10 Annoying Struggles Only Red-Headed Women Will Understand

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redhead girls

Less than two percent of the world’s population has red hair. It is understood that redheads stand out in a crowd (because of course we do), but did you know there’s an unspoken kinship between us redhead girls?

As a redhead, I know there’s always that acknowledgment when I see another redhead in public, even if it’s just a slight nod and a knowing look that passes between us. Why? Because the sisterhood of redheads is a powerful thing. Here are 10 things all redhead girls know to be true.

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1. You're constantly asked questions.

Does the carpet match the curtains? Is that your REAL hair color? Do your parents have red hair? Are you Irish? And on and on. And on.

I guess the uncommonness of red hair invites people to make utter fools of themselves, but we’re sort of used to these questions. Most of us are patient when asked about our real hair color and our genetic histories.

We don’t get why it’s so damn fascinating that we’re stopped in the grocery store to answer these questions from total strangers, but unless we’re having a train wreck of a day, we’re usually tolerant. And yes, we’re totally all Irish. Not.

And the carpet matching the curtains question? That will get you a punch in the junk.

2. Everyone assumes you have a fiery temper.

Science, people. The color of one’s hair does not have anything whatsoever to do with one’s temperament. Don’t you know any blonde girls that are total b****es (the answer to that is yes, by the way), or a brunette who has a fuse about as long as your pinky fingernail?

3. There are a bazillion different nicknames for redheads, and some of them are stupid.

Copper-top. Ketchup. Firehead. Ginger. Carrot top. Rusty. The highly unoriginal “red.” In Australia, a popular nickname for a redhead is “Ranga,” as in short for an orangutan. Ugh, right? I recently learned that “fuego” was the Spanish word for fire. I hope that one catches on... I kind of like it.

4. If/when you become a mother, the first question people ask will be about the hair color of your baby.

Not "how is she?" or "how are you?" Not "how much does he weigh?" or “does he have his dad’s godawful nose?” The question on people’s minds after you squeeze a tiny human out of you will be “does she have red hair?”

When you’re a redhead, the burning question on people’s minds will be if you passed the ginger gene down to your offspring. Yeah, I don’t understand that one, either.

5. People want to take a picture of your hair so they can ask their stylist to match the exact shade.

Or they take the picture and don’t ask. That gets weird. There you are minding your own business, checking out throw pillows at Target, and there’s a total stranger snapping pictures of your hair with their phone. Boundaries, people.

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6. You’ve completely given up on the idea of ever getting a tan.

SPF 50 is your friend. You always smell faintly of sunscreen in the summer. You have an entire wardrobe of floppy hats and Jackie O-style sunglasses.

Yes, you’re secretly jealous of all the bronzed beauties flaunting their savage tans in their minuscule bikinis while you’re hovering under the beach umbrella in your neck to toe cover-up. But you also take a certain amount of pleasure in knowing that your skin will be smooth and pretty in your forties because of your sun-avoiding ways.

Go ahead and imagine your tanned friends with premature wrinkles and crepey skin before they’re thirty. It will make you feel so much better.

7. Salespeople or stylists repeatedly tell you that you can’t wear red or orange.

Or that you look great in yellow. Or pastel green. Whatever. Giant eye roll. We gingers know these fashion don’ts don’t apply to us, and that if we feel beautiful in traffic cone orange then we are beautiful in traffic cone orange.

8. People tell you that you look “exactly like” movie characters and celebrities just because of the color of your hair.

Hearing you look “exactly like” Titanic-era Kate Winslett or Wedding Crashers' Isla Fisher is pretty awesome. Hearing yourself compared to Ronald Weasley or Ariel from The Little Mermaid? Not so much.

9. If you’re a redhead sans freckles, complete strangers will question why.

Aren’t all redheads supposed to have freckles? Did you have them surgically removed? Are you really a redhead?

In truth, the lack of freckles on a redhead is down to genetics and being careful in the sun. See, one careless afternoon in the sun can change everything.

10. People will touch your hair, and it gets weird.

Maybe that fiery temper would come in handy now and then.

So remember all of these things next time you see redhead girls when you're out and about. Our uniqueness comes with challenges, but really, we wouldn't have it any other way.

As for me? You can just call me Fuego. 

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Jill is a freelance writer, blogger and speaker from Texas. She's the producer of Listen to Your Mother: San Antonio, a wannabe wine snob and a lazy runner. In addition to writing for YourTango, you can find her regularly on Babble and, as well as on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals.