A leader in all things hair-related, L’Oréal Professional strives to be ahead of the game when it comes to the hottest new trends. But its latest study, ‘blonde Britannia’ – the largest ever study of blondes by the brand – has unearthed a lot more than just our favourite tones of platinum – its highlights some entirely new social implications around being a blonde.
Away with the ‘ditzy’ and ‘dumb’ tags says L’Oréal Professional, for its new study says otherwise; to be blonde in 2015 means success, strength and independence.
According to the 3,000 UK-based blondes who were surveyed, perceptions of platinum, ash and golden-haired women have been evolving for the better over recent years. As leading celebrity colourist Jo Hansford argues, “blondes themselves haven’t changed, but the social perception of blondes certainly has.”
Hansford thinks its something to do with our new leading blonde characters too; “film and TV portray blondes as being not only sexy, but intelligent, strong and independent. Characters like Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, in House of Cards, and stars like Taylor Swift have helped break the stereotype of the ditzy blonde who just wants to have ‘fun.’”
L’Oréal’s survey suggests that blondes are portraying the day-to-day role with a little more confidence, aptitude and aplomb in real life too. Over half of the blonde respondents admitted that they were most likely to describe themselves as ‘intelligent’, while over a third will now use the phrase ‘well-read’. Not a ‘dumb’ note in sight.
No wonder there’s a light fantastic wave moving into the boardroom then. As one ambitious blonde, 49-year-old Tania Ali from London, explains, “like me, a lot more blonde women are running companies and holding down high powered jobs in business, in politics, and in the media. I think this has changed people’s perspective on how they see blondes and they are no longer considered ‘ditzy’.”
Image: bridesmaid dresses
Blondes are now earning bigger bucks too; a study by the journal Economics Letters had already confirmed back in 2010 that having blonde hair boosts pay by £1,600 a year for a woman earning £22,000 a year.
As one of Britain’s best known blonde darlings, L’Oréal ambassador Twiggy explains, “it’s refreshing to see that the research reveals that perceptions about blondes are changing for the better.”
So what does it really feel like to be blonde now? A third of the respondents remarked that their hue makes them feel more confident first and foremost, while a quarter feel younger with it and another quarter are happier as blondes. Good news then for gross national happiness, with 44 per cent of us in the UK describing ourselves as ‘blonde.’ Champagne hues all round!
In fact, for the unnatural blondes amongst us, being fair makes us feel so good that we’d rather put on half a stone than let any dark roots mess with our feel-good factor – which is probably why the average blonde goes to the salon four times a year for a top up session (in between boardroom meetings, naturally).