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Ask a Redhead: Feeling Pressured To Tan And How To Embrace Your Skin

What advice would you give?

Every week, we put out a call for your redhead questions. This gives you a chance to get advice or input from our team of redheads. From beauty and fashion to lifestyle, redheads are in a unique boat, and we want to help make this community a place where you can turn for all your redhead needs. 

This week’s Ask a Redhead question comes from Instagram and reads: “Do you feel pressured to tan / how to love your pale skin?”

While redheads can come from all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities, fair skin is a common trait many redheads share. Aside from having fair skin, redheads are also at much higher risk of skin cancer. In the U.S. (and many other countries) bronzed skin has become somewhat of a beauty standard. This can lead to redheads feeling like the odd ones out.

There’s no right or wrong way to be a redhead, and if tanning (spray tan or self-tanner) makes you feel better about yourself, makes you more confident, and gives you the look you want — do it! Terra, one of our H2BAR redhead content writers, had this to say about her experience with tanning and how it helped her embrace her fair skin: 

“I have very fair skin and freckles, and growing up I always wanted to have a tan. Everyone in my family tanned easily in the summer and I usually ended up with a sunburn. In my early to mid-20s, I felt awkward being so fair, and would often get spray tans during the summer or if there was a special event. In 2019 ,I was wedding planning and I felt an insane amount of pressure to be tan for my big day because I was wearing white! A month before my wedding, I got a spray tan for my bachelorette trip. It made me feel confident in the moment, but once I saw the photos, I didn’t feel like myself and did not like the way I looked. I think some redheads look gorgeous with a tan, but for me it made all my features blend together. The biggest thing I noticed what how my hair looked less vibrant. I ultimately decided to embrace my fair skin on my wedding day and am so happy I did. It’s been 5 years and I haven’t felt the need to tan since!” 

Adrienne, our H2BAR co-founder, has a similar story. Growing up, she found it difficult to embrace her fair skin and fake-tanned for almost 15 years of her life. “Once I came into my own after college, I simply liked the way I looked with my natural skin than with a fake tanner over it,” says Adrienne. “I will fake-tan 1 or 2 times during the summer but I’m always excited for the tan to fade. It’s so funny how life changes!”

Many redheads could probably tell you similar experiences about going through a phase where being tan was important to them. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little bronze, but you don’t need it to look or feel beautiful. Loving your fair skin can be a journey, and it might not always be easy. A few ways you can help yourself embrace your fair skin are:

  • Keep your skin healthy and glowing from within with skincare.
  • Find influencers, celebs, and models you admire who also have fair skin.
  • Focus on how your skin tone complements your red hair. 
  • Have your colors analyzed. You’ll learn that the skin tone you’re born with is proven to be the most flattering for you. 
  • Give yourself grace, it’s not going to happen overnight.

Want your redhead question answered? Find us @howtobearedhead on Instagram and Facebook and look for the Ask a Redhead question box.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Five Ways to Rock Your Pale Skin During the Summer

READ: Why I’ve Decided to Stop Fake Tanning and Embrace the Pale