How Did Ken Kaneki Get White Hair in Tokyo Ghoul?

kaneki ken

Ken Kaneki is one of the iconic ghoul-human who has been the face of the series. The series’s protagonist has some of the craziest stories in anime history. The development of this character has been on an extreme level. One of the biggest moments when he finally got his character development was when he got his white hair, but do you know how his hair turned from black to white?

Kaneki Ken is one of the most powerful ghouls of the series, and the moment when he got this kind of power was after his hair turned white. And let us tell you something, before that transformation, he was a coward, and after, the most powerful ghoul of all time, who fears nothing at all.

The power and abilities that Kee Kaneki got were all after his hair turned white, so what’s the secret behind this? How did his hair turn white? Let’s take a ride to the world full of ghouls and unravel its secret.

The Torment Awakened His White Hair

Ken Kaneki

There’s always some iconic moment in anime history where the characters get transformed, and when their hair colors change, they become the most badass character of all time. We can assume the same situation with Ken Kaneki. After the transformation of his hair color, he became invincible. To achieve that, he went through some of the roughest moments of his life.

Let’s look at the event, which takes place ten days before the CCG storms Aogiri’s hideout. Kaneki Ken has been kidnapped and is in a captive state. His eyes have been closed for a long time, and when he finally opens them, Yamori introduces him to his “Hobby Room,” and the room is full of dreadful things.

When Kaneki opens his eyes, he sees a chair, and there’s a dead person in that chair. Kaneki is shocked after seeing such a dreadful thing. Yamori reveals that he was tortured and died because he couldn’t handle them. The main shocking thing about this was the dead person, his former underling. He made a small mistake and had to pay a high price.

Yamori shows something to Kaneki that is a weakness for the ghouls, the Rc suppressants. He explains that these are used to weaken the ghouls and inject the whole syringe into Kaneki’s eye while he screams in pain.

The injection has made him weaker. Ghouls can withstand the pain from the knife and other sharp materials, but Kaneki has got so weak that he won’t be able to withstand any kind of pain from those materials.

The torment then finally begins. After the syringe, Kaneki has gotten much weaker than he ever was. After seeing him in such a helpless state, he starts to torture him without any energy. He tortures him so much that he becomes mentally and physically unstable. Kaneki is screaming in pain and crying, but those are music to Yamori’s ears.

The torment wasn’t fun enough for Yamori, so he decided to do something much more interesting. He starts to cut off his fingers of Kaneki. The ghouls have a strong regenerating ability, so his fingers would eventually grow again, but he didn’t stop there. The enjoyment he got from there must be one of the most disturbing things in the series.

He even starts to cut down his limbs, and as they regenerate again, he cuts them down again. As he was torturing Kaneki, he was also awakening some deep endurance of pain in him that he should’ve never done.

He repeated the same process again and again. Kaneki is barely holding himself and screaming for his life, but there’s no ending point for Yamori. If that wasn’t enough to make your spine shiver, what about some millipede crawling through your skin? Yep, that’s the same thing that happened to our protagonist.

Yamori put a millipede into his body, and the creature crawled through Kaneki’s whole body. It bit him everywhere and went through his face and inside his ear. The torment was unreal, and the pain that Kaneki went through was unimaginable.

Yamori even started to cut the fingernails of his toes, his fingers were cut off, but because of his regenerating ability, it wasn’t a big problem for him to grow them back, but every time they grew, he would start to cut them off again. The torment that Kaneki went through was so deep and painful that pit awakened his true ability as a ghoul.

How did Ken Kaneki get White Hair in Tokyo Ghoul?

kaneki ken white hair

As Yamori starts to torture him, he even explains that Kanou is doing some experiments on Rize’s Kakuhou since it’s special because of his unique vigor. He starts to continue his entertainment while Kaneki can’t help but then scream and cry in pain.

Ken’s torment was unreal, and because of that, he started to fall deep into his own thoughts. He starts to think about his friends and can’t help but wonder about them. Because of all the pain that he was facing, he falls into a deep depression and starts to question his life, and thinks about all the things that went wrong in the past.

Kaneki falls into depression and starts to hallucinate. He starts to think about the time when everything begins for the first time. He starts to remember the moments that he spent with Rize. He then starts to get the flashback of the moments that he spent with his mother and father.

He starts to remember all the loving teachings that his mother did when he was little and his father’s love for reading. And how they both died while he was only a young kid. Rize awakens all the childhood memories of Kaneki and asks him questions about if he truly believed in them, especially about her mother.

Kaneki admired her mother, but she died because of the pressure she was facing while trying to support his sister. Kaneki lost his mother when he was only 10 years old. He couldn’t live on his own at that age, so he moved out and started to live with his aunt. Although when he was first with them, their behavior looked positive, as time started to pass by, their aggression and attitude also begun to hit the spotlight.

Kaneki lived with a rich family, so money was never a problem in the family. The main problem in the family was Kaneki himself. He was nothing more than a burden to them; he had no one except one guy, Hide. He was the only true friend of Kaneki and always helped whenever he needed a helping hand or someone to talk with.

Rize then starts to provoke Kaneki by talking about how weak his mother was, and because he followed in the same footsteps as her, he was no different than her. “More than hurting, he becomes one who suffers from the wounds.” Kankei followed her mother to the point that he started to believe in this statement and followed it.

Suddenly, Yamori makes his appearance again, and this time he comes with two other innocent people, Kei and Kouto. Kaneki is mad that Yamori has left the Anti-Aogiri members alone, as they had discussed in the agreement. Then Yamori gives him an option, an option to save a life of a mother or son.

Kei (mother) tells him to sacrifice her and let her son live, but Kaneki can’t make a choice. Yamori kills Kei, but that isn’t entertaining enough for him, so he kills both the mother and son. Kaneki again starts to hallucinate and sees Rize again. She starts to taunt him for her weakness and blames that he became just like his mother. She teased him more, saying that he wasn’t able to save anyone because he was weak.

Rize explains more that because of his weakness, stronger ghouls like Yamori and Aogiri will face the same fate as the dead mother and son did. She even exaggerates his sister’s condition. She explains that if only his mother had chosen his sister over Kaneki, she would still be alive.

Kaneki then starts to think about all the life decisions that he has ever made. He starts to imagine that his mother gave her life because of him. He admits that he would’ve sacrificed himself for his mother, even if he had to kill everyone else. Rize then explains again that this saving behavior of Kaneki is genuinely an act of kindness, but this is the emotion that is a sign of weakness and lack of resolve.

After all the flashbacks, Kaneki finally realizes his true identity. He finally accepts his true identity as a ghoul and even takes Rize. He finally gets the point that if you want to save your loved ones, then you must accept yourself.

That moment has to be one of the most tragic moments. The piano keys are moving, and the white Higanbana is turning into a red garden. Kaneki then finally says, “I’m not the one who’s wrong… What’s wrong is the world!” and then devours Rize. After devouring her, his hair finally turns white, and he says, “I am a ghoul.” 

Kaneki’s power in his White Hair

Kaneki’s hair finally turns white. Yamori explains that when a ghoul devours another ghoul, they become stronger than ever. This explains why he turned white, but devouring another ghoul isn’t an easy thing because their meat stinks. The taste is also horrible. It is so horrible that it is almost impossible to devour it.

Yamori then decides to devour Kankei in hopes of getting much more powerful than he ever was. He approaches neat Kaneki to eat him, but something unpredictable happens. Kaneki bites Yamori and states that he agrees that eating another ghoul actually makes him stronger. Jason used to crack his fingers while tormenting him, and now it was his turn.

Kaneki breaks that were stuffed in his hands and legs. He breaks free of the chain, and the first battle of White-Haired Kaneki finally begins. The battle between these two ghouls is considered one of the best battles of the series. The battle starts, and the combat gets so intense that even Yamori starts to enjoy the battle.

Jason enjoys the battle and gives his full while Kankei has a numb face. He doesn’t show any kind of emotion or any kind of happiness on his face. The ruthless Kaneki starts torturing Jason and makes him feel the way he had.

It looked like Yamori was winning the battle when he catches their leg of Kaneki, but he breaks through that. You know how? He breaks his legs’ joints and free him through Jason’s grasp. After the transformation, his whole personality changes. He becomes ruthless and doesn’t even feel the pain anymore.

The torment that he had faced earlier has made him much stronger. Do you remember the moment when Jason used to ask Kaneki and made him count backward from 1000? Kaneki does the same to Yamori, asks him, what’s 1000-7, and keeps on beating him more ruthlessly. ‘

Both ghouls battle with each other with their Kagune out, but Kaneki proves to be much stronger than the person that tormented him. He proves to be more powerful than him and ultimately defeats him in the duel.

From the start, Kaneki is in a rage because of all the ruthless things he had to went through. He explains to Yamori that ghouls are meant to fight with each other. He explains to Jason that he can’t complain if he ends up losing and being devoured. Kaneki remains victorious in the duel and devours Yamori’s Kagune in the end.

The badass white Kaneki’s first battle was so epic that it made the franchise more popular. All the fans worldwide loved this battle, and only a few people have complained about this epic battle. Jason vs. Kaneki has to be one of the greatest fights of the series, where Kaneki’sw transformation overwhelms his tormentor.

Why did Kaneki’s hair turn white in Tokyo Ghoul?

kaneki ken

The main reason why Kaneki’s hair changed its color is because of the pain and stress he was facing. The pain he felt at that moment led him to expose the proper side of his ghoul. He wanted to become a human and never wanted to be a part of a ghoul. He wasn’t ready to accept himself.

Kaneki’s way was of kindness, and ghouls show no mercy to others, not even to their own kind. He was forced to take out his other side because of the torment. The pain was so unbearable that he started to see his flashbacks and even Rize.

While he was hallucinating, Rize taunted him and blamed him, that because of him, he wasn’t able to save innocent lives. All because he was weak. Rize even provoked him and told him that because of his weakness, he would one day end up losing all his friends and his loved ones, just like his mother.

Kaneki loved his mother and was ready to sacrifice the whole world for it. He knew the only way to stop another tragedy was by being strong. He could only become strong by accepting his true identity as a ghoul, and the moment he devoured Rize and accepted his true ‘Ghoul’ identity, his hair turned white.

The stress and pain that Kaneki had to face because of Jason was on another level, the pain itself was enough to expose the inhuman part of him, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise to the spectators why his hair turned white.

When a person gets tortured on a daily bases, it is no surprise that they’ll turn their whole personality. The whole appearance of a normal person changes when they have to tolerate such pain. That’s the same thing that happened in Kaneki’s case. This is only natural that he changed his appearance because of his misery.

This is our first theory; now, let’s talk about the one. The other theory we will discuss is the same as the first one but a bit of different. The first theory we discussed was about how he turned white because of all the torture he faced. In this one, we’re gonna talk bout how his hair turned white to save him from the suffering.

As we’ve already mentioned several types, he was facing some unimaginable pain continuously. He was in that room for several days, and other might have been a time when it was more than enough for him.

He didn’t want to get tortured anymore and wanted to be free. To stop the torture that he was being in, he needed to be stronger, and that can only be by becoming much stronger than Jason. Kaneki might’ve realized that the only way to escape the torture was by accepting his ghoul side and defeating Jason.

He embraced his dark side and accepted everything Rize had said. She told her that he faced all these situations because he was weak, and even his sister and mother had to die because of him. This might’ve been one of the significant things why Kanki’s hair turned white.

He might’ve realized that he was also going to change, and the sacrifice that his mother made would be nothing but a waste. While he was having a hallucination, talking with Rize, he might’ve realized that the only way to escape and survive through this gell was to become a ghoul, and that’s what he did.

Kankei never wanted to become a ghoul; he wanted to stay the same way he was from the beginning. Rize was a part of his life, but he wasn’t ready to accept that fact and kept ignoring it. Jason tortured Kaneki and exposed his ghoul side. When he became a ghoul, he was nothing like before. He was a different person, mentally and physically.

He became more muscular, his nails turned black, and his hair even turned white. The moment he devoured Rize and accepted himself as a ghoul, he underwent the transformation. He didn’t want to become weak and end up dying. He accepted his ghoul side, adopted a new personality, and escaped formed the torture he had been facing for weeks.

These are the two theories that we have, but there are more possibilities that his hair colors changed because of the pain he was facing, and he wanted to change that. It can be a mix of both of these theories. Well, there is a high possibility to be one of these two, or be both of them.

What does the hair color white mean in Tokyo Ghoul? 


Ghouls are way superior to normal human beings for every reason. They have regenerating abilities. They can have supernatural powers that normal human beings can’t acquire. These are some common things that separate Ghouls from Normal Human beings, but another thing that separates them is their RC cells.

RC cells are one of the prominent things that separate them from normal human beings. Because of such cells, they are able to have regenerating abilities and possess some incredible powers like Kagune. The ghouls can get these cells by devouring human flesh or even ghouls. That’s why eating human flesh is important because that’s what gives them power and super flexibility.

When they devour the human flesh, they can control RC cells at their wish. They can take them out and even use them as weapons, like Kagune. When they don’t devour the human flesh, the amount of RC cells gets low, and they become weak until they eat again. Well, to obtain RC cells, there’s another way, a tragic way.

You remember how Sharingan awakens in Naruto, right? A user has to face immense pain or suffering to awaken their Sharingan and evolve them. You can assume the same situation here. Another way to obtain the RC cells is by feeling extreme pain and suffering, as Kaneki did.

When a ghoul faces extreme pain and suffering, the RC cells will start to spread in their body. The ghoul will feel an extreme presence of power within them because of the pain they have to feel. By enduring the pain, ghouls can become more powerful because they won’t feel pain anymore.

This can be another reason why his hair turned white. He faced so much torture that his RC cells grew in a massive manner changing his black hair turn into white. We know why and how his hair turned white, but do we know what it means? Because Kaneki keeps on changing his hair colors.

During the beginning of Tokyo Ghoul: re, Kaneki looks like an innocent kid with black hair. He is almost unrecognizable in his new appearance. But if we look closely, the white hair hasn’t vanished fully, and there are still some White Stripes in his hair. When he is in black hair, we can see his innocent presence, and when he is in white hair, he completely turns into a ruthless person.

This can only mean one thing. Sasaki was hiding his dark side inside the corner of his mind and trying to adopt a new personality. He couldn’t erase his darkness completely, so we could still see some white stripes on his black hair.

This ultimately means that the White color in Tokyo ghoul means “a reflection of innocence.” The Black hair describes the innocent side of a ghoul, and the white symbolizes the dark terror that hides within them. 

This also explains why Kaneki’s whole personality changed when he went through that transformation. When his nails went black, and his hair turned white, he became a different cold person. The innocent Kaneki the fans knew wasn’t there anymore, and the only one left was a cold White Ghoul.

Even in the series, there is a point where Kaneki gets asked why his hair color is black. When he is asked why his hair is back, he replies, “Oh, that…Dr. Shiba said suppressing RC cells temporarily affects melanin production or something like that…It wasn’t on purpose…” This explains that when there is a decrease in the RC cells in a ghoul, the innocent side of them starts to come back.

The color black Kaneki means that he is on the innocent side, but when his hair turns white, you should be better ready to run away from that bastard. Whenever his hair turns white, the badass side adopts him fully, and all we can see is a reflection of his innocence.


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