BEAUTY OP-ED | Seeing red

“Is that your real colour?” is a question I’ve come to terms with answering.

I don’t mind though, as my red hair was a choice and not the prison sentence so many red heads see it as being. To be fair, I’m over the moon I found red hair later in life. I didn’t suffer the torment of being a red-headed child, an orange beacon to neigbourhood bullies, different from the rest of the flock at a time in life when being different was a punishable offense. As a self-selected adult red head people still look shocked when they learn that my ‘condition’ is self inflicted.

Why did I do it? Many reasons… it’s fun, colourful, makes the eyes pop and, after all, IT’S ONLY HAIR, people (I will never understand those married to one hair colour for life).

Mostly, I blame it on my inner Contrarian; in a world where everyone covets blonde hair I did what came naturally to me – the opposite.

Also – full disclosure – my dad has auburn hair. So does my mother’s sister. So do a couple of my dad’s brothers. So do my cousins. It’s safe to say I had a pretty good idea that the colour would suit me. I didn’t walk blindly into the world of being a red head.

If you’re thinking about joining Team Red, I’ve stockpiled a few handy observations on life as red head. Having entered the realm of the red head after 25 years of life as a blonde, it's been real seeing life on either side of the hair-color fence. So, with my cultural anthropologist hat on, I've put together an abridged field report for you...

Read why being a redhead is like Marmite >