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Thoughts on Hair Color

Excerpt from a 1879 publication

"From statistics kept of 1,410 individuals it was found that 30 were red haired, 108 fair haired, 338 light brown haired, 807 dark brown haired, and 67 were black haired; thus showing conclusively the predominance of dark hair among a race (the English) that sprang from a light-haired one.

_____I find also some quite interesting statistics in the hygienic department of sociology; for from carefully kept records I deduce the following:

_____1. Black-haired people are most prone to consumption; the brown-haired least so. Another author has added cancer and cataract to the evils in the black-haired list.

_____2. To the brown-haired individuals is ascribed acute rheumatism, heart disease and eczema (popularly known as "salt rheum").

_____3. To the red-haired individuals belong more especially pleurisy, pneumonia, ague and neuralgias.

_____4. Individuals with blonde, or light-colored hair, are most subject to some one of the skin diseases.

_____In matter of dispositions we find that, as a rule, those having blonde or auburn hair, are tender-hearted, hence are apt to be imposed upon by those who plead poverty or physical distress. They are usually representatives of delicacy and refinement, and are classed among those of lymphatic temperament.

_____Red-haired people are firm in their convictions and are great lovers of their mother country, people and church; notably so are the Scotch. Their morals are of the sturdy, Puritanic type. Such people are classed as of sanguine temperament. When the hair is coarse and harsh, brutality and sensuousness marks the character of the possessor.

______Black-haired individuals are positive, powerful characters, and hence are either very good or else are very bad; there seems to be no mid-way ground with them. The coarser and straighter the hair, the more noticeable is the characteristic of revenge, if the passions have not been educated to be held in check by moral suasion and the force of the will. You see this disposition markedly in the Indian and Malay. They represent the bilious temperament.

_____The midway tint between the dark and the light, as the brown-haired individuals, have combined in themselves the strength, in a great measure, of the black-haired, and the exquisite sensibilities of the light-haired. From this class come our philanthropists (but not our generals, as a rule), our painters, musicians and authors; those that unite the tender feeling and sympathy of the woman with the stronger will-force of the man...

______The darker-haired races are usually people of the torrid portions of the temperate zones, and the torrid zone itself; whilst the lighter-haired races belong to the cooler countries of the temperate portions of the continents. Taking the world, all in all, it is peopled mostly by the dark-haired races."

-Hair its Care, Diseases and Treatment(1879), C. Henri Leonard, M.A., M.D., The Illustrated Medical Journal Co., Publishers, Detroit, MI, Pages 67-68