jenny erikson
Loving my new red hair!
Early this year I turned 29 and had a bit of a ‘ohmygosh I’m almost 30!’ moment. So I died my blonde tresses red. Because why not? I’ve always secretly wanted to be a redhead (also a mermaid because I love the ocean and I thought Ariel was the bomb in first grade), so I texted my hair stylist a picture of Amy Adams and asked, “Can you make my hair look like this?”

Yes! She worked her magic on my hair, and I’m totally in love with it. It’s been amusing to me how many people think it’s my natural color. Maybe I’ve always been a redhead at heart. I’m just missing that double pair of recessive genes that’s possessed by less than 4% of the world’s population. But that’s ok -- that’s what hair dye is for. 

Aside from the reaction from my kids, who still tell me months later they want my hair to be yellow again, and my husband’s initial reaction (“Hi, Pippi,” he said), not to mention my dad’s casual, “So it’s not photoshop,” the first time he saw me in person after I had tweeted a picture, the feedback has been really positive. Maybe we’ve had it wrong all these years … maybe it’s redheads that have more fun.

Mark Twain once said that, “while the rest of the human race are descended from monkeys, redheads derive from cats.” Indeed, the personalities of the ginger-locked crowd tend to be on the boisterous side. I mean, if you’re going to stand out in a crowd anyway, you might as well stand out with passion.

Redheads have a reputation for being just a little bit naughty. As the fictional Anne of Green Gables said, “You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair.” Redheads have been branded as witches and burned at the stake, and redheaded babies were thought to be the products of an affair. When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, he depicted the innocent Eve in the garden with blonde hair, and the sinful post-apple Eve fleeing with auburn hair.

Women with red hair are thought to be independent and bold. It’s been said that they’re like other women, only more so, and entire books have been written on the sexual power of red hair. Redheads have more sex; averaging three times a week compared to blondes and brunettes twice a week romps. Irish novelist and poet James Joyce said, “Redheaded women buck like goats,” and Lucille Ball claimed, “Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.” 

I love being an honorary redhead after a lifetime of being blonde. It’s interesting and fun to have a super-defining characteristic with so many unspoken implications. As the saying goes, blondes may get noticed, but redheads are never forgotten.