I have come to realize that there are 4 life phases of a redhead, similar to the four seasons. These phases start the day you are born with red hair and extend through your whole life. They are Discovery, Resistance, Acceptance, and Sadness. I explain them in more detail below. I would love to hear your thoughts at the end. They are the joys and sorrows of a ginger, an ode to red hair.
The 4 Life Phases of a Natural Redhead
When you are born, you have no clue you have red hair. You don’t even know what hair is! It is just this thing on top of your head that people touch and feel and wash. Somewhere between the ages of one and two, you start to distinguish colors. You begin to understand that your hair has its own color too. And it is very different from the people around you. This is the Discovery Phase.
During this first phase, you realize your hair is red and not like everyone else’s, especially when your parents or siblings are not redheads. You start to realize that people are stopping to comment about your hair. People make a big deal over it, fuss over it. You wonder what all the fuss is about?
And, then one day, you make the connection. Your hair is Red! It is red like spaghetti sauce, red like your favorite shirt, or orange like a goldfish, orange like a pumpkin. Occasionally, you see others with red hair passing by. It is a secret club. (You can read all about the day my daughter discovered she has red hair here.)
You have a new name: you are called Red, you are called Carrot, but it is still just hair, isn’t it?
During most of childhood, you understand that you have red hair but it is on the back-burner to all the other great adventures in life. But, then one day, someone makes a comment about your ginger locks that doesn’t sit well with you. Or, you realize you are the only redhead in the room. Then, your first crush announces that he or she doesn’t like red hair. Suddenly, it is no fun having red hair. You think about changing it. You hit the Resistance Phase.
Time passes quickly and you are a teenager. You have pimples next to and on top of your freckles. It makes you look like you have extra freckles. You decide to cut your hair and then hide it. Hats are your best friend. You pull your red hair back tightly in a pony tail, again and again.
You HATE your hair. Why was I born a redhead? Why do I have to stand out so much? It is something you wish you could forget. You try to change it. Please, go away. I want to fit in.
Then childhood is behind you, and suddenly you are an adult. You are convinced your red hair helped you stand out in a job interview. The love of your life is enamored with your red hair and freckles. Your red hair looks amazing in photos. The greatest wish is to have a baby with red hair. You have finally reached the Acceptance Phase. Cautiously, you love your red hair.
One of the greatest joys of being an adult, is knowing yourself so well. You realize your hair is special just like you. You have learned how to care for it, how to love it, how to dress it, how to make it shine, and how to make it work for you. It is your ally, your greatest asset. It is a gift. You feel so blessed, so grateful. You are a redhead, you are proud!!
Then as you age, your red hair slowly starts to fade. First, the spotlight moves to your kids, especially if they have gorgeous red curls. (Read the day my red hair disappeared) And then your red hair (gasp!) is not red anymore. It is strawberry blonde, then white. You notice a pale hair in the mirror and then a hundred. Freckles become sun spots. It sucks getting old! You have reached the Sadness Phase.
You are sad that your red hair didn’t last longer. Wasn’t it invincible? You wish you could go back and tell your younger self to treasure it more, take better care. Who are you now? In your dreams, you are still vibrant. You miss it! You dye it for a while, but it is never the right color.
Eventually, you must let go. Goodbye, you say. I will miss you, occasionally pulling out old photos to caress your old hair with your finger, and say – I was a redhead once! Colorless, you finally blend in.
Which Phase are you?
I had a lot of fun writing this article. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Do you agree with my 4 life phases of a natural redhead – Discovery, Resistance, Acceptance, and Sadness? Which Phase are you in?
Remember – Once a redhead, always a redhead!
All the best,
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