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Micaiah
"Sophie! Your hair! It looks just like starlight. It's beautiful!"

In Real Life, white hair indicates either age, bleach, or albinism. Not so in fiction, where white hair can occur naturally on women of any age. For a given value of "natural", that is: white locks tend to mark their owner as special in some way. Maybe her hair is indicative of some spiritual (or outright magical) qualities, or maybe it's a hint of a nonhuman background. At the most mundane, it suggests wisdom beyond her years. It is a common mark of a Mysterious Waif.

Often, this is treated like a variation on blond hair -- "platinum blond" -- with the character having blue eyes to match. Unless she has red eyes, which would suggest she's an albino. Or she's a Dark-Skinned Blond, in which case, it's probably a good idea to book it, fast.

The popularity of this trope probably stems from its status as a borderline-natural hair color: white hair on a young person strikes that delicate balance of being unusual but not blatantly unrealistic. The color also lends itself well towards symbolism (purity or death, take your pick).

Her male counterpart, the White-Haired Pretty Boy, is more strongly associated with Japanese media. He lacks the magical connotations and is more likely to be an antagonist or outright evil.

It bears repeating that these are young (or at least young-looking) characters, and their hair color is not indicative of age. For White Haired Pretty Old Ladies (assuming their hair wasn't white When They Were Young), see Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!.

Compare and contrast with Hair of Gold.

Note that this trope does exist in real life; a small number of non-albino Asians find their hair turning white during puberty. It's usually hereditary, though stress can also cause a similar effect. Many Northern Europeans also retain their towheaded hair into adulthood.

Examples of White-Haired Pretty Girl include:


Anime and Manga

  • Very common in anime and manga, in general.
  • In X 1999, Princess Hinoto has white hair and is one of the most powerful magical beings in that world.
  • Also by CLAMP, in Clover, Suu has white hair and is the most powerful magical being in that world.
  • The first Reinforce from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As, the physical incarnation of a powerful Weapon of Mass Destruction. Ditto for Reinforce Zwei, her successor/daughter.
  • Shizuma from Strawberry Panic.
  • Momo from Ballad of a Shinigami.
  • Kurohime, for crying out loud!
  • Ikki Tousen: Chou'un Shiryuu pretty much fits the bill.
  • Rozen Maiden: Suigintou, Barasuishou and Kirakishou.
  • Zazie Rainyday from Mahou Sensei Negima.
    • There are some implications that Setsuna is one as well and merely dyes her hair.
    • Ako Izumi could also count, except her hair is ice blue
  • Azmaria in Chrono Crusade, a young girl with the power to heal people when she sings.
  • Yin from Darker Than Black.
  • Tessa from Full Metal Panic, who additionally comes with an Aloof Big Brother. Guess which hair color and alignment he sports...
    • Though one novel describes their hair as "ash blonde", it is commonly depicted as white.
  • Like the above example, Felli Loss from Chrome Shelled Regios also has an Aloof Big Brother sporting the same hair color.
  • In Iriya no Sora UFO no Natsu, Iriya's hair gets dyed white against her will.
  • Fumika from Shigofumi.
  • Oscar from Rose of Versailles, when she's not blonde. Blame the artist.
  • Towa Kannagi from Mermaid Saga
  • The sensual shot and Dark Action Girl Hibari Ginza from Speed Grapher.
  • Jiang Lihua aka Empress Tianzi from Code Geass, also a Moe Moe Chinese Girl.
    • Nonnette Ennegram, the Knight of Nine, has hair of an off-white colour.
  • Sophie Oswald from Kaleido Star. Her older brother Leon was a White-Haired Pretty Boy, so it makes sense.
  • Rally Cheyenne from Silent Moebius, at least, in flashbacks, since she's pushing 40 by the time of the main body of the series. (She's still good-looking.)
  • Kisara of Yu-Gi-Oh!. Unfortunately, her white hair and pale skin led to discrimination and loathing by the people of ancient Egypt.
  • Maestro Delphine of Last Exile is practically the living embodiment of evil, but she does have white hair and is arguably attractive, at least in flashbacks. It seems to be a racial trait, as her 17-year-old brother is a White-Haired Pretty Boy, and others of her race all have very pale hair.
    • Alvis Hamilton, another Guild Maestro, was also a White-Haired Pretty Girl -- but, instead, a sweet 7-year old. There were two more prominent guildsmen, Sylvana's engineer and Anatoray Prime Minister, but they were old enough to have natural white hair.
  • Soma Peries of Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    • Chall Acustica of Gundam 00F. Her hair was naturally brown, until a reactor overload in her Gundam caused it to turn white (in addition to scarring her face and killing all her comrades).
  • The original Queen Serenity in Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon herself was originally supposed to be white haired when transformed and blonde as Usagi. This was vetoed by Naoko's editor Osa-P. In the manga, she does have white hair as Princess Serenity and Neo Queen Serenity, but not in the anime.
  • Eas from Fresh Pretty Cure.
  • In the anime adaptation of Howls Moving Castle, Sophie ends up as this once her curse is broken and she has come into her latent magical abilities.
  • Urd, and her mother Hild, of Ah! My Goddess! fame.
  • Chii from Chobits.
    • Though note that Chii's white hair is not a biologically occurring natural hair color in her world.
  • The hair of all Claymores turns white during their hybridization process.
    • Well...many, but not quite all. First off, there's Clarice, who's hybridisation was a failure and whose hair is still dark enough to count as brunette, but even the manga's colour illustrations show some Claymore, like Miria, to have darker blonde hair, while the anime turns a few, like Helen, into outright golden blondes.
  • Sylvie Lumiere from Baccano, although it doesn't seem to be held as any indication of unusual abilities apart from the most common one in the series.
  • Sanya and Eila from Strike Witches.
  • Jo from Bakuretsu Tenshi.
  • Hanekawa Tsubasa from Bakemonogatari becomes one when possessed by a white-haired bakeneko.
  • Nico Robin's mother in One Piece, Nico Olivia, had pure white hair. It's unknown how old she was when she died, but she didn't appear too old, and Robin herself was only 8.
  • Sylia Stingray of Bubblegum Crisis 2040, if you can overlook drinking and/or drug problems and a few general mental issues.
    • In the original, she had a weird haze grey hair -- which was taken up by some fans as one more irrefutable proof of her being Boomer.
  • The Specialist from GetBackers. It mostly seems to enhance her creepiness.
  • Yumi from Ulysses 31.
  • An interesting variation occurs in the Slayers series: protagonist Lina has reddish colored hair, but when she casts a particular high-level spell, her hair turns white. This occurs once in the Light Novel series, and twice in the anime.
    • A straighter example is Millina, a female mercenary and Lina's ally from the second half of the novels. However, she herself subverts this trope in that she is a rather average-leveled mage and swordswoman, and is a bit of a grump.
  • Sakuya from Candy Boy.
  • The titular heroine of Canaan. Justified Trope in that it actually turned white as a side effect of her exposure to the Ua virus.
    • Horrifyingly subverted when Liang Qi tries to give herself synesthesia and swallows capsules containing the Ua virus. Her originally dark hair turns white...and then she suffers a truly horrible Rasputinian Death.
  • Mirajane of Fairy Tail has pure white hair and blue eyes. Apparently, though, it's hereditary and has nothing to do with her age, personality, or magic, since both Elfman and their Dead Little Sister, Lisana, have (had, in Lisana's case) white hair.
  • Saiki from Ghost Talkers Daydream is albino.
  • Echo and the Other Alice in Pandora Hearts.
  • Gretel from Black Lagoon, and her brother Hansel was the male counterpart of this trope...sometimes...we think.
  • Isane Kotetsu from Bleach.
  • Togame from Katanagatari has epically long white hair - long enough for Shichika to wrap around himself several times.
  • Fujiko from Zettai Karen Children.
  • Nurse Kuwahara of Hidamari Sketch.
  • Mariah from Manga/Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure.
  • Astaroshe Asran from Trinity Blood has white hair (except a single red forelock) in the original novels. She was changed to a natural blonde in the anime.
  • Alex from Nightschool has white hair that used to be brown. She was Locked Into Strangeness when she was cursed.
  • The OAV version of Ifurita in El Hazard.
  • Angel, or Kanade Tachibana, in the 13 episode anime Angel Beats!
  • Shiro from Deadman Wonderland. The word "Shiro" in Japanese literally translates to White in English.
  • Inner Moka from Rosario to Vampire.
  • Lisette Vertorre/Liselotte Werckmeister from 11 eyes
  • Princess Romina from Ninja Senshi Tobikage
  • Matsuri from Strawberry Marshmallow is a rare non-magical, realistic example, where her hair has started graying early. It's entirely mundane, but is also a subject of some debate early on in the manga. Not quite white, but give her a few years...
  • The eponymous Index from To Aru Majutsu no Index.
  • Mikuni Oriko from Puella Magi Oriko Magica.
  • Shijima and the avatar of the Shinrabansho from Nabari no Ou.
  • Jeanne from Shaman King.
  • Victorique from Gosick becomes one in the final episode. Her hair was previously golden blonde. The reason for the sudden change is left unexplained in the series, but due to the events that took place shortly before said change, it's most likely a case of Disease Bleach.
  • Hidden by Setsuna of Mahou Sensei Negima and Himari of Omamori Himari, as both of them dye their hair for personal reasons. Setsuna dyes her hair because she considers her albinism to be a point of shame, and Himari dyes her hair because she thinks her master prefers brunettes.
  • Atia, Creo, Holly, and Amelia from Freezing.
  • Sakurako Saiki from Sakura Gari. But in a subversion, we later learn that Sakurako is... Youya, a White-Haired Pretty Boy.
  • Tenshi from Angel Beats.
  • Lady Belial from Seven Mortal Sins (Sin: Nanatsu No Taizai). Former leader of the other seven Demon King's and immaculate in appearance. Belial's hair is silver and goes fabulously with her matching glasses and fair tone of skin. She is one demon any wise sinner should worship.
    • Also Lady Belphegor has short white hair and is quite the cutie herself.

Comic Books

  • Marvel Comics:
    • X-Men's Ororo "Storm" Munroe is a Dark-Skinned Blond(-ish) with, yes, blue eyes. This was eventually explained as a property she got from her mother's inherent magic. Her mother was an Egyptian princess.
    • Spider-Man's Classy Cat Burglar Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy. The recognizable white hair is part of her costume, in some versions.
    • Silver Sable has the same kind of hair.
    • Sometimes, Gwen Stacy does as well, but that might just be a coloring mistake.
    • Doctor Strange's disciple/girlfriend/wife Clea, half-Faltinian princess of the Dark Dimension. She has a touch of Anime Hair as well.
    • Captain Marvel's Phyla-Vell a.k.a. Quasar, who's Titanian. Titanese? (With a few alien genes thrown in.)
    • An extremely fictionalised Virginia Dare is depicted this way in 1602.
    • Songbird of the Thunderbolts. Though that's not her real hair color (just about all of the Thunderbolts had their faces altered to fit their scheme) and it has a red streak through it.
    • The X-Men villain Spiral, although she was originally a brunette before her genes were messed with.
    • Alpha Flight's Walter Langkowski, aka Sasquatch, once became a woman after returning from the dead (long story). Going by the name Wanda, she was young and pretty, and had snow-white hair in both her human and Sasquatch forms.
  • DC Comics:
    • Teen Titans's Rose "Ravager" Wilson, who's been called platinum blonde at least once in a recent issue. Oddly enough, this is supposedly because her father, Deathstroke, also has white hair due to the experiment that gave him his powers, which brings up another trope.
    • Ice (Tora Olafsdotter). White hair, blue eyes, and she's the princess of a magical northern tribe.
    • The first female Dove, Dawn Granger, in DC's Hawk And Dove. In her earlier appearances, only her Dove superhero form had white hair, while Dawn was a blonde. In more recent appearances, she has been shown with white hair in both identities -- most likely because it made it easier to differentiate her from the other two major blonde female characters in Birds of Prey when she joined that team.
    • Dream Girl / Dreamer, Princess Projectra and White Witch from the Legion of Super-Heroes. The latter is (usually) a Heroic Albino.
    • Hippolyta (Lyta) Hall, the second Fury, who featured prominently in The Sandman. It's not entirely clear whether this is actually blonde hair drawn as white (since a younger Lyta is shown as a blonde, and one character refers to her as a blonde as an adult), or if it really is white.
    • Abby Holland (née Abigail Arcane), Swamp Thing's wife, has snow-white hair with two black streaks running through it.
    • Dolphin, frequently seen in Aquaman comics.
    • When the Metal Men had to assume human identities (due to humanity turning against them and believing them to be dead), Platnium became a fashion model named Tina Platt. Fittingly, she's a platnium blonde.
  • Jennifer Morgan, Travis Morgan's daughter and the sorceress supreme of Skartaris in The Warlord. She was originally blonde, but her hair turns white as she gains sorcerous power.
  • Cross Gen's The First had both Ingra and Wyture, neither of them human. Negation had Khlystek, the Lizard Lady, a reptilian alien.
  • Gabrielle from Spawn.
  • Glory, Probe, Suprema, and Avengelyne, as drawn by Rob Liefeld, who, being a fan of the look, also applied it for Dawn Granger, mentioned above.
    • In Suprema's case, like Supreme, the white hair is a side effect of exposure to Supremium, the source of their powers.
  • The comics version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is like this.
  • Lady Death is a) dead, b) an albino, c) a goddess, d) stacked like pancakes, and e) all of the above.
  • Wild Rice, a one-shot character in The Spirit, had this sort of look. She was a rebellious rich girl with nothing supernatural about her.
  • Elyon from WITCH.
    • More of a light blonde, really. Some fanfic writers have referred to her as having chalk-colored hair.
  • Zia, a character from Wet Moon, claims to have gained white hair after surviving a car accident that took her arm.
  • Caerula Sanguis in Gunnm: Last Order.
  • Rima The Jungle Girl
  • All of the Metabarons have long white hair, if they have any. For some reason, even the women they bring into the family from other clans have long white hair.


Film


Literature

  • The Childlike Empress has white hair in The Neverending Story.
  • In The Stand, Nadine's hair supernaturally turns white due to contact with Randall Flagg.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a few: Winter Celchu, Leia's aide (first appearance in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy, though she also featured in the X Wing Series comics), Brianna, the Last Handmaiden, and Atris, the Jedi historian (from Knights of the Old Republic II). They seem mature, though not yet old.
    • Though white hair and silver eyes are the most common hair/eye colors among the Echani.
    • In Winter's case it's definitely not a sign of age: she's canonically established as having white hair at the age of 17 and an ambiguously canon comic shows her with it as a child.
  • Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.
  • Winter from Leven Thumps.
  • There was a young woman in Thomas M. Disch's The Prisoner novel with white hair. She didn't have any magic powers.
  • Yvaine from Stardust is white-haired.
  • The protagonist of Andre Norton's Forerunner: The Second Venture. Dark skin, aquiline features, and white hair.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar books, using Adept-level magic bleaches your hair, so any young female Adepts eventually become examples of this trope.
    • In Lackey's The Black Swan, Odile von Rothbart has white hair. She suspects her mage father may have changed its color.
  • The Faerie Queens and Ladies in The Dresden Files are described as beyond gorgeous and white-haired (although the Winter Lady streaks hers with dye.) And the hair of Thomas Raith's girlfriend, Justine, turned white after Thomas fed on her so deeply that she should have died. And a demon girl named Tessa has white hair in her rather cute human form.
      • The entire Marat race in Jim Butcher's other series, Codex Alera, tend to have white hair so a lot of them qualify as either this or White-Haired Pretty Boy. Kitai is the most prominent example, though there are several much less significant female Marat who are also this trope.
  • The protagonist of the wuxia novel The Bride with White Hair by Liang Yusheng. There is a Film of the Book too.
  • Susan Sto-Helit has this, with one black streak; she's also a Magical Nanny and the granddaughter of Death.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's The Rowan, the titular character has white hair, which is also inherited by her descendants of both sexes as a white streak.
  • Daenerys Targaryen of A Song of Ice and Fire. Targeryens tend to have silver-blonde hair as well as violet eyes due to their Valyrian blood, which has been maintained through the centuries with massive inbreeding.
  • Morgaine in C. J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle is white-haired and beautiful due to belonging to a half-blooded ancient race.
  • Gwerath in The Seven Citadels has silver hair, as did Kerish's late mother, Taana.
  • Gamina in The Riftwar Cycle.
  • Fleur from Harry Potter, as well as her sister, Gabrielle, who also exhibits a case of Strong Family Resemblance. They both have silver-blonde hair.
  • President Eloise Pritchart in the Honor Harrington series is frequently described as having "platinum" hair.
  • Jen from Legacy of Cryptia by Whitney A. Curtis.
  • The Black Cat in Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours has silver hair.
  • Lady High Priestess Evelyn from White Star and the other novels in the series by Elizabeth Vaughan.
  • Lucretia from Bystander has silver hair
  • Nyarko from Haiyore! Nyarko-san.
  • Miranda in L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy. In the Backstory, her brother Eramus had turned it to an old woman's hair in anger; she had been able to restore its health, but not its color. When Eramus restores its original black, she doesn't like it, even though she recognizes the intent of generosity.
  • Kiki in the Kiki Strike series. It wasn't really much of a plot point, but it was used to show how unusual she was.
  • Jenna, from Jane Yolen's Great Alta Saga, has pure white hair and Black Eyes, a sign of her status as a messianic figure; she is a heroine of legend who is reincarnated every few hundred years, always with white hair from birth.
  • Ash March in Sword of Shadows has very pale blonde hair, putting her right between this and Hair of Gold, depending on the lighting.
  • The Last Unicorn's Lady Amalthea, which makes sense, given that she's actually a unicorn that was turned into a human.
  • One of the Seven of Jehovah in Michael Flynn's The January Dancer. It causes a man to think that white should be soft and gentle, not ceramic.


Live-Action TV


Music

  • Lady Gaga has white hair in her Alejandro video, although it's most likely a wig.
    • And several other videos, too. But yes, it is a wig.
  • The Love Interest from The Killers Mr. Brightside music video.
  • Gwen Stefani on occasion.
  • In her more recent live shows, Japanese singer/cellist Kanon Wakeshima wears a white wig.


Newspaper Comics


Tabletop Games

  • Avacyn from Magic: The Gathering's Innistrad pack. Helps with the Dark Is Not Evil motiff.
  • Many Sisters of Battle from Warhammer 40000 have white hair, though this is heavily implied to be the result of dyeing. Whether they're actually pretty varies from artist to artist, with some casting them as your standard pretty Amazon Brigade, and others sit down and think about how a life of fighting (often without a helmet) would actually make them look like.
    • Considering the Crapsack World they live in, it's entirely possible it's white due to stress.
    • Or even age - the elite of humanity often receive treatments to keep them fighting for hundreds of years. Old Space Marines usually seem to opt for Bald of Awesome instead.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: Some members of the Crane clan, both male and females, dye their hair white in honor of their ancestors.
  • Dark elves, or drow, also count as Darkskinned Blonde (despite living underground for thousands of years, which you'd think would have the opposite effect; though, at least in one gameworld, they're described as being cursed into that form so none would mistake them). And since they're elves, they tend to be very good-looking (drow are even described as being more attractive on average than other elves, on top of looking exotic), hence most males are white-haired pretty boys and most females are examples of this trope. They took this to massive race-wide Ms. Fanservice levels. The good ones took to dancing naked in the moonlight. The evil ones considered wearing armor admission of fear and weakness before rival houses. The females would often wander their cities nude or nearly so, flaying alive anyone who was Distracted by the Sexy with whips made of snakes, unless they decided the male would make a worthy addition to their harem and let him audition for the role of pleasure slave. Pretty is not nice at all.
  • The Whites in Cthulhu Tech are completely white (skin, eyes, and hair), on the average more attractive than either humans or Nazzadi, AND all natural para-psychics.
  • Pathfinder: Feiya the witch is a textbook example.
  • Arianna from Exalted. There are others, but Arianna is the only one on the cover of the primary rulebook.


Theater

  • In some theatrical adaptations of A Christmas Carol, such as the one by Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, the Ghost of Christmas Past is depicted like this.


Video Games


Visual Novels

  • The Nasuverse seems to love this trope:
    • Illyasviel von Einzbern from Fate/stay night. Her mother's appearance suggests it's genetic. Her maids, Sella and Leysritt, also count.
      • It is genetic. Einzbern homunculi are descendants (or, more appropriately, clones) of Lizleihi Justica von Einzbern, who had the same white hair and red eyes. They also carry parts of her personality and even memories.
    • Dark Sakura.
    • Arcueid Brunestud from Tsukihime may count, as flashbacks seem to imply she dyes it blonde.
    • White Len from the Melty Blood games, as well as Riesbyfe Stridberg.
    • All are, of course, due to their non-human aspects.
  • Virgilia and Satan in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Virgilia is usually calm and reserved...Satan, not so much.


Webcomics


Web Original

  • Cielle, the clairvoyant magic shop owner from Broken Saints, has white hair, courtesy of albinism.
  • Nasha of SPAZ has white Rapunzel Hair, and while she's not magical, she's definitely a little strange
  • Iriana Estchell of Ilivais X has this, due to her alteration for piloting a Phonos Weapon, removing most normal bodily functions, including pigmentation.
  • Lilette Einmell from Tales of Hetalia has white hair, signaling she is a demon. In fact, this series runs on this trope, considering all demons have white hair.


Western Animation


Real Life

  • Connie Chiu, one of the first albino supermodels.
  • So many Northern Europeans, in fact, that almost every last one of them has purely white hair between age 5 and 10. It tends to pick up color afterward, but not always.
    • Many of those descended from the Northern European diaspora can have pure white hair as well, even into adulthood.
  • Fashion consultant/Pantene spokeswoman Stacy London. She developed a gray streak in her hair as a child and has kept it ever since. Her contract with Pantene even has a special clause that allows her to keep it.
  • Brea Grant, usually.
  • Alanah Pearce, game journalist.
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