What does hair colour mean in anime? | campus.sg

anime hair colour

By Lindsay Wong

Anime follows a complex visual language, in which every detail provides meaning to the story and characterisation. One important aspect of anime characters is their hair colour. Some characters have crazy hair colours that we don’t see everyday in real life. A character’s hair colour can actually say a lot about their personality and give us hints about their character, especially when we’re forming our first impression about them. 

Red hair

Left: Karma (Assassination Classroom), Ezra (Fairy Tail)

Characters with red hair are often passionate, adventurous and enthusiastic. On the other hand, they can be hot-headed, aggressive and feisty. They portray leadership qualities with their headstrong personalities. Some male characters with red hair are more calm and disciplined.

Orange Hair

Orange hair means that the character is courageous, optimistic, loyal, spirited and full of energy. They can also be selfish, annoying and attention-seeking. In some cases, they can be self-centered troublemakers. 

Left: Hinata (Haikyuu!), Emma (The Promised Neverland)

Blond Hair

Left: Naruto, Usagi (Sailor Moon)

Fitting to the bright hues, characters with yellow/blonde hair are confident, happy and naïve. They can fall into a number of categories. Just like Western media, there’s the dumb blonde who acts childish, selfish and stubborn. Then, there are troublemakers who have certain likeable quirks but attract chaos. Lastly, there are prince charming characters who are chivalrous and humble.

Green Hair

Left: Deku (My Hero Academia), CC (Code Geass)

Green is often associated with earth and mother nature. Similarly, characters with green hair can create a calm and healing atmosphere, but they can also do the exact opposite and bring destruction. These characters are easy-going, trustworthy and tolerant on one hand, and poisonous and imprudent on the other. However, they often side with the protagonist.

Blue Hair

Left: Kuroko (Kuroko’s Basketball), Rei (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

Another colour associated with nature is blue. Characters with blue hair can vary from being quiet to being cold and calculating, much like still water and cold temperatures. Some other characteristics include being wise, talented, mature, intuitive, and aware of their own emotions. They are also soft-spoken, intellectual, strong-willed, and sometimes introverted.

Purple Hair

Left: Sinbad (Magi), Yuri (Angel Beats)

Characters with purple hair enjoy being in the spotlight. These characters are usually noble and powerful, such as royal figures. As such, their goals revolve around gaining prestige, wealth, and material possessions. They are cultured, dainty, and mysterious. 

Pink Hair

Left: Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter), Minori (Toradora)

Fittingly, characters with pink hair signify romance and innocence. Pink hair is usually reserved for female characters. They are daydreamers and idealistic, with a child-like innocence. In many cases, they bring positive energy to the people around them. However, male characters with pink hair can be perverse. 

Brown Hair

Left: Light (Death Note), Tohru (Fruits Basket)

Brown is a more mundane colour and is the default hair colour for normal characters, usually reserved for the protagonist. Characters with brown hair are warm, friendly, reliable, approachable, and comfortable.

White Hair

Left: Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul), Kyoko (Danganronpa)

Old people aside, white hair symbolises a strong-willed, highly skilled, and mysterious character. In many cases, characters with white hair have special abilities.

Black Hair

Left: Levi (Attack on Titan), Nico (One Piece)

Black hair may be another default hair colour especially in anime, but it carries deeper meaning. Characters with black hair often have had a dark past. These characters are intelligent, powerful and refined. Although their hair is a dark colour and they may seem mysterious, they actually have a lot of positive character traits.