The hair color may be fun and flirty, but it doesn't make those who rock it less intelligent. Now, there's proof
Although it's faded to brown, I was born a natural blonde—and thanks to my amazing colorist, I've maintained a natural blonde look ever since. (Except for a few lazy years in my early 20's.) But despite how much I love the look of golden, caramel, and champagne blond strands, I've always wondered about the stereotypical "dumb blonde" jokes and if there was, indeed, any truth to that. Has my hair color ever impeded me from getting a job? From sounding intelligent?
Thankfully, new research published in the journal Economic Bulletin last week refutes the idea that blondes are not as smart as their brunette-, raven-, and red-headed counterparts. In a study conducted at Ohio State University, researchers found that white women who said their natural hair color was blonde had an average IQ score within three points of brunettes and those with red or black hair. What's more, they found that the average IQ of blondes was actually slightly higher than those with other hair colors, but not quite enough to be statistically significant. (Ever wondered what The Psychology Behind Your Lipstick Color is?
However, while it may be true that intelligence isn't different, perception comes into play quite a bit with the blonde stereotype, notes study author Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at The Ohio State University. While jokes are jokes and should be taken as such, Zagorsky says that "research shows that stereotypes often have an impact on hiring, promotions, and other social experiences." Additionally, while none of the findings showed a genetic relationship between hair color and IQ, the study does suggest blondes aren't at any kind of intellectual disadvantage, and that those wives' tales are just that.
So being a blonde means I'm smarter and more fun? I'll take both, sure. Just don't hold it against me, please. (Related: 10 Easy Ways to Get Smarter—Stat.)