Dye Hard

14th in most NBA titles, 22nd in rebounds, but first in hair colors.

When a media personality has dyed hair so often, or for so long, it becomes an integral part of their whole characterization, to the point that it can be jarring to see them or their actor with their natural color.

Do not confuse with Dyeing for Your Art, which is when other physical characteristics are deliberately altered to fit the demands of the producers. Though it could overlap as some actors may prefer the new hair color such as Ashley Tisdale and Emma Stone who have long stayed with the color that they were required to change to. Nor does it have anything to do with the film series Die Hard.


  • Dennis Rodman's creepy hairdo gets first place and some of them compose the image to the right.
    • It even ported to his appearance in the video game NBA Hangtime, where the player can actually choose which hair color Rodman will play with.
      • His brief appearance in WCW led to him getting his own figure, which was available with blue or orange hair.
  • Lights is naturally a dirty blonde, she dyes her hair darker, often to a jet-black color.
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Billie Piper naturally brunette but is better known as a blonde.
  • Reese Witherspoon is known for playing blonde characters, but she's actually a brunette.
  • Visual Kei. Impossible Hair Colors are the norm for most bands in the scene.
    • Two members of the band X Japan are particularly infamous for this. Most notably is late guitarist Hide, whose hair was always somewhere on the red-pink color spectrum (whether a streak of pink in blonde, variant red colors, or in his last years, short and bright pink). Drummer/pianist/bandleader Yoshiki started out with blonde hair, occasionally went brown, and now tends to go for a deep chestnut reddish brown - but never, ever black (the only time it has even been -close- to that in his adult life has been at/immediately after Hide's funeral.)
    • Every single member of Dir En Grey has dyed their hair in different colors, but vocalist Kyo is the worst offender among them. He has been known to cycle between black and bleached blonde hair, but has also went for a red/black two-tone, brown, red and bright orange. He even wore bright pink hair during the band's early days.
  • Dynamite Tommy, record producer and pioneer of Visual Kei, got his moniker from the flaming red hair he wore during his career as a musician. He later opted for a more-natural hair color in response to the overwhelming number of copycat acts that appeared after the second-wave Visual Kei bands became popular.
  • Jean Harlow dyed her hair plantium blonde, though she denied it, and was in fact naturally very fair — just not as fair as she appeared onscreen. Eventually, her hair actually had to be cropped short due to peroxide damage, meaning in some films she's actually wearing a wig. Some stories say that bleached her pubic hair as well to maintain the illusion, but this is likely false.
  • Ani Difranco. She has dyed her hair A LOT of colors during her lifetime. Green, purple, blonde, blue, black etc....
  • Marilyn Monroe, who was naturally a brunette.
  • While Billie Joe Armstrong dyes his hair between blonde and black regularly, he used to dye it many crazy colors in the mid-90s: red, blue, blonde with oddly placed dreadlocks, etc.
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Lucille Ball was born with brown hair but most of her appearances have her as a redhead. This was lampshaded in one episode of I Love Lucy when Ricky cut her allowance and she couldn't afford both snacks and her trip to the beauty shop, complaining "I can either be a thin redhead or a fat brunette." Conversely, Vivian Vance ("Ethel") was a natural redhead.
  • Male example: Vic Reeves of the Reeves and Mortimer comedy duo. Original color: Blond. Once had to stop dyeing his hair to convince people that his new son was his own
  • Winona Ryder is naturally blonde (the colour in Edward Scissorhands is her natural one) but dyed her hair black/dark brown in the early 90s and is what she is known for.
  • P!nk (singer Alecia Moore), who always has dyed hair, but doesn't stick to a specific color. It's been blonde, bleached blond, pink, jet black...
  • Olivia Wilde is a natural blonde, but typically has her hair dyed brown.
  • Gillian Anderson - although a natural blonde, she became famous as a redhead and the image has stuck.
  • Britney Spears - her hair has been dyed many colors but she is famous for being a blonde.
  • Elvis Presley - was actually a blond. No, seriously. A family member even had to blacken his roots with mascara before his funeral.
  • Deborah Harry, lead singer of the group Blondie, and was well known for her blond hair, hence the name of the group. When she decided to do some project on her own, she dyed her hair red either out of respect for not connecting it to the band (as she said) or because of some contractual obligation (may have been more likely). But she didn't dye her hair red the way normally expected, it was Fire Engine Red, as in red paint!
    • It's been a more natural red shortly after Blondie broke up, as well as auburn for her role in Videodrome.
  • Molly Ringwald, a famous redhead, dyed it that way after an agent advised her it was a good color to get her attention in the film industry. It worked.
  • Madonna - she's naturally brunette, and sometimes lets her hair grow out naturally when she's tired of dying it.
  • Helen Slater, normally dark-haired, dyed her hair for the film Supergirl and hasn't looked back since.
  • Lady Gaga, like Madonna, is also a natural brunette. Her hair is usually a random shade of blonde. (she said the dye started because people confused her for Amy Winehouse)
  • Iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has bright orange-red hair, which she dyes to maintain its shade (she's 70 years old, and would probably be at least partially grey if it weren't for the dye).
  • Emilie Autumn is known for having pinkish-red hair, although the exact shade tends to change with each dye; her hair is naturally blonde.
  • Greg Ayres, a popular anime voice actor, has a habit of constantly dyeing his hair, to the point where there was a joke about it in the first (and only) American Anime Awards ceremony and con employees have had a betting pool about what color his hair would be on at least one occasion. He himself joked about it on the Chrono Crusade DVD Commentary: "Look, I finally have the same hair color as the character I'm playing! I knew if I kept my hair purple long enough, it would happen"
  • Ashlee Simpson dyed her hair from its natural blond to a dark brunette, in order to distance herself from her sister's image. She eventually let it return to blond, and has since dyed a deep red.
  • Uma Thurman is actually a brunette, but has her hair bleached in most of her roles.
  • Dita Von Teese dyes her hair black, and she does it herself.
  • Similarly, redhead Cassandra Peterson dyes her hair black for her far more famous persona Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, when she doesn't use a wig instead.
  • James Marsters, who supposedly had issues after he stopped playing Spike and went back to his natural brown hair.
  • Mad Men's Christina Hendricks is a natural blonde but has been dyeing her hair red since she was 10. Apparently it's because she was a massive fan of Anne of Green Gables.
  • Michael Jordan has to shave his head multiple times a week, seeing as his being bald is how the world knows him. Granted, he'd probably never grow it out anyway, but imagine him with even a bit of fuzz on top and think if he'd still be as marketable.
    • An interview stated he shaved his head because he would get mobbed every time he would get a haircut at local barber shops.
  • Professional wrestler Jeff Hardy is pretty much the personification of this Trope, with his wacky hair coloring leading to his oft-used nickname: The Rainbow-Haired Warrior. He's been seen with his natural blond hair a few times on WWE TV.
    • Jeff's not the only wrestler with this. Not a lot of people know that The Undertaker, JBL, CM Punk, and Christy Hemme are all naturally blonde (Undertaker is questionable as he's more strawberry-blonde, but close enough). It's a bit of a joke that all the blondes in wrestling are bottled and all the real blondes dye their hair something else.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch generally has dark brown hair, or sometimes blonde hair, but he's really ginger.
  • Hayley Williams of Paramore has red hair that she usually dyes varying shades, from blond to orange to bright red, all the way down to crimson(as seen in the "Decode" video).
    • In fact, one of the Rock Band 2's loading screens for Paramore songs reveals that Hayley herself has forgotten what was the natural color of her hair from dyeing it so much, though it was eventually revealed that her natural hair is blonde.
  • Lucy Lawless is a natural blond, but everyone thinks of her as the brown-haired Xena. Additionally, during the character's first appearances on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, her hair was dyed black.
  • Speaking of Xena, Renee O'Connor, most well known for playing her partner Gabrielle, is also a blond, and dyed her hair red for the show.
  • Tori Amos dyes her hair various shades of red (and very occasionally light brown), although she has worn wigs in the past.
  • Björk's natural hair color isn't actually black. It's dark brown.
  • Meryl Streep is a natural (light) brunette, but outside of certain film roles she has had blonde hair for over thirty years.
  • Disturbed guitarist Dan Donegan early in the band's career had hair ranging from brown to orange to blue to indigo. He's stopped doing this.
  • MarzGurl dyes her hair blue, but tends to have some trouble keeping it that way.
    • Also from the internet, Obscurus Lupa is known for her red hair, but early videos show her with her natural blonde.
      • Recently, she started dying it dark brown.
  • Angelina Jolie's hair is naturally a dark blonde. She occasionally reverts to it (Girl Interrupted, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Life Or Something Like It) but jet black is the most common (Salt even has her going from blonde to black). She's apparently been doing it since the age of five.
  • Elton John, prior to his hair weave operation in 1992, was known for dying his hair in different colors, preferably a bright orange. He has said that his premature baldness had partly to do with having an accident with the dye.
  • Tarja Turunen and Tuomas Holopainen are both natural blondes, hard as it is to visualize.
    • As is Anette Olzon.
  • Gerard Way's (often never washed) black hair, except for his period of dyeing for his art by going platinum blond in order to "method act" as The Patient for The Black Parade.
    • As of album number four, he's a bright redhead.
    • He changed it. Now his hair is orangey blonde.
  • Katy Perry is actually a blonde. She tried pretty much every hair color there is, but her default color is black.
  • Katie McGrath of Merlin, practically the poster girl for Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette is naturally dark blonde.
  • Cate Blanchett has forgotten what her actual hair color is; she's usually seen with blonde, strawberry blonde or red hair.
  • Lauren Bacall was a natural brunette who dyed her hair red as a career move.
  • Farin Urlaub, one third of the German punk band Die Ärzte dyes his hair blond because "it was fashionable in the 80s." Also had a crimson phase during the 90s.
    • Their drummer Bela B. dyes his hair black, but it's naturally ash blonde.
  • Richard Kruspe of Rammstein is a natural brunette, but now keeps dyeing it black. Flake Lorenz of the same band has been well known for dyeing his hair a variety of colors over the years, but has gone back to his natural brown.
  • Jennifer Aniston's hair is naturally a honey-light brown shade, apparently, but since Friends has gone through most shades of blonde. Lisa Kudrow is also a natural brunette, but is known as a blonde.
  • Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke's hair color and style has changed so often that some fans use his hair to date photos. He bleached it in the early days of Radiohead, but stopped during the OK Computer era. He's naturally a dark ginger.
  • Florence Welch's hair has noticeably changed from brown in "Kiss with a Fist" video to fiery red.
  • Beyoncé Knowles.
  • Trent Reznor has been dyeing his hair black for the length of his musical career (though there was a very brief period before With_Teeth came out that he did not): it's naturally a reddish brown.
  • Ariana Grande dyed her naturally dark hair to bright red when she was cast as Cat in Victorious the producers noticed the entire cast had the same hair colour, and asked her to dye it.
  • Bernard Sumner, formerly of New Order and Joy Division, didn't start dyeing his hair until the mid 1980s or so. Nowadays, it's a blond-ish grey-ish colour, but in the very early days of New Order as well as in Joy Division, he had dark hair.
  • David Bowie is naturally a dark blond, but as part of establishing a distinctive look for his Ziggy Stardust character in 1972 he dyed his hair very red. Though he dropped that persona in 1973, he kept his hair predominantly red through 1976 and characters such as Thomas Jerome Newton and The Thin White Duke.
  • Lux Interior of seminal punkabilly band the Cramps was naturally blonde, but dyed his hair black for almost all of his adult life.
  • Nicole Kidman, another natural redhead, often dyes her hair for movie roles, though fans generally agree that she's much more beautiful with red hair.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar, best known for playing the blonde Buffy the Vampire Slayer, actually has brown hair and frequently played brunette characters during her early career. She also started off Buffy with slightly darker hair, and got progressively blonder with the seasons.
  • Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl is a real-life blonde but dyes her hair darker- nearly all the characters she's ever played are brunettes.
  • Kari Byron of MythBusters. Especially in earlier seasons, the dark brown (black?) can be seen through the red streaks.Later seasons have her dyeing her hair auburn with a strong reddish tone.
  • Amy Adams is actually blonde but famously dyes her hair red (as seen in Enchanted, The Fighter, The Muppets and so on).
  • Emma Stone is known for her red hair, but her natural color is actually blonde (not the bleached blond she has in The Amazing Spider-Man, though). Judd Apatow actually required her to dye it red for Superbad making this a rare combination with Dyeing for Your Art.
  • On a Disney Channel alumni note:
  • Margarita Carmen Cansino went from brunette to redhead when her studio basically Anglicized her into being Rita Hayworth. Oddly enough it was treated as being a big deal when soon-to-be-ex-husband Orson Welles made her dye her hair blonde for The Lady from Shanghai, so maybe everyone had forgotten she wasn't a natural redhead either.
  • Claudia Schiffer has become a household image as a golden-blonde Nordic, yet her natural hair is a honey-like shade, between a dark-blond and a light-brown. She had also been dyed red for some time.
  • Former WWE Diva Maryse was naturally a brunette before she bleached her hair blonde.
    • Her real life boyfriend The Miz is actually naturally a dark blond but dyes it brown.
  • Ditto for fellow former WWE Divas Torrie Wilson and Jillian Hall, though Jillian was more of a dark blonde.
  • Trish Stratus is naturally brunette but bleached her hair blonde when she became a model and that was what she was known for during her WWE career. Two years after she retired she went back to her natural brown colour.
  • WWE Diva Paige is practically the poster girl for Raven Hair, Ivory Skin. She is actually a natural blonde.
  • Alicia Fox is of course naturally brunette but has cycled through many different variations of blonde, brown and red in her time.
  • WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler began his WWE career as Spirit Squad member Nicky (he was a brunet then). Since then, he bleached his hair blond (except for a few months in 2011 when he was a brunet).
  • Zack Ryder is red haired but bleaches most of it, making the rest appear light brown.
  • Eve Torres is a really dark brown naturally (the colour she had when she won the Diva Search) but has since been recognised for dark blonde and light brown hair.
  • Velvet Sky and Angelina Love are actually natural blondes but both bleached their hair, Angelina to platinum blonde and Velvet to a two-toned style when they formed The Beautiful People. Velvet can actually be seen with platinum blonde hair on a pre-TNA appearance on WWE Heat. Their fellow tag team partner Madison Rayne is naturally blonde also and bleached her hair when she joined them before changing to brunette since late 2010. Madison then switched to redhead after her daughter was born.
  • Brittany Murphy was a natural brunette; however, she got most of her more famous roles after she dyed her hair blonde. (Clueless and Girl Interrupted notwithstanding.)
  • Science presenter on The BBC, Dr Alice Roberts used to be notorious for dyeing her hair every possible shade of red or orange, but it seems that with her shows now involving a lot of filming in remote locations, it became too much of a hassle and she doesn't bother anymore.
  • Lindsay Lohan is a natural redhead, though she has dyed her hair numerous times, from brown to jet black, light blonde, platinum blonde, and finally back to red again. There was a humorous article titled "The Lindsay Lohan Hair Terror Alert Scale" that associated how much of a chance she would behave by what shade her hair is, similar to the United States Homeland Security's Terror Alert Scale.
  • Christine McIntyre was a natural brunette before she started working with The Three Stooges, when she dyed her hair blonde.
  • Irish singer Linda Martin, a natural blonde, dyed her hair red when she represented her country in the Eurovision Song Contest. She has since become a brunette.
  • Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity, Run, Lola, Run) is known for dyeing her hair often.
  • Rihanna is naturally brown-haired, yet she often has her hair dyed black or red. Downplayed, as she is her natural color on the Talk That Talk album cover, and other places.
  • Pauley Perrette of NCIS fame constantly dyes her blond hair black to achieve her character Abby's trademark goth look. Years of hair dye eventually had an adverse effect on her health, though, she eventually developed an allergic reaction to the chemicals in hair dye and her face swelled up considerably.
  • Lily Loveless is a natural brunette, but was bleached blonde for Skins and has barely gone back since.
  • Rose McGowan is naturally brunette but has alternated between that, blonde and redhead. She went through all three colours during her time on Charmed. The show hand waved the colour change saying a potion blew up on her and turned her hair that way.
  • Eminem, for much of his early career.
  • Pearl Jam's members are inconsistent on short and long hair. Mike McCready goes a step further changing the color as well.
  • This is Older Than Print (and probably much older): Abd-ar-Rahman III, the first Caliph of Córdoba (reigned from 929 to 961) had blue eyes and blond hair and beard, which he dyed black "to look more Arab" (his mother had been a Frankish slave and his paternal family had Germanic and Iberian blood as well).
  • Emily Browning is a natural brunette, but seems to dye her hair for different roles (save, it seems, A Series of Unfortunate Events), and when done with the role, cuts and/or colours her hair again. For instance, in Sucker Punch she had long, bleach blonde hair, but after that she was sporting a golden-brown pixie cut. She never seems to have the same hair colour twice.
  • Sofia Vergara is a natural blonde but went dark at the requests of her casting directors - feeling it gave her a better Spicy Latina image.
  • The band Japan all dyed their hair to start with, with singer David Sylvian going for a blond look, which he continued to use for the rest of their career and some of his solo career. He did it so well that many didn't know he dyed his hair. He has since reverted to his natural brownish-red colour, though his hair appears to have thinned from years of dyeing it. Pictures of him with natural hair colour from the early Japan days appear in their late bassist Mick Karn's book Japan & Self Existence.
  • Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova, the former members of t.A.T.u, are usually recognized for having red hair and black hair, respectively. Lena's natural hair color is strawberry blonde, while Yulia is a natural blonde.
  • Both Blue Stahli and Celldweller have become known for their bright red hair.
  • Tommy Wiseau of The Room fame has incredibly, unnaturally dark black hair that is remarked upon by Greg Sestero in The Disaster Artist to look as if he's dyed it with Sharpies. Sestero also discovered that his bathroom is covered in black stains, heavily implies Wiseau dyes the whole lot over and over instead of just the roots, and finds old photos of him with chestnut brown hair. Wiseau seems to think it makes him look vampiric.
  • Actress Trestine Harper is a natural-born blonde, but had to dye her hair brown for her role as Farrah on My Family And Me because the main character's best friend is supposed to be a brunette. You can still see her naturally blonde locks in her brown hair in her earlier appearances on the show.
  • The black-haired Sergio Fantoni plays the very blonde Captain von Hecht in Hornets' Nest. His hair in the film is a very unnatural-looking shade of nearly white bleach-blonde.
  • Alyson Hannigan's natural hair colour is a brownish auburn but she is often seen with red hair or else dark brown.
  • Eva Green is actually a natural blonde but has favoured her hair black since she was fourteen.
  • Kristen Stewart was born strawberry blonde but is best known with dark brown hair.
  • Ivelisse Vélez apparently wanted to be this while she was in WWE. Apparently her mother had tried to prevent her from dyeing her hair, because of her natural blonde colour. After getting released from WWE she finally dyed her hair brown.
  • Noel Fielding actually has brown hair (as seen in the first series of The Mighty Boosh and other early works), but he's known much better for having black hair, which is part of his image as a Perky Goth.
  • Brigitte Bardot is known for being a blonde, but is a natural brunette.

Fictional Examples

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim frequently changes her haircut and color. The film just has her color change three times.
  • Emma Frost from X-Men dyes her (naturally brown) hair blonde.
  • Psylocke was originally blonde. She dyes her hair purple.
  • Both Black Canary are naturally black haired. The second originally wore a blonde wig to hide her hair but has been dyeing it for years.

Fan Fic


  • Mrs. Levy in A Confederacy of Dunces has dyed her hair platinum-blonde for so long that even she forgot she was a natural brunette. (Mr. Levy didn't, though, oddly.)
  • Commander Christine Vale in the Star Trek: A Time to... and Star Trek: Titan novels has dyed her hair multiple colours. There is no indication in the books as to what her original hair colour was.
  • Myri Antilles, spy and Wraith agent from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, takes this to a typically Corellian extreme. In her introductory scenes in the Legacy of the Force series, she casually mentions that she's dyed her hair seven times in the past week. Not because she's spying on anyone (although she's no stranger to that), just on a whim. In Mercy Kill, she jokes that "nature hasn't touched my hair in years".

Live-Action TV
  • Claudia Donovan in Warehouse 13 has a Skunk Stripe which is a different colour every episode.
  • A scene from Married... with Children where Peggy and Kelly are bonding. Peggy tells the story of buying Kelly her first bottle of hair dye at the age of five. They're laughing nostalgically, when Kelly asks Peg her natural hair colour. "I don't know," Peg says. "What's yours?" And Kelly replies "I don't know."
  • In Scrubs The Janitor's girlfriend Lady is brunette but claims she is a natural redhead.
    • Elliott also dyes her naturally dark blonde hair to a bleached blonde in season 3 and keeps it that way for the remainder of the series.
  • Paige on Charmed (played by Rose McGowan mentioned above). She was black-haired in season 4, redhead in season 5 note , strawberry blonde in season 6 and brunette for the last two seasons.
    • Phoebe additionally changed her hair colour a lot on the show. She starts off with light brown hair (though when herself as a child makes an appearance she has dark hair so presumably this is dyed too), dyes her hair blonde in season 3 and actually cycles through six different hair colours in the fourth season. She sticks with a dark brown colour for the rest of the series and alludes to dyeing her hair regularly in a season 7 episode.
  • Mrs Slocombe of Are You Being Served? has a different, unnatural hair colour every episode. It can be strange to see Mollie Sugden in interviews with her normal brown (or grey) hair.

  • Barbie and her sisters all have naturally blonde hair, but her (currently) third youngest sister, Skipper, has her hair dyed black with purple highlights for several years now.

Video Games
  • Miki Hoshii from The Idolmaster games is depicted as a blond in around 90% of the official art and a majority of the fan-arts, but she is naturally brown-haired. It is a great plot point in her alternate route in the first game, but no mentions of this is made in the second game.
  • Youhei from CLANNAD has black hair but is bleached blond for most of the series. He doesn't stand out amongst the purple and green haired characters so most fans don't even know this until they see him as an adult.
  • Kanji from Persona 4 is near indistinguishable without his bleached blond hair. His natural color is black.

  • Susan in El Goonish Shive dyes her blonde hair dark blue to distance herself from her father's mistress. Later, her hair turns that color permanently due to her awakening at least partially because it has become part of her identity.
  • Marie-Ange in Autumn Bay dyes her hair purple, and has for years.
  • Charlie and Tom from Khaos Komix are a blonde and raven respectively but dyed their hair green and red/orange after being the victims of a transphobic attack in high school.

Western Animation
  • Francine Smith from American Dad! is a natural brunette. note 
  • The "Ponyville Confidential" episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic reveals that the Mayor of Ponyville dyes her hair grey. It's actually a vivid pink.
  • On Total Drama Island, Lindsay is not a natural blonde. Judging from her eyebrows, we can assume her natural hair color is either black or dark brown.
  • In Moral Orel, it's revealed that Miss Sculptham and Nurse Bendy dyed their hair the other's natural color, blonde and black respectively, although the two characters are not connected. The former because she was obsessed with a rapist who disliked blondes. The latter was probably because revealing that she had black hair makes her look like her son Joe.
  • In The Simpsons Marge claims in one episode her hair isn't really blue. Though this is contradicted by several childhood flashbacks that show her with blue hair. Presumably she dyes it to cover up her greys - which Homer confirms in an episode where he gets in trouble for gossiping about their personal lives.
  • In My Family And Me Tegan Westbrook's hair is dyed hot pink, but she won't reveal her natural hair color to anyone.
  • Robbie from Gravity Falls naturally has medium brown hair but dyed it black in his teens.