Men Find Brunettes More Attractive and Intelligent, Study Finds

blonde vs brunette study

Photo: © Mark Kostich/iStockphoto.com

Splitting hairs: A study finds that men see brunettes as more attractive, but are more likely to hit on blondes.

Hair we go again ...

The battle of the blondes vs. brunettes is heating up once again as a new study from England's University of Westminster reveals that men find dark-haired women more attractive, the Daily Mail reports.

But don't gloat too much, girls. The same study, which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, also found that men were actually more likely to hit on blonde women. Can't win 'em all!

Researchers sent the same woman to three different London nightclubs to gauge how men reacted to her when her hair was dyed blonde, brown, and red.

They later asked 130 men to rank the woman's varying images according to their hair color preference.

While the woman had been approached more when she sported blonde hair—60 times compared to 42 when dark-haired and just 18 as a redhead—the men rated her most attractive and intelligent as a brunette.

This, researchers say, could hint that brunettes are enjoying a new heyday. Indeed, a recent poll named women with dark hair and blue eyes as the most desirable, while a ranking of 2011's top beauty icons had a strong showing of brunettes, including the Duchess of Cambridge.

"In the '60s and early '70s, when Jackie Kennedy was the ideal, brunette hair became the ideal for women generally," researcher Viran Swami says.

"Then, in the '70s and '80s, blondes became the ideal. But more recently, there has been a backlash against blondes and the dumb blonde idea has become dominant."

Tough break, Blondie. To add insult to injury, Swami also speculates that the reason blondes are approached more often is down to their tendency to appear more sexually available and needy. Ouch!

"One possible explanation is that men were more likely to assume sexual intent on the part of our confederate when she was blonde," he says.

"Perceptions of the blonde confederate as being more needy may have reduced men’s fear or rejection or fear or an aggressive response, which increased their likelihood of approaching her as a blonde."

Still, we're saving our sympathy for Team Redhead. Show those gingers some love, guys!

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