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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 hair color to match the element
. Quite often, their personality will also be tied to their element and thus their hair color.
- 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 be Wild Hair or dreadlocks.
- Lightning - Yellow or white. Hair will often be spiky, as though hit by an electric current.
- Water - Usually a bright blue, especially if ice is also present as light blue. Hair is usually straight and of mid length and flowing, but it can also be wavy.
- Ice - Light blue or white, and of a similar style to water, though probably less flowing.
- Air - White or gray. Often wavy with lots of volume. It may defy gravity. Can be green in some cases.
- Light/Holy - White or yellow, or outright gold. Tends towards Mystical White Hair when white.
- Dark - Nearly always black, occasionally more purple.
- Nature/Wood/Plant - Green. Often messy, and decorated with leaves or flowers.
- Love - Pink or gold. Probably because the first is feminine, and the second is often considered pure and innocent. Expect Hair Decorations. 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
. Often overlaps with You Gotta Have Blue Hair
. Compare Flaming Hair
, which is this trope for fire elemental users taken Up to Eleven
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Anime & Manga
- The Panther Demon clan siblings in InuYasha have this: the redhead uses fire, the Mystical White Hair uses ice, the green-haired girl uses nature/illusions, and the blond uses lightning.
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5
- Cure Dream → Heart → Pink
- Cure Rouge → Fire → Red
- Cure Lemonade → Light → Yellow
- Cure Mint → Earth → Green
- Cure Aqua → Water → Blue
- Meanwhile, it subverts this trope with Milky Rose (who controls blue rose petals but has purple hair).
- HeartCatch Pretty Cure!
- Smile Pretty Cure!
- Doki Doki Pretty Cure
- Sailor Moon has Blue Haired Sailor Mercury with the elements of Water and Ice, Blonde Sailor Venus using Light 'em Up, and ocean blue haired Sailor Neptune having the power of Deep Water.
- Sailor Uranus has white hair in the manga, and air powers
- The enemy group Witches 5 had Elemental Hair, as well. Eudial used fire powers and had fiery red hair, Viluy had ice blue hair... nanites?, Tellu had green hair and used plant-based powers. Mimete is sort of the odd one out with blonde hair and charm and illusion based powers. Cyprine and Ptilol had blue and red hair respectively, but they used Wonder Twin Powers.
- Negima!'s Fiery Red Head Anya is literal. Red/orange Haired Mei Sakura uses fire as well.
- 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 have different affinities (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.
- 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).
- Pokémon 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).
- More than twice, actually. Many of the gym leaders have hair that corresponds with their type, either in color or shape. Lt. Surge, Volkner, and Wattson have spiky hair (for Wattson, what little hair he has), and the first two are blonde. Wattson is old, so his hair is white, although he was probably blonde in his younger days as well. Janine, the Poison Ninja leader, has dark purple hair, and her father has dark hair as well, along with Ghost-type Sabrina, Psychic Olympia and Psychic twins Tate and Liza. Fantina has light purple hair. Elesa, the Electric supermodel, has bright yellow-blonde hair, as does electric inventor Clement. Ice-type actor Brycen has light blue hair, Water-type swimmer Marlon has dark blue hair, and Water-type Wallace has blue-green hair, like sea foam. Fire-type Flannery has blazing red hair and Flying-type pilot Winona's bangs stick out from under her flight helmet and sweep to the sides, like a pair of wings.
- El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: the three great priestesses of Mt. Muldoon: 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 Brainy Brunette, her blue/sea green attire shows she controls wind.
- Bleach: For all the Anime Hair that does exist, this trope is rare.
- Hitsugaya, a Child Prodigy Ice Person captain. He does, naturally, have white hair to go along with it.
- Choujirou is Yamamoto's Number Two of the Shock and Awe type. He was white-haired even in his youth.
- Isane is frost-themed and has white hair, although slightly greyer in tone than Hitsugaya... like a hoar frost.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL does this often.
- Shark's hair is purple corresponding his deck is Sea-theme
- Shark's sister Rio, has light-blue and purple referencing her Ice-theme deck.
- Kaito has blonde hair matching his Light-Attribute deck.
- Pyro in many of the X-men continuities will have red, spiky hair. Storm has long, white hair that defies gravity (except for the brief period where she had a white Mohawk).
Film - Animated
- Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians has snow-white hair. Guess what his powers are?
- In a similar vain to Jack, Elsa from Disney/Frozen has platinum blonde hair and similar ice-conjuring powers. Anyone who gets cursed in the heart or mind with her ice has their hair slowly turn white, like Anna.
- Rapunzel from Disney/Tangled has 70-feet of shiny golden hair that glows when she invokes its healing powers through singing a spell. These powers originated from a drop of pure golden sunlight.
- Chandra Nalaar, a planeswalker in Magic: The Gathering with fire-based power, is red-headed—however, taking this slightly more literally, her cards typically depict her hair actually being on fire.
- 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.
- Kingdom Hearts gives us fire user Axel with spiky red hair, lightning user Larxene with blonde hair, brown haired Lexaeus uses earth, pink haired Marluxia uses flower, and blond haired Roxas uses Light. Outside the Organization, there's the three heroes of Birth by Sleep, brown haired Terra uses Earth and Darkness, blue haired Aqua uses Water and Light, and blond haired Ventus uses wind and light.
- Xemnas has gray hair to match his power of nothingness, though considering who he was originally, the hair color may have a different cause.
- Pokémon 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.
- Gym Leaders Cilan, Chilli and Cress have similar hairstyles with their respective monkeys too. Cilan has green hair shaped into a grass patch, Chilli has red hair shaped into a flame and Cress has blur hair with a wavey Peek-a-Bangs style.
- Kula Diamond from The King of Fighters normally has brown hair, but it turns light blue when she activates her cyrokinetic powers. On top of this, a few of her attacks suggest that her hair actually becomes ice, or at least takes on its properties.
- Gaia Online released an item by the name of Elemental Hair to apply to the owner's avatar with choices of fire, wind (and the softer, curlier breeze), earth, ice, water, and life - if you fancy the symbolic bird's nest and nest for hair.
- 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.
- 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 and darkness elements), Nal'Sarkoth (green/wood element), and so on.
- Gunnerkrigg Court. Antimony has very red (bordering on pink) hair and is associated with fire magic. Indirectly lampshaded by Coyote, who calls her "fire head girl." She's eventually revealed to be descended from a fire elemental. Marcia has green hair, and she's a dryad.
- MYth. The Olympian siblings. Hades has black hair to parallel his power over the dark flames, Zeus has golden locks like his mother and he represents light, Poseidon has light blue hair like the water, Hestia has flaming red hair and she's the goddess of hearth, Hera has dark brown hair to show that she's more down to earth and Demeter has flaxseed colored hair as the goddess of harvest.