It’s National “Love Your Red Hair” day! Every year, I think about what my red hair has done for me–good and bad– over the years. My hair and I, for the longest time, had a love-hate relationship. We had been to salon therapy often to try and work on our relationship. We have come far though. It is kind of hard to explain, so let me give you a quick background to it all.
I started my childhood with extensive bullying and low self esteem. I hated how I looked and I didn’t want anyone to notice me. Ha! Try doing that with glasses, braces and bright red hair. Everyone my age was trying to stand out with their own style and identity, I was actually the exact opposite. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.
I thought, Why couldn’t I be like all the others? Why did I have to be different?
It wasn’t until I got older when I felt strong enough to look someone in the eye, smile, or even give a heartfelt thankful for a compliment. I never thought I was pretty–I was a wallflower who just wanted to blend in and not be observed.
So, when I got into my 20’s I realized I actually did have a voice. I had an identity to be proud of. I began to find myself. I realized that I had thoughts to express, ideas to share, a pen to write all of this down with, and fabulous hair that had learned to embrace. It made me feel fierce!
My hair actually gave me a feeling to stand up for myself. I no longer wanted to blend in. I couldn’t! I stood out, I was on fire, and I was loving it. I don’t know if people (in general) stopped taking advantage of me or I got the strength to pick my battles wisely.
I do know that this time period was when I began to believe in me. Or maybe I had just reached a point in my life when I realized it was empowering for me to be… me! That in itself can start off a chain reaction. Oh, and it did.
People started calling me “red” not just because it was my flamboyant hair color, but it represented my personality as well. Now it is my trademark.
As a writer, it became my pen name–Sassy Auburn. If people wanted advice about cosmetics, skincare, fashion and anything else glamour?… they knew to ask Sassy. In a way, my hair went from being a hinderance to my identity. I found myself taking risks, trying new things, stepping way out of my comfort zone. I almost felt like Sampson. My hair was my power… or so I thought.
Now, I realize that my hair brought me out of my shell. You can’t walk around with an entire head of flaming red curls and expect not to be noticed. I put myself out there. Not just with my hair, but with my style and my determination. I realized it wasn’t just my hair that gave me the strength and certainty to go after my dreams but the fact that I came out of my shell to reach for them. And with this hair color, whether I wanted attention or not, I was going to get it. Was I ready for that? After all those years of being withdrawn, you bet I was ready for it.
The girl with the long red hair would no longer go unnoticed. I have to say, that was a huge achievement in my life. I got out of my own way. I am no longer a wallflower. I am a force to be reckoned with!
I feel very privileged to be able to be one of the 2% of people in the world with red hair. Do you know how awesome that is? Yes, us redheads are special. We are the unicorns of hair color. For me? I was able to finally embrace it. I am even making a career of it.
I am honored, I am privileged, I am humbled and I am lucky that I no longer have to feel like I’m different. Now? I can say with a smile, “I am unique. And that’s awesome.”
Redheads nowadays are becoming more noticed than ever before. We are making an impact in all areas. We have products just for us, books just for us, clothes just for us, and the of course a website just for us!
We are a very special group of people, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. Life is short. Because of that, I can say with a big smile, “Why blend in when I can stand out?” And with these fab, fresh, fiery red locks and the personality to match?
Trust me… I WILL be noticed. And finally in my life? I am totally okay with that.
Happy 2nd National Love Your Red Hair Day!