Why Does Super Saiyan Hair Colour Change:
Dragon Ball is Akira Toriyama’s, Crown Jewel. And in Dragon Ball, the most epic instance in any story arc is the Super Saiyan transformation. The Super Saiyans represent the best of combat in the Dragon Ball Universe. They are the epitome and at the zenith of the warrior class. Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, Gohan, Goten – all of them can go Super Saiyan. And this has helped the Z Fighters numerous times. Only the strongest of super villains have even managed to fight head to head with the might of a Super Saiyan. There is one glaring question regarding this epic transformation though – Why does the hair color of a Saiyan change when he or she decides to go Super Saiyan? For long Dragon Ball never gave us a logical explanation behind this rationale. We might finally know the answer to that question.
The Super Saiyans are the signature warriors of the Dragon Ball anime and manga series. They represent power, not even human beings can achieve. They have become so famous that Goku was chosen to be the Brand Ambassador of the Tokyo Olympics. That is how famous they are. But with fame comes a lot of limelight. The fans never stopped asking the reason behind Goku’s hair color going yellow when he transforms into a Super Saiyan in his fight against Frieza, starting a chain reaction that leads to a long line of Super Saiyans in the Dragon Ball Universe in the later arcs.
As a Super Saiyan transcends from one form to the next form, his hair color and physique also changes significantly as seen when Goku and Vegeta level up from Super Saiyan 3 and Super Saiyan 2 to Super Saiyan Blue after training with Whis, the Angel Attendant of Beerus, the Lord of Destruction of Universe 7.
The Super Saiyan Transformation: An Overview
Vegeta is the first one to reveal the myth of the Super Saiyan to everyone. He states that the legend of a Super Saiyan was a folk tale and nothing but a story that was passed down from one Saiyan generation to the next. He claims that the last ever Super Saiyan if he or she ever existed, was roughly more than a thousand years ago. After that, the Saiyans never managed to unlock that level of power. Those Ancient Super Saiyans were the reason Saiyans were feared and regarded with respect throughout the universe. Like everyone else, he too believed that Super Saiyans were nothing but a bedtime story to help Saiyan children sleep at night.
Goku proved that the story was real during his fight with Frieza on Namek. Frieza kills Krillin right in front of Goku, who is till then helpless and powerless against Frieza, caught in a fight where the former is hilariously out-matched. The rage of seeing his friend being tortured and killed before his eyes is the key that helps Goku transform into a Super Saiyan, probably the most epic moment ever in the history of anime. After Goku, Vegeta soon follows suit, transforming into a Super Saiyan in his fight against Cooler, Frieza’s brother. Soon after Gohan, Trunks and Goten turn into Super Saiyans too. The saga of the Super Saiyan has begun.
The Super Saiyan Transformation gives a major boost to a Saiyan’s power level. It is claimed that the power boost is about 50 times the base power in a Saiyan’s original form. But the ballad of the Super Saiyan did not end there. As the story progressed, Super Saiyans unlocked new levels. There was the Super Saiyan 2, which Goku was the first to achieve. Vegeta would always achieve it soon after. There was also the Super Saiyan 3, with noticeably larger hair. Goku achieved the Super Saiyan 3 form after training in the afterlife. In Dragon Ball GT, there exists a fourth Super Saiyan Form called Super Saiyan 4. Dragon Ball GT might be considered non-canon but the form is nevertheless very interesting. A Super Saiyan 4 has his torso covered in Red Fur while their hair turns black again.
And then there is the Legendary Super Saiyan form, which was achieved by Broly as well as Kale in Dragon Ball Super. The Legendary Super Saiyan form has not yet been unlocked by Goku, Vegeta, or the rest of the Saiyans in the Z Fighters roster. Dragon Ball Super also revealed three other Super Saiyan transformations – Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, and the Ultra Instinct form. Each transformation turns the hair to red, blue, and silver-white respectively.
The Super Saiyan transformation is linked to a certain Cell Culture called the S-Cells. Like the Midichlorians in Star Wars, which define how strong an individual is connected to The Force, the S-Cell concentration determines how likely a Saiyan will undergo the Super Saiyan Transformation. The more S-Cells you have, the likelier a Saiyan is to become a Super Saiyan. It is also said that the number of S-Cells also increases the gentler a Saiyan is. Good-hearted Saiyans have a higher chance of achieving Super Saiyan forms. It can also be achieved through rigorous, punishing training as Vegeta did.
There are three different explanations for the change in Hair Colour of a Super Saiyan. We will list all three out and let you choose which one you want to go with:
Akira Toriyama’s Explanation
When Akria Toriyama was writing the pages of the Dragon Ball Z Manga, he realized that ever since Goku has transcended the rest of the Z Fighters, Toriyama was having trouble showing it visually. He needed something which would be not only aesthetically appealing but also give the message to the readers and the viewers that Goku has truly become a class apart from the rest. His fight with Frieza pushed Goku to his absolute limits. He was full of rage. The Super Saiyan transformations were basically his attempt to show the readers that Goku is no longer the same. And frankly, it did work didn’t it!!
The Artists’ Explanation
This is a fairly simple explanation. This rationale was put forward by the Manga Artists, who are basically the chorus singers to Akira Toriyama’s symphony. Their job is to imitate Toriyama’s arts and work on them. And they explained that the primary reason Goku went Super Saiyan and had his hair turned yellow was that they were sick and tired of drawing Goku’s black hair over and over again. In the Manga, they just left Goku’s Hair as white as the background paper. In the anime, the showrunners took it up a notch and redrew it as golden. The rest is history.
The Ki Explanation
In the world of Dragon Ball, everything works on the basis of ki. A Warrior is only as strong as the quality and level of Ki he or she can produce. There are two forms of Ki – Mortal Ki that Goku and the rest of the Z Fighters use are confined to the mortal realm. It is unrefined and has very little conversion value to energy. The other form of Ki is God Ki. God Ki is accessible only to Godly beings. It is more potent and refined with a near hundred percent energy conversion value. Up until now, the only mortal who has managed to unlock the ability to manipulate Godly Ki is Goku who mastered Ultra Instinct in Dragon Ball Super.
Our theory claims that the color of Ki determines its potency. Like different colors of fire determine how hot or cold it is. Orange and Red Fire is the lowest temperature while blue and white fire is the highest temperature. Ki’s color also defines its quality. God Ki, which is white in color, is the most potent. Mortal Ki has a lot of colors, which determine the power of its user. When a Saiyan unlocks Super Saiyan mode, he accesses a more potent level of Mortal Ki, and hence the color of his aura changes.
As Goku went Super Saiyan 2 and 3, his Aura became more and more golden in color, with Super Saiyan 3 revealing a deep yellow Gold Aura. This Aura is the reason why a Super Saiyan’s hair changes. It affects their biology. Super Saiyan Blue is probably the highest, most potent form of Mortal Ki, and as a result, it is blue in color. It also changes the color of Goku and Vegeta’s hair to blue.
BY far, this looks like the most logical explanation of the three. But we will let you decide to go with whichever one you choose to go with.