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Entries in Hair (12)


Red hair is like Marmite

A while back I posted a teaser about being a "self-inflicted" red head.

But I never posted my observations... Oops.

Now my hair hovers somewhere between honey blonde and traffic-cone orange (not as ugly as it sounds, swear), so I still consider myself part of the ginger camp, albeit one that is perilously close to being blaaahnde again.

A big part of me wants to go back to traffic-stopping red, Rita Hayworth red... or Franka Potente in Run Lola Run red (orange... whatever). But the bloody (no pun intended) red color washes out so phenomenally fast that it's a nightmare to keep up.

I resemble Cyndi Lauper in the bad years rather quickly.

In any event, I find my observations still ring true about being red. So pull up a chair, get your cup of coffee ready and have that pencil in hand to take notes if you're considering... the change.


1. Being a red head is like Marmite – many people either love it or they hate it. Be prepared to meet both types.

2. Even though you’re an adult, a certain type of man still thinks it’s funny to ask you if all your hair is red, ignoring the fact that your mousy eyebrows (if you don’t dye them) clearly answer his juvenile question. [author's note: you'll get this sort of comment, it seems, mainly in America, where men have the collective flirting IQ of, say, a puddle of rain water.]

3. You will become acquainted with a type of man that we'll call the red-head fetishist. Usually harmless but annoying, like a mosquito and drawn to your red hair like those mosquitoes are to the light. They come in all ages, shapes and sizes. They are odd. Sadly, you can’t turn off your hair and make them go away, at least not in the moment, so they'll trail you around all night. Be forewarned.

4. Red hair is having a moment thanks to follicular endorsement from Christina Henricks, Florence Welsh and Rihanna. Hipsters. Love. It.

5. Red hair seems to gives all strata of society carte blanche to comment – good, bad and weird — like an online community without a manager. You’ll hear cries of ‘hey, red’ yelled from cars passing by. Strangers almost accusatorily ask you ‘is that real’? Which leads me to the next point…

6. Blonde hair and a tan hide a multitude of beauty sins, whether committed by errant genes or bad habits. Would Paris Hilton be as *cough, cough* attractive with red hair and pale skin? Nope. Red heads don’t have the luxury of hiding behind behind a mask of tan and blonde. You must be ready to experience a higher level of scrutiny.

7. That said, if you’re faux red and have skin that tans, you’ll really freak out the peanut gallery. Everyone thinks that if you have red hair you must have pale skin. I disagree. 

8. People blame your red hair for all sorts of things. Stand up for yourself in a recent meeting? They’ll say it’s because of your fiery temperament, naturellement due to your red hair, even if it’s not real. Ser-i-ous-ly.

9. You start to see red heads everywhere when you never noticed them before, like men with mustaches who can instantly pick each other out of a crowded room. It’s like red-head radar.

10. Dying hair red takes dogged dedication because it fades quicker than all other colours.

11. Box dye for red hair does not work. It lifts hair colour too much, leaving it brassy orange. If you want to DIY, buy the professional stuff.

12. Red lipstick looks awesome with red hair. Ignore the so-called experts.

13. So do red clothes.

14. Green clothes make you look like a Christmas tree, contrary to what these same so-called experts say. Someone started humming ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ when they were stood next to me while I did the green-on-red thing. In May. I’m certain it wasn’t the season that inspired his festive spirit.

15. Red hair’s a great conversation starter – although walk away from any conversations that starts with bullet point two.

Would you go red?

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