“Red hair is my life long sorrow.”
-Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, by LM Montgomery
I have a confession to make. I am a natural redhead. My sister is a natural redhead. My late paternal grandmother was a natural redhead. I have several cousins on my mother’s side of the family who are natural redheads.
Statistically speaking, compared to other hair colors, redheads make up about 1-2% of the population. While most would assume that all redheads can trace their ancestry to Ireland, natural redheads can be found all over the world. Most notably, natural red hair occurs in Northern and Western Europe. It can also be found among Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Eastern European descent), of which I am one.
Unlike Anne of Green Gables, red hair does not need to be your life long sorrow! Here are the 7 life lessons I’ve learned throughout my years as a redhead:
1. Embrace your hair color.
When you’re young, you will probably be teased mercilessly. Ignore the haters. Women will spend an incredible amount of money to match the color that you have naturally. When I was growing up, several of my parent’s friends would ask for a snip of my hair to take to the salon.
2. The boys and girls who ignored or teased you during your awkward teenage years will come to appreciate your unique beauty when they grow up.
3. You can pick and choose the redhead cultural icons that you look to for inspiration.
Ariel, Lucy and Anne Shirley kept me sane. In my early adulthood, Grace Adler proved there was nothing wrong my hair color.
4. Wear colors that flatter your skin tone.
My favorite colors are the darker, muted colors. Green, blue, brown, black and purple make up the rainbow of colors in my closet.
5. One of the beauties of being a natural redhead is that as we age, unlike other hair colors, we do not go gray right away.
I stated earlier that my late paternal grandmother was a redhead. By the time I was born, her hair had faded to blonde. She only went completely gray towards the end of her life.
6. Wear sunscreen, especially in the summertime.
The higher the SPF, the more protection you have.
7. And finally, just go with it. You are a redhead!
Instead of hating it, love it. Embrace the fact that you stand out in a crowd. Life’s too short to hate what others wish they could have.
Rock it like a Redhead!