A friend of mine with beautiful crimson hair is considering experimenting with coloring her hair black/dark brown. Through talking with her, I started thinking about how these two hair colors are the two that I personally find most striking and aesthetically appealing, especially in combination with each other...a redhead standing next to a woman with dark hair. Interestingly, a lot of Pre-Raphaelite artists seem to agree with me. The visual appeal of contrasting a woman with dark hair and a woman with fiery hair did not perhaps begin with the Pre-Raphaelites, but they certainly made the combination of the two more famous! A few examples...
The above is a detail from Waterhouse's Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May.
Crystal Gazers by Mowbray.
Dream of Fair Women by Harrison
Duet by Dicksee
Bower Meadow by Rossetti
Edward Robert Hughes did a series of two paintings, entitled Day and Night, celebrating the dual beauties of pale and dark.
and Edmund Blair Leighton created the same painting, Stitching the Standard, two times, the first with a redhead during the mid-day, the second with a brunette during dusk.