Analysis / People of Hair Color

Ethnic Hair Color Stereotypes

In fiction hair colors are often used to easily identify a character. They're usually meant to identify personality traits - such as the Fiery Redhead or Brainy Brunette - however hair colors being used to distinguish a characters ethnic background are not uncommon.

Common ethnic hair stereotypes include the hair streak in East Asian characters, the blonde Northern, Western, or Eastern European, the brown, dark, or black haired Italian, the Jewish redhead, and red-headed Scottish and Irish people.

Phenotype Stereotype applies to Japanese media where European or North American characters are blondes, while Latino Is Brown usually goes hand-in-hand with latinos having dark or black hair colors. People of Hair Color is a more fantastical take inspired by this.

Compare to Facial Profiling.


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The East Asian Hair Streak

    Comic Books 
  • One of Betty's friends in Archie Comics (2015) has her hair partially dyed.
  • Claudia Kishi from The Babysitters Club is depicted with pink highlights in a series of 2000s graphic novels based on the books.

    Fan Works 
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is often humanized as East Asian or Indian in fan-art. Twilight has pink streaks in her hair as a pony, which coincidentally translates to this in humanizations.

    Film - Animation 
  • In Big Hero 6, GoGo Tomago has streaks of purple in her bangs, which go along with her general Biker Babe demeanor.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Mako Mori from Pacific Rim has two small streaks of blue in her hair.
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Knives Chau (Asian) dyes her hair to imitate Ramona (White), in an attempt to win Scott back from her. Instead of colouring the whole style (as Ramona does), she only dyes in a streak. She keeps it until Todd punches her so hard it knocks it off.
  • In the Tokyo subplot of Babel, the deaf girl and her friend both sport red/rose colored streaks in their hair.
  • In Cloud Atlas's storyline set in a futuristic South Korea, Sonmi (the story's protagonist) and the rest of the clones are marked by two colored streaks in their hair.

    Live Action TV 
  • Tina from Glee has blue hair streaks in the first season. She loses them later on.

    Video Games 
  • Miko from The Grinder has a streak in her hair.

    Web Animation 
  • Lie Ren of RWBY sports a pink streak of hair on his otherwise black hair. The world of RWBY is a Constructed World and there isn't supposed to be a China (or any of East Asia) but he's clearly based on Asian features, including the streak.
  • Katana in DC Superhero Girls has a red stripe in her hair.

    Western Animation 
  • Juniper from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee has a mystical Skunk Stripe, due to the Te Xuan Ze getting a streak of white hair when it is her turn to maintain The Masquerade. Juniper dyes hers pink.
  • Nikki from Six Teen has this exaggerated, until almost the entirety of her hair is purple, with the exception of that on the 'inside' (e.g. facing her neck).
  • Jake from American Dragon: Jake Long is half-Chinese and has green highlights in his hair, however it isn't due to Jake intentionally dyeing his hair nor is it related to his dragon heritage. Apparently his hair turned green due to the amount of hair gel he uses.
  • Karen from Fillmore! is Japanese-American and has pink bangs.
  • Ray from Kaijudo is half-Japanese and has his bangs dyed red.
  • An episode of All Grown Up! had Kimi dyeing a stripe through her hair. It's treated as Delinquent Hair and was not permanent. Averted with Lil, who is white and has a pink Skunk Stripe after season 1.
  • Mina from Bunnicula dresses in a punk fashion and has her bangs dyed pink.
  • Miko from Transformers Prime is a Japanese Foreign Exchange Student with pink highlights.
  • Akima from Titan A.E. has her bangs dyed purple.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Goth girl Juleka has purple tips in her otherwise black hair.

The Blonde European (Usually English, German, Eastern European, or Scandinavian)

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Full Metal Panic! the German Kurz Weber is a blue-eyed blond.
  • Vladimir from Shounen Note is a boy soprano from Russia with blond hair and blue eyes. It's been shown he had a Japanese grandmother though.
  • The Russian Petra from Gunslinger Girl zig-zags this. She was born blonde however when she became a cyborg they altered her body to make her essentially look completely different than before. She is a redhead outside of flashbacks.
  • The half-German Chizuru from Kimi to Boku is blond and blue eyed.

    Comic Books 
  • Like in the cartoon, Minx from Jem and the Holograms is a blonde German woman, though Word of God says she's South Asian instead of white. Word of God is that Riot is half-German, half-Japanese. He also has blonde hair. Subverted with Rapture and Raya, who are blonde but not European (Rapture being American and Raya being Mexican-American).

  • Eli from Love Live! is one-fourth Russian. She has blue eyes and blonde hair.

    Visual Novels 

    Western Animation 
  • Ingrid "Minx" Kruger from Jem is a blonde German woman who is in The Stingers band. Her other two bandmates are blond as well, though it's never stated where they're descended from besides the fact they're American.

The Brunette and Raven Haired Italian

  • Vinnie from Atlantis: The Lost Empire averts the common tanned skin tone associated with Italians however he does have black hair.
  • The Light in the Piazza takes place in Italy and has many dark haired characters. The three American characters are a blonde, a raven, and a light haired brunette.

    Video Games 
  • Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros. are of Italian heritage and have brown hair. Some early material portrays them with black hair.

The Jewish Redhead

    Comic Books 
  • The Kate Kane version of Batwoman has a deep red hair color and is Jewish.

    Comic Strips 
  • The October 26th 2014 comic strip of Dennis the Menace (US) has Dennis introduce his mother to a his new friend Ben, who's family has Hanukkah instead of Christmas and celebrates Passover instead of Easter. Ben has shaggy red hair and blue eyes.

    Live Action TV 
  • Jody from The Puzzle Place is a sensitive girl but brings her self to tell her friends who each represent a different ethnic background about her people's history when it comes to Passover and Chanukah. She has curly red hair.
  • Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts with long dark red hair. She was identified, ethnically and culturally, as Jewish. She referred to herself on a number of occasions as Jewish, especially when Christianity was mention, and appeared to come from a religious family.

    Web Original 
  • One of the artworks for the holidays in Millsberry features a girl celebrating Christmas, a boy celebrating Hannukah, and a boy celebrating Kwanzaa. The one celebrating Hannukah is a redhead.

    Western Animation 
  • Tish from The Weekenders is Jewish and has long red hair. An early episode implied she was Catholic but that was retconned later.
  • It's not stated what religion Ginger from As Told by Ginger follows, however in the Christmas Episode she learns her mother's father was a rabbi. Afterwards she's really into her Jewish heritage and decides to throw both a Hanukkah and a Christmas party. Her mother and brother are both redheads too.
  • Lois from Family Guy is Jewish and has red hair.
  • Kyle and his mother from South Park are both redheads, though Kyle's dad and his (adopted) brother Ike are brunettes. Kyle hides a huge afro under his hat.
  • Pepper Ann: Pepper Ann and her mother are both redheads, but Pepper Ann's little sister Moose has brown hair. There's a Christmas Episode where Pepper Ann has to write a report on whether celebrating Christmas with her dad or Hanukkah with her mom is better.
  • Didi from Rugrats has curly red hair that she passed onto her son Dil in All Grown Up!. Tommy is shown to have purple hair like his (Christian) father though.
  • The Wheezers from Jimmy Neutron are Ambiguously Jewish and have red hair.
  • The redheaded Arnold from The Magic School Bus mentioned celebrating Hannukah once. Arnold being a redhead is an adaptation change, as he is a blond in the books.
  • At the last moment of the Christmas episode Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy wishes the viewer a Happy Hannukah. This is despite spending the entire episode absolutely obsessed over Santa.
  • Betty Boop: According to her only colored short, the Ambiguously Jewish Betty is a redhead (much like Clara Bow, who Betty is partially based on). Later merchandising averts this by having her with Raven Hair, Ivory Skin to invoke the look of black-and-white cartoons.
  • Subverted with the Dee Dee twins from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. They're presumably Jewish due to being Harley Quinn's granddaughters but their red hair are wigs. They're both blonde.

The Redheaded Scotirelander

    Film - Animation 
  • Zig-zagged in Brave. There are blondes and brunettes as well but main character Merida is a Fiery Redhead. She is the token Scot of the Disney Princess line and is the second redheaded princess in the line.

    Comic Books 

  • The cover art from several Celtic Woman albums prominently feature an unidentified green-eyed redhead as the centerpiece.

     Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The Disney short The Ballad of Nessie takes place in Scotland. Literally every character has red hair.
  • One episode of Jem implies the Benton sisters have Scottish blood in them. While Jerrica is a blonde (like her mom), Kimber has red hair.