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dog crazy hair 21377323_sH: Hair

Characters are made up of a lot of details: age, weight, eye color, and hair pop to mind immediately. Do you put much stock into a character’s hair? Don’t you think it says something about them if their hair is long or short, dark or light, streaked or plain, curly or short? Does it say something about their family, or their independence and confidence?

One of my books Unlikely Lover (formerly known as The Girl with the Thistle Tattoo) has a heroine with black hair with blue streaks. Astraea is rebellious and has a Goth bent. Her blue hair says something very particular about her.

But men’s hair can be just as telling. Imagine how you’d feel about a guy who visited the salon to have his hair streaked every month. Or a guy with really long hair that he wore in a braid. Would these things give you hints about their personalities?

I’ve read any number of books with heroes whose hair I didn’t like. I don’t go for blond guys, for example, so in my mind I changed them to brunettes. That might be cheating on my part, but I figure the author might rather I continued buying her books, even if I had to play with a few details.

I’m a natural redhead, and when I was growing up and first started reading romance novels, so many of the heroines had red hair! It was much easier to put myself in their shoes when their hair was the same as mine. Do you feel that way, too? These days, I’m hesitant to make my heroines redheads because I don’t want them to be too much like me! Weird how the screw turns.

So what kind of hair do you like to see in romance novels? Do you have a favorite hair type, or are you enraptured with any hair that seems to fit the character the author designed?

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  1. Hair color, physical features definitely give you a look into their personality. I don’t see blonde men as a very dominant man, I see them more as surfer dudes, and tend to shy away from that on a cover.

  2. Kathy Heare Watts

    I am one who likes to read discriptions of a person including hair and eye color, whether it is long or short, both male and female characters. When you read of a female character with long red hair and firey personality, you can picture it. Or the male with long black hair that he has pulled back with a leather tie holding it in place!

  3. I think I like it when it fits the character but scenes with control and using the hair are hot. And in age play stories I love them in their braids.

  4. When reading I try to get the basics–hair and eye color–down for the H/h. All the other features I end up envisioning on my own. When writing I try to vary hair color and cut, although since I write historicals my heroines have to have long hair for the most part (Regency had a short hair trend though) and the men’s hair changes with the period as does facial hair (lots of periods had men clean shaven). But I don’t get excessive in my description of it. Another great post, Trish!

  5. I don’t always agree with the author’s description of a character and end up changing it in my head. In fact, I often skip over the author’s description and just make up my own. I wonder if other people do that.

  6. I love long hair on men held in check with a pony tail or short buzz cut on military men. I like red flowing hair and green eyes or short spiky hair on women. It doesn’t add or subtract from the story but can make it more interesting.

  7. I am so completely anal about getting my heroes and heroines described correctly, but after so many books, now I also have to make sure I’m not falling into a descriptive rut. I actually made up a list to keep track of not only my characters names (can’t have too many Johns or Margos), but also hair and eye color. As if anyone is going to care if every one of my characters is blonde and blue eyed. Still, it’s important that not only do the characters look the way they’re supposed to look, but also that they don’t look like any of my past character’s either.

  8. I’m glad that the new version of Thistle is available. I really enjoyed that book!

    In one of my books the heroine was a blonde but I couldnt find a blonde for the cover so I decided to go back and change her hair color. I scoured the whole book and realized I’d never actually said it was blonde, but in my mind it was.

    I don’t always give hair as much attention (including my own scraggly mess) as I should. Thanks for this reminder.

  9. Hair color seems to be the most important to me. It changes the persons whole personality.

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