The key idea in the concept of metallic hair color is the word “metal.” Metal is shiny. Metal is iridescent. Metals come in a range of finishes from warm gold to icy silver. Metallic hair colors, at their best, are dimensional, dazzling tones that shine like platinum, and make it look more exotic.

How could this have developed naturally in our species?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't know about iridescent hair or fur, but many birds have iridescent feathers, so presumably iridescent hair might have features in common with iridescent feathers. $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2018 at 15:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Insects also have iridescent structures in their chitin bodies. $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Nov 10, 2018 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


They just need to have the keratin (or whatever molecule they use to make up their hair) arranged in such a way that it creates a diffractive grating.

In such a way the diffracted light will give the hair an iridescent appearance, in the same way some birds have their metallic and iridescent appearance.

iridescent feathers

Since exhibiting such features requires good fitness (to keep the feather/hair in good conditions), it could have plausibly evolved as a way of display physical fitness and attract the female during the mating ritual.


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