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As a bottle blonde who was born a brunette but is begging to be a redhead, Samantha Hamilton Rushforth reveals why your hair can be full of secrets.

Whilst I firmly believe you should never judge a book by its cover, it’s not totally unreasonable, at least according to modern science, to infer a whole lot about a woman by her hair colour. A study published earlier this year in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology found that people often see brunettes as more approachable, blondes as loud and bubbly, and redheads as fiery and stubborn. So far, so stereotypical, but that aside, the report may have some merit, especially when I reflect on the reasons behind my current obsession – becoming a redhead. The only problem? Not only am I a natural brunette, (with dark Delevingne brows to match) but I’m currently also masquerading as a platinum blonde.

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So why the scarlet fixation? As strange as it sounds I’ve always felt like a redhead. When I was younger I saw friends, cousins and kids on TV teased for even a slight stain of strawberry in their hair. Far from putting me off, it actually made me yearn to be as unique as they were. While only 1.5 per cent of the world’s population can boast natural ginger locks, it’s still a colour that many women who want to stand out from the crowd covet. Christina Hendricks, Cynthia Nixon and Emma Stone, all blondes by birth, dyed their hair for film roles early in their careers and kept it as their signature selling point from then on. So, with so many ticks on the pro list, I asked strand whisperer to the stars, Maria Dowling, why it’s taken me so long to ditch the bleach and put myself firmly in the ginger camp.

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“Being a blonde can be slightly addictive,” she reveals. “I know how much a few highlights can brighten up how I feel. Suddenly my mood is lifted – I’m like a new person. Likewise when someone has dark hair and goes brighter they’ll take on a new personality; it normally means that they are in a good place in their life and it is seen as a lift.” Aesthetically there’s no way around it. The lighter your hair is, the more radiant your skin will look, as the melanin-free follicles help bounce light onto and off the face, meaning a little balayage here and a couple of highlights there can literally be a less drastic alternative to having a facelift.

With that in mind, if blondes (natural or not) aesthetically look better and statistically act happier, maybe I’ll stick to painting the town red instead of doing the same to my hair.


Having mane issues? Hairstylist to the stars, Negin Zand, answers all your hair colour questions