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Do Black People With Blonde Hair Exist? Meet the Melanesian Population

Melanesian kid with natural blond hair due to a native gene common in the island's population

Have you ever heard that Black people should never color their hair blonde? That’s what some people believe. The reason? They often state that it looks odd, ghetto, or unnatural.

Not only is this view commonly held by non-Black people, but it’s also regularly expressed within the Black community. 

Yet, there are rumors that Black people with natural blonde hair exist. But, given the unreliability of the internet, many people don’t believe it’s true.

In this article, we’ll tell you whether natural blonde Black people exist, explore the stigma behind blonde-haired black people, and more.  

Mom and son showing blond hair samples that are a common part of their genetic heritage

Do Black People with Blonde Hair Exist?

The truth is that Black people with blonde hair do exist, and they’re called Melanesians. As the name suggests, they are located in Melanesia, a group of thousands of small Solomon islands in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. They are beautiful blonde-haired (also written as blond hair) people with dark skin, dark eyes, and Black features. 

Are Melanesians Black? 

Two cute kids playing from the Korowaya tribe each carrying the mutant gene responsible for their blonde hair

After finding out about the Melanesians, some may wonder “Are they really black?”. To answer this question, we’ll define what Black means.

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, Black means “of or relating to any of various population groups of especially African ancestry, often considered as having dark pigmentation of the skin but in fact, having a wide range of skin colors.” 

With that definition in mind, let’s look a little closer at what it means to be Melanesian. The term Melanesia means “islands of Black people.” 

Also, according to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, Melanesians have features that link them to humans who migrated from Africa tens of thousands of years ago.

In addition, when you look at Melanesian people, you’ll immediately notice their very dark skin and the Solomon Islanders’ hair color (e.g., naturally blond hair).

Their skin is rich and deep and their features are large, which is a human characteristic of Black people. Therefore, it’s safe to infer that Melanesians are indeed black.

Why Do Melanesians Have Blonde Hair?

A black kid in the South Pacific, Solomon Island, where blond hair arose independently

Genes, which are the building blocks of our physical attributes, are the reason for Melanesians’ blonde hair. Per extensive research by Stanford University, it was found that Melanesians blonde hair is caused by a rare single gene, TYRP1.

The interesting thing about the gene is that it is most prevalent in younger people, so as Melanesians get older, their hair tends to get darker. That explains why Melanesian children have blonder hair than Melanesian adults. 

Black People Look Stunning with Blonde Hair

Melanesians look beautiful with their combination of dark skin and blonde hair, and non-Melanesian Black women do too!

Just because they have dark features, it doesn’t mean that they have to keep their hair dark. We encourage you to do an internet search of black people with blonde hair to see just how good blonde hair looks against Black skin.  

An attractive African American female with blue eyes sitting near the beach watching YouTube on her iPhone

Try Blonde

The claim that Black people who dye their hair blonde are trying to be White or hate themselves is based on ignorance.

While your hair can be used as a statement to display who you are, it is also an accessory that you can switch up as you please. If you’re a Black Queen and you want to wear your hair blonde, our advice is to go right ahead and do it. 

Choose the Right Shade of Blonde

A girl with darker skin pigmentation with a totally distinct blonde TWA

Some blonde shades don’t complement certain skin tones. So, if you’re considering going blonde, it’s imperative to choose the right shade. Here are some tips to follow in selecting the best blonde for your skin tone: 

  • Golden Blonde/Honey Blonde – Beyonce has rocked golden blonde tresses for decades, and they look flawless. If your skin has warm undertones, regardless of how light or dark your skin tone is, this shade of blonde is for you. 
  • Platinum blonde – Goes best with any Black skin tone that has cool undertones. Contrary to what some may believe, some very dark-skinned women have successfully pulled off this look. 
  • Ash blonde – Looks great on any Black woman with a cool skin undertone. If you have a warmer undertone, the hair color may clash with it. 
  • Bronde – Bronde (brown and blonde) is the most versatile type of blonde out there. You can pair brown with any blonde shade to create a look that’s unique to you. Use the other recommendations in this section to choose the right shade of blonde to pair with the brown.

If you have a neutral skin undertone, neither warm nor cool, you’re one of the lucky ones. You can rock any blonde hair color you want! 

We always recommend taking a trip to a stylist to get a hair color consultation. Even if you don’t end up having the colorist do your hair, you can get some tips and suggestions for which blonde will look best on you. 

Experimentation is key – if you’ve been wanting to try a particular blonde hair color for some time, feel free to try it out! You can always switch it up if it doesn’t gel with your skin tone or overall look. 

How to Get the Best Blonde Result on Your Black Hair

How to Safely Bleach Natural Hair Black to Blonde | Dyeing Short Natural Hair | Nia Hope

Going from dark to blonde can be a very involved process, often requiring multiple coloring sessions and strong chemicals.

If you’re going the DIY route, you should know that your blonde results could turn out much different than you hoped for. So, we’ll give you some tips you can use to keep the black-to-blonde fails away. 

  1. Determine whether your hair is ready to be dyed blonde – Going blonde can be hard on your hair, so your hair must be in the best condition possible. If your hair is broken, thin, or has been recently processed, you should wait until it’s in better shape. Also, if you recently relaxed your hair, going blonde is not a great idea – relaxers destroy your hair’s structure, making it more prone to damage than unrelaxed hair. 
  2. Understand that it could take multiple bleaching sessions to get your hair light enough. If you’re going for honey blonde, you may be able to lift your dark hair in one session, but if you’re going lighter than that, expect more sessions. 
  3. Mix the bleach and developer according to the instructions on the packaging. That way, you’ll have a higher chance of achieving your desired results. 
  4. Don’t leave the bleach on your hair for longer than 30 or 40 minutes at a time. Doing so could result in extensive damage to your curls. 
  5. If your hair has been colored in the past, consider seeing a professional colorist to go blonde. Color-treated hair can be tricky to dye. 

Care Requirements After Going Blonde

Young African American lady with bright blond hair outside Nova Scotia Agricultural College

Caring for blonde hair is a lot of work. Unfortunately, without adequate aftercare, your blonde hair won’t look good and can even become damaged.

Here are some things you should do to keep your hair looking and feeling great: 

  • Protect your blonde hair from heat – After coloring your hair, it’ll be more fragile than usual, so heat styling and prolonged sun exposure are no-nos.
  • Rinse with cold water after washing your hair – Bleaching your curls or using high-lift color puts your hair through the wringer. So, preserving your hair’s moisture is more important than ever. Cold water is better for your hair than hot water, being that hot water dries your hair out, leaving it prone to brittleness and damage.
  • Keep sulfates far away from your hair – Sulfate shampoos strip your hair of its moisture and should be avoided if you want to keep your hair on your head. 

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As you may have gathered, Black people can have blonde hair and look flawless with it. The key is to find the right blonde for you. We hope this article has answered any questions you had about Black people with blonde hair and encouraged you to give blonde hair a try!