Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 16:40 UK

Hair colour 'determines earnings'

Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones is a successful brunette

The saying goes blondes have more fun but new research shows that being a brunette is definitely worth it.

A study of 3,000 UK women for hair and cosmetics firm Schwarzkopf & Henkel found that women with darker hair enjoyed better financial success.

Women with natural or dyed brown tresses earn on average 4,200 more than fair-haired maidens, it says.

Brunettes earn on average 21,143 a year, while blondes earn an average of 16,893.

Of the women interviewed, 51% said the most successful period in their career was when they were brunette, while 28% said they had the most success when they were blonde.

As a redhead, 11% enjoyed the best times in their career, with the fewest success stories emerging from those while raven-haired.

Changing perceptions

The study may help to explain why Welsh film star Catherine Zeta Jones is so famous, the company says.

Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria and home grown screen sirens Kelly Brook and Kate Beckinsale are other successful personalities the firm picks out.

"Hair colour can not only change your appearance but also change your mindset and people's perception of you too," said Camila Lobo-Guerrero of Schwarzkopf & Henkel.

"Our research shows that blondes still do have more fun but aren't taken as seriously as women with darker hair - both at work and play."

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