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Thursday, 27 December 2012


The word blond derives from the Old French word “blund”, meaning literally “a color midway between golden and light chestnut.” The French origin is how we get the added “e” on the end when using the feminine form of the word. 

The Ancient Greeks were obsessed with blonde hair and men and women alike bleached their locks with potash water and herbal infusions. 

Having blonde hair was popular in ancient Rome, too. Those not naturally blessed with fair hair, though, had to go through a bit of an ordeal to change their natural color. The treatment of choice was pigeon droppings.

In the Middle Ages Blond hair continued to be admired, and the favored medieval bleaching formulas included henna, gorse flowers, saffron, eggs, and calf kidneys.

In the 15th century, both men and women strove to achieve blond hair by either using a bleach or saffron or onion skin dye, or, in the case of Italian women, by sitting for hours in a crownless hat in the sun.

During the Renaissance, blonde hair became so much de rigour in Venice that a brunette was not to be seen except among the working classes. Venetian women spent hours dyeing and burnishing their hair until they achieved the harsh metallic glitter that was considered a necessity.

Machiavelli stated that the preferred standard for women should be long, blonde, flowing hair as by this time the colour was thought to be angelic.

Blondes became the rage in the 1930s as movie stars Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, and Jean Harlow inspired women to bleach or dye their hair and pluck their eyebrows pencil-thin.  Meanwhile little girls were having their hair curled or permanently waved to look like Shirley Temple. 

Anita Loos, the author of the novel and play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, wrote a sequel entitled But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.

Only one in fifty of the world's population is blonde.

One in fourteen women in America is a natural blonde. Only one in sixteen men is.

About one-third of British women may look as if they are blonde, but in fact only 3 per cent are naturally so.

Strawberry blonde is the rarest type of blonde hair.

Blondes have a higher level of estrogen than brunette or red-haired women.

Sources, Cool Trivia, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

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