Redheads know protection from the sun is vital. However, during these summer months, eye protection is often overlooked. Light-colored eyes such as blue or green are more sensitive to light — ninety-nine percent (99%) of UV radiation is absorbed through the eyes, according to the American Optometric Association.

Many thousands of years ago, when brown-eyed people ruled the earth, a genetic mutation occurred that reduced the production of melanin in some genes. Melanin is the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes and skin and helps give you better protection from the sun. 

The more melanin your body produces the darker your hair, eyes or skin may be. Blue eyes have a low concentration of melanin. And, us redheads clearly have very low amounts of melanin! 

READ: 13 Astounding Facts About Redheads

I have always struggled with light sensitivity and not just from the sun. Most people are sensitive to sudden light, such as turning on lights too quickly in a dark room, but the older I get the more sensitive I feel my blue eyes get. With the different screens we stare at all day long, from phones to computers and TVs, it is no surprise as to why our eyes get tired. This is why I stress the importance of wearing sunglasses. Even on overcast days, I wear my sunglasses to protect my eyes from the constantly changing light. 

During the summer, we spend most of our time outside. Whether it’s on the beach, laying by the pool or sitting at an outdoor restaurant. Wearing sunglasses helps me see better by giving my eyes a break from too much sun. They also take a lot of stress off my face from squinting to avoid sun glare. I always keep an “emergency pair” of sunglasses in my car in case I forget mine or if a friend needs them.

Sunglasses can also be a great fashion statement. I love the 2018 sunglass trends: big frames, funky shapes, different colors. You can have sunglasses for every day of the week. You can even wear sunglasses at night –– thank you 80’s club scene. To help protect your eyes and stay stylish, buy sunglasses that protect you from 100% of both UVA and UVB light. 

Here are five shades to rock with your red hair this summer –– all under $100:

1Le Specs ‘Bandwagon’ 51mm Polarized Sunglasses

Stay cool this summer and keep Rockin’ it like a Redhead!