Blond (or Blonde, see below) is a hair color found in certain mammals characterised by low Beutiful Blonds levels of the dark pigment eumelanin and higher levels of the Beatiful Blonds pale pigment pheomelanin, Beautful Blonds in common with red hair. From degrees of light brown to pale blond, the various hues of blondness are found Beauitful Blonds in a little less than 1.8% of the world's human population.
The resultant Beatuiful Blonds visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort Beuatiful Blonds of yellowish color, going from the very pale blond Beauiful Blonds caused by a patchy, scarce distribution of pigment, to reddish "strawberry" blond colors Beautifu Blonds (strawberry blonde is an uncommon hair color which is also Bautiful Blonds known as ginger) or golden brownish blond colors, the Beautuful Blonds latter with more eumelanin. True blonds have the thinnest strands of hair while the strands of Beautifil Blonds red hair are the thickest. Blond hair can be found Beautiul Blonds in humans and certain breeds of dogs and cats, among other mammalian species.
- 1 Etymology, Baeutiful Blonds spelling, Beaautiful Blonds and grammar
- 2 Origins
- 3 Relation to age and distribution on body
- 4 Distribution Beaitiful Blonds among humans
- 5 Cultural Beauttiful Blonds reactions
- 6 Notes
- 7 Gallery
- 8 See also
Etymology, spelling, and grammar
Blond hair is common among Nordic people, such as this Swedish man.
The word blond was first attested in English in 1481 and derives from Old French blont and meant "a color midway between golden and light chestnut". The French (and thus also the English word) has 2 possible origins. Some linguists say it comes from Middle Latin Blundus, meaning yellow, others say it comes from Old Frankish *blund which would relate it to Old English blonden-feax meaning grey-haired, from blondan/blandan meaning to mix. Also, Old English beblonden meant dyed as ancient Germanic warriors were noted for dying their hair. The linguists who support the Latin origins however say that Middle Latin blundus was a vulgar pronunciation of Latin flavus, also meaning yellow, the word was reintroduced into English in the 17th century from French and was until recently still felt as French, hence blonde for females and blond for males. Writers of English will still distinguish between the masculine blond and the feminine blonde and, as such, it is one of the few adjectives in English with separate masculine and feminine forms. However, many writers use only one of the spellings without regard to gender, and without a clear majority usage one way or another. The word is also often used as a noun to refer to a woman with blonde hair, but some speakers see this usage as sexist and reject it. (Another hair color word of French origin, brunet(te), also functions in the same way in orthodox English.)
The word is also occasionally used, with either spelling, to refer to objects that have a color reminiscent of fair hair. Examples include dolls' hair, pale wood, and lager beer.
Lighter hair colors occur naturally in humans of all ethnicities, as rare mutations, but at such low rates that it is hardly noticeable in most populations, or is only found in children. In certain European populations, however, the occurrence of blond hair is more frequent, and often remains throughout adulthood, leading to misinterpretation that blondness is a European trait. Based on recent genetic information, it is probable that humans with blond hair became distinctly numerous in Europe about 11,000 to 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Before then, Europeans had dark brown hair and dark eyes, which is predominant in the rest of the world.
A long standing question has been why certain populations in Europe evolved to have such high incidences of blond hair (and wide varieties of eye color) so relatively recently and quickly in the human evolution timescale? If the changes had occurred by the usual processes of evolution (natural selection), they would have taken about 850,000 years. But modern humans, emigrating from Africa, reached Europe only 35,000-40,000 years ago. Canadian anthropologist Peter Frost, under the aegis of University of St Andrews, published a study in March 2006 in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior that says blond hair evolved very quickly at the end of the last Ice Age by means of sexual selection. According to the study, the appearance of blond hair and blue eyes in some northern European women made them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males. The study argues that blond hair was produced higher in the Cro-Magnon descended population of the European region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses and finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men. This hypothesis argues that women with blond hair posed an alternative that helped them mate and thus increased the number of blonds.
According to the authors of The History and Geography of Human Genes (1994), blond hair became predominant in Europe in about 3000 BC, in the area now known as Lithuania, among the recently arrived Proto-Indo-European settlers (Lithuania is still the country that has the highest percentage of people with blonde hair); it is thought the trait spread quickly through sexual selection into Scandinavia when that area was settled because men found women with blond hair attractive. 
Relation to age and distribution on body
Blond hair is common in infants and children, so much so that the term "baby blond" is often used for very light-colored hair. Babies may be born with blond hair even among groups where adults rarely have blond hair, although such natal hair usually falls out quickly. Blond hair tends to turn darker with age, and many children born blond turn from anything between a light brown to even black before or during their teenage years.
The body hair of blonds is also blond, although terminal hair elsewhere on the body may be darker than hair on the head, and even brown. Vellus, on the other hand, may be very light or even transparent. Hair that grows from a mole or from a birthmark may be dark.
Distribution among humans
Fair hair is a stereotypical characteristic of the people of Northern Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, the Baltic states and Russia. It is a minority in southern Europe, though blondism is seen in regions such as Northern Italy. For this reason very pale hair is often referred to as Nordic blond. Apart from Europe, blond hair is present in various regions in the world, though they may appear less than their European counterpart. Generally, blond hair in Europeans is associated with paler eye color (blue, green and light brown) and pale (sometimes freckled) skin tone. Strong sunlight also lightens hair of any pigmentation, to varying degrees, and causes many blond people to freckle, especially during childhood. Aboriginal Australians, especially in the west-central parts of the continent, also have a fairly high instance of yellow-brown hair, as high as 90-100% in some areas. The trait among Indigenous Australians is primarily associated with children and women and sometimes the hair turns to a darker brown color as they age.
Young Aboriginal Australian with blond hair.
Some Guanches populations, particularly the now extinct aboriginal population of Tenerife, one of the Canary islands of the African Atlantic coast, were said by 14th century Spanish explorers to exhibit blonde hair and blue eyes., In western China the same types of features were exhibited by the migratory Tocharians ,  from ca. 1800 BC until their assimilation and extinction as a distinct people ca 1000 AD.
In northern Europe fairy lore, fairies value blond hair in humans. Blond babies are more likely to be stolen and replaced with changelings, and blond young woman more likely to be allured away to fairyland by fairy young men.
In modern Western culture, the bleaching of hair is common among women. Bleached blond hair can be distinguished from natural blond hair by exposing it to ultraviolet light, as heavily bleached hair will glow, while natural blond hair will not.
suggests that fair hair, being characteristic of young children, evokes parent-like feelings of affection and protection in others.
Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Two notable sex icons of twentieth-century America who helped popularize the blond image were Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow. Monroe, who was pale blonde as a child though her hair darkened to a dark blond, and Harlow, a natural ash blonde, both frequently portrayed "stereotypical" dumb blondes in their films. Jean Harlow is often credited
as being the person who made it acceptable in Western culture for ordinary women to artificially bleach their hair blonde without being perceived as prostitutes.
In the early twentieth century, blond hair was sometimes associated with an Aryan master race, promoted by Nordicists such as Madison Grant and Alfred Rosenberg, although brown and/or dark hair was (and still is) more common in races that supremacists considered 'Aryan' (a famous and ironic example would be Adolf Hitler). During World War II, blond hair was one of the traits used by Nazis to select Polish children for Germanization.
Many sub-categories of blonde hair have also been made to describe someone with blonde hair more accurately. Examples include the following: Platinum Blonde and Towhead (nearly white; almost only found naturally in children, but occurring rarely among some adults); Sandy Blonde (similar to sand in color); Ash Blonde (usually quite fair and has some ashen (grey) color to it), Dirty Blonde and Dishwater Blonde (together with Ash Blonde, these three are much the same, describing a dark blonde shade, though the last two may be considered offensive); Golden Blonde (lighter, with a gold cast); Bottled Blonde (i.e., someone who bleaches their hair); Strawberry Blonde (with a reddish hue); Pool Blonde (greenish hair some people get after habitual use of a chlorinated pool); Hazy Blonde and Zebra Blonde (blonde/brunette with natural blonde/brown streaks in their hair; often occurs when hair is in a design that hides some hair under other hair while out in the sun for long periods of time).
In 2002 there was a worldwide hoax that scientists predicted blondes were eventually going to become extinct. The hoax cited WHO as the source of the scientific study. (see "Disappearing blonde gene" below).
- ^ Origin of "blonde", from Etymonline.
- ^ a b "Blond/Brunet" from The American Heritage Book of English Usage (1996)
- ^ a b c d "Cavegirls were first blondes to have fun", from The Times. Note, the end of the Times article reiterates the Disappearing blonde gene hoax; the online version replaced it with a rebuttal.
- ^ Abstract: "European hair and eye color: A case of frequency-dependent sexual selection?" from Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 27, Issue 2, Pages 85-103 (March 2006)
- ^ Cavalli-Sforza, L. Luca; Menozzi, Paolo; and Piazza Alberto The History and Geography of Human Genes Princeton, New Jersey: 1994 Princeton University Press Page 266 -- Map of the incidence of the gene for blonde hair in Europe.
- ^ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
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- ^ Katharine Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures, "Golden Hair", p194. ISBN 0-394-73467-X
Model Ellen Rocche has blonde hair
Blond children of Belgian ancestry
Blonde male on a small boat
A group of blond children
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
- Black hair
- Brown hair
- Red hair
- Disappearing blonde gene (an unfounded hoax)
- Blonde jokes
- Dumb blonde
- Susie Owens, model for the comic book heroine Flaxen
- Platinum Blonde
- Recessive genes
- Strawberry blonde
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