Lessons I’ve learned as a redhead

1. Although it is commonly called ‘red’, there are numerous ways you can explain your hair colour including ginger, orange, gold, or the rarely used – strawberry blonde.

2. It opens up a world of social encounters with people offering kind compliments about your hair. Expect a tap on the shoulder or sudden interaction with people in the mall and on the streets. They will very likely ask if it is real. The answer, “Yup. This is bonafide red straight from my grandad”.

3. The alternative is to be offensively referred to as ‘ranga’. Expect a heightened sense of hearing where this word is picked up immediately. Expect people not to realise you know they’re talking about you. Expect to become part of the collective.

pic 10-100

Image taken by Tansy Allison and illustrated by me.

4. You will receive severe warnings from your hairdresser and other patrons to never dye it – this usually occurs will touching your hair.

5. People will talk about your fiery personality –

1) Even if they do not know you.

2) Even if you do not have such a personality.

6. It is impossible to blend in completely. Whether it was playing hide-and-go-seek in primary school or sitting in a lecture hall. Your hair colour will pop like nothing else.

7. You may feel awkward being around other redheads but embrace it – even though it sometimes feels like all eyes are on you.


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