In the wuxia Chinese dramas it's very common for characters who went through great stress to have white hair. But, apparently, stress and emotional charge isn't the exact reason for this to occur, given that there are other occurrences of this situation and the hair color remains.

The other characters apparently fear those who have white hair.

Some of the dramas that can be cited, in which this phenomenon occurs with one or more characters, are Princess Silver and Ashes of Love, but there are plenty others.

Is there a relationship with Chinese culture or mythology, which explains why, exactly, the person loses hair color, and why it is feared?

1 Answer 1


If you mean something like this:

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that's actually a case of "retroactive incorporation" of a fairly recent story into movies about much older stories. White-Haired in Chinese is called 白髮 baifa, and this actually originates from stories collected in China in the 1930's.

The folklore of the white-haired girl is believed to have spread widely in the areas occupied by the Communist Party of Northern China since the late 1930s. Many years later, a literary work was created in the liberated area controlled by the Communist Party of China in the late 1940s.

The reason you see it so often in Wuxia movies about the Dynastic periods is probably the sixties novel 白髮魔女傳 (Baifa Monü Zhuan)

In older Chinese literature, grey hair (also called 白髮 baifa) is generally a sign of age, it has no special place in Chinese Mythology. The only possible exception is Quanyin, the goddess of mercy, who sometimes is depicted with white hair.

enter image description here

  • That makes perfect sense! Thank you! Jun 15, 2020 at 19:47

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