“Her red hair burns like the rays of the sun, I see her and I am lit.”
– Christy Ann Martine
I can guarantee that if you ask any natural redhead if they like their hair, there’s a 98% chance they’ll admit to once hating their flaming locks. I’d like to say that I’m part of that rare 2% of girls that have always adored their red hair but I’d be telling a blatant lie. I can’t deny that I now love my hair from it’s colour to it’s messy mid-length waves, but it hasn’t always been a love of mine and to be honest I’ve only truly started loving being a redhead over the past year or two because I’ve finally understood how unique and fun being a redhead truly is.
Lets take a walk down memory lane so you can understand why I used to regularly dream about purchasing blonde hair dye…
I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone and there was never anywhere you could hide. I’m not complaining one bit about it because I’m proud of where I grew up, it’ll always be called home and I can’t deny the beauty of living a fifteen minute walk away from the beach. However anyone that comes from a small town understands how hard it is for your unique traits to be accepted by society. It’s not that I was anyway strikingly beautiful, because I know that I’ve always been far from that, but as I had a unique natural hair colour that not many girls around me had, so I was always looked at and treated a little differently from the rest. It also didn’t help that I had braces at 12 and that I wasn’t very fond of tracksuits or any clothing that everyone else seemed to adore, so I always stood out without even realizing.
Like many kids I was picked on for being a little different in Primary School and forced to conform to the “rules” of the “cool girls” in order to be part of the gang, so my confidence was practically non-existent, my style became horrific and the countdown to Secondary School had begun a little earlier. However little did I know that it would get so much worse in Secondary School. I always got little back-handed comments here and there, but in the early years of Secondary School I was once told by a girl that I should I “look like a gorilla” , I should”dye my hair” and that I’ll “never get a guy”. That should’ve shattered me to pieces but thanks to my mom I stood up to her, put her right back in her box and to this day she still can’t stand me for it. Then there was times in Transition Year which knocked my confidence big time because every lunch time the same group of guys would never let me pass through the shop entrance without shouting something about my hair or mocking me by throwing chips at me. However thanks to my fellow redheaded family members it wasn’t long until I realized that my hair wasn’t something I should want to change or hide.
Skipping forward to today I’m happy that I went through a troublesome time with my hair and that I never had the guts to actually dye my hair blonde even though I really wanted to, because right now I adore my hair. I hate saying that something small can define your whole self, but if I was to say that my hair doesn’t define who I am I would be telling a complete and utter lie. Yes I still get rude comments on nights out from drunken guys on the dancefloor and yes I can’t go abroad without someone muttering in their own language about my hair, but thankfully I now have enough confidence in myself to not let comments like that get to me.
I still have moments when I get unusual looks that is a little bit confidence knocking, but as soon as I see that handsome guy smiling in my direction, my best friend walking towards me with her arms open ready for a hug or simply just meeting up with the girls, my confidence shoots right back up because the people I surround myself with on a daily basis always make me feel like I can be whoever I want, whenever I want, while wearing whatever I want and I adore it. To be honest I think I’d be shot if I came out tomorrow with dyed hair because the people around me seem to love it even more than I do and they always say that they simply can’t even picture me as anything other than a brightly haired redhead. I also think they’d be extremely frustrated trying to find me in a crowd because without my flaming hair they’d have zero chance of finding me in a jam packed place.
I still receive at least one “ginger” comment a month shouted at me when I’m strolling to college or on the dancefloor of a nightclub, but how could I believe someone saying that “ginger hair is awful” when I see people drooling over Julianne Moore’s L’Oreal Advert, or famous women like Emma Stone dying their hair my colour, or guys raving about how gorgeous Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones is, or even listening to the amount of comments in the new Captain America movie about attractive redheads? I don’t care what people say but this year Red hair has become a huge trend across all of the well-known industries which has finally put us les rousses on the map, something that I certainly can’t help but smile from ear-to-ear about. I’ve even noticed that some guys are starting to admit that they find redheaded women the most attractive, which is something that I certainly never came across when I was a kid.
It’s one of those trends that I wish I was shown when I was a young teen. I know I couldn’t even count on my hands how many times someone older said to me back then that my hair “was stunning” or that famous comment of “you wouldn’t get that from a bottle” or even my favourite ever line “people would kill for that colour, don’t ever change it”, but not once did I ever want to think that they were telling the truth, until now. I don’t know whether it’s because people are more open minded nowadays or if it’s simply that I’m getting older but whatever it is, I’m finally believing every single word of praise that I once heard about red hair, it may have taken me years but I know for a fact ‘Red Thread Style’ wouldn’t even exist if I wasn’t born a redhead.
I just hope that anyone reading this that has a younger redheaded sibling, a redheaded child or is a redhead themselves, please keep telling them how incredible unique and beautiful their hair is. It may seem like nothing to them now, but in a few years they’ll thank you for it.