Red Hair, I Care
Maybe a little too much.
The trajectory of my hair color is about as interesting as a dissertation on the nutritional benefits of gorgonzola cheese which is to say that no one short of myself really cares, so I’ll make this brief: I was born with black hair. Then it turned dark brown. And then, some time around age 15, I began to notice it both reddening in the sun and graying in the left-side part.
No one at age 15 has time for red hair let alone grays.
So here’s what I did: started adding highlights.
Here’s what year this was: 2003.
If you’re with me, and can remember this critical time for both fashion and my scalp, you’ll see giant, thick blonde streaks that were equal parts de rigueur and de tacky. I thought they were cute and participated in the trend but somewhere, from the depths of my internal judgement clock, I knew better.
So when I finally grew up and stopped the streaks, my hair (Amelia we do not CARE) found its home in the same tint of red I intercepted when I was 15. I started to embrace it. I declared myself a redhead. I asked the DMV to make a change on my license but they threatened me with a new driver’s test. I told my dad I wanted to go fire-engine so he googled it for “inspo” and found an article about the correlation with red hair and abundant sexuality so texted me to suggest brown instead.
I did not give in. The red stuck. It wasn’t me, but it was me. Each gray-covering session became less about the gray and more about what distinguishes copper from ginger, etc.
But why am I telling you all this? I don’t know. Maybe I feel like a cheater — I love the women who naturally have this color, who have never done a thing to their hair but can monochrome with the season’s ox blood simply by virtue of being alive. They’re so cool in that offbeat way that noses who adore the smell of nail polish are. I know mine isn’t completely real but it feels that way. It’s become me, and frankly speaking, I just wanted an excuse to celebrate it.
Also, I’m due for a dye job so help a sister out and upload your own favorite redheads in the comments, eh? My appointment’s on Monday at 5.
Slideshow compiled by Franny Keller and Krista Lewis