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 something else: 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, mid length, and flowing, but it can also be wavy, like ocean waves.
- Ice — light blue or white, and similar in style to water, though probably less flowing.
- Air — white, gray, light blue, lavender, or pastel colors. Often wavy or curly 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. May overlap with Gold and White Are Divine.
- Dark — nearly always black, occasionally more purple.
- Nature/Wood/Plant — green. Often messy, and decorated with leaves or flowers. Usually associated with Plant Hair.
- 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 Elemental Hair Composition, Color-Coded Elements, Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, and Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance. Compare Flaming Hair.
- Black Clover:
- Luck Voltia uses Lightning Magic and has messy blond hair.
- Mars has light purple, almost white, spiky hair and his innate magic attribute is Mineral Magic.
- Sylph is the Wind Spirit and has green hair that ends in upward tufts.
- The Vermillion Family siblings in the Crimson Lion Kings all have red hair and use Flame Magic. Mereoleona's hair ends in tufts resembling flames.
- Licht has long white hair and uses Light Magic.
- Bleach: For all the Anime Hair that does exist, this trope is rare.
- Hitsugaya is An Ice Person Child Prodigy captain. Naturally, he has 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.
- El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: the three great priestesses of Mt. Muldoon: Shayla is easily identified 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.
- Fairy Tail has a few examples:
- Natsu, the main hero who uses Fire Dragon Slayer magic, zigzags it a bit: his hair is a shade of red in the manga, but pink in the anime. Nonetheless, it's still spiky to the sides resembling flames.
- Juvia Lockser, who uses Water Magic, has long, wavy blue hair that curled up on the ends. She cuts it short for a time, but later grows it back and keeps it flowing down.
- Laxus Dreyar uses Lightning Dragon Slayer Magic, and has blond hair spiked upwards, fitting for his initial Psycho Electro personality.
- The Familiar of Zero 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, Tiny Tyrannical Girl and Tsundere Louise, 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 (Saito, Siesta, Marteau, Scarron, and Jessica) all have very dark brown or black hair.
- Inuyasha: The Panther Demon clan siblings have this; the redhead uses fire, the one with Mystical White Hair uses ice, the green-haired girl uses nature/illusions, and the blond uses lightning.
- The girls from Magic Knight Rayearth have both the hair color and styles that evoke the elements that they're granted. Fire-wielding Hikaru has pinkish red hair that's usually braided and wisps out like a flame at the bottom, water-wielding Umi has long, straight, flowing blue hair, and wind-wielding Fuu has blonde hair that's loopy and curly like wind. They also mostly follow Curtains Match the Window, but Fuu breaks it with her blonde hair and green eyes.
- My Hero Academia:
- Kaminari generates electricity as his Quirk, which fit his spiky blond hair.
- The Todorokis. Patriarch Enji has fire powers and has dark-ish, spiky red hair to go with them; his wife Rei has stark white hair to go with her ice Quirk. Their youngest son Shoto is a perfect combination of their powers — he can generate ice from his right side and fire from his left. Fittingly, the right half of his hair is white and the left half of his hair is red.
- Negima! Magister Negi Magi's Fiery Red Head Anya is literal. Red/orange Haired Mei Sakura uses fire as well.
- Pokémon: Besides imported NPCs from the games to whom this trope applies, the anime also has 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).
- Pretty Cure
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5
- Fresh Pretty Cure!
- Cure Peach → Heart → Blonde
- Cure Pine → Light + Prayer → Gold
- HeartCatch Pretty Cure!
- Cure Blossom → Cherry Blossom Petals → Pink
- Cure Marine → Water → Blue
- Cure Sunshine → Sun → Yellow
- Cure Moonlight → Moon → Silver
- Dark Precure → Darkness → Black
- Smile PreCure!
- Doki Doki! PreCure
- Go! Princess Pretty Cure
- Cure Mermaid → Water → Blue
- KiraKira★Pretty Cure ŕ la Mode
- Cure Gelato → Ice → Blue
- Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure
- Cure Fontaine → Water → Blue
- Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure
- Cure La Mer → Water → Blue
- In The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World, Tougo's flaming red hair and eyes match his preferred element of fire, which mainly manifests in making stuff explode.
- Sailor Moon
- 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 platinum blonde 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.
- World Customize Creator: People with magic have color-coded hair depending on their element. Red for Fire, Blue for Water.
- 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.
- Zatch Bell!: Quite common...whenever you can actually see hair on a given demon/mamodo.
- Main protagonist Gash/Zatch uses lightning magic and has blond hair. His Evil Twin Zeon/Zeno also uses lightning but has white hair instead.
- Tio/Tia, the Combat Medic with powerful shielding spells, has pink hair. The same goes for Kolulu, a pacifistic demon, who is revealed to have powerful protection magic during the final battle against Clear Note.
- Reycom, Gash's first foe, uses ice magic and has blue hair shaped like ice crystals.
- Sugina/Sugino, another of Gash's early foes, uses plant magic and has green hair that may actually be a plant.
- Fein's hair is purple (steel-blue in the manga), not appropriate to wind magic, but it is very much long and flowing.
- Patie/Penny has teal hair and uses water-based spells. In the manga, though, her hair is silver instead.
- Fango's hair is so blatantly flame-like that you could guess his power at a glance.
- In Happy Heroes, yellow-haired Smart S. has electricity powers alongside his main Magnetism Manipulation.
- Firestorm (DC Comics):
- Crystal Frost, the first ice-powered to go by Killer Frost, has white hair after her transformation. Her friend and successor Louise Lincoln has blue hair as a result of her own transformation.
- The third Killer Frost, Caitlin Snow, was platinum blonde even before her transformation, which, as of the Rebirth continuity, turned her hair bluish-white.
- Global Guardians: Sigrid Nansen aka Icemaiden has white hair and ice powers as a result of her transformation. Her successor Tora has it too, though she was born with both ice powers and white hair.
- In the Superman comics:
- Villain Livewire has spiky, silvery hair and lightning abilities.
- Thara Ak-Var has reddish-brown hair and fire powers when she transforms into Flamebird.
- Wonder Woman:
- Sensation Comics: Flamina has orange hair and Playing with Fire abilities.
- Villain Zara is a fire user with red hair. In the Golden Age her apparent pyrokinesis was faked using chemicals, but her subsequent iterations can control fire as a superpower.
- Wonder Woman and the Star Riders: Dolphine is a water controller with blue hair, and Ice has ice powers and white hair.
- Pyro in many of the continuities has red, spiky hair.
- Storm has long, white hair that defies gravity (except for the brief period where she has a white Mohawk). During the Krakoan Age, she's drawn with long afro-textured hair that looks like a billowing cloud.
- When Polaris is made the Horseman of Pestilence by Apocalypse for a short time, her hair is depicted as a long streaming cloud of poisonous green gas.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami: Ami is a mage with water and ice magic, and has blue hair.
- Played with Kathryn, the protagonist of The Heart Trilogy. Her hair is fiery red, and it has scarce golden highlights that help give it a resemblance to flames. She doesn't have fire powers, but she has an Interspecies Romance with the red dragon Smaug, and she transforms into a golden dragon several times throughout the trilogy.
- Frozen (2013): Elsa has platinum blonde hair and ice-conjuring powers. Anyone who gets cursed in the heart or mind with her ice has their hair slowly turn white, like Anna.
- Rise of the Guardians: Jack Frost has snow-white hair. Guess what his powers are?
- Tangled: Rapunzel has seventy 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. After her hair is cut and loses its powers, its color changes to brown, matching her parents.
- Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Fire witches invariably have red hair (which tends to burst into flames when they get angry enough).
- Inheritance Trilogy:
- Nahadoth, God of Darkness and Chaos, appears as a beautiful, pale man (or woman) with long, gravity-defying black hair.
- Itempas, God of Light and Order, appears in human form as a young black man with brilliantly white hair. In his divine form, it's made out of white light.
- The Quest of the Unaligned: Subverted, then played straight. Despite being a fire-powered aesh, Laeshana has golden hair. Becomes a straight example when Alaric uses the Prince's Crown to alter Laeshana's magical alignment, causing her to become an orah.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Melisandre is strongly associated with red, and many people comment on how very red her hair is. Guess what element her god is associated with? hint
- Spinning Silver: The Staryk Fair Folk have powerful magic, particularly relating to ice and winter, and Mystical White Hair.
- Titan's Forest: Ekhis, the rain goddess, has grey and indigo hair.
- Dungeons & Dragons: Genasi — hybrids of humanoids and Elemental Embodiments — often have distinctive hair to match their extraplanar heritage, like bright red (sometimes flaming) for fire genasi and pale blue for air genasi. Water genasi sometimes have perpetually damp hair that wafts as though underwater, while earth genasi hair might be muddy (figuratively or literally) or crystalline.
- Magic: The Gathering: Chandra Nalaar, a planeswalker with fire-based power, is red-headed — however, taking this slightly more literally, her cards typically depict her hair actually being on fire.
- Invoked by the fire-loving Skaven of Clan Volkn, whose members dye their fur bright red.
- As a minor Mark of the Supernatural, pyromancers of the Bright Order often become Fiery Redheads as their powers develop.
- Boldur the dwarf from Battleborn has tree-like hair which is best shown by his beard and the stump at the back of his head.
- In the Dark Parables series, twins Ross Red and Snow White (yes, that Snow White) have colors which reflect their elemental powers. Ross, who has fire magic, has flaming red hair with eyes to match; Snow, meanwhile, has frost powers and icy white hair.
- Dragon Quest:
- EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance: The Valkyries who accompany Walhalla all have appropriate hair colours for their elements. Red for the fire valkyrie, blue for water, an earthy brown for the forest valkyrie. And Walhalla herself gets lush blonde for her lightning powers. The twin Valkyries of Light are a platinum-haired.
- Aqua / Azura from Fire Emblem Fates has incredibly long, light-blue hair and has powers over water. In the Future Past DLC her son Shigure inherits both.
- 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 for hair.
- In the Giana Sisters series, Giana is a pyrokinetic redhead (when powered-up).
- 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.
- Almost all of the Olympian gods in Hades have a hair color matching their overall color theme. Additionally, Zeus's hair resembles puffy clouds, while Poseidon's flows like water.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kirby Star Allies: The Three Mage Sisters all have hair that matches their powers. Ice Mage Francisca has long blue hair, Fire Mage Flamberge has spiky red hair and Lightning Mage Zan Partizanne has yellow hair.
- The Legend of Zelda: The three oracles that appear in the Oracle games are named for and associated with the Golden Goddesses of Hyrule. Din, with flaming red hair, is associated with the goddess of fire and power, Nayru, with long wavy blue hair, is associated with the goddess of water and wisdom, and Farore, with green hair in buns, is associated with the goddess of life, forest, and wind.
- Mortal Kombat: Frost, introduced in Deadly Alliance, has blue hair and has ice powers. Deception reveals that she and Sub-Zero are descended from an Outworld tribe of cryokinetics.
- Pokémon: Many of the gym leaders, Elite Four, and specialist NPCs have hair that corresponds with their type, either in color or shape (although some more than others). To list a few examples:
- Brothers Cilan (green hair, grass), Chili (red hair, fire), and Cress (blue hair, water) of Black and White. For bonus points, they respectively train Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour (and their evolutions), whose hair also resembles their respective elemental types.
- Electric-type users Lt. Surge (Red and Blue), Volkner (Diamond and Pearl), Wattson (Ruby and Sapphire), Clemont (X and Y), and Sophocles (Sun and Moon) have spiky hair (for Wattson, what little hair he has), and the first two are blonde, alongside Elesa (Black and White).
- Water-type user Marlon (Black and White 2) has dark blue hair shaped like a fin. Fellow Water-type user Wallace (Emerald) has blue-green hair, like sea foam, and Lana (Sun and Moon) has bright blue hair with wave-like sidetails.
- Fire-type Flannery (Ruby and Sapphire) has blazing red hair. Kiawe (Sun and Moon) takes this to its logical extreme, with his hair literally being shaped like a flame.
- Flying-type pilot Winona (Ruby and Sapphire)'s bangs stick out from under her flight helmet and sweep to the sides, like a pair of wings. Skyla (X and Y)'s hair is shaped like an airplane propeller.
- Super Mario Bros.: Bowser has a red mane/mohawk that resembles flames, and his (original) preferred method of attack is breathing fire.
- The hair and eyes of every citizen of the Kingdom of Gwain in Gwain Saga correspond to a certain element.
- Apricot Cookie(s)! has Jammy Smasher, with red hair and fire-related powers.
- Aurora (2019): Ignans, humans influenced by the element of fire, have hair in various shades of orange. This extends to Caliban, their Ethnic God.
- 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.
- Sleepless Domain: Magical girl hair colours often indicate the powers the girls possess. For example, Alchemical Water has blue hair in curly drills, Alchemical Earth has straight brown, Alchemical Air blonde, and Alchemical Fire red. In this case, their hair colors are explicitly tied to their powers, as they have normal hair colors in flashbacks prior to obtaining said powers.
- The Galilean Satellites of 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.
- The "bottle" variant of Hatsune Miku has hair literally made of water, usually with a goldfish swimming in it. Her normal hair is blue, which is probably where the idea came from since she had no particular association with water.
- Looming Gaia: Jeimos has red hair like all red elves, and is skilled in fire magic. Linde has white hair due to her albinism and is skilled in frost magic.
- Whateley Universe:
- Fireball. She invokes Elemental Hair by dying it red, and has a fire manifestation power, as said in Revenge of the Alphas.
Alberta 'Fireball' Waldner ... She was an Exemplar, which was supposed to be, like, a base requirement. She was a babe, she knew that, even if she did have to dye her naturally strawberry blonde hair flame red to go with her green eyes and Fire Manifestation powers. And POWER? She could not only create fire out of nothing, but she could shape it and animate it to whatever she wanted!
- Fireball. She invokes Elemental Hair by dying it red, and has a fire manifestation power, as said in Revenge of the Alphas.
- Sparkler, with technological assistance, as said in Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
That redheaded bitch blasted off a sparkling fireball the size of a refrigerator.
I went light and waved my arm through her gloves. I phased my hand just solid enough that I shorted out the circuitry — or whatever — that was hidden inside them. They erupted in a shower of sparks and little puffs of black smoke. [...]
She stood there, covered in whipped cream, and staring at the smoking ruins of her whipped-cream-covered gauntlets. She tried to launch a fireball at me, and just got a harmless shower of sparks for her troubles.
"I was just trying to save my big sister's life! Okay, I was also trying to keep Firebitch from roasting those cops in that squad car."
Byrd said, "Firebitch, huh? Funny. Her real codename is Sparkler."
"We got attacked by some loser bitch named Sparkler."
"Oh god, what did Sarah do now," Belle said with a weary sigh.
Belle interrupted with a confused expression, "Wait a second, Sarah can only create light shows. None of her firecracker effects can do damage."
"Sparkler got an upgrade to her power somewhere, because she burned three cops and nearly killed the bank teller of the bank she had just robbed. Well, I was seeing red by then and began fighting the ditz, which ruined the street we were on."
- Sparkler, with technological assistance, as said in Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
- Invoked in The Owl House. After her Important Haircut in "Through the Looking Glass Ruins", Amity started dying her hair lavender instead of green because purple is the color of the abomination magic that she specializes in, though she didn't reveal that it was the reason she chose that color until "Reaching Out".
- Static Shock:
- Hot Streak has fire powers and red hair.
- Permafrost has white hair and ice powers.