Natural blonde hair is exceptionally unusual in Japan. Due to genetics Japanese generally have black hair and brown eyes. Their thick glossy hair has often been the envy of those around the world. But according to an article in Stylecraze, Top 40 Japanese Hairstyles for Women – 2022, the blonde bob is right up there among the latest looks for 2022.
So, what is all the hype around blonde hair?
Anything rare is considered exotic and just like brunettes all around the world, Japanese women are no different when it comes to wanting something new.
Although many Japanese have not been to America its media has far-reaching influences. And typical stereotypes form the basis for many decisions, that all-American blonde hair, blue-eyed boy or girl radiating happiness is an image that is difficult to resist.
Anime is extremely popular in Japan and is a serious influence with many characters being depicted with blonde hair and blue eyes. In anime, hair color is generally used to differentiate between the various characters. Blonde hair is often used to depict characters who are special or superior in some way. This is generally found in shoujo, a category of comics aimed at teenagers where generally the most important female lead will be blonde.
It is also thought that blonde hair and fair skin plays into ancient preferences for lighter skin tones where it was thought that rich people had lighter skin due to not having to work in fields.
Blonde hair has also allowed Japanese women to express themselves and rebel against stereotypes of that black straight-haired image held in the West.
Naturally blonde Japanese?
Japanese who are born with blonde hair will have mixed-race parents or grandparents. Often referred to as biracial, half-Japanese and half-Caucasian, is the only variable known to cause blonde hair away from albinism.
Biracial or Hāfu as it is called in Japan has become more prevalent and many Hāfu have risen to fame as models and actors due to their unusual looks. It is estimated that only 1% of Japanese are born with blonde hair and around 9% with brown hair.
Does blonde hair have a hidden meaning?
In Japan, blonde hair immediately makes you stand out from the crowd. It is thought of as exotic and as discussed often used to portray someone who is special. It is also used to portray wealth as most foreigners are often thought of as wealthy and the hint of foreign ancestry adds to the mystery.
But this is not always the case, sometimes female blonde Japanese characters are shown to be manipulative and blonde male Japanese characters are often portrayed as troublesome or the Casanova types.
There is also a subculture known as ‘Gyaru’ which centers around Western fashion trends, especially around tanned skin, heavy make-up and blonde hair. Gyaru culture is split into three subcultures: Kogal, Ganguro, and Yanmanba. Ganguro was very popular in the 1990s and was seen as a form of rebellion against typical Japanese looks. Although this trend faded, you can still see its influence in various Anime characters.
Although the majority of Japanese are not born blonde, it is a way to differentiate yourself, a way to make yourself feel special.