Can Black People Have Blonde Hair? Here’s the Truth

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Can black people have blonde hair, black people with blonde hair

Only about 2% of people worldwide are born blonde and this color fades as one gets older, hence it’s rare to find adults who are naturally blonde.

With such a small blonde population, you must be curious to find out whether there are any Black people with blonde hair.

Often, when blonde hair is mentioned, the mind races to names like: Marilyn Monroe, Blake Lively, Jessica Simpson, among others.

From these names, it appears that Blonde hair is mostly associated with white or Caucasian people.

Therefore it’s can be very surprising to find black people with blonde hair. The truth however is that black people can have blonde hair, but it’s very rare.

Let’s break it down for you and share some studies done on this.

Can Black People Have Blonde Hair, Naturally?

Contrary to popular belief, black people can have blonde hair as seen in the Melanesians.

Melanesians are perhaps the only black people with naturally blonde hair. They are a small group of dark-skinned people, from the Solomon islands.

Before we learn more about the Melanesians, let’s first get to understand how blonde hair comes about.

Blonde hair results from low levels of a dark pigment called eumelanin in the hair strands.[1]

There are also schools of thought that argue that the hair color comes as a result of a tiny mutation, of one letter in the DNA. 

Black People with Blonde Hair: The Melanesians

Outside of Europe, the Melanesians have the highest prevalence of blonde hair (5 -10%) [2]

The Melanesians inhabit a region known as Melanesia which is a group of islands that extend from Indonesia, and Papua Guinea to as Far as Fiji and Vanuatu.

The region consists of the countries of New Caledonia and Solomon Island.

The name Melanesia was derived from the Greek words melas meaning ‘black’ because its inhabitants were dark-skinned and nesoi which means ‘islands’. 

It important to note that Melanesians refers to the group of people who live in the Melanesia area and not necessarily a tribe. 

Why do Melanesians Have Blonde Hair?

#1. Gene Mutation

Several studies have concluded that the Melanesian blonde hair came about as a result of mutation in the TYRP1 amino acid.[3]

This protein is involved in the synthesis of eumelanin and is vital in pigmentation in mammals. Mutations in the protein have been shown to result in lighter skin and/or hair color in various species. [4]

There are so many other theories explaining the Melanesian blonde hair but should be taken by a grain of salt as they not evidence-based.

#2. Gene Flow

This theory suggests that the Melanesian’s blonde hair could be due to recent gene flow from populations with blonde hair.

Scientists have refuted these claims as a study on the genetic make-up of the Melanesian show that they are very distinct from the neighboring populations.

The variant gene responsible for Melanesians blonde hair has been found to be distinct from the gene that leads to blond hair in other populations. [5]

This further shows this is not in accordance to facts.

#3. High Fish Intake & Exposure to the Sun

Another popular theory attributed the blonde hair to high fish intake. Others say that it came about as a result of their constant exposure to the sun.

Given that there are no studies that have been done to back this theory, we cannot really say much on this.

How to Go From Black to Blonde

Other that being born blonde, black people can have blonde hair by dying their hair.

Therefore, if you’ve fallen in love with blonde hair, dying may be an option for you.

Before you go for it though, ensure you understand the risks and benefits, read this article to learn more: Is it bad to dye your hair?

With that said, here’s a summarized version of how to dye your hair.

Step 1: Start with deep conditioning

A FEW days before you dye the hair, you will need to deep condition.

  1. Divide your damp hair into sections and hold the sections. This ensures that each strand is given enough attention.
  2. Unravel one section at a time and generously apply the deep conditioner.
  3. Cover your head with a plastic cap or wear a hair steamer over your head and wait for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse out your hair and apply your usual styling products. 

Step 2: Mix your products

Since you are going for a lighter shade on your hair, you will need to bleach your hair and apply the blonde color.

  1. Get together a hair dye kit. This will save you the trouble of trying to guess the products that you may need to use to bleach your hair. 
  2. Put on some gloves to prevent your hands from getting damaged.
  3. The dye kit will most probably come with a set of instructions that most of the time involves mixing the bleach and blonde dye in the mixing bowl.

Step 3: Apply the dye

  1. Place an old towel on your shoulders to prevent the bleach from damaging your clothes
  2. Part your hair into four sections, just like in the deep conditioning step.
  3. Take the painting brush provided in the kit and apply the mixture to each of your hair strands in one section, ensuring it is evenly distributed. 
  4. Do the same to all the other three sections.
  5. Leave the dye in your hair for the recommended amount of time.

Step 4: Shampoo and Condition

  1. Shampoo your now dyed hair with a shampoo meant for color-treated hair.
  2. Rinse your hair with cool water until the water has run clear meaning that all color has been washed out. 
  3. Apply a sizeable amount of deep conditioner to your hair. The deep conditioner helps to restore the moisture your hair might have lost.
  4. Let it sit for a while and then rinse with cool water.


Having blonde hair naturally is very rare, especially among black people. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t rock this highly attractive hair color.

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