Anime Hair Colors: What Do They Mean? (An All-in-One Personality Guide)

Above: Tokyo Mew Mew.

Hair color is frequently used in Japanese animation as a mechanism to differentiate between characters, but did you know that specific hues have an associated symbolism?

While not always 100% consistent, there is a connection between hair color and personality type in anime.

According to Carl Jung, there is a shared collection of mental associations that are within the collective unconscious of humanity. Along with repetition, and eventual simplification, these ideas come together to become the stereotypes described:


Mysterious, refined, traditional, cerebral, capable, powerful, independent, sad, cruel, macabre   

As opposed to their bright-colored friends, black hair can define a character as being more traditional. Black is a neutral color that is associated with positive personal traits. These characters tend to be deep thinkers that can see the “big picture”, and seldom need advice.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Hei Darker Than Black, Kagome Higurashi Inuyasha, Rokuro “Rock” Okajima Black Lagoon, Ranma Saotome Ranma 1/2, Mio Akiyama K-On!, Yoite King of Nabari, Black★Rock Shooter (self-titled), Brandon Heat Gungrave.


Calm, balanced, demure, sophisticated, sublime, logical, composed, disguised, obscene, irreverent

Grey-haired characters have a mix of moral black & white—much like their hair. They are “do-it-your-selfers” with problem solving methods beyond the status quo. Characters may also have grey hair to emphasize a modest, self-less nature. Also, while not always evil, may have a hidden power.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Yu Narukami Persona 4 The Animation, Moka Akashiya Rosario + Vampire, Kakashi Hatake Naruto, Fuko Ibuki Clannad, Violetta Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Shi Ryuuki The Story of Saiunkoku, Shizuka Queen’s Blade, Kilik Air Gear.


Approachable, comfortable, temperate, charming, practical, consistent, sincere, enduring, predictable, boring

The staple color of any stock character or “normal” person, brown is also a common color for the main protagonist. When characters have darker or lighter brown hair, they often absorb the traits of yellow or black. This color can be deceiving, as a character with this hair color may be far from normal.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Italy Hetalia, Chihiro Spirited Away, Kyon The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Tohru Honda Fruits Basket, Haruhi Fujioka Ouran High School Host Club, Hideki Motosuwa Chobits, Sakura Kinomoto Cardcaptor Sakura, Keima Katsuragi The World God Only Knows.


Passionate, seductive, feisty, enthusiastic, adventurous, dynamic, primal, hot-headed, aggressive, opinionated

For red-headed characters, the western “hot-head” stereotype is true. Tsundere alert: their emotions are explosive! Strangely, male protagonists with red hair are often calm, humble, and disciplined fighters.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Ayano Kannagi Kaze no Stigma, Grell Sutcliff Black Butler, Natsumi Hinata Sergeant Frog, Renji Abarai Bleach, Spirit Soul Eater, Lisara Restall So, I Can’t Play H!, Lavi D.Gray-man, Yoko Littner Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.


Courageous, loyal, spirited, optimistic, unpredictable, brazen, testy, selfish, annoying, attention-seeking

Orange-haired characters have a personality combination between red and yellow. They can be very interesting in that they have the courage and  fire of a ginger, but with less rage and more optimism. The down-side is that they can be attention whores, which can be annoying.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Asuka Langley Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ichigo Kurosaki Bleach, Nana “Hachi” Komatsu Nana, Tasuki Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play, Kazuma Kuwabara YuYu Hakusho, Eris Cat Planet Cuties, Hiroto “Cherry” Sakurai Gantz, Nami One Piece.


Confident, happy, romantic, artful, whimsical, Naïve, ditzy, impish, manipulative, callous, stubborn

Although not absolute, blondes loosely fall into three camps:

1.) Dumb blonde: They may also lack maturity, and have selfish attitudes.

2.) Troublemaker: Unwittingly attracts chaos. They have street-smarts, charm, and plenty of tricks.

3.) Prince: This protagonist is rare, and demonstrates the western “prince charming” archetype. This hero/heroine is chivalrous, humble, and pure.

Blonde may be an assigned to indicate a character has foreign ancestry. Usually European/American.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Naruto Uzumaki Naruto, Pacifica Casull Scrapped Princess, Vash the Stampede Trigun, Astraea Heaven’s Lost Property: Forte, Saber Fate/Stay Night, Shizuo Heiwajima Durarara!!, Misa Amane Death Note, Soubi Agatsuma Loveless.


Easy-going, trustworthy, docile, enlightened, tolerant, rejuvenating, of raw energy, roguish, imprudent, poisonous, jealous

A cross between warm and cool colors, green imparts a unique energy to a character. Like mother nature, green is capable of an evolving, healing atmosphere as well as bringing destruction and decay.  These characters tend to side with the protagonists, even with bad first-impressions.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Roronoa Zoro One Piece, Eureka Eureka Seven, Cilan Pokémon: Best Wishes!, C.C. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Rin RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne, Quiche Tokyo Mew Mew, Lum Urusei Yatsura, Nicol Amarfi Gundam Seed.


Wise, impartial, talented, mature, intuitive, introverted, concerned with science, justice, reason

Cool like water. While not always noticed, their influence is clearly felt (also like the element of wind). Blue-haired characters have many hidden talents, and a keen awareness of the emotions of themselves and others. Unlike black-haired characters, they are not averse to seeking advice. With their smarts and even-handedness, they often play the role of teachers, tacticians, and confidants. The darker the hair, the more responsible–but they may be an elitist jerk. Supernatural abilities are common to blue hair.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Blue Rose Tiger & Bunny, The Count Gankutsuou: the Count of Monte Cristo, Mercury Sailor Moon, Johji Koizumi Paradise Kiss, “Big Bro” Kamina Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kuroha Diana Shiraroti Eden of the East, Lord Darcia III Wolf’s Rain, Rei Ayanami Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Powerful, privileged, noble, elegant, intriguing, restless, fickle, conflicted, pompous, egotistical

Purple-haired characters rarely have to assert power through force; they are entitled to it. Full of hubris or out of touch with other characters, their goals may revolve around prestige and the acquiring of material possessions. Protagonists with purple hair must face the challenge of balancing the red and blue oni within themselves.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Sinbad Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Kagami Hiiragi Lucky Star, Dark Mousy D.N. Angel, Unchou Kan-u Ikkitousen, Faye Valentine Cowboy Bebop, Chrono Chrono Crusade, Misato Katsuragi Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tieria Erde Gundam 00.


Benevolent, feminine, youthful, innocent, cheerful, cute, orderly, accomplished, gullible, frustrated  

Characters with pink hair may at first seem saccharine, but their natural charisma combined with their desire for order can bring about a positive change in others. Pink haired characters can have a great destiny. Whatever their sexual orientation, male characters with pink hair can be perverse. Perhaps this is to accentuate/overcompensate for the feminine connotations of pink. Characters with bright pink hair may share some personality traits with red-heads.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Natsu Dragneel Fairy Tail, Utena Tenjou Revolutionary Girl Utena, Shuichi Shigeno Gravitation, Lacus Clyne Gundam Seed, Milfeulle Sakuraba Galaxy Angel, Szayel Aporro Bleach, Kurumi Steel Angel Kurumi, Renzou Shima Blue Exorcist.


Pure, ethereal, magical, serene, lucid, mature, humble, indifferent, narcissistic, immoral

A strange, inhuman essence surrounds white-haired characters. Their purity can be unnatural and over-sanitized. These characters are usually strong-willed, skillful, and dignified. If a woman, it is common that she is either magical or of the spiritual realm. If the character is a guy, he usually has a broken moral compass, and is an anti-hero–on a good day. If he is a bishonen, odds are he is bisexual/homosexual. Egotism is common, and if inflicted with an injury (however minor–especially to the face) these characters will go berserk.

The combination of white hair and tan skin can indicate middle-eastern/foreign ancestry. In this case, the above description does not apply.

Pictured Above (From top left to bottom): Ginko Mushishi, Teletha Testerossa Full Metal Panic!, Griffith Berserk, Shiro Deadman Wonderland, Suigantou Rozen Maiden, Creed Diskenth Black Cat, Shizuma Hanazono Strawberry Panic, Accelerator A Certain Magical Index.

About Anne's Anime Blog

I am an astronomical anime fan. I enjoy watching it, collecting figures & merchandise, assembling models, and attending conventions. California burrito glutton. Let's be friends:)

Posted on November 15, 2012, in Anime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 103 Comments.

  1. This was pretty fascinating. I’ll probably bookmark this page now just so I can check a character’s personality type. Lets not get talking about how blood-types are a factor.

  2. Apparently a lot of people in Japan think Naruto himself is Caucasian as he has blonde hair, I think your post is good at showing what hair colours mean.

  3. Well, Natsu isn’t exactly feminine 😀 But anyway, it is an interesting thing to think about. Btw, I wonder if Konata from Lucky Star would fit into the description for the blue haired characters =)

    • Witch of breath

      Erza fits her description pretty well

    • I actually came here for Fairy Tail to see what Erza, Lucy, and Natsu’s hair color meant to see if it was true 😄

      • Despite what was said about pink-haired characters, Yuno (Mirai Nikki) and Megumi (Shiki) both are yanderes. Also, Sakura (Naruto) is a hot head…so, would we just ignore them completely or…?

  4. Konata from Lucky Star is such an eccentric. Definitely an exception:)

  5. An awesome read! I suddenly flashbacked to all my favorite anime characters and compared their hair colors to your description. I always thought having different colors aren’t just for show- and this post of yours backed it up even more. White haired characters are the best! My favorites being Koko Hekmatyar (Jormungand), Accelerator (To Aru), Sakata Gintoki (Gintama), Sephiroth (FF7), Shiro (Deadman Wonderland) and a whole lot more ;D

  6. Angel Jayne Allen

    Well, I have been trying to find out what the different colors ment but never found a website that gave me an answer like this. I no longer have to worry about needing to find anymore information. Im always going to come here first. Who knows maybe other information on here with help me with my books and my pictures I draw. Thank You So Much!

    -Angel Jayne Allen ;D

  7. Just a bit of correction. The guy at the far-right for “White-Haired Characters” isn’t Arclight. It’s Accelerator from “To Aru Majutsu no Index”.

  8. What about Turquiose???

    Aqua-green. (Blue + green)

  9. My anime and actual hair color is brown 😄 but i am not normal and boring >.>

  10. A few things: one, helpful Article. Two, I never thought of Fuko Ibuki’s hair as Grey while watching Clannad, more of a sort of Olive and/or Brownish Green. Please tell me that I’m not colourblind (then again, it took me a while to realize that Tomoya’s hair was Black and not a dark Blue LOL).Three, would rules like this apply to different Eye colours, and would they be the same rules?

  11. I think you missed a color. Teal/Cyan/Aqua. These are ones I’ve been really curious about, like, Hecate from Shakugan no Shana, Sasami from Tenchi Muyo, Reki from Aria: The Scarlet Ammo, Miki Sayaka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Bulma from Dragon Ball Z, Sono Chieri from AKB0048. Only a few that just popped in my head

    • I believe myself that they often share the traits of both the ones found under green and blue, as Anne herself stated further up in the comments. Eureka from Eureka Seven is a good example of sharing the traits in my books, and she’s listed under green here, but it’s a very bluish green; and she seems to have a lot of the blue in her personality as well, from what I’ve seen (I’m only a little over halfway through the series). Also, I am intrigued myself as to the whole eye colour thing brought up in the comment above yours; someone should enlighten us as to whether or not any “rules” such as those (more what I’d call “guidelines” than actual rules) would apply for eye colour.

  12. That’s cool. That’s really cool.

  13. This is very, very interesting. I was wondering how you got all this info. Did you analyse all the characters yourself and discovered the connections between the hair colour and the characters’ personalities, or did you have other sources? I’m writing some kind of essay that also covers visual cues for personality in fictional characters, so I’d love to hear more about your (potential) sources and the way you work 🙂

    • I compiled these general personalities from observations in the anime I’ve watched over the years, and as an enthusiast of symbolism and mythic patterns in storytelling in general. This has been a topic that has interested me for a long time. My sources would have to be other people who have examined themes in literature such as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen (who has made some interesting observations on feminine archetypes in particular). If you check out their work, you should be able to come up with some ideas for your paper. Good luck!

  14. Omg, you added almost all of my favorite anime’s in your list of hair colors >w<
    Most of these are true and its just simply awesome!

  15. I also use this blog, I LOVE IT

  16. Reblogged this on Thoth and commented:
    Pretty cool read.

  17. UMFGZ soooo awesome

  18. Reblogged this on Medieval Otaku and commented:
    A cool analysis of anime hair colors.

  19. Hello Anne: very interesting article. As a side issue, am I correct in assuming that the actual range of haircolor biologically among the Japanese is very limited? (I found your article, in fact, by asking Google that question). If that is the case, when did the variety of hair colors become a standard characteristic of Anime and manga? Who added it and why do the Japanese accept such a very western quality in a genre which was so specifically theirs? I have loved Anime all my life, although I did not know what it was called when I first watched Astro boy back in 1963. No haircolor back then in black-and-white cartoons. 🙂

  20. Obviously, no theory can be 100% accurate for EVERY anime, but I applaud the fact you’ve managed to identify alot of the hair types with personalities I tend to agree with. I really do never get the fact that the Japanese, one of the most ordered and introverted societies I can think of, constantly portray themselves with such crazy hair and such exuberant personalities. Nice article.

    • Yeah, some shows are just for show, personally, my walfas series fid this perfectly, although I choose random hair colors, blue, also meaning scientific, was perfect for kappa character, kappas being scientific.

  21. This is kinda stereotypical…

  22. This made me want to do a personality quiz on this topic so I did…I got brown hair…the ironic part is my hair in real life is brown

  23. this is good for me cause im planning to make an anime

  24. Panty fits the blonde…
    As Stocking fits Purple and Pink.
    However, Breif, Scanty, and Kneesocks don’t fit…

  25. White-haired Makishima Shougo from Psycho-Pass definitely fits his category here. Calm, intellectual, and utterly ruthless when it comes to human lives. He’s considered the villain of the series, but he could be seen as more of an anti-villain; his goal is to bring down a very flawed dystopian system, but his reasons and definitely his methods are questionable at best.

  26. Oh my god! Thanks for posting!
    It’ll be a great help for my animation! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

  27. That explains why over 70% of brown haired anime protagonists are boring or cliche as ****. And I thought random hair color was just a, well, a thing, to put for fun, but in anime it has a deeper meaning.

  28. Apparently a lot of people in Japan think Naruto himself is Caucasian as he has blonde hair, I think your post is good at showing what hair colours mean.

  29. My favorite fictional character is a redhead a sexy one!! Jijiji its Silver from pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver he also is in the manga, and yes he is sexy!, a cute tsundere <3!! I dont know but i like readheads! ! And this article did help!!

  30. This blog helped me to win an art competition! Thanks, you rock! 😃

  31. I never new knew the colors of a characters hair could be based off how they act. So kewl. *^*

  32. This is interesting! I found that this description aplies to every yugioh character, ever!
    If you don’t believe me, here are some examples:
    Bakura is ethereal and evil (white)
    Joey is a cocky person who attracts trouble (blonde)
    Dartz is a mystical force to be reckoned with (blue)

  33. hi
    it was great. Just putting it out there when I started writing manga stuff I made a character who has pink hair. He is a crazy insane killer. Pretty ironic, right?

  34. Tohka also type of kawaii in purple hair colour^•^ in Date A Live anime

  35. That’s very interesting.If this were more accurate then I would have CRAZY hair being every color every where (I am a diverse person 🎓🔫💣🔌🎃💭📹🎯🎲🎤🎼🎮) (the💣means explosive) like a tornado of color (minimum amount of brown)
    ps. guess my personality from the hints above and the colors to win a prize 😉 💖🎁💖

  36. But i’m Blonde and i’m smart. I also hate the idea of love and stay away from any situation where I can fall in love or someone will fall in love with me…Really fucked up there Japon

  37. well despite Eureka’s hair being blue and not green and
    Rei’s hair being purple and not blue, this made a lot of sense ^_^

  38. Bookmarked this to use as a writing reference, ^u^ Thanks for writing it.

  39. AHAHA! The red hair color personality was my exact personality!

  40. I think that this was very useful for watching anime cause you can ultimately figure out their personalities right away. Very useful 🙂

  41. I totally love this blog!!!!!!!!! It’s about anime’s, why wouldn’t I love it!!!!

  42. What is Dracolord’s hair color? People say he has black hair, but he fits purple. His hair is hidden. I just want to know what his hair color is!

  43. Reblogged this on freezingfanatic and commented:
    This is sooooooo true! If I were to relate this to Tales Of Legendia, IT WOULD ALL BE RIIIIGHT!!!! Senel, Chloe, Shirley, Moses, Jay, Norma, aannnnnnnd Teach?

  44. Anyone else notice that they got Shuichi Shindou’s name wrong..? Like.. Shuichi Shigeno.. what? thats the author of Initial D? There’s no one in Gravitation with that last name.

  45. Wait… since Hiei from yu yu hakusho has black hair those personalities wouldn’t… wait I think you’re right he does have a sad past… wow this thing is quite accurate!

  46. Wow! Hard to believe how accurate this thing is… I wonder is eyecolor has anything to do with personality…

  47. Kouha definently fits the description for red


  49. is it bad i know all the characters

  50. is it bad i know all the people

  51. Hanzo urushihara would be good for the purple 😄 his hairs IS PURPLEU

  52. Awesome trivia! When I write my random stories, I’ll keep these colors in mind for RULE OF SYMBOLISM! (Yeah, I like when a character’s design is a hint to their personality)

  53. Tal storozuk /deadlyshadow

    Hi im creating an anime rpg styled game with rpg maker and that really helped with the chars and also can I publish my game here once its done? Btw its only made for fun not business and will be free

  54. What about Aqua hair?

  55. Which color would be for Childish or out going?

  56. Well the black hair traits really fit me 😄

  57. So, if I was a mix of brown, blue, and pink, what would I be?

  58. Marcelo Gutiérrez

    Simon from Gurren Lagann has blue hair. I think he should appear in the blue-haired characters section of this page.

  59. Rias Gremory fits the red description to a T

  60. Is it ironic that i got red as my hair color for anime but in real live its a blackish brown?

  61. Why Amu Hinamori *Shugo Chara Series* – Pink not there?
    Tomoyo Daidouji *CardCaptor Sakura* – Black
    Yue *CardCaptor Sakura* – White
    Tadase Hotori *Shugo Chara Series* – Blonde

  62. thankyou im making a vampire comic and story

  63. White hair is the perfect description for Accelerator. Fits him to a t. I was actually gonna get mad if I didn’t see him lol

  64. Katelyn Jarica Mofis

    YY I now understand

  65. Interesting analysis. I generally agree, though as with anything, there are exceptions. Mostly just thinking of all the pink haired yandere haha. But nonetheless, good post!

  66. Epic ender dog

    I used this thing to see if the Sailor Moon characters’ personalitys lined up with the hair colors.

  67. Epic ender dog

    I used this thing to see if the Sailor Moon characters’ personalitys lined up with the hair colors. This was very helpful

  68. …I love how Super Robot Wars turns the entire hair color shtick upside down. 😄

    Sänger has gray/white hair, but his personality has an immense amount of red in it. Guy yells pretty much every attack line he has (the fandom also jokes “Zengar” was the original GAR).

    Axel has bright pink hair, but he’s totally red. He’s even more hotheaded than Natsu.

    Arado has purple hair, but his personality is pink or orange. Cheerful, hits on his female friend 24/7, glutton, and sucks at fighting long range (he’s excellent in close combat, though).

    Elzam and his brother Rai are both blond, yet they’re more blue. Especially Rai since he’s always cold and serious (Elzam is a bit more open, but he somehow manages to be calm and hotblooded at the same time). Leona, related to the two, is also blond and stand-offish.

    Irm has electric blue hair… and he flirts with anything female. He’s actually quite calm and witty, but the casanova thing is what he’s most famous for. …His dad Jonathan also shares the blue hair and the flirty attitude.

    Seolla has white/silver hair, but she’s also extremely red. Very tsundere, she seems to have a tendency to hit Arado whenever he teases her.

    …Shu plays the purple hair completely straight, though. Different goals from the others, shows up out of nowhere, you never know which side he’s on, his mecha can destroy an entire galaxy (and he’s entitled to that power; he designed and built the darn machine); plus he’s a complete troll. He’s so polite it just gets irritating. 😄

  69. Hi im a major fan of manga and anime its my life however since you have a great amopunt of knowelge on anime, I was wondering if I can interview you for a project for school and use some of your post as apart of the project

  70. What of Shikamaru,Itachi, Mei terumi fifth mizukage or Hinata they weren’t on the list.

  71. What of Shikamaru he has black hair, Itachi Uchiha has black hair, Mei terumi fifth mizukage has brown hair or Hinata Hyuga has purple hair they weren’t on the list.

  72. I’ve got black hair IRL, and that actually describes me. xD

  73. 4th 4r

  74. Bald: Overpowered… Saitama

  75. i was expecting the blondes to be more girly / feminine.
    a LOT of blonde boys from the animes i watch are pretty girly (and obviously gay for somebody in the show, everybody knows)
    like armin from aot, nagisa from iwata swim club, soyo from uta no prince sama, yukine from noragami, alois and finnian from black butler.

  76. this is a bit random but how many times has kakashi nearly died? it always seems to be either it misses it isn’t fatal or is a substitute or clone and the one time he did die that i remember he aws ressurected i’ll have to see but i’m only halfway through rewatching the second season of the original

  77. this is so true XD, there is almost always a black haired dude and a yellow/gold hair dude in all the shows I watched lol

  78. Hi I am a game developer and I found this page very useful to help design my characters for my game.

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