Helena is one of the Leda clones in Orphan Black. However, unlike the other Leda clones, who have dark hair, Helena's hair is very light. Why is this?

  • Probably she dyes it.
    – Adamant
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 14:21
  • Women and their hair color, are things men need not think about, as it makes no sense ;) Katja (the German clone) was a red head..
    – FuxieDK
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 19:27
  • @FuxieDK, Katja was clearly dyed though. Hair colour should have been consistent among the clones though.
    – NoahM
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 1:29
  • @ NoahM, which is why I wrote men need not think of women and their hair color.. Most of them color it.
    – FuxieDK
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 3:31

2 Answers 2


Helena bleaches her hair. It's pretty obvious that her roots are much darker.

Why she bleaches it is an entirely different question. Early on, she had a very strong angel fetish. Angels are frequently depicted with a glowing radiance around their heads (a halo), so she may have been trying to replicate that effect. In the final season, we see the first time it is done...

...against her will as part of a punishment when she was a child...

...but we still don't know why she kept doing it.

It may be part of her self-flagellation, but there's no solid, on-screen statement to that effect.

Out-of-universe, they do it so we can tell which clone is which at a glance.

Helena's Roots

FYI, Krystal bleaches and has dark roots, too:

Krystal's Roots

  • Then why are her roots consistently dark? If she dyed her hair, she'd sometimes have light roots
    – NoahM
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 14:25
  • 3
    @Noah Because she dies it, then her hair grows back in its natural (darker) color. Hence dark roots. Unless she died it in the last week, her roots will basically always be dark. Commented May 13, 2016 at 14:26
  • 1
    @Noah: Out of universe, it's a wig. The series doesn't have any need to keep precise track of time, so maintaining multiple wigs for differing bleach ages is a waste of money.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 14:28
  • @DaveJohnson, one would assume that she would have different amounts of root colour, which IIRC is not the case.
    – NoahM
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 14:28
  • 1
    @T.J.L. actually, it's not completely irrelevant, as shown in S5E09 (see my answer), although I agree we didn't know that over a year ago.
    – SQB
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 7:43

In episode S5E09, "One Fettered Slave", Helena has flashbacks to her youth in the convent, in which we see a young Helena getting punished by a nun by having her hair (violently) bleached.

In other flashbacks as well as in early episodes, we see she practises self-punishment, so she may have kept her hair bleached as a form of that.

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