From Our Readers

Embrace Your “Red Hair”!

My hair and I, we’ve been through some things. I started dyeing my hair at the ripe young age of 13. Hey! My mother let me…who was I to say no to something as cool as that? Besides, it was only highlights the first couple times. I was quickly seduced by the smell of hair dye and longed for more every time. I loved helping my mom dye her hair just to get a whiff of those chemicals.

For the record, I’ve never had my hair professionally dyed. It was always way too much money for me to be spending. Plus, the idea of box color baffles me! For $5-10 and 45 minutes of your time, you can re-invent yourself. From 13 to about 23, I dyed incessantly. I tried multiple color variations, starting first with the generic box colors. I mostly used 100% by Garnier Nutrisse because all the hair models on those covers were the coolest. I went from strawberry blond all the way to deep dark blue black. (Which, side note – don’t dye your hair black if you have naturally light hair. I’m talking months to come out, ladies. Another side note, I still dyed it black multiple times.)

After exhausting the box hair dye aisle, I had to up my ante. I started roaming the aisles of Sally Beauty Supply. I’m not entirely sure this place exists on the West Coast or if it’s even still in business in the MidWest. It was my haven for awhile, though. After all, it was the only place I could get the totally cool punk rock hair dye, Manic Panic! In really rad shades. I dyed my hair black, bleached streaks and added purple. I was really cool, you guys. Like, cooler than all the cool kids in high school. I love my  parents for letting me make these silly ventures, too.

Now, naturally I have very light hair. When I finally grew hair, it was bleach blonde. Over the years it darkened up a little and with all the dyeing that occurred, I lost my natural colors. They’ve started to make a comeback, though! (The real point of this blog.) Due to my mother’s side of the family, I have natural red in my hair. I have hated it for a really long time. However, these past few summers I’ve been straying from the hair dye and letting the natural seep back out. It’s getting redder every afternoon I spend out in the sun. I’m embracing the locks I was born with these days.

The moral of all of this is to really love yourself. It’s so hard these days. Not to mention when we live in the narcissistic capital of the world, Los Angeles, CA. It’s hard to be among the 120 lb, tall, blonde “bomshells” of this city when you’re used to wearing pajama pants to the grocery store. If staying natural for awhile means I’ll risk being called a “ginger” or “carrot top” (wait…we’re not in the 3rd grade anymore, are we?) then I’ll take it. Embrace your red hair, ladies! And by red hair I mean your curves, your frizzy hair, your glasses, your knobby knees, your hobbit feet…whatever your “Red Hair” is, wear it proud. Now, if we could only go back to the days when we had overly greasy skin and braces to tell ourselves it was all going to work out…

I compiled a quick list of gorgeous red heads to give us all a little boost. They aren’t a size 0 either!

You can’t talk red-headed women without mentioning this beauty! She’ll always be an idol of mine. 

Christina Henricks – Words can’t describe how gorgeous I think this red head is!

Carole Burnett makes the point that red heads are naturally funny too.

My favorite redhead to ever get Saturday detention.

They called her “Ginger Spice” and 3rd grade happened all over again.

by Jessica Greske

  • Jessica Horton

    I love this! For the record, I’m a brunette but have always wanted red hair. I dyed it just before Spiderman came out, and ended up with Mary-Jane red hair a la Kirsten Dunst. Hardest colour to upkeep though!

  • Alycia Lourim

    I am so guilty of dying my “beautiful red hair every chance I get. My natural color is finally back and I go”oh yayy im all natural… when I can make the soonest hair apt to dye it dark brown again?” SO yeah I don’t embrace the red hair, not because I’m afraid at being called a ginger, I’d be proud to be one heck — I’m half irish but because I’ve already accepted my crazy curly frizzy locks and that I have to wear glasses, (I get a pair of cute ones every year, including sunglasses -If I’m gona be blind go out in style) therefore, I feel by me coloring it, its my get out jail free card. But I just really wished hipsters would stop wearing fake glasses because every time someone goes “are those real?”… “YES THEY ARE REAL !! AND YOU SHOULD BE HAPPY YOU DON’T HAVE THEM BECAUSE WHEN I GO SEE MOVIES IN 3-D, OH YEAH, YOU GUESSED RIGHT, I’M WEARING TWO SETS OF GLASSES!!” it’s actually rather funny though seeing me wear two pairs of glasses at the movies and frankly if I switched to contacts I feel more naked then I would without any clothes on. I love me, my glasses, curly hair, and the natural red I let come back because I am too poor and lazy to keep up on coloring. 😀

  • Leslie Marienda Varney

    I feel as if we’re soul mates. I have just been through the same journey with my own hair. I’ve been coloring it since I was 13, first with Wal-Mart box dyes and then with Ion from Sally at the suggestion of my hair stylist cousin. These past three years I’ve only put demi permanent on my hair and it has allowed my natural hair color to shine through and it’d been so long since I’d seen my natural color that I had no idea it was red. My boyfriend is CRAZY (let me reiterate, INSANE) over redheads. My hair was very dark brown when we got together many moons ago and I was always so jealous that he coveted gingers and I wasn’t one. Insecurities aside, I started wondering what my natural color was. After three years of getting back to my “roots”, he started saying “Your hair is red”. Yes, yes it is (How YOU doin’).. ‘Let’s not half ass anything, go big (red) or go home’, I told myself. It is naturally strawberry blonde, so my most recent hair color venture was a shocking copper red. I LOVE IT!! It goes perfect with my skin tone and my boyfriend is in love with me all over again. Embrace it, someone out there LOVES your natural hair color, might as well join them!

  • Brittni Brown

    I’m a natural redhead, and I would never color my hair (until I gray at least in 20 years) – but I’ve embraced my inner ginger. Yeah, sometimes people go after me and call me carrot top (I always correct them that I prefer the term fire crotch – gets them to shut right up) I’m even infamous at parties for busting out an acoustic guitar and singing a song called “Gingers” – It’s to pay tribute to all our favorite gingers out there – Lucille Ball, Julianne Moore, Conan – I love my red hair, it’s full of personality and that’s the way I like. I live in LA and the last thing I’d want to do is be another blonde especially over the choice of being myself.

  • Malinda Wallace

    I’m a natural redhead and I started dying my hair when I was about 16. I had every color hair, from pink, purple, orange, elmo red, burgundy, and finally, when I needed to go back to a natural color for a job, I dyed it deep brown. I had always hated my hair and longed to be a brunette. But, I started realizing that people would only notice the color of my hair and not ME, so I took the long and tedious journey of growing out my hair. So, through all that, at the age of about 20, I learned to embrace my natural red hair. And now, years later, I’ve never looked back!

  • Katy Ivey Day

    I want to be a ginger!

  • Jessalyn Reid

    I’m a natural redhead too and I LOVE the message you’re trying to send but what I don’t love is that you’re implying having red hair is the same as “hobbit feet” or knobby knees. Why does red hair have to be treated as a flaw to be overcome like “overly greasy skin” as opposed to just beautiful because of what it is, not in spite of it?

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