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Why Do People Color Hair? 9 Motives for Coloring Hair

Nowadays, changing hair color is just like getting a haircut for many men and women. But why do people color hair? Ask ten people why they have colored their hair, and the answers will be as diverse as the people.

People color their hair for various reasons. Some women can color their hair to get their natural shade back. Others use color to make a style statement or get a fresh look.

In this article, we’ll discuss nine common reasons why people color their hair.

Why Do People Color Their Hair?

Why people color their hair varies, although almost every reason is rooted in one truth: They think they look better or more alluring with the colored version.

Here are some common reasons men and women opt for self or salon-managed hair treatment.

To Hide Gray

reasons why people color hair - hide gray

HIding gray hair is probably the most common reason for people over 30 to dye their hair. From about that age until people are well into their 50s, gray is generally considered something to put off.

It has to do with aging and being reminded of one’s mortality as much as it does how a person looks. As the trend in primarily women going gray indicates, gray can be as attractive as any other hair color.


Another popular reason is that many people like the way they look in another hair color. Maybe they were born with a certain color or have an attachment to a color.

Whatever the reason, some men and women opt to dye their hair because they think it gives them more self-confidence and helps them improve their opinion on their body image.


reasons why people color hair - Trends

Trends can also impact the decision to color your hair and come from almost anywhere. Some are based on celebrities that have a certain style or color that everyone loves.

Jennifer Aniston’s hair color and style in the 1990s is an example of a celebrity starting a hair-related trend. Some people color their hair based on the season or a holiday.

Sometimes a trend does not need a catalyst as it needs many people to decide to do it. It is assumed, for instance, that many people that are into punk rock or goth style will have dyed hair at one point or another. In these cases, deciding to color hair is driven by seeing others who have done it and liking the results.

Regardless of the driver, mimicking a hairstyle because of a trend is a testimony to how popular that type of hairstyle or color is with whatever group decides to adopt it.

Compliment Facial or Bodily Features

Along with self-image, many people color their hair because it enhances something that others find attractive about them or they find attractive about themselves.

Some may think certain hair colors enhance their eyes or match their complexion more completely than their natural color. Others may think that certain hair color makes them more appealing.

Regardless, the point of dying their hair for these folks is that they think the change in hair color adds to their attractiveness.

Match Their Personality

For some people, changing their hair is an attempt to make their hair match their personality. It is difficult, for instance, to have fluorescent-colored hair and not have an extroverted personality.

Likewise, if your hair is bright red, but you prefer anonymity, you might opt for a less bold color.

Looking for a Change

reasons why people color hair - Looking for Change

Less common, but still a motivation for many people is altering hair color because they are bored with their normal hair color.

Different android and iOS hair color apps let people try different hair colors that convince many to change their look.

Hair color might look better with a particular haircut, or they might be looking to spice up their appearance, and altering their hair color is an easy way to do it that will not require lifestyle changes or a lot of money to accomplish.

Sometimes, the change is not just in hair color or hairstyle. Some people looking to “start over” opt to color their hair as a way of turning the page on their “old” selves.

The impulse to color your hair can be particularly strong if a person is making a new start after a life event like divorce or the death of a spouse.

Make a Statement

Some hair colors get chosen to help the person stand out for no other reason. A person that has bright green hair or unnaturally red hair is not doing it because they want to be incognito.

They opt to color their hair because they want to stand out and get noticed. Hair color is also one way of making a statement without committing to more permanent alternatives like tattoos or piercings.

Plus, changing hair is reversible with little commitment other than time, whereas other statements are not cost much money to reverse. For instance, deciding to get rid of a tattoo is a lot harder than dying your hair another color.

Some Hair Colors Just Looks Good

With some people, the decision to color their hair is a matter of appearance. Some people just like the way certain colors work for them.

There is no fashion statement or trend, they are not doing it to make a statement or appear a certain way. Someone with dyed red hair likely just likes the way they look with dyed red hair.


reasons why people color hair - Professionalism

Occasionally, coloring one’s hair is part of an effort to fit into a particular work culture. Models very rarely show up for work with gray hair. Lawyers may tone their hair color down or hide gray depending on what type of professional look they are trying to maintain.

In other cases, such as with nurses that work with younger children, opting for fun colors may help lighten the mood. There are virtually no acknowledged industry hair color requirements. There are, however, societal expectations.

More youthful industries usually have an unwritten rule that employees in those industries do not look ancient and rigid. Thus, you do not see too many people in those industries opting for the “blue-haired grandmother” fashion statement.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hair Coloring

As with any other decision to alter one’s look, there are pros and cons of coloring hair.


  • Hair coloring adds a coating to hair and thickens it.
  • Hair coloring can protect the hair from environmental hazards like wind, sun, and pollution.
  • Hair color changes can improve self-image.
  • Hair coloring can help build hair strength.
  • The right color can make a bold, beautiful statement.


  • Messing up hair color is easy if you do not know what you are doing.
  • Overtreating can damage hair.
  • Some people have allergic reactions to dye.
  • Chemicals can damage the scalp and hair.

So, Why Do People Color Their Hair?

Coloring hair is a personal choice, and the motives for doing so are wide-ranging and unique to the individual. Some women may color hair to change their looks or cover gray hair. The fashionistas can color their hair to make a fashion statement. Many women color their hair to boost confidence or to feel good about themselves. Coloring hair can be a form of self-expression. Or, some women can use hair color to correct hair damage like preventing split ends, revitalizing hair texture and shine.

Ultimately, the decision to color hair is a personal one and the reasons for doing so can vary greatly from person to person.

The key to making hair color work, though, is that you must like the color and believe it accomplishes whatever look you are targeting.