WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1, streaming now on Netflix.
Although Sabrina Spellman traditionally has been depicted, in comic books and animation, with white hair, making it the character's defining physical trait, the popular 1990s comedy Sabrina the Teenage Witch opted instead for Melissa Joan Hart's blonde locks. It appeared that Netflix's reimagining, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, had followed suit, with a blonde Kiernan Shipka in the title role. But everything, including the teen witch's hair, changes in the season finale.
The series centers around the tug of war between Sabrina's two halves, mortal and witch, as she's expected on her 16th birthday to pledge loyalty to the Dark Lord. But the independent teen refuses to sign her life away to Satan, and turn her back on her human side, setting off a chain of events that threatens the lives of her family and friends, and eventually the entire own of Greendale. Throughout the season, Sabrina is opposed directly by Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), high priest of the Church of Night, while being subtly manipulated by Baxter High teacher Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez), who's secretly possessed by the Devil's handmaiden, "Madam Satan."
It's largely through the efforts of Miss Wardwell that Sabrina is maneuvered toward, at long last, signing her name in the Book of the Beast. After all, it's the teacher who ensures Sabrina becomes aware of boyfriend Harvey Kinkle's (Ross Lynch) family history as witch hunters, and later guides her toward a forbidden ritual to resurrect Harvey's brother, albeit without his soul, driving a wedge between the star-crossed lovers. However, the Dark Lord grew impatient, leading Miss Wardwell to take drastic measures that would introduce a threat so great, Sabrina would have no choice but to willingly take those final steps into Satan's service.
In cases of emergency, some people break glass. But Miss Wardwell? Well, she sacrifices a virgin (one of Baxter High's bullying jocks, naturally) to summon the angry spirits of the Greendale 13, the witches whose hanging in 1692 is the town's macabre claim to fame. Free to walk the Earth again, for an hour, to exact their revenge against the descendants of the mortals, and the witches, who wronged them, the Greendale 13 get downright biblical, invoking the Red Angel of Death to smite every firstborn son in town. It's enough to drive Sabrina into the (figurative) open arms of the Dark Lord, as, according to Miss Wardwell, the only way the teen can access the power required to save Greendale is, yes, to sign her name in the Book of the Beasts. Funny how that all works out.
Prodded by the hoofbeats of the Red Angel's horse, Sabrina completes her Dark Baptism, and then confronts the Greendale 13 at the Hanging Tree. Calling forth hellfire, something only three witches before her have been able to do, Sabrina burns the Greendale 13 and the Hanging Tree. With the teen witch illuminated by the glow of the blue, otherworldly flame, it may be easy to miss the (initially) subtle change, but when she completes the invocation, her hair changes from blonde to white. Of course, it's not a mere aesthetic alteration, but rather symbolic of Sabrina embracing not only her witch side, but also the prophecy referenced by Miss Wardwell.
For Sabrina, no visit to a hairstylist is going to undo this change -- not that the young witch would want that, anyway. In the final minutes of the season, she seems pleased with her new self, even as she acknowledges to Harvey that she "touched something dark" inside of her. Saying farewell to her boyfriend, and the mortal life he represents, Sabrina is last seen strutting with her formal rivals, the Weird Sisters, through the Academy of Unseen Arts, rocking that white hair. And we have to admit, it suits her.
Available now on Netflix, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stars Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle, Michelle Gomez as Mary Wardwell/Madam Satan, Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind Walker, Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman, Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman, Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman and Richard Coyle as Father Blackwood.