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Why we're all dyeing to be blonde; SHOCK AS 80 PER CENT OF WOMEN WITH GOLDEN HAIR ADMIT THEY FAKE IT.

Byline: JILL FOSTER (blonde) and JANE SIMON (brunette)

IT'S a debate which has raged since the dawn of hair-dye - who has more fun, blondes or brunettes?

It would seem that, for British women at least, the answer is to reach for the bleach.

Four out of 10 women in the UK are blonde but more than 80 per cent are faking it, according to a survey published yesterday.

And there are regional differences, too.

Manchester has the highest proportion of blondes, real or fake, with 45 per cent of women in the northern city golden haired.

Bournemouth has the highest proportion of bottle blondes - only eight per cent of blondies in the southern seaside town are natural.

Many are keen to find out if rocker Rod Stewart, 59, was right when he insisted that blondes have more fun. His model girlfriend Penny Lancaster, 33, was a happy brunette until her man persuaded her to join the club.

And a quarter of bottle blondes said they're having so much fun, they'd never go back to dark - unlike Madonna, who has occasionally reverted to raven through the years.

An increasing number of women are also using lighter locks in an attempt to turn back the clock - remember the shocking blonde hairdo Ann Widdecombe revealed last year?

In Cardiff, 45 per cent of blondies are, like 58-year-old Blondie star Debbie Harry, aged 50 or older, the survey of 3,500 women for women's website iVillage.co.uk found. It also seems that if you are a natural blonde, you'll want to make the most it.

Seven out of 10 blondes have long locks, such as famous naturals Emma Bunton and Claudia Schiffer.

Hair and beauty expert Roni Dutta says the influence of celebs and the desire to look younger were two reasons behind the switch to blonde.

"We must look at the influence of TV stars such as Kim Cattrall, Penny Smith and Linda Barker, whose golden locks ooze glamour, sophistication and youth," says the iVillage expert.

"Britain is also an ageing population and, as our attitudes become younger, so must our appearance.

"Women with light hair always seem to look younger and often therefore more attractive to the opposite sex."

Here, we test your knowledge about which well-known "blondes" are really blonde, while two celebrities - one blonde and the other brunette - reveal what they think about the survey's findings and how their hair colour affects them...

BRITAIN'S FAIR CITIES

CITY % OF BLONDES % NATURAL

Manchester 45 24

Bournemouth 43 8

Birmingham 43 21

Newcastle 40 23

London 39 19

Brighton 38 25

Cardiff 36 1

CAPTION(S):

Jordan; Tess Daly; Madonna; Zoe Ball; Nell McAndrew; Lisa Kudrow; Emma Bunton; Jerry Hall; Denise van OutenKate Moss; Kate Winslet; Kerry McFadden; Cameron DiazTamzin Outhwaite; Claudia Schiffer; Ulrika Jonsson; Zara Phillips; Cate Blanchett; Gwyneth Paltrow
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 19, 2004
Words:469
Previous Article:It is sexy and gets you noticed; BLONDE IS BEST.
Next Article:Beach trip ends in '8 die' crash.


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