Are you a better blonde than a brunette? Is red really right for you? We surveyed 50 women who have proudly sported color from both ends of the spectrum and asked how they were treated by others and, more importantly, how they felt wearing each color. Some of the answers were surprising. Here are some of the top responses.
Sarah - Age 29 - Banker
"I have been all shades of blonde, brown and red and have to admit that I felt like my true self as a platinum blonde. To me, it was more fun, energetic, and definitely got more attention from customers, even just people of the street. I'm living proof that blondes definitely have more fun!"
Kari - Age 33 - Attorney
"In college, I lightened my hair (to blonde) and thought it looked good. For that time in my life, it was appropriate - it was a little daring and a lot of fun. However, about halfway through law school, I went back to brunette mainly for financial reasons. When I clerked over the summer I found it odd that I was treated more seriously and definitely more respectfully after I went dark. I was the same person inside yet somehow everyone's impression of me was based on my hair color. Odd."
Tamara - Age 40 - Art Dealer
"Red. I look and feel best as a redhead. Blonde was fun, but I like being the fiery redhead. For what I do (for a living), the creative types love it."
Kelli - Age 18 - Student
"I love to change my color and have been doing it since I was a kid. I've been every imaginable combination but right now I'm digging the silver. It sounds crazy but I just feel like 'me' in this shade."
Meghan - Age 31 - Graphic Artist
"I definitely dated more as a blonde or when I have crazy colors. Guess it's an assumption that I'm more outgoing. That's okay, I love the attention!"
Eileen - Age 49 - Technical Writer
"I started coloring my hair in high school. I never liked my natural shade, which was light brown with some gold and red undertones. Originally, I would lighten my hair to a sandy blonde and then found myself going darker and darker. When I hit my late 30s I started to gray. To cover everything, I ended up with dark brown hair, which is a bit drastic against my lighter skin. I would so love to go back to a reddish, golden brown on the lighter side but with my grays, it's not a reality for me. It would be a lot of work to pull the years of color that I have built up so that I could go lighter. I deeply regret not enjoying my natural shade while I was young. Now I HAVE TO color my hair or I'll look like an old hag."
Karen - Age 51 - Professor
"I grew up with light brown hair. It's that ugly shade between blond and brown that nobody really wants. It always looked so bland and basic. And I hated being described as that dirty blonde or having dishwater blonde hair. Who wants to be called that? In my twenties, I rebelled and went a few shades darker but it made me look harsh and my skin appeared pale, unhealthy. It was not a good look. As I got older, I went lighter and lighter. Now as a dimensional blonde, as my hairdresser calls it, I feel the youngest I ever have been."
Jeanette - Age 37 - Medical Researcher
"I am naturally blonde but prefer having dark hair. It makes me feel mysterious and dramatic."
Jennifer - Age 32 - Stay at Home Mother
"Light blonde was exciting for a while but it was a lot of work to keep it up. Recently I find medium brown to be the most versatile. I can go darker or add lighter pieces whenever I feel like it. Right now, at this point in my life, I need 'easy,' not high-maintenance."
Erica - Age 38 - Veterinary Technician
"I hated having red hair as a kid. Always have, always will. Went nearly black and now I feel at home."
Asia - Age 27 - Customer Service
"Coloring my hair is my way of expressing myself. I don't really care what others think of my choices and will always experiment. However, being platinum just feels right for me. Sometimes I add splashes of pastel color whenever I want something different. It makes me feel so girly."
Amanda - Age 24 - Graduate Student
"I feel pretty with mermaid hair. Blues, teal, purple. It's amazing. Nothing else will do."
Jamie - Age 58 - Retired Nurse
"My hair was dark brown in my twenties and then I went red for a long time. Red-brown gives me the best of both worlds. It makes me feel balanced for some reason. Balance is important to me."
Beth - Age 41 - Dental Hygienist
"My husband liked me better as a brunette. He would always dictate how he wanted my hair and insisted I wear it long. The minute we divorced, I cut my hair off and went blonde. Now I feel free!"