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Growing up a redhead hasn’t always been easy.

For the majority of my time in school, I was made fun of for having hair “the same color as a carrot.” Mind you, when I was in high school South Park released the episode when they called redheads “soulless”.

The remarks about my red hair got to the point where I wanted any other hair color than “carrot”. I simply felt out of place.

In 10th grade, right before prom, I decided to dye my red hair bleach blonde. It was a disaster. Due to my sensitive redhead skin, the beach gave me chemical burns on my scalp. It had to be washed off before it was finished doing its job and my hair was an odd light gold/copper color for prom.

After prom, I bleached it again. This time it came out platinum. I was so happy –– or thought I would be.

Thanks to my pale skin and blonde hair, the kids called me an albino. So, I tried to tan.

Well, that didn’t go over well.

I burned then freckled.

The bleach then started to completely destroy my hair. It went from being down to my hips to shoulder length in a matter of months thanks to the breakage.

By this point the bullying got so bad I dropped out of school and transferred to homeschooling. I also had to do something about my hair because it was breaking like crazy and my roots were starting to grow in.

My stylist suggested going to a violet red color, which did eventually wash out into a close-to-natural hair color.

From then on I’ve stayed a natural redhead –– sometimes dying it a semi-permanent brighter red just for fun.

Once I left school, I realized red hair was actually a desirable trait that people were TRYING to achieve at the hair salon. Some people now are even going so far as getting fake freckles tattooed on their faces.

READ: Freckle Tattoos Are Now a Fad and Redheads Everywhere Are Confused 

It was hard to learn to love my red hair and freckles, but I did, and I love them so much now. I feel so privileged to be a ginger and I’m so proud to say it!

So if anyone else who reads this and is going through what I went through, I want you to know your hair is AMAZING. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. One day, you’ll see you’re blessed with something millions of people want to have, and you have it naturally.

Embrace yourself, be yourself, and most importantly, love yourself.

Rock it like a Redhead! 

Photo copyright, Cassandra Douglas via Instagram, @datcassdoeee