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Life > Experiences

Red Hair, Don’t Care 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

I am a natural redhead. Well, actually, I am a natural strawberry blonde. I have red undertones, but my hair is much more ashy than copper. 

Growing up, I do not think that there was ever a moment that I loved my natural red. I really only found appreciation for it when older women would come up to me in public and tell me how lucky I was. 

I remember one time when I was having lunch out with my mom, a woman came up to me and told me that her son and her daughter in law are having a baby girl. She said, “I hope she looks like you with your gorgeous red hair.” 

I only wish middle schoolers thought the same. God, I got all of the comments and questions. I am sure a few come to your mind. Boys teased me and based on how such a sensitive kid I was (it is proven that red heads are more sensitive than the normal human, look it up) I really took it to heart. 

I had a boy on the bus ask me, “Is it true that red heads are attracted to each other?” 

Because I am sensitive I just said, “I don’t know.” Now, I would have fired back with, “Is it true that people with brown hair are attracted to each other?” 

I think in some way too, being teased for something I could not change or honestly did not really want to change about myself at the time fueled a big dependence on what other people thought of me, especially men. Since I was convinced that no boy at the time liked me. 

I will acknowledge that I have the privilege to be able to feel this way about solely my appearance because there are many ways that what I just said transpires into how we identify in our society today. 

Around the middle school time, I really got into hair dye. My hair has had highlights, lowlights, glazes, temporary dye, the works. 

All the while I never went too seriously permanent because of the little voice in the back of my head that knew that the color of my natural hair was special. Or, that so many people pay so much money to maintain a color that I have. 

I recently dyed my hair a dark merlot color (do not worry, it was a glaze). The funny thing about hair dye and changing your look, you are never satisfied. 

I was scrolling on Tik Tok one day and I saw this beautiful woman, Julia Hatch. She is not a natural red head and she openly admits it. She dyes her hair a color that mine is not far away from and she ROCKS it. 

I started noticing that sometimes celebrities will dye their hair the same color I have and people will go crazy over it. Or that most of the women from TV shows that I admire have red hair. 

How could it be that I found these women so beautiful because of something I have so naturally? 

In that moment I knew the Merlot had to go. I was inspired and I wanted to rock my natural hair color like she does because it’s not about the hair color, it’s about how you respect who you naturally are. 

PLUS, I have something that has been passed down to me through thousands of people who loved each other. It is a connection to my heritage and the people I love. 

I truly do believe, and always have believed, that loving your natural self is when you are most beautiful and if dying your hair makes you feel like you, 100% do it. I only give this token ‘the natural you is gorgeous’ to those who, like me, changed something about myself because I thought it was not liked by other people. 

Now when I hear a negative comment about my hair I say, “What makes you say that? I personally love my hair.” 

Lord knows half the time they’re either intimidated by you, or jealous. And if they’re a man, they probably like you (I speak from experience). 

I am saddened to say that it has taken me SO long to love something so unique about myself. I am on that path though, as we always will be, but, God, just love what you have. If you don’t, you will always be searching for a way to cover it up, alter it, or change it. 

So, I offer this quote by Sylvia Plath. It has been my motto as I am on my journey to loving me, naturally, and thank you to all my fellow strawberries out there who inspire me everyday. 

“Beware. Out of the ash. I rise with my red hair. And I eat men like air.” 

Howdy babes, my name is Hadley Thompson and I am super happy to be here. I am from Niagara Falls, NY, and am ready to move where the Buffalo winters aren't so strong, brrrrr. I am a senior political science and journalism double major at St. Bonaventure University. I still remember my first semester writing for HC, I was the only new inductee at our annual interest meeting! It is so awesome to have witnessed this group of insightful and wonderful minds grow throughout the years. As I finish up my time here at Bonas, I hope to combine all of my hobbies and interests as I step into this next chapter of my life. Because I love things like reading, studying politics, environmental studies, chatting it up, writing, and such, I am applying to law school, eek! I will have to keep you updated. I am super excited for this semester amidst all of the changes, senior feelings, and, of course, to be a part of HC @ SBU! :)