|Grandma and me. I was about 2 years old here.|
In case you don't know me (or missed the title), I'm a redhead. I was born a redhead and even when I've had black hair (or brown hair or burgundy hair...), inside I've always been a redhead. I've been thinking a lot lately about why my hair, specifically my hair color, is so wrapped up in my identity.
|The college years.|
I remember once in fourth grade a new girl came to school. She had hair the same color, length, and thickness as mine. Once we got over our mutual jealousy, we became great friends. There was a boy I was friends with in elementary school who called me Fire Baby. It sounded like a super hero name, so I loved that. I loved the idea of shooting fire balls and commanding volcanoes.
|My Dad. This is where my hair color came from.|
My Dad (a redhead) was so attached to my hair that Mom had to sneak me out to get it cut. He cried. Or nearly cried. There's a good chance I exaggerated the incident in my head. Either way, he was very upset. His Dad was also a redhead. And so is my brother.
|Chauncey says hi!|
The stereotype that I've heard my whole life is that redheads have terrible tempers. For me, that's very much untrue. I'm rarely angry. There's just not that much to get riled up over. Also, (Note: South Park writers PAY ATTENTION!!!) for the record, if souls exist we have them the same as anyone else. To be honest, my dog (also a redhead) has more soul than most people I've met. Just saying. He's awesome.
|Ginger to the left, Ginger Grant to the right. No. Just no.|
Photos from WikiPedia.
I've heard about all of the "ginger bashing" that's been going on. I never experienced that in the United States. It wasn't until I started going to Europe that I encountered any of that. I've had a man shouting "ginger" in my face while walking into Tesco. I've had a group of tourists pointing at me and calling me a leprechaun. I was in the audience of a talk show and the host felt the need to walk through the audience and point out all the "gingers". That was the last time I watched his show. It was a bit shocking to have so much hatred directed toward me considering that part of Europe has the highest concentration of redhead population. Also, I seriously hate the word ginger. How does a brown root compare to vibrant red hair? It doesn't. And if it's a reference to Gilligan's Island's Ginger, that's not my name. She's gorgeous and I'll gladly take the compliment, but that's not my name.
|My natural state. See how much brighter Zara's hair is than mine? Waaaah!|
In the States, people would constantly tell me how much they love my hair and have stopped me to ask me the name of my dye. At that point my hair was natural, so they were out of luck. Now, not so much. The thing about being a natural redhead is that red fades over time. I can't do mousy hair. I'm not about that life at all. So, when my hair starts feeling like it needs a pick-me-up I throw some color on it. Actually, my super-genius hair dresser throws some color on it. She's amazing. We went with a bolder, darker shade of red recently. I love it. It's definitely a statement color.
|Not so matchy-matchy any more.|
Now my daughter Zara's getting so much attention for her gorgeous hair. She loves it!
|Bonus photo of my dog being awesome. |
He's snuggled up to Caius with Berkeley in the background.
The redhead life is not for everyone. You have to be comfortable with being noticed. A lot. It's not a color for wallflowers. If you're lucky to be born with it, you're lucky enough. For the rest who wish they were, thank goodness for great hair dyes. If you're interested in trying out a red (or any other color), check out the shades at Madison Reed. They have so many to choose from. If you haven't heard of Madison Reed, they are a hair dye company that has created a dye free of PPD, sulfates, resorcinol, ammonia and gluten!