If blondes have more fun and brunettes are the brainiest, then what are redheads?
This question has come up quite frequently at my house lately, as two of my redheads have decided that life would be better if only they could change their hair color.
My hair has a little red in it but I always wanted bright red hair. The type of gorgeous red hair that’s the color of the sun as it sets at dusk. The color of red that stops people in their tracks. Two of my daughters were blessed with that color of red hair and I think it is breathtakingly beautiful. Everywhere they go, people comment on it.
When my daughter was four, someone stopped us in the grocery store and started to tell her what beautiful hair she had. Before the poor woman could even get it out, Aidan put her hand up and said, “I know, I know, I have such beautiful hair.”
Now that they are entering their pre-teen and teenage years, they are very self-conscious about the uniqueness of their red hair and wanting and willing to change it. Aidan and I go round and round about the prospect of her coloring her hair. I tell her that women pay a fortune to have her natural hair color.She responds with disbelief that anyone would waste their money trying to get red hair.
Meanwhile my other daughter Moira is begging me to let her get a feather in her hair (apparently the new trend is to have a feather woven into your hair). She says it will distract from the color of her hair. I’m thinking it distracts people because you have a FEATHER in you HAIR. Of course people are looking at you, they’re wondering if you are turning into a bird.
I decided I would do my motherly thing and talk to them about how special they are because they have red hair. My son cracks up whenever I do this because he calls it my “motivational speeches gone wrong.”
I started by explaining to the girls that only 1-2% of the population have red hair, so that makes them very unique. Moira piped up and said that meant they were in the minority. I agreed, happy to see her using some of her middle school vocabulary. “If that’s true then how come people don’t get a college scholarship for being a redhead?” Aidan asked.
This wasn’t going quite like I thought it would. My son Daly jumps into the conversation, which always makes me feel good because I like it when we have supportive family discussions. “I read that redheads don’t feel as much pain as people with normal hair color” he says. He then slaps his sister and says, “See, that didn’t hurt did it?” Then he quickly realized what a mistake that was, because what they say about red-heads being feisty is true. At this point, I’m just not feeling the close, supportive family bonding.
The next day Aidan and I compromised. I let her get a few blonde highlights. I also let Moira get a feather to clip in her hair (I decided a clip would be easier to remove in case she ever decides she doesn’t want to look like a bird). Maybe I am a bit out of touch and have forgotten what it is like to be a teenager and desperately want to look like everyone else. I vaguely remember that feeling like the last thing you wanted to be was unique.
But just wait until they are forty, they will be thanking me for the redhair. I happen to know for a fact that grey hair doesn’t show up as much!