So I'm doing Duolingo and I just reviewed the To Be section and they had many examples of phrases similar to

He is blonde / Él es rubio

This makes sense to me as someone is intrinsically "naturally blonde". I do however, wonder, if someone dyes his hair blonde, do we say

Él está rubio

to show that it's temporary?

  • 2
    Creo que esta pregunta debería responderla @Rubio ... Ric :P
    – fedorqui
    Mar 8, 2021 at 10:40
  • 4
    We would use another verb: Él *va de* rubio.
    – fedorqui
    Mar 8, 2021 at 10:42
  • 4
    @fedorqui'SOstopharming' Yo también lo había pensado XD Pero es mi apellido no mi color de pelo ;-P Yo soy Rubio.
    – RubioRic
    Mar 8, 2021 at 10:43
  • Off topic. I have heard estar de soltero as a rough equivalent of batching it. Mar 12, 2021 at 2:24

2 Answers 2


No, if someone dyes their hair, "es" is still used.

Mi amiga se ha teñido el pelo. Ahora es pelirroja.
// My friend has dyed her hair. Now she's redhead.

There is no distinction. If you dye your hair, that's your new color now.

Antes de teñirme el pelo, yo era rubio.
// Before I dyed my hair, I was blonde.

Era = imperfect tense of Ser.


In the phrase "he is blonde", is indicates the current state of his hair. If he dyes it, you could say "he's now redheaded" (ya es pelirrojo) or "he went redhead" (se volvió pelirrojo), but you don't point to the dying process every time you refer to his hair in the future. You can explicitly say "he used to be dark haired" or similar, but otherwise you just change the color itself: "he is deal haired/redheaded/etc". It's the same in spanish.

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