View Full Version : Can blood stain hair?

June 1st, 2014, 05:38 PM
I'm just curious mostly. I'm writing a story where a character with very long, very pale hair has managed to get blood into it (vampire attack). I was just wondering if blood can stain hair?

June 1st, 2014, 05:40 PM
Probably if the hair was a light color and the blood stayed in it long enough...but I'm guessing in most cases no, likely not. Especially if they washed it soon after.

June 1st, 2014, 05:46 PM
Yeah, I wonder if it's different for natural vs. bleached hair...

June 1st, 2014, 06:07 PM
I'd imagine that it might be difficult to get out once dried, but I don't think it would stain it at all.

June 1st, 2014, 06:10 PM
LOL if I ever get a scalp/head wound and bleed all over my hair I will let you know how it turns out. :). Luckily since I've gone white/silver I haven't had the fun of that experience.

I would also wonder if bleached hair would maybe more porous and could stain more easily.

June 1st, 2014, 06:12 PM
It would probably stain for a little while, not permanently. And it would look like a rusty color, kind of like a dirty spot.

June 1st, 2014, 06:46 PM
Well, I fractured my skull at work once and I bled like a stuck pig. My hair was not stained at all. Washed right out the next day when I was allowed to wash. No, even with very light hair I do not think it could stain hair. But if you want it to, go for it, it's not like vampires are real either, so it's all fantasy anyway! You can make the rules.

June 1st, 2014, 07:11 PM
depending on the amount of iron in the hair, when my oldest was a young child she got blood in her hair from an overnight nose bleed. I didnt know until next morning and when i washed it out there was a slight stain. She had extremely high iron in her blood tho and was always getting nose bleeds.

June 1st, 2014, 08:48 PM
Blood tends to clot within minutes, so I don't think it would be wet long enough to absorb into hair for more than a minor or temporary stain.

June 1st, 2014, 09:02 PM
Good question. I don't even know hoe you would find out the answer though.

June 1st, 2014, 09:03 PM
Well, I fractured my skull at work once and I bled like a stuck pig. My hair was not stained at all.
Same for me when I cut my scalp as a kid. That said, maybe us redheads are not the best people to ask.....

June 1st, 2014, 09:10 PM
True, but when it happened I did have highlights and those were fine as well.

June 2nd, 2014, 03:54 AM
This was one of the most intriguing thread titles ever!

June 2nd, 2014, 04:55 AM
I used to be bleach blonde and have terrible nosebleeds. I'd frequently bleed in the night and it would be in my hair for eight hours potentially. It never stained for me :)

ETA: I just realised how gross I made myself sound. Back to my corner of shame :laugh:
ETA2: I have an iron deficiency, FWIW. Interesting theory.

Rosa Harris
June 2nd, 2014, 05:04 AM
I think it would be interesting for the blood to make a seal on her hair by magical properties

June 2nd, 2014, 07:06 AM
There was one time I got blood on the tips of my hair (don't ask) and didn't notice until after it hardened. My hair is virgin, and extremely light at the ends. The blood, and the reddish colour, washed out with plain water. :)

chen bao jun
June 2nd, 2014, 09:36 AM
You could ask a dr--there are those internet places where drs answer questions and also sites for writers where people will answer a ton of questions like this. But from my personal knowledge, blood won't stain hair. If you leave it on a long time, it will dry up in a kind of cruddy way, but not be staining.
I don't know about bleached hair, but my roomate in college was a natural blonde, a towhead even though she was in her early twenties and things didn't use to stain her hair. she was an actress and even did a role once where she put some black stuff on it to make it look black from the audience (it wasn't hair dye, something she brushed in and washed out) and it just washed out every night. Chlorine in swimming pools didn't turn her green either, so I was surprised when I heard that happens to some.
The trick to getting blood out of clothes is get to it and to use COLD water (heat sets its). You can get an amazing amount of blood out of things with this trick and have no stains. I know because I am also a nose bleeder and I have two sons who have also had what they call 'crime-scene' nosebleeding. The last time it was really bad for me, my nose keep bleeding like that for a month, even after cauterization, finally they put some kind of balloon thing in there and blew it up inside my nose to stop it? Very uncomfortable. But it did stop.
I also want to repeat that if you have vampires in there, it is fantasy and you don't need to sweat that much about being realistic, your world, your rules. Just be internally consistent.

June 2nd, 2014, 07:15 PM
As long as the heme groups stay inside the cells, and attached to the large proteins unlikely to stain hair much. Unless your vampires like to run the blood through lab-grade cell homogenizers and then get very sloppy about drinking it...that would probably stain.

I've always wondered about sloppy vampires...wouldn't they want to not waste any bood? Mosquitos and ticks never leak!

June 3rd, 2014, 02:54 AM
I work in a hospital, caring for pts on ventilators, I've seen pts who haven't been able to truly wash their hair for weeks (with certain injuries even the shampoo caps can't be used), with scalp wounds or drains (surgical or otherwise), and I've never heard/seen anybody who's hair was stained from it. Hope the info helps

June 3rd, 2014, 04:44 AM
I just wanted to pop in and say I think it's great you're trying to make this accurate. As others have said, you can do whatever you want, BUT the caveat here is that you have to make your world internally consistent, so things that defy the laws of the natural world must obey the laws of your magical world. If blood doesn't stain hair and you want it to, then you have to find a reason why this hair can be stained, or this blood will stain, otherwise the realism of your world falls apart. IME this sort of thing is even more important in SF/F genres because you're already asking the reader to believe in vampires or magic or aliens, so you have to work that little bit harder to make other things realistic.

June 3rd, 2014, 06:33 AM
Just as a data point I had very light hair as a child, and blood didn't stain. I bled like a stuck pig after falling in the play ground and it came right out. Didn't and still don't turn green in chlorinated pools. Now a medium blonde.