Kaleidoscope Hair YKTTW Discussion

Kaleidoscope Hair
A character's hair changes color repeatedly.
(permanent link) added: 2011-07-22 19:45:00 sponsor: MarqFJA edited by: Telcontar (last reply: 2012-03-18 05:52:56)

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Successfully launched on the 18th March 2012.

Image caption:
Idiot Hair: Rainbow Edition

Hair Colors are an easy way to distinguish one perosn from a person at a glance. At times, it might drive a person to dye or even bleach their own hair to change its color (blonde is a common goal, due to the stereotypes of it being more glamorous). But some people aren't satisified with just one hair color. Oh no. Their hair has to keep changing color frequently. The new shade can be common, implausible, or even outright impossible. The changes must happen a number of times, and they may be justified by use of hair dye, or any sort of Applied Phlebotinum -- up to and including actual magic (though it's not necessarily a case of Magic Hair). It doesn't even have to happen to real hair, so characters who constantly swap wig colors come under this trope.

The color changes may pass without comment from others in the work, or drive someone up a wall trying to figure things out. Sometimes, even the subject of the changes might not appear to notice or care; in other cases, they might be pleased. The changes can be accompanied by a makeover, but this is less likely if they take place regularly or are a result of mood swings. Hilarity can ensue if the character hates what happens to their hair while being powerless to stop it.

This trope can occur in any medium, but some are more common than others (e.g. video game examples are near non-existant). Naturally, this includes real life, though due to the effects of repeated dying [[hottip:*:that is, hair becoming rough, bleached, falling out, loosing oils, breaking, and generally becoming a pain to care for and style,]] most people don’t do it. Due to happening many times on a single person, it isn’t a type of Expository Hairstyle Change. Usually.

Compare Kaleidoscope Eyes for the same thing in a different place, and Multicolored Hair, which is strictly about hair that is simultaneously of multiple colors/shades. Of course, the two tropes may overlap sometimes. Compare and contrast Power Dyes Your Hair, where the color change only occurs due to a transformative power-up, and Expressive Hair, when the hair changes style.

One of the Common Mary Sue Traits, along with being a way to give someone a Distinctive Appearance. See also Locked into Strangeness, for permanent hair colour changes. May be a result of someone just wanting to be special or Anime Hair (where it can overlap with You Gotta Have Blue Hair).


Comic Books
  • Delirium from The Sandman; her hair color changes depending on her mood.
  • Ramona Flowers dyes her hair every two weeks. Scott freaks out about it.


  • Tonks from Harry Potter often changes her hair color; it is usually a shade of bubblegum, but can turn ginger when she’s angry, gray for a disguise, or any number of other colors at her every whim. Justified as she is a metamorphmagus.
  • In Warbreaker the Royal Locks, the sign of Idrian royalty, change color according to the owner's mood. It also can be grown out at will.
  • Acheron Parthenopaeus from the Dark-Hunter series can change his hair color at will. So far it's been black, brown, green, purple, platinum silver, black with red streaks, among others. Justified, since he is an Atlantean god.

Live-Action TV
  • Beka from Andromeda has nanomachines that can change her hair to any colour she wants.
  • Mrs Slocumbe from Are You Being Served? wears wigs, but every one is a different color.
  • Enforced in The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis. Dobie's actor (Dwayne Hickman) was made to dye his hair blonde in order to distance him from a previous role. When the show was well established, he was allowed to return to his natural brown hair color; however, at times he had to go blonde again.


  • This happens to Nanase (whose hair turns black when her magic burns out) and Susan (when she goes through an angst-induced awakening) in El Goonish Shive.
  • Ping from MegaTokyo can change her appearance in response to user feedback. The most obvious changes are to her hair. So far, she's had pale grey, hot pink, and turquoise.
  • For a long time, Peejee from Something*Positive would have constantly changing hair, until Randy got tired of changing it.
  • minus's hair changes from strip to strip, ranging from red to blue and green without comment – then again, she is omnipotent. It adds to her surreality.
  • Flipside has Crest's wizard girlfriend who can change her hair's color and style based on her emotions.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Not surprisingly, Professor Crazyhair in Yakkity Yak.
  • In Hercules, Hades's hair turns from blue to bright orange whenever he is angry. Since his hair is made of fire, this is justified.
  • Parodied in Perfect Hair Forever – Coiffio has a Super Saiyan-esque hairdo that continuously changes colors.
  • Subverted with Roger from American Dad!, who has a collection of wigs that he swaps around for roleplaying. Many of them are different in color.

Indexes: Hair Tropes, Hair Colors, Amazing Technicolor Index, Personal Appearance Tropes.
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