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Published: September 06, 2019

UT Researchers Answer Question: Red, Blonde or Brunette?

Which hair color is most preferred by men and women? Red, blonde or brunette?

According to UT professors Jennifer Wortham and Abraham Miller, and Daniela Delvescovo ’17, the answer is…brunette.

“Brunette hair color was preferred overall by both males and females, followed by blonde and then red hair,” said Wortham, a professor of health sciences and human performance. “Male hair color choice in females did not vary between geographic regions, but female choice for female hair color did.”

The data, recently published in the journal Florida Scientist, showed that both men and women prefer the hair color they have been around within their family and population.

“There’s evidence to show why brunette is preferred,” said Wortham. “If the hair color is the most common in the environment, then it’s probably the most evolutionary stable. There’s something stable about picking what everyone else does. If you think about it, in our culture, anytime you choose to do something that is outside the norm, you will face consequences.” 

Wortham, Miller, an associate professor of health sciences and human performance, and Delvescovo collected more than 3,000 surveys from college-aged students in the Tampa Bay area. They asked respondents what geographical region they were from, what their parents’ and siblings’ hair color is (and if any dyed their hair), and what they personally preferred.


Story by Sydney Rhodes '21, journalism major


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