Created By: ccoa on January 5, 2012 Last Edited By: ccoa on January 17, 2012
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Elemental Hair

You can tell what elemental power a character has by their hair color and style

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
Hair color is an easy visual shorthand for getting information about a character to the audience. Most often, hair color will tell you something about the character's personality, but sometimes its meaning is far more obvious: this character has an Elemental Power, and the the hair color to match the element. Quite often, their personality will also be tied to their element and thus their hair color, as well.

  • Fire - Usually red hair, although sometimes it will be more orange. Sometimes taken to the logical extreme. Hair will often be short and spiky.
  • Earth- Brown or green hair. More rarely, orange or yellow. Usually short hair on males. Females may have longer hair. Tends to wilder styles or dreadlocks.
  • Lightning - Yellow or white. Hair will often be wild.
  • Water - Blue, usually a bright blue, especially if ice is also present as light blue. Hair is usually straight and of mid length, but it can also be wavy.
    • Ice - Light blue or white, and of a similar style to water.
  • Air - White or grey. Often wavy with lots of volume. It may defy gravity.
  • Light/Holy - White or yellow, or on occasion outright gold. Tends towards White Haired Pretty Boys and Girls when white.
  • Dark - Black or deep purple.
  • Nature/Wood/Plant - Green. Often messy.
  • Love - Pink or blonde. Probably because the first is very feminine, and the second is often considered pure and innocent. Usually very elaborately done up and very feminine. This is rarely, if ever, found on a male character.

This is less common in Live Action media than in animation, video games, comic books, or manga, for obvious reasons.

Sister trope to Elemental Eye Colors. Subtrope of Color-Coded Elements, Color-Coded for Your Convenience, and Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
  • The Panther Demon clan siblings in InuYasha have this: the redhead uses fire, the White-Haired Pretty Girl uses ice, the green-haired girl uses nature/illusions, and the blond uses lightning.
  • The main characters of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 have this. The pink-haired girl uses the power of love, the redhead is a fire-user, the blonde uses light, the green-haired girl has an earth affinity and blue hair goes with water powers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • Pyro in many of the X-men continuities will have red, spiky hair.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • Melisandre of A Song of Ice and Fire is strongly associated with red, and many people comment on how very red her hair is. Guess what element her god is associated with?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
  • The Galilean Satellites of the webcomic Zap! have this, with Io having literal Flaming Hair, Callisto (water/ice) having bright blue hair cut in a bob, Europa (wind) having long, white, Storm-esque wavy hair, and Ganymede (earth) having messy green hair.
[[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • January 5, 2012
    Chabal2
    Golden Sun: every Mars (Fire) Adept is a Fiery Redhead, every Mercury (Water) Adept has blue hair. However, while the first two Jupiter (wind and lightning) Adepts have yellow hair, the later two have green and white hair. Venus (Earth) Adepts have either yellow or brown. And in a subversion, Saturnos and Agatio are blue-skinned, blue-haired Mars Adepts.
  • January 5, 2012
    Raso
  • January 5, 2012
    Raso
  • January 5, 2012
    ccoa
    Can we get a picture with at least the four Western elements represented well? We can make a collage, if needed.
  • January 5, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
  • January 5, 2012
    ccoa
    That would be the supertrope, yes.
  • January 5, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Anime and Manga:
    • Zero No Tsukaima sometimes plays this trope straight and sometimes averts it.
      • On the Played Straight side, we've got Fiery Red Head Kirche (fire affinity), Rei Ayanami Expy Tabitha (wind), Mme. Chevreuse (brown / Earth), and Miss Longueville (green / Earth).
      • On the other hand, Shana Clone Louise, Ill Girl Cattleya, and their mother Karin all have pink hair, but all have a different affinity (Void, Earth, and Wind, respectively).
      • It's notable that the main characters who are not magic users of some kind (Seito, Siesta, Marteau, Scarron, and Jessica) all have very dark brown or black hair.

    Webcomics:
    • In Drowtales, there's a bit of this with the clan colors: Sarghress (red / shapeshifting (blood element)), Sharen (purple / summoning (supernatural element)), Beldrobbaen (black / flesh & darkness elements), Nal'Sarkoth (green / wood element), and so on.
  • January 5, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Subverted, oddly enough by Avatar The Last Airbender. Airbenders are usually bald for aerodynamic reasons. Waterbenders so far are brunette or brunet. Yue was white-haired but she was a special case in more ways than one and was not a bender so far as anyone knows. Earthbenders all have dark hair. And so do Firebenders.
  • January 6, 2012
    ccoa
    That's Not A Subversion. It's an Aversion, and thus not really pertinent.
  • January 7, 2012
    Arivne
    .
  • January 7, 2012
    JoeG
  • January 7, 2012
    BearyScary
    • The girls from Magic Knight Rayearth. Hikaru the redhead (fire), Umi with long, straight blue hair (water/ice), and Fuu with slightly curly blond hair (wind).
  • January 7, 2012
    Rytex
    Kingdom Hearts gives us Axel, Larxene, Lexaeus, and Marluxia. Marluxia is the Flower type, the opposite of the Leaf type, which is healing, meaning Flower means Death.
  • January 8, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    Compare Flaming Hair.
  • January 8, 2012
    Nocturna
    Also a subtrope of You Gotta Have Blue Hair.
  • January 8, 2012
    sxizzor
    Pokemon does this twice: once with the Eevee brothers (the yellow-haired one having a Jolteon, the redhead a Flareon, the blue-haired one a Vaporeon, and the one with brown hair has an unevolved Eevee) and once with brothers Cilan (green hair, grass), Chili (red hair, fire), and Cress (blue hair, water).
  • January 8, 2012
    cgsilverscreen2020
    Pokemon Black and White gives us Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour, which evolve into Simisage, Simisear, and Simipour. Pan/Simisage's hair is shaped like a bush, resembling the grass element. Pan/Simisear's hair is shaped like a flame, resembling the fire element. Panpour's hair resembles a water spout, and Simipour's hair has long, wavy hair, resembling the water element.
  • January 8, 2012
    ChaoticNovelist
    Elemental Hair is concise and describtive. Its perfect. The rest seems well thought out too.
  • January 8, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime

    • El Hazard: The three great priestesses of Mt. Muldoon: Shayla Shayla is easily identifed as the priestess of fire, thanks to her flaming red hair. Miz Mishtal, who presides over water, has lavender hair. And while Afura Mann's a brunette, her blue/sea green attire shows she controls wind.
  • January 9, 2012
    X2X
    Video Games
  • January 9, 2012
    razorrozar7
    I say go ahead and add Golden Sun; considering that Jupiter combines Shock And Awe and Blow You Away, Sveta's white hair still fits the trope. I also noted the aversions, namely the Proxians, and Karis and Hama/Hamma ("three of the five").

    • The characters of Golden Sun tend to fit this: Venus adepts have brown hair, Mars adepts that aren't from the Mars clan in Prox, especially Tyrell, have bright red hair, and Mercury adepts have blue hair. Three of the five or so visible Jupiter adepts, which combine both Shock And Awe and Blow You Away, have the blonde or white hair associated with those motifs, but purple is more generally used as an indicator of Jupiter affinity. In addition, when Light Psynergy comes into existence at the end of Dark Dawn, it is shown to be strongly affiliated with gold. However, it seems to be averted with the Umbra clan; neither of the two representatives whose hair is visible have black or purple hair.
  • January 10, 2012
    ccoa
    Anyone have any feedback on the colors or styles for the elements, or any to add? I suppose it'll become more clear as more examples emerge, but I'd like to get them now, if possible.
  • January 10, 2012
    astryll
    • Gaiaonline released an item by the name Elemental Hair to apply to the owner's avatar with choices from; fire, wind (and the softer, curlier breeze), earth, ice, water and life - if you fancy the symbolic bird's nest and nest for hair
  • January 10, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    'Water' hair can just as easily be wavy (like waves, yes?)

    • Magic Knight Rayearth: The protagonists each have elements. Umi's is water and her hair is long, sleek and blue, Hikaru's hair is wild and waveyish and red and her element is fire. Fuu's is wind and her hair is blond and short and curls at the bottom.
    • Sailor Moon: Michelle/ Michiru/ Sailor Neptune has oceanic powers. her hair is blue-green, middle length and wavy. Ami/ Amy/ Sailor Mercury also has dark blue hair and her powers run to water and ice. Chibi-usa / Rini / Sailor Chibi Moon is...heart element? Love? Difficult to say, but it does match with her pink hair. Most of the other characters don't naturally have elemental hair, but Naoko Takeuchi, the mangaka, has many artbook pictures of the characters with their hair colors matching their elements.
  • January 12, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    ^In Zero No Tsukaima, of the water affinity characters:
    • Montmorency has yellow hair with long Princess Curls.
    • Henrietta has a wavy, purple medium - short hair.
  • January 13, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    Here's a good picture: it's from Magic Knight Rayearth.
  • January 14, 2012
    Chabal2
    Averted in Touhou: the character with pyrokinesis has white/silver hair. She wears bright red pants though.

  • January 17, 2012
    ccoa
    I don't think we need to list aversions.

    Launching within 25 hours barring objections.
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