science. Clichés suggest that blondes are less capable than brunettes, but the real deal is that blondes have higher salaries and richer husbands.

This study was based on a large U.S. survey, including interviews with 12,686 Caucasian women, yearly or biennially from 1979-2006—a total of 27 years. The data showed that natural blondes equaled other women on test scores and education, but their wages were 7 percent higher. (That equates to roughly one more year of education.) Blondes’ spouses also earned 6 percent more than other hubbies.

Of course, money can’t buy you love (or happiness), but according to this study, a dye job might buy you a bonus.   

Beauty connection

Blondes are often considered more attractive, possibly because naturally blonde hair is a sign of youth (hair darkens as we age), or because the shade is perceived as “rare” in our population. But even though blondes get a boost, brunettes haven’t missed the boat. First actress to earn a million bucks? Elizabeth Taylor. First female speaker of the house? Nancy Pelosi. There are plenty of brunettes making waves.

Just remember: Loving what you do and having the confidence to ask for the salary you deserve will make you happier, more beautiful and more satisfied with your life, no matter what color your hair is.

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