Blonde women - even bottle blondes - are more likely to fight for what they want than brunettes and redheads, according to a University of California study.

The researchers expected blondes to feel more entitled than other young women - "this is southern California, the natural habitat of the privileged blonde," lead researcher Aaron Sell told The Times, but they were surprised at the lengths blonde women went to in the interests of getting their own way.

The study involved 156 female undergraduates and showed that blondes were more likely to display a "warlike" streak to get what they wanted.

Sell told The Times this was likely due to a sense of entitlement created because other people - particularly men - treated them better than women with non-blonde hair.

"They may not even realise they are treated like a princess," Sell said.

But the study indicated that the more 'special' people felt, the more likely they were to get angry to reach social goals.

However there is a limit to how far blondes take their anger.

The researchers also discovered they were less likely than brunettes or redheads to get in a physical fight, perhaps to ensure their looks were preserved.

Consultant psychologist Ingrid Collins of The London Medical Centre told the BBC the findings were interesting but should be interpreted with caution.

"People do tend to buy into and live up to stereotypes.

"But this is a small study on a very limited sample group so it is not possible to generalise."

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.