What Your Hair Color Says About You

Why do we stereotype women by their hair color? Does your hair color really reflect your mood? Why do men prefer blondes, brunettes, or redheads? Color Director, John Whelan and all-start colorist, Stephanie Brown of Nunzio Saviano Salon give us their professional insight about what your hair color says about you and what you should know if you’re considering a drastic hair re-deux! 

Stereotyping: Blondes vs. Brunettes vs. Redheads

It’s no secret.  Most women choose their hair color based on what kind of attention they get from it; especially from men.  Women are stereotyped by their locks, whether it’s right or wrong, so here’s what men think about you based on just the color of your hair.

Blondes signify youth and beauty. 

Think of all the icons that are beautiful blondes: Marilyn Monroe, Kate Upton, January Jones, and Barbie. The mind naturally associates blondes with “bombshell, trophy wife, playboy centerfold” from what we see in the media. Men believe these women are fun, bubbly, and sexy.




Brunettes signify intelligence and mystery. 

Some of the most iconic women in pop culture are brilliant brunettes: Kate Middleton, the Kardashians, Rihanna, and Miranda Kerr.  To men, brunettes mean warm, smart, hot and mysterious.




Redheads signify uniqueness and feistiness.

Not all men love redheads, but those who do normally mirror the redheaded women in personality.  Redheads are normally confident with a sense of adventure. Think about the famous redheads that we know: Christina Hendricks, Emma Stone, Lindsay Lohan, and Jessica Chastain.




John: “Throughout history, blondes have always been identified as the least intelligent on the hair color spectrum. In the 1950’s, there was coy Marilyn Monroe. The 70’s featured Farrah Faucet in Charlie’s Angels and the 80’s there was Suzanne Somers in Threes’ Company.  And although she debunked the myth, Reese Witherspoon played the not-so-dumb blonde in Legally Blonde.  From a technical stand point, this stereotype could be due to the lack of depth in a blonde’s hair color, but we all know that this doesn’t actually parallel your personality! Looking back on redheads, the beautiful, smart, funny and feisty Lucille Ball comes to mind, which is where some of the stereotype comes from. I truly believe that most redheads exude confidence and originality.”

Stephanie: “One thing I’ve noticed with my clients that work in the male-dominated corporate world, is that they tend to want deeper shades in their hair because they feel they will be taken more seriously. With redheads, I find that it’s usually an experimental woman who’s trying to be fun and unique without the overshadowing idea of being the ‘dumb blonde.’  You get the feeling of being sexy, eye-catching and adventurous without being looked at as a blonde bombshell.  Brunettes are often looked at as the smart, sensible, exotic type.  While in the New York area the blondes are unique, in the sunny states the brunettes are the stand-outs!”

SADIERAE + CO.: Here’s a classic scenario: Carrie dyes her hair brown after Big left her standing at the alter in the first Sexy and the City movie. Why do girls feel the need to change their hair color after a breakup?




John:  “I’ve always felt that girls going through emotional turmoil feel the need to recede physically. Whether that’s a breakup, moving to a new city, or getting a new job.  I’ve noticed that vibrant, vivacious, light-haired blondes don’t want to stand out when they are feeling emotionally vulnerable.  They want their outside appearance to reflect the way they feel inside, and after a break-up, more often than not, that means dark and depressed. Because they are in pain emotionally, it’s almost as if they want to take it out on themselves.  In most cases, they end up regretting their impulsive decision to go darker, and in a short amount of time they are back in the salon, slowly but surely lightening it up again.”

Stephanie: “When going through something emotionally draining, like a breakup, go lighter and brighter.  This doesn’t mean that every girl who’s going through a breakup should go platinum! My advice is to just make yourself more lively; not the opposite. Think of it as choosing shining sun over gloomy rain.  If you see yourself in the mirror and see a shiny, bright woman staring back, it will make you feel better about yourself.”

S+C: Even with the bad reputation of being a “ginger,” are you finding that more and more women are deciding to go red?

John: “Red is usually a color that women do not want to see in their hair. Whether I’m dying a blonde or brunette, the first thing that almost every client says is, ‘I do not want to see any red.’ It’s really exciting when a client comes in and wants to go red. It’s normally an adventurous and confident woman that doesn’t allow herself to be defined by one hair color in particular.”

John Whelan took our own beauty editor, Lauren Thompson, from a blonde to a redhead 2 years ago and she has never looked or felt better about herself.  She gets more compliments on her hair color that ever before!

Stephanie: “Red is a very hard color to wear–not everyone can pull it off!  If you’re thinking of going red, you need to consider your skin tone and eye color.  Fair skin and light eyes normally work best with a fiery mane, and unless you’re a natural, you should start slow with red-tone highlights or a demi permanent gloss to get used to the color. If you’re looking for a big change and red’s something your considering, there are always versions that can work best for you: just ask your colorist.”

S+C: What’s your stance on changing your hair color based on the season?

John: “As far as changing your color seasonally, there are no rules.  There are, however, ways to make adjustments if you choose to go that route. If a blonde whats to go from Summer to Fall,  I’d suggest low-lights with a darker blonde to add more dimension, rather than fully dying it to a darker blonde. The lights will add enough depth to the color to where you will feel enough of a seasonal change, without it being too dramatic. For redheads, instead of highlights, I’d just change the tone of red: lighter in the warmer months, and a little richer for in the colder ones. For brunettes, I tend to go richer in the Winter, giving a dark, carmel highlight to a rich, chocolatey-brown base.

Stephanie: “In my opinion, hair color that’s dependent on the season is unnecessary. If you feel that your blonde is too light, put some low-lights in to bring back a little bit of depth. Same goes for brunettes. Sometimes with brunettes you can deepen the tone without having to put highlights in.  For redheads, I like to give the hair some highlights to keep the color from looking to flat.  It’s really important for the hair color to look natural, but still have depth, regardless of the weather.” 

Color Crisis

Hair color can dramatically change your look: take some style tips from the celebs who’ve been there: 

Miley Cyrus Rachel McAdams Kim Kardashian Rihanna Scarlett Johansson Lindsay Lohan Khloe Kardashian Drew Barrymore

Now that you can grasp what each hair color says about you, don’t go running to the over-the-counter color at your nearest pharmacy! Always consult an honest professional that you trust.  You want to make sure that your hair color works well with your complexion and always remember that drastic changes work best when they’re gradual.  As John Whelan says, “Coloring hair is not as easy as painting a wall. You cannot go from black to blonde in one day. Think about the health of your hair!” Want to find the best version of you? Do it through your hair color!