If I had to choose one word to ultimately assign to the redhead population it would be: different. Or unique. Or blessed. I could go on and on but for the sake of my story ‘different’ fits best.
I didn’t always look at being different as a good thing because when you’re young, impressionable and feel unlike others, red hair doesn’t feel like a positive attribute.
Now, I love it.
It’s who I am. I’ve realized accepting who you are and embracing your red hair will help you live a better and happier life.
But, as a child standing out in any classroom, playgroup, or gathering of any capacity, it was overwhelming.
I’m the only redhead in my immediate family. I grew up with curly red hair, hazel eyes that match my hair (almost perfectly), and now standing at 5’11 I outgrew most of my peers by 4thgrade.
I was the epitome of different. I begged my parents to let me dye my hair blonde because I wanted to fit in. They told me no and assured me I was beautiful and if I changed my hair now I would regret it. They told me to give it time. I couldn’t understand or accept this so I vowed, rather loudly and regularly, that the moment I turned 18 I would become a blonde.
Fast forward to my early days in high school and this is when I started to explore a little more about who I was, made new friends, and started straightening my curly thick hair regularly. Although I was still struggling a bit with feeling different, I started to view myself in a more positive way. It also didn’t hurt that I was getting daily compliments about my hair color and how unique and beautiful it was.
I have just entered my thirties and I view the world in a whole new way.
A few years ago, I finally embraced my naturally curly red hair and feel most like myself when I rock my hair the way it is meant to be. I have thanked my parents (on several occasions) for never letting me dye my hair because they were right: it is a part of me.
Learning how to be a redhead and embracing “different” has been one of my favorite life journeys. If you’re reading this and you’re not there yet, I hope my story can give you reassurance because being different is one of the most beautiful things to be.
Rock it like a Redhead!