9 Problems All Redheads Will Understand

Red hair, don’t care!

That might be the case now, now I have my own beautiful redheaded child, but there was a time when I did care. There was a time when I hated my red hair. I even dyed it blonde from the age of 17 and continued to do so until I fell pregnant, nearly 14 years later. I hadn’t actually seen my natural colour until I started growing the blonde out at the age of 30.

When my little monkey came out with bright red hair, I knew I wouldn’t be dying it again. I didn’t want my child growing up loathing her beautiful locks as I had. And how can I encourage her to love her red hair if I’m dying mine? As much as I loved my blonde hair and miss it like mad, it’s bye-bye peroxide blonde and hello natural, if not slightly faded, red.

Being different

Being the only redhead out of my immediate family and friendship group through my childhood and teens, I could see the many differences between them and me, all simply because I was the redhead.

As much as I’ve learned to now embrace those differences, there are still problems I wouldn’t necessarily have if I had any other colour hair. Those problems used to have me wishing for any other colour than red.

9 Problems all redheads will understand

9 Problems All Redheads Will Understand

  • The lobster effect

Every redhead will understand the lobster effect. And I’m not just talking about sunburn. Anytime someone with red hair & fair skin gets hot in any way, hello lobster.

Exercising or exertion, embarrassment or anger, you’re likely to come out in a rather unattractive crimson flush around your face, neck and chest that glows like molten lava.

  • Burn baby burn

Yep, sunburn is a popular one for redheads. Your dark-haired friends in their factor 15’s or 20’s laying out and thoroughly enjoying the sun, while you’re here in your factor 50, reapplying every 2 hours and frantically trying to find some shade to cling to like a vampire forced out into the daylight. God forbid you to miss a bit with the sun cream… Ouch and hello again lobster.

Oh and to add to this, if you read my post on Interesting Facts About Redheads You Might Not Know then you will see that redheads feel pain more, so this is a double whammy for us.

  • Casper the not so friendly ghost

If your a redhead, or just fair-skinned you will definitely relate to this one. Around 12 years ago, the hubby and I enjoyed our first holiday together as a couple to Cyprus. We had a great time with romance high on the radar. Plenty of bikini-clad pictures were taken via one of those cameras you have to take to get developed.

Back in the UK, we were excited to go through and relive some holiday memories. But looking through our photos one word came to mind… Casper. I looked like bloody Casper the ghost next to hubby. Who, being half Indian looked like a greek god! Him, beautifully golden brown and me, pale with blotchy red patches due to sunburn. Do you remember Campino sweets, the red and white ones? Yeah well, that’s me.

  • People who put their tanned skin next to yours

I couldn’t talk about being pale next to tanned folk without ranting about those who think it’s perfectly acceptable to line their tanned arms, legs or any other body part next to your pale one to show off how bloody tanned they are. Yeah, thanks for pointing out I’m practically transparent next to you!

  • Fake tan doesn’t work either

I mean it does work, it just looks bloody awful. I went through a lot of my late teens and early 20’s determined to be tanned, even if it had to come from a bottle. When your pale, it’s impossible to get an even all-over fake tan.

Fake Bake, St Tropez, Gradual tanners, it doesn’t matter how good they say they are, it just doesn’t look right on pale skin. Cue the tangoed look. Eventually, I had to call it a day on my tanning mission and admit defeat. My self-tanning days are gone and I’m happy protecting my skin with good old factor 50.

  • Dying your hair is almost mission impossible
Problems all redheads will understand
Photo by Luriko Yamaguchi from Pexels

Are you a redhead? Have you tried dying your hair with one of those shop bought dyes that everyone who isn’t a redhead can use quite easily? Yes, dying your hair is not an easy feat for redheads. Due to the hair pigment holding much firmer then any other colours, normal shop dyes are useless. You first have to bleach your hair before you can add colour. And, I mean by a hairdresser, using peroxide. Don’t go using household bleach, you will end up bold and in A&E!

Or just don’t bleach your hair at all! Embrace the colour you were meant to have.

  • You’re eyebrows & eyelashes are so fair they’re hardly there

I’ve actually Tweeted about this recently. Unless you’re one of those redheads with red hair but black eyebrows and eyelashes like one of mu friends, you will know all about this one. It’s worse in the sun but our eyebrows and eyelashes are so fair they look as though we don’t have any at all. My eyebrows are very light. In the winter they’re a little darker so a little more noticeable but in summer, the eyebrow pencil is an every day must. Oh and I literally never leave the house without mascara, no matter what time of year it is.

  • Freckles
Problems all Redhead will Understands
Photo by Gabriel Silverio via Unsplash

Freckles are cute in small amounts. A little scattering here and there is adorable. But, being covered in freckles is a lot less cute, if we’re being honest. I mainly have freckles on my face, which I find annoying, especially when they become a lot more prominent in summer. If you ask to play dot to dot on my face to see what pictures you can make, the answer will be no!

But like my red hair, I’m slowly learning to love my freckles too.

  • Argh! You’re contagious

I would just like to clarify for every idiot on the planet who thinks redheadedness is contagious, you’re a nob! Yes, there are those in the world who think we might pass on our red roots to them if they get too close.

Actually, my other half-jokes about this a lot. As he’s partly Asian, he’s very dark-haired. However, he does carry the ‘ginger gene’. Not only has he helped me produce a beautifully flame-haired child, but his beard also has lovely little red bits to it, which he jokes he must have caught from me. Yes, my hubby is a nob too.

To conclude – It’s a hard life being a redhead

These are just some of the problems redheads face due to the colour of their hair. But honestly, even with all this, I’m grateful for my red hair. I’m not sure I’d be the same person without it.

And yes, it’s a hard life being a redhead at times, but someone has to be as awesome as we are, or the world would be a very boring place with only black, brown and blonde shades.

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What do you think of this list? Have you experienced any problems as a redhead? Or have you been on the opposite end and added to a redheads problems? I’d love to hear it.

Don’t forget to check out my other post, it’s all about redheads too Interesting Facts About Redheads You Might Not Know


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One Clueless Mum

Hi, I'm Alex, welcome to my little corner of the internet. I'm here to share my journey to motherhood and beyond. You may not find structured advice from a 'Stepford housewife' style mum, but you will get honesty & realism from a regular mum just like you. From IVF, women's health & being a redhead, to pregnancy, toddlerhood & life as a work-from-home mum, I've got it all. So stay and take a look around, you never know what you might find.

  1. RainbowsR2Beautiful (@rainbowsaretoo)

    Although my hair is red, is sort of fluctuates and goes quite dark in the winter. Most people say they love my. hair colour now… but when I was younger I’m not so sure. Fortunately I dont’ have the pale skin – hubby does though. Burns with the slightest show of sunlight. #kcacols

    • One Clueless Mum

      Mine is the same, goes darker in winter and lighter in summer, quite noticably too.
      Oh i can definitely sympathise with your hubby on burning in the sun 😄

  2. Lydia C. Lee

    Surely now we’re all sun safe the tanning isn’t a problem? I went to Bali and a friend’s model girlfriend had to go around in a big hat (Ginormous brim) and long sleeves to keep her alabaster skin perfect. She also only ate healthy food so I felt like a pig with marred skin! (not intentional by her, she’s was lovely. Just in my own head, her existence was enough.) #KCACOLS

    • One Clueless Mum

      Oh i get that totally! I’m usually the pig too, eating lots of rubbish food and looking like a lobster (even with factor 50). It wouldn’t be a holiday otherwise, would it.

  3. Karen Dennis

    Red heads don’t seem to go grey like the rest of us, I don’t know if that is correct? #globalblogging@_karendennis

    • One Clueless Mum

      Your right, it’s very rare for redheads to go grey. The red colour usually just continues to fade. We tend to go white, rather than grey if it happens at all.

  4. melinda cummings

    I would LOVE to have natural red hair.
    Mine was pretty light and strawberry blonde as a kid.
    I deal with almost all of these things, without the cool red hair.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

  5. Linda Jung

    Born & raised a copper red. L bro is a strawberry red & lil sis was a carrot red!
    I was teased relentlessly. It was horrible, from 1st. through 12th! From the first time I was pushed around I had my Daddy to teach me how to protect myself. And I was never pushed around again! It really didn’t help that my last name (maiden) name is Redd either! My grandma told me the reason there are not many redheads is because, God needed helpers down here. So he selected a few and gave them red hair so he could pick us out real easy and fast. I was so excited about being one of a very few that was God’s helpers I didn’t even ask what we were supposed to do for Him. My grangma on my Momma’s side and my granddad on my Daddy’s side were both red heads. Neither of my parents nor their kids had redheads. I got into trouble with my second grade teacher because she thought the color red only had one “d” in it. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING! I had a Long Talk with my Daddy that night. But I didn’t say I was sorry.

  6. Sage

    Another redhead problem I run into a LOT happens when I’m out in public, like at the grocery store or something, and I’m just minding my own business, comparing the prices of beans, and an elderly person comes up to me, and goes “I love your hair, you know I have a [insert, cousin, friend, son, daughter, grandchild, or back in my day I used to have, etc.] who has/had red hair” and then they proceed to share with me their entire family history.

  7. Sheila

    I’ve dyed my hair many times, no problem. Although I have seen other people with those growth lines in their hair and I don’t remember that issue, so it may come out more easily. I have wanted to try henna, heard that is permanent.

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