BLACK hair is on the increase in Ireland.
The number of people who wear black hair and beards has increased by almost two-thirds since the 1980s.
But, despite being considered “superior” to white hair, people are increasingly opting to use different styles of hair dye.
According to the latest figures from the Irish Times, more than 100,000 people in Ireland are wearing hair dye at some point in their lives.
The figures, from the National Hair Dye Council, also show a rise in the use of black hair products and extensions, as well as tattoos.
It is thought that more than half of the new users are women.
The survey, which covered 8,000 men and women in the north-east, was commissioned by the National Council of Hairdressers, and was carried out over three years.
The council also said that the trend was likely to continue as the population grows.
“We’re seeing a lot more black people wearing black, and that’s probably the biggest factor,” the chief executive of the hair salon association, Martin McGowan, told the Irish Independent.
“If we want to maintain our reputation as the hair capital of the world, it has got to be the black hair that is being dyed.”
Mr McGowan said there was a clear shift towards more traditional styles of black-haired men, as the black-headed men in his association have “taken on the role of the black man in a modern society”.
The council said that while black hair had historically been a symbol of masculinity, the rise of men wearing black in the last decade has made it increasingly popular.
It said: “The black hair trend in Ireland has been around for some time, and it has become increasingly common in recent years.”
It is estimated that around 20 per cent of the country’s population are black.
However, some are now questioning the value of black as a hairstyle, saying the hair is “too heavy” and can be too “stinky”.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar recently said he believed it was “unacceptable” to dye a black hair.
He said the black colour could be an “insult” to people who are black, but the hair colour “was invented as a colour to give people confidence”.
Mr Varadker also said the new trend was a “good thing”, as it would help boost “confidence in black people”.
He said it was a reflection of the wider society’s acceptance of black people.
However he also said there should be “respect” for “people of other races”.
“If there’s anything black is, it’s not a colour that everyone is happy with,” he said.
“There’s no shame in wanting to look good, but I don’t think it’s an insult to anybody.”
I think we should be proud to be Irish and proud of our heritage, and we should want to give our people a good education and we shouldn’t be ashamed of our history.
“It’s not an insult.”