Who are you calling dumb blonde? Apart from being particularly rude, a new study by Ohio State University has discovered that this might in fact be completely inaccurate.


How did they do it?

The study, published in the journal Economics Bulletin, used the data of 10,878 Americans from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, in which one question asked was ‘What is your natural hair colour?’and compared this with the results of the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which was also part of the survey. To make sure there were no racial or ethnic differences, results only included people who identified themselves as white.

What did they find?

The results showed that at the very least women with blonde hair were just as intelligent as those with brunette, red or black hair, and that they were more likely to be in the highest IQ category and less likely the lowest.

In fact, blonde women had an average IQ of 103.2, higher than that of brown hair (102.7), red hair (101.2) and black (100.5), although these results are not statistically significant.

Is it all down to genetics?

Unfortunately the study doesn’t say if there is a link between hair colour and genetics, but author Jay Zagorsky does have one unexpected reason as to why this might be the case – they grew up in homes with more books.

"If blondes have any slight advantage, it may simply be that they were more likely to grow up in homes with more intellectual stimulation."

Are you a real blonde?

Of course, we’ve all had a hair-colouring disaster once in our life (IQ is no saviour when it comes to dying your that shade of red), but could frequent trips to the stylist have affected the results? Zagorsky found that 20.7 per cent of women reported themselves in the survey as blonde, whereas only 17.1 per cent of men gave it as their true colour. Given hair colour is not gender specific and men tend not to dye their hair as much as women, it does suggest that 3.5 per cent of women had a blonde moment and falsely reported their natural hair colour.

For the record, Alexander McNamara has brown hair, but insists that a hairdresser once told him it is really the darkest shade of blonde – honest…


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