I couldn't see the problem with either of those scenario's given no contextual tone. I work in an area that has constant differing opinions, and those lines seem like a valid discourse.
have an interest in keeping the conversation going and are saying something generic in an attempt to get a feel for your point of view. They
could also be confused as to why you made a generic statement, and want to put a feeler out for your point of view so they don't say something stereotypical about either color hair and offend you.
perhaps think that you misunderstood what they said and may potentially misquote them
, and are correcting the problem before it becomes one?
For males: Since you have concluded that there is no reasonable way someone could be offended by what you said, apologize to the person since they actually are offended, and ask them what you did to offend them so you either don't do it again or you understand whether they're just being overly sensitive and you should write it off as eccentricity and work around it.
And buy them a beer. Beer always helps!
For females: Be professional, roll your eyes privately and ignore them. Females are kinda emotionally weird and unpredictable at the best of times, let alone after you have already insulted them for unpredictable reasons.