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Kaleidoscope Hair

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Hair Colors are an easy way to distinguish one person from another at a glance. At times, it might drive a person to dye or even bleach their own hair to change its color (blonde is a common goal, due to the stereotypes of it being more glamorous). But some people aren't satisfied with just one hair color, their hair has to keep changing colors frequently. The new shade can be common, implausible, or even outright impossible. The changes must happen a number of times, and they may be justified by use of hair dye, or any sort of Applied Phlebotinum — up to and including actual magic (though it's not necessarily a case of Magic Hair). It doesn't even have to happen to real hair, so characters who constantly swap wig colors come under this trope.

The color changes may pass without comment from others in the work, or drive someone up a wall trying to figure things out. Sometimes, even the subject of the changes might not appear to notice or care; in other cases, they might be pleased. The changes can be accompanied by a makeover, but this is less likely if they take place regularly or are a result of mood swings. Hilarity can ensue if the character hates what happens to their hair while being powerless to stop it.

This trope can occur in any medium, but some are more common than others (e.g. video game examples are near non-existent). Naturally, this includes Real Life, though due to the effects of repeated dyeingnote  most people don’t do it. Due to happening many times on a single person, it isn't a type of Expository Hairstyle Change. Usually.

Compare Kaleidoscope Eyes for the same thing in a different place. Of course, the two tropes may overlap sometimes. Compare and contrast Expressive Hair, when the hair changes style. Supertrope to Power Dyes Your Hair, where the color change only occurs due to a transformative power-up.

One of the Common Mary Sue Traits, along with being a way to give someone a Distinctive Appearance. See also Locked into Strangeness, for permanent hair colour changes. May be a result of someone just wanting to be special or Anime Hair. Voluntary Shapeshifters often have this, as can some depictions of teenagers, and it can also be a sign of an unstable or mentally ill character.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • PAREO, a member of the band RAISE A SUILEN in the BanG Dream!! franchise has multi-colored hair, which changes on daily base. Often used color combinations are black/white and pink/cyan. But other color combinations are used on special occasions, too.
  • Motoko in Change 123 has three Split Personalities. When she switches between them, many of her physical features change, including hair color.
  • When Light and L confront each other in Death Note, or meet each other on the street, Light shines a deep, blood-like red, and L an almost naval blue. Sometimes this appears as a tiny aura around their bodies, other times their hair and eyes glow that color. Their hair color can also indicate mood.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In color chapters of the manga, Karin's fur is never the same color twice. This is never commented upon. (For what it's worth, he was based on a black cat...)
    • Bulma's hair also repeatedly changed color. The first few color chapters have her with purple hair, while later ones go back to the turquoise color that the anime used most of the time. For what it's worth, Dragon Ball: The Path to Power and the manga's official full-color reprint both consistently depict Bulma with her original purple hair, indicating that this was what was originally envisioned for the character before Toei Animation pulled out their typical Adaptation Dye-Job.
  • Characters in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are drawn with a variety of hair, eye, and clothing colors in official art, and Word of God says there is no canon color scheme for them. The anime depicts this by changing the color palette of characters and even the scene itself during many key moments, usually for dramatic effect.
  • Fujiko Mine of Lupin III, during four TV series, five feature films, and dozens of Made For TV Movies, has gone through various shades of blonde, brunette, and red. Sometimes it's as part of her role as a Master of Disguise, but it usually comes with no explanation other than Depending on the Artist.
  • This happens for no fathomable reason in Quest Twilight Prince Prophecy Chronicals. Donna's hair keeps changing from a grayish brown to full-blown pink, while Ebert's can be green or brown.
  • In Saint Seiya and its various spinoffs, Gemini Saints subject to dual personality issues, such as Saga or Paradox, have this happen whenever the personality in charge changes. It also happens to Shun during the Hades Saga when Hades takes over his body.
  • Seika Higashiyama in the Suite Pretty Cure ♪ series has hair which is a different color in all of her appearances (sometimes it's even more than one color at once).
  • Urusei Yatsura: In the manga, Lum had full-blown rainbow-colored hair that shifted colors. As the manga progressed, Rumiko Takahashi changed Lum's hair color to green to match the anime, since it was changed there for ease of drawing. Green hair has been the standard for Lum ever since, even after the emergence of digital animation made it feasible to depict her original rainbow hair. The 2022 anime does add the effect of Lum's hair changing colors during the sunset or when she's using her electricity powers.

    Comic Books 
  • Midnighter of The Authority supposedly constantly changes his hair colour. This is a mixture of Ascended Fanon and Ascended Glitch: because he was so rarely seen without his cowl, different colourists kept colouring his hair random colours in the very few panels where it was visible, and fans came up with the idea that he keeps redying it.
  • Rick Hunter of Booster Gold has this and Kaleidoscope Eyes.
  • Delirium from The Sandman (1989); her hair color changes depending on her mood. It's also multicolored at any given time.
  • Ramona Flowers dyes her hair every two weeks, which Scott Pilgrim freaks out over. In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Knives tries to dye her hair blue in order to compete with currently-blue-haired Ramona.
  • Tank Girl's hair colour changes frequently, while rarely being anything that would naturally exist.
  • Wonder Woman: Circe is a witch who often tweaks her appearance and hair color, though in different periods has kept a certain color as her go to, such as in the Post-Crisis era when her hair was normally purple, but she also tried out blonde, black, magenta and pink. These days, she usually keeps it red.

    Fan Works 
  • One Harry Potter fanfic has the twins pour potion in the Slytherins' food that makes their hair change color with a popping sound every few hours.
  • The Parody Sue of Nine Men and a Little Lady has changing hair colour; it starts as flame-red but both Sam and Boromir comment on how it changes, Sam even using the excessive adjectives common to Sue descriptions.
    Myrishna (or was it Aelithea?) had eyes like stars,
    Or maybe emeralds... or were they pale?
    But her hair was like mithril!
    Or night... or sunshine... or maybe ale.
  • Queens of Mewni': Venus the Fairest was born with latent magic that had everyone see Venus as their ideal beauty. As she grew older Venus was able to control her magic and allow her hair to reflect her mood. During the year after she Mercy Killed her mother, she had black hair. Most artwork of her, both In-Universe and out, depict her with rainbow hair, save three: one demonstrating what colors represent what mood she's in, one of her during her 'Black Venus' year, and one where she watches her (very young) daughter use magic to make a model of the universe, with her hair and eyes the dark blue representing fear.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • In the later, "Marik's Council of Doom" videos, Dartz's hair changes color between almost every cut (as a parody of the below mentioned Coiffio).
    • As of season 4, his hair changes color on-screen instead of just between cuts.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hercules, Hades's has fire instead of hair which is blue by default, but becomes bright orange whenever he's angry.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Talia of The 6th Day has a different hair color (usually something bright) each time she comes back in a new body. She even gripes about having to constantly redye it.
  • Diamonds Are Forever - when Bond first meets Tiffany at her apartment, he's perplexed to see her change from a blonde to a brunette to a redhead in quick order. It turns out that she just likes wigs.
  • In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clementine frequently re-dyes her hair.
  • Natalia Tena's portrayal of Tonks (see below) doesn't change her hair quite as much as her book counterpart but is still shown with purple, red, white, brown and blonde hair across four Harry Potter films.
  • Ten Inch Hero has Priestly, whose mohawk changes color changes in every scene. At one point, it's even two different colors.
  • Violet from Ultra Violet 2006, partially because of how the film is designed to resemble a comic book.
  • In Werewolf (1996), Yuri's hair seems to change color and style in practically every scene due to poor continuity editing. The movie was cobbled together from shoots that happened months apart. And even when his hair is the same, inconsistent lighting makes it look different.

  • Susan, Intrepid Reporter, from the Archie Sheridan series, changes her hair color with each book.
  • In Children of the Red King, Olivia frequently dies her hair blue, green, purple, etc. In fact, it's a shock when the characters see her with normal brown hair.
  • Acheron Parthenopaeus from The Dark Hunters series can change his hair color at will. So far it's been black, brown, green, purple, platinum silver, and black with red streaks, among others. Justified since he is an Atlantean god.
  • Molly Carpenter of The Dresden Files dyes the ends of her hair during her teenage years, changing colours frequently. Later in the series, she goes back to her natural blond hair.
  • Danestar Gems in the Federation of the Hub stories always has the same hair colour as her clothes; she uses wigs, which (since she's employed by a detective agency) are usually packed with surveillance gadgets.
  • The Marquess from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making uses magic to change her hair color at will.
  • In Hair made of Starlight, Saffron, based on Rapunzel, has magic hair that is not only prehensile, but changes color depending on the time of day: Gold during the day, silvery-white at night, and reddish-gold at sunrise and sunset. After getting the iconic haircut from Alya, her misery and memory wiped mind turns what's left a "sun-bleached sand" yellow.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Tonks often changes her hair color; it is usually a shade of bubblegum, but can turn ginger when she’s angry, gray for a disguise, or any number of other colors at her every whim. Justified as she is a metamorphmagus.
    • Her son, Teddy, is also a metamorphmagus. Lupin mentions that Teddy had black hair when he was born, and it turned ginger by the time he'd left. Later in the book, he shows someone a picture of Teddy with turquoise hair.
  • Invictus: Imogen dyes her hair a different color every day.
  • In Leia, Princess of Alderaan, Amilyn Holdo frequently dyes her hair different colors. Star Wars Adventures has her hair dyed in a rainbow of hues.
  • Snorkmaiden from The Moomins can change fur color according to her mood, but this is downplayed in the books and left out of most adaptations altogether.
  • My Sweet Audrina by V. C. Andrews notes that the women of the Adare (except Vera, a redhead) are born with what they call "chameleon hair", which appears to change colours according to the light.
  • Commander Christine Vale in Star Trek: Titan often redyes her hair. In Over a Torrent Sea, set on an ocean world, it's specifically mentioned she dyed it sea-blue to match the mission.
  • Star Wars Legends: The fur of a Kushiban (a sapient rabbit-like species) changes color according to their mood. Among the colors include white when calm, and black for deep despair.
  • Shifting hair colors is a genetic trait shared by members of Idris' royal family in Warbreaker. Hair changes color depending on the person's mood; it turns white when they are scared or nervous, black when they are calm or feeling confident, red when they are angry, and blonde when they are happy. As shown by Siri's character development, it takes a lot of maturity and restraint to keep one's hair the same color for a long period of time.
  • One possible power in Xanth is changing your hair color.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Beka from Andromeda has nanomachines that can change her hair to any colour she wants.
  • Mrs. Slocumbe, from Are You Being Served?, has hair that switches colors frequently. Originally, actress Mollie Sugden dyed her hair different colors, but when it damaged her hair she began to wear varying wigs instead.
  • You'd be hard-pressed to name two episodes where Lillian of Boardwalk Empire has the same hair color and style.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Oz dyes his hair so often it's difficult to tell what its natural color is.
      Willow: Your hair! brown.
      Oz: Oh, yeah. Sometimes.
    • Anya tends to have a new hair color and style for every episode she appears in.
  • Paige from Charmed whose hair is a different colour each season. Black in S4, Red in S5, Blonde in S6 and brown in the last two seasons. Phoebe also had six different hairstyles in the fourth season. In the premiere, she was dark blonde but had gone all the way to an almost black hue by the finale.
  • Christine Nelson from Degrassi dyes her black hair bleach blonde in season 8. In season 9 she inexplicably now has red and blonde hair. (To be fair, the character IS a hairdresser. It's likely that she frequently experiments with hairstyles.)
  • Jool in Farscape is a Parody Sue with hair that changes color depending on her mood.
  • Enforced in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Dobie's actor (Dwayne Hickman) was made to dye his hair blonde in order to distance him from a previous role. When the show was well established, he was allowed to return to his natural brown hair color; however, at times he had to go blonde again.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: In the reality TV episode, Queenie starts trying on various wigs, experimenting with different looks. One of them is neon orange!
  • Power Rangers:
    • Astronema of Power Rangers in Space is best remembered for her original purple hair, but it didn't last: she changes its color and style very frequently without comment from anyone else. Mind you, before that, Tommy was always changing his hairstyle during his original run. (When it comes to later appearances, he's had the same spiky hair since the 10th anniversary special, breaking the new-season-equals-new-style streak.)
    • Power Rangers Mystic Force's Vida has black hair, but there's a streak of a different color that changes from one episode to the next. No indication it's anything other than dye. In the epilogue scenes of the last episode, she's dyed all of her hair pink, evidently having gotten over her initial dislike of her Ranger color.
  • On Netflix's Ponysitters Club, Trish likes to wear brightly-colored hair extensions. She often wears more than one color at a time, and the colors change frequently.
  • Lucretia from Spartacus: Blood and Sand rotates between her natural hair color and various colored wigs. Later we find out she wears them to honor her old friend Gaia, whose wigs they originally were. Truth in Television as the hair fashions were constantly changing in Rome so most noblewomen used wigs and hairpieces to keep up with them.
  • Claudia from Warehouse13 likes to dye her skunk stripe in various colors.

  • Sonika of a Vocaloid is able to change her green hair color according to her Twitter messages.
  • Britney Spears has dyed her hair many colors over the years, though blonde has always been predominant.
  • Through the miracle of wigs, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has a different hair color and length almost every time we see her.
  • Lead guitarist Mami Sasazaki of Scandal has had this in spades since about 2012 when the band ditched wearing school uniforms. Since then, her hair has featured blonde, aqua, green, orange, blue, violet, lavender, and silvery colours.
  • Katy Perry is constantly changing her hair colors. At various times, it's been black, blond, red, blue, pink, purple and orange.
  • Anette of Nightwish frequently dyes her hair different colours. As of the end of July 2012, she was a redhead; come September, she's blond.
  • During the Hybrid Theory touring era, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park was known for dying his hair red, blue, or (occasionally) bright yellow. His co-singer Chester Bennington also bleached his hair during that era. By the middle of the touring cycle for their second album Meteora, however, they've fully gone back to their natural colors (black and dark brown, respectively).
  • Matt Bellamy of Muse often dyed his hair various colors during the Origin Of Symmetry period, notably red, blue, and blond.
  • This is a common trope in the Korean Pop Music industry, to the point that it's not unusual for one to change their hair colour (if not style) for each comeback:
    • Frequent hair colour changes are especially common with Daesung, T.O.P., and excessively, G-Dragon, all of Big Bang. G-Dragon, for example, has had blonde hair, black hair, pink hair, blue hair, orange hair...
    • Girls' Generation's Sunny frequently changes her hair colors through dying her hair or wearing wigs. Her hair has been in 7 colors (and counting).
    • Everyone (except Leo) in VIXX has hair that changes every once in a while, but Ravi is notable for changing his hair color four times in a six month period.
  • Lene wore no fewer than four colored wigs for Aqua's "Lollipop (Candyman)".
  • Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance has changed his hair a lot. He's had it black, bleached blond and cut short, then long and bright red for Danger Days.
    • He seems to be changing his hair color even more often now that MCR has broken up. In the past few years, it has been red-brown, brown, various shades of blond/yellow, white, black...
  • Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.
  • MS MR's Lizzy changes her hair color a lot, frequently having multiple colors at once.
  • Josh Dun, the drummer of Twenty One Pilots, has been known for sporting a variety of hair colours, re-dyeing his hair on a fairly regular basis. The list of colours so far ranges from bright pink, to purple, to blue, to bluish-green, to reddish-orange, to his natural brown. See here for a few examples.
  • Lead singer of Paramore Hayley Williams. Predominately bright red/orange, but neon greens and blues have been seen.
  • The naturally sandy David Bowie had hair of every imaginable shade of red, orange, and yellow through the years. In the later phases of his career he alternated between a more-or-less natural grey and subtle brown shades.
  • Halsey has worn pretty much every hair color and style under the sun. Blue is one of her most well-known, but she’s also been seen sporting red, ginger, blonde, brunette, green, pink, lavender, and even brunette with rainbow roots. And the styles don’t end there: we’ve seen her hair long, short, mid-length, straight, wavy, curly, pixie-cut, with bangs, without bangs, or even just bald/shaved altogether.
  • Anneke van Giersbergen, formerly of The Gathering, has been basically every colour under the sun during her long career. She seem to favour all the shades between honey blonde and bright red, though.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Some Create-a-Wrestler information websites for WWE games tend to list William Regal's hair color as either blonde, brown, or red. He seemingly has Kaleidoscope Hair based on the lighting, length, and dampness of his hair. If it's short and slicked back, and he's in a not so well-lit room, it can look brownish. If it's short and slicked back, but the lighting is better, like in a WWE arena, then it can look like a redhead. If it's long and dry, and he's in a well-lit room, then it can his natural blond mixed with a bit of gray.
  • Jeff Hardy has had numerous colors to his hair.
  • The Kat liked to have multi-coloured hair every week around mid-2000. She alternated between blonde and black hair several times during her stint in WWE too.
  • Naomi on NXT Season 3 had different colour highlights in her hair every week. She stopped adding them altogether by the end of the season.
  • Roxxi Laveaux in TNA when she was the Voodoo Queen. The repeated dyeing ended up stripping her hair, resulting in a head shave at the 2008 Sacrifice PPV.

  • Absit Omen features Ted Lupin, who takes after his mother and changes his hair color and style on a day-to-day basis.
  • Fóla Aensland of The Origin of the Keys can manipulate her hair and eye colors at will. This can be intended to appeal to certain peoples' tastes but is mostly done just to amuse herself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In previous editions of Forgotten Realms, the god Vhaeraun had this according to mood (gold for triumph, blue for amusement, red for anger, green for curiosity), accompanied by Kaleidoscope Eyes to match.
  • As a bit of, ah, background color in Transhuman Space, cosmetic nanotechnology allows characters to change hair color on whim — and even to use their hair as a video display.

    Video Games 
  • As a symptom of the lighting engine used in Final Fantasy XV, Noctis' normally jet-black hair will appear to be a shade of silvery blue or bright silver in some scenes/situations.
  • Moxie of the Lonely Wolf Treat series has white hair in the winter and brown hair in the summer, just like real-life arctic foxes.
  • In NBA Jam's Spiritual Successor NBA Hangtime, if you pick the Chicago Bulls, you can actually choose which hair color Dennis Rodman will play with. The game actually gives you a small rainbow of options.
  • In RosenkreuzStilette, Spiritia has a version of this which overlaps with Power Dyes Your Hair: using different weapons from the other RKS members she'd fought will change her hair color corresponding to the hair color of the original user.
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders has Leslie, whose hair color changes every time she takes her helmet off. Word of God (David Fox) says that this is an in-joke to the real Leslie, a girlfriend of designer Matthew Alan Kane.

    Web Animation 
  • Anon character Dani has gone by most of the colors and hairstyles possible.

  • K from Blip has hair that varies from brunette to black to pink-ish over the course of the story. At first, it just seems like Art Evolution, until the other characters comment on it. The color seems to correspond to her long-term mood—the worse she feels, the darker her hair gets—but there's no explanation for how it changes.
  • Barney from Deadendia dyes his hair a different color every issue.
  • Ariel from Drowtales can do this thanks to her innate shapeshifting abilities. Her hair is one of the easiest and less painful parts of her body to change, and at one point when a too-friendly Sharen points out that her purple hair is "their" color she defiantly changes it to Sarghress red right then and there.
  • This happens to Nanase (whose hair turns black when her magic burns out) and Susan (when she goes through an angst-induced awakening) in El Goonish Shive.
  • The title character in the Star Trek Parody Sue comic Ensign Sue Must Die has hair highlights that change color in every strip.
  • Flipside: Crest's wizard girlfriend who can change her hair's color and style based on her emotions.
  • Kyle, the author and main character of Imminent Moose frequently changes his hair color on a whim.
  • From Kill la Kill AU, we have this with Ragyo who, true to canon, has hair of multiple colors, and it apparently reacts to her mood, as was shown in a few comics.
  • Rose from Latchkey Kingdom is a shapehifter who typically stays in a single Funny Animal form, but her fur can noticeably change color over the course of a few sentences. It's somewhat correlated with her mood; when she's serious or sad, her fur turns black or dark gray, and when she's excited or happy, it can become saturated hues of purple, deep blue, magenta, and more.
  • Ping from MegaTokyo can change her appearance in response to user feedback. The most obvious changes are to her hair. So far, she's had pale grey, hot pink, and turquoise.
  • minus.: minus's hair changes from strip to strip, ranging from red to blue and green without comment — then again, she is omnipotent. It adds to her surreality.
  • Katrina, from The Noordegraaf Files changes her hair every two weeks in — comic or so.
  • Momo from Questionable Content can do this. (She's a robot.)
  • In Shinkutokimekisempukaku (or just Shinku! for short), Leroy is drawn with a different hair color in every panel. In the first strip where this is evident, the author commentary explains that this is an exaggeration of the real Leroy's habit of frequently dyeing his hair. Similarly, Cary's hat shows a different icon on the front in every panel.
  • For a long time, Peejee from Something*Positive would have constantly changing hair, until Randy got tired of changing it.
  • In Subnormality, the pink-haired girl switches between neon pink and brown, once in the middle of a conversation with another character. Her explanation: 'I do this a lot'.
  • Zoophobia: Jestine's (already multi-colored) hair constantly changes with every scene.

    Web Original 
  • In the Hunger Games OCT, Vinca dyes his hair as often as he changes clothes, often blending with Kaleidoscope Hair.
  • In Phaeton Graces hair colour changes almost every night, and interestingly enough she never seems to use dye. It even blends multiple coulours together.
  • Starting with Estevan Marshall LancRose's Traumatic Haircut in the first round of the Trinity Tourney OCT, the hair he is so obsessed with ends up changing with each day over the course of events in the tournament.
  • Newter of Worm is an orange lizard with Animal Eyes and oft-changing dyed hair.

    Web Videos 
  • When Allison Pregler released her commentary for Undefeatable, her first video review, she explained that she has been changing her hair color regularly for most of her life, and that her first few videos (including Undefeatable) caught her at a rare moment when she had returned to her natural color.
  • DanTDM has dyed his hair several different shades of blue, blond, purple, and even pink at one point.
    • This crosses over into a Running Gag in Minecraft: Story Mode, where his character's hair can change colour in the time it takes to walk through a door. In that series, his hair has changed between brown (natural), cyan/turquoise/blue, red, purple, grey, and blond.
  • Emma Blackery has a different hair color and cut at least weekly.
  • LDShadowLady's hair has gone from brown to pink to blue to pink to purple and back to pink.
  • Her workmate MarzGurl also likes to change her a lot, but many times reverts to her natural brown.
  • In the Evil Council videos of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Dartz's hair changes color in every shot with him in it. Once he becomes the main villain in Season 4, his hair can be seen shifting colors during shots.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted with Roger from American Dad!, who has a collection of wigs that he swaps around for roleplaying. Many of them are different in color.
  • Parodied in Perfect Hair Forever – Coiffio has a Super Saiyan-esque hairdo that continuously changes colors.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Sabine changes her hair color every season.
  • Total Drama: Gwen has alternating shades of light teal, black, and dark teal, though her status as the show's Goth means it's probably a dye job.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: When out looking for Wu Kimiko's hair is never the same style twice and comes in many shades from normal like blond to unnatural such as ocean green.
  • Tuesday from The X's has hair that is constantly changing color, sometimes in-between scenes.

    Real Life 
  • Kira Buckland. A guide to voice acting she created claims she's "a gal who's had hair of every color of the rainbow", and a cursory Google Images search backs this claim up (there's white, green, blue, pink, and yes, rainbow).
  • Basketball player Dennis Keith Rodman keeps changing his hair.