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Asher Cooper
Asher Cooper


While an outright recession still hasn't come, Americans are feeling the impacts of a slowing economy in their wallets. Inflation is still high, albeit cooling, but savings are dwindling, thousands of Americans are getting laid-off, and credit card debt is climbing. With prices on the rise, including for hair services, being blonde is yet another signifier of wealth in a tough economy. The legions of blondes turning brunette show the ways that economic policy, the Federal Reserve, and the markets trickle down into bottles of dye.


"What I've noticed is that when times are tougher, girls that are not naturally blonde tend to go dark, because they can't afford to be in the salon getting highlights or getting blonded so often," Ricardo Alonso, a hairstylist in Claremont, California who specializes in brunette hair, told Insider.

Alonso estimated that, lately, half of his new clients come in wanting to go full brunette. As a stylist who sees four to six clients a day, that's about two to three new wannabe-brunettes. While 2022 was the year of copper and redheads, he said, 2023 will be the year of the brunettes.

Blonding appointments can cost hundreds of dollars, and often require frequent upkeep. Alonso charges $550 to dye a client's hair brunette, with little pops of lighter color to add dimension. That service can last up to two years. But if you're going full blonde, the average service costs around $650, he said, and you're coming in every three months to maintain those highlights.

Madison Fitzgerald, a 25-year-old natural brunette who went blonde during college, said she was paying $450 to $500 about every three months to maintain her blonde hair. That maintenance came to about half of her rent, and for years she had been contemplating making the switch back to brunette.

"I definitely still miss blonde. If I had the money I would a hundred percent be blonde," Fitzgerald, the 25-year-old recession brunette, said. While she said she cares less about her appearance than she did in college, she still prefers blonde. But she'd rather put that money towards experiences right now, especially since everything costs so much more.

Get that fresh hair feeling, all day, every day! Our toners provide a subtle tint of colour to a light base and remove any brassy tones. With our toning drops, it's never been easier to achieve and maintain rich brunette hair from home.

Allen, S. (2021, September, 5). Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige-Undoing the silence. (Episode 85). Phronesis: The International Leadership Association. -dr-candace-brunette-debassige-undoing-the-silence

If you want to revive faded tones in between salon visits, we have just the thing! TRESemmé Gloss Dark Brunette is a color-depositing conditioner formulated to boost vibrancy and shine to extend time between coloring. This conditioner for dark brown hair works to enhance and revive your gorgeous dark brunette hair color.

Contrast Dumb Blonde and Fiery Redhead. And, as with both of them, this character can be either good or evil. Compare Redheads Are Uncool who might stand out as much as the brunette but have less confidence than even the bashful brainy brunette.

  • Theater Alpha Bitch Lucy from 13 is a brainy brunette who uses her brains for her own ends.

  • Elphaba in Wicked excels in academics while at Shiz University and shrewdly figures out how the Wizard is playing everyone in Oz.

  • Webcomics Angel Moxie: Riley, the brunette member of a Beauty, Brains, and Brawn trio. Loves school, programs computers, and builds her own weapons from scratch.

  • Noah from Ennui GO! has brown hair and is an astrophysicist, and later becomes the Minister of Science on Key Manati.

  • Biologist Dr. Jean Poule in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!.

  • In the Remix Comic version of Jet Dream, Marlene is even brainier, described as one of the best people in the Western world at Doing Science.

  • morphE features Billy Thatcher a brunette chess champion who serves as the brains of the group and would probably be voted "Most likely to be shot by Amical" in the current seedling yearbook.

  • Emily, from Our Little Adventure, is a straight example. Julie also has plenty of brains and brown hair, but it's apparently not her real hair color.

  • In Peter Parker: Foreign Exchange Student, Peter is a genius chemist and designed his web-fluid from literal garbage. He keeps it a closely guarded secret both to protect his web's integrity and out of a sense of pride in his work.

  • The nerdy Ruby of Sticky Dilly Buns has what seems to be the only university-level education in the cast. Her intelligence may sometimes seem like an Informed Attribute, but she's stuck with being the book-smart, occasionally snarky contrast to her blonde sister Amber, and she does occasionally display some mental agility. So she lives this trope, complete with glasses.

  • Sunstone has the bookish, raven-haired Allyson.

  • Web Original The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre is portrayed by a dark-haired woman in this Setting Update adaptation. Jane says she has always been very good at school, loves books and reading and considers herself a smart girl. She's based on a very down-to-earth character.

  • Matthew Patrick from Escape the Night is considered to be one of the smartest people to ever be on the show and he obviously has brunette hair.

  • Laci Green, pint-sized sex guru from the west coast.

  • Gaea from Noob, dark or lighter brown depending on the media, local Manipulative Bastard.

  • Parodied by The Nostalgia Chick, who thinks she knows everything but is really a Know-Nothing Know-It-All. Played straight by Ms. Exposition BBF Nella and Mad Scientist Dr. Block.

  • Thalia, Calliope, and the rest of the Muses in Thalia's Musings. Also, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, Crafting, and Battle Strategy.

  • Like the Disney version, Belle in University Ever After is an intelligent, well-read brunette.

  • Whateley Universe: Abracadabra (Bethany Tarvetti). She has long straight black hair and is taking high-schooler courses as a Junior High student.

  • Western Animation The titular character of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. He's got brown hair and is a Child Prodigy Gadgeteer Genius prone to Little Professor Dialog; admittedly he lacks actual common sense, though that's somewhat justified, considering he is only ten.

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks. Jeanette of the Chipettes is both the brainy one and the brunette in the Chipette trio.

  • Azula, from Avatar: The Last Airbender, is terrifyingly intelligent and a Manipulative Bastard par excellence. And Katara isn't dumb, either, though her brother Sokka is "the Idea Guy" of the Gaang. Of course, all but one character in the show are or were dark-haired.

  • In Centurions, Max Ray is the smartest member of the original Power Trio and has black hair (and a mustache to match).

  • Dan Vs.: Elise is shown to have a very high intelligence, given that she is a secret government agent; however, she also has traits of a Fiery Redhead.

  • Dan himself also counts somewhat; he is shown to be well read, but lacks any common sense.

  • Daria is a combination of this trope and Deadpan Snarker. It helps make her a famous Snark Knight.

  • Bushroot's scientist love interest Dr. Rhoda Dendron from his origin story on Darkwing Duck.

  • Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls is one. His twin sister Mabel technically counts too, but she's more of a Genius Ditz.

  • Phoebe Heyerdahl from Hey Arnold! has black hair and is among the smartest children in the school. She was even given a free pass to the 6th grade in the episode "Phoebe Skips", Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

  • Peggy Hill from King of the Hill is something of a subversion of this trope. Because while she presents herself as intelligent, she's actually just self-deluded. For one, she believes herself to be much better at Spanish than she actually is.

  • Emily on Little Bear is a very educated child (with short brown hair), who passes on her knowledge to her best friends.

  • The Loud House has Lisa Loud, who, despite being the second youngest of the family, is also the most intelligent of all the siblings.

  • Molly of Denali: Walter has brown hair and he is a machine and history expert.

  • Mike Chilton in Motorcity. He's a bit more subtle than other examples, but he is a strategic genius from his cadet training. He often relies on his Indy Ploy, however.

  • A furry variant: The Octonauts has Dr. Shellington, a brown-furred sea otter, who is the field researcher aboard the Octopod. He is characterized by his knowledge on the various sea creatures the Octonauts come across.

  • Subverted with Amity Blight from The Owl House. She is a natural brunette who has more than earned her spot as the top student at Hexside, but she usually dyes her hair green or lavender. It's eventually shown that she inherited both her smarts and her brown hair from her father Alador, who is considered to be one of the top minds in his field of magic.

  • Casey from Phantom Investigators is the smartest member of the team and has brown hair.

  • Inverted on The Powerpuff Girls where the redheaded Blossom is the brainy one, while the brunette Buttercup is the aggressive spitfire. (Bubbles is still the Dumb Blonde, though.)

  • Ready Jet Go!: Sean and his mom are both know a lot about science, and they both have brown hair. However, Sean's mom's hair is a bit reddish. Mitchell also counts as he is Wise Beyond His Years.

  • On Recess Gretchen and Spinelli invert their typical hair tropes, as Spinelli (brunette) is fiery and Gretchen (redhead) is brainy. Gretchen did have black hair in the pilot, though.

  • T.J. plays with this, as he's quite ditzy when it comes to academics, but is a genius when it comes to his schemes on the playground.

  • Miss Grotke, the gang's Indian-American teacher, plays this trope straight.

  • Velma Dinkley of Scooby-Doo: Throughout her various incarnations, Velma is usually portrayed as a highly intelligent young woman with highly specific interests in science (which in the Scooby and Scrappy Doo series leads her to pursue a career as a NASA research scientist) or merely being very well read on obscure fields, such as ancient Viking writing (as in the second Scooby Doo series The New Scooby-Doo Movies).

  • The Simpsons: In "To Surveil With Love", the B-plot focused on Lisa joining the debate team and ending up dyeing her hair brown to prove that they didn't take her seriously before, due to being blonde. Megan, the girl who made fun of Lisa for being blonde, is presented as one of these.

  • In "Girls Just Wanna Have Sums", Springfield Elementary is segregated by gender. Since the girls' school isn't teaching math properly, Lisa disguises herself as a boy in order to get into the boys' classes, wearing a brown wig.

Sandy from SpongeBob SquarePants is a brown furred squirrel and, along with Plankton, the most intelligent of the main characters. 041b061a72




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