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By: Guest Writer, Liz R.

I was born with flaming red hair.

When the doctors presented me to my parents, they were shocked. “Red hair? Are you sure you have the right baby?” They were both dumbfounded on how they got a red-haired baby when they were both brunettes. During my baptism, I was the “curiosity” when I was presented to our church because everyone was wondering where I got my red hair.

A year later, my parents took me to my father’s family reunion in Michigan and for the first time I met my extended family. To my mother’s surprise, there were numerous redheads walking about the reunion. My mother could not believe my father didn’t put two and two together to solve this mystery. He has strong Scottish, Irish, and Welsh roots. Ground zero for redheads!

As the years continued, growing up was not easy for me. No one in my immediate family had red hair. Classmates always made fun of me. I was called the usual “carrot top” names and was always made fun because I am sooo pale and can’t tan. And it seemed like only old women would compliment my hair color when I was a kid. Annoyingly, the compliment would always include a petting of my hair. All I wanted to do was to bleach my hair blonde so I would fit in, but I never had the guts to do it.

I entered college and something suddenly changed; I became the center of attention in a good way. For the first time in my life boys/men noticed me and I began to feel very confident about my natural looks. I received many date requests because they all loved my hair color because it was different.

For the first time, I didn’t wish my hair was blonde.

I decided to grow it very long – more to love! I still didn’t like being pale in the summer, but I discovered spray-on tans. Surprisingly, it attracted even more boys/men. Instead of being called “Carrot Head”, I was called a “Vixen”. It never gets old being called a fox!

I’m 42 years old right now. Unfortunately, I have to color some of the white hair that grows in, but I still get complimentary “cat calls” from men. The lesson I learned was having natural red hair is very lucky and should be embraced. I now go out of my way to tell redheaded girls that they should feel honored and it will be treasured when they get older. Some make a face and find it hard to believe, but I tell them it does gets better. I am proof of that. I married a man that thinks I am a rare gem and he would never want me to dye my hair any other color.

This is why red hair is a gift. Enjoy it!