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DigitalBlue's avatar

What shades do you include when you're thinking of "redheads?"?

Asked by DigitalBlue (7072points) February 20th, 2014

I have colored my hair since i was around 12 years old, so not only has my hair changed a lot over the last 20 years, but I had also forgotten what it looked like in its natural state. I stopped coloring my hair a few years ago, and much to my surprise, found that I have a lot of natural red in my hair. I have always thought that my hair was very ash/cool and learning that my hair is this warm was a pleasant find. It also explains the pink/fair/freckled skin and green eyes that I always thought were just mismatched with my mousy hair. I think it would be classified as chestnut, it is medium brown with coppery undertones, that looks very red in the light (of course).

I made a joke recently, to my sister, that started “now that I’m a redhead,” and she stopped me dead in my statement and said “yeah, but you’re not a redhead.”

I’m inclined to agree with her, I was only joking because this is a recent discovery, but it made me start to think. How red is red enough to be a “redhead?” What shades of hair do you include and which do you think are too muted to really be called red? Is it about the ratio of blond/red or brown/red?

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21 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Auburn or orange, I embrace them all! restraining order permitting

livelaughlove21's avatar

A reddish undertone doesn’t really make someone a redhead. If I look at someone and think “their hair is red,” then they’re a redhead. I shouldn’t have to take them out into the light to be sure.

Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone, Adele, and Isla Fisher are redheads (most of the time). No sunlight needed.

Cruiser's avatar

You have described yourself as having auburn hair as your natural color and IMO you are blessed to have this beautiful color for your hair!

ucme's avatar

Just ginger

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Only organic ginger.

JLeslie's avatar

It sounds like you are a brunette with red undertones. When I was young my hair would get strawberry blond highlights, now my hair is much more ash. Red is red, it’s actually more orangy than red. Then I go into saying someone has strawberry blond hair if it is very close to blond. If it is brown with red undertones I call it that. I don’t say the person is a redhead. Reddish maybe, or auburn.

I do say things like I have red in my family. Only my aunt was really a redhead, and even she was not red red, but really close. I would guess a lot ofmpeople would call her a redhead. My dad had auburn hair when he was young and then it darkened and browned up, but the hair on his chest and arms was quite red. Not bright orange, but I think most people would call it red.

ibstubro's avatar

Polished copper down to light oxidation only.

Strawberry blonde has always been a grey area for me, though, so probably lighter than polished copper on the other side of the oxidation spectrum.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I include them all. I was born a tow head blond, went to a gorgeious red during puberty and went strawberry blond then aubrun as an adult (of course I streak blond). Nothing changes my pale skin which is melanin-deficient, or my hot temper. ;)

Brian1946's avatar

I usually include hex shades when I think of redheads, although they look just fine without them too. ;)

JLeslie's avatar

@Brian1946 I don’t consider that red. First of all that haircolor doesn’t exist in nature. I like the color and have had my hair that color, but never thought of it as red hair. The undertone is a cool shade. Blue/violet.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

All shades. If it’s not blonde or brunette, and it has some reddish tone it’s a redhead.
@Brian1946 And the lipstick is nicely understated.~

cookieman's avatar

hottest thread on Fluther ever

DigitalBlue's avatar

@JLeslie I agree, my hair is brown, I only said what I said to be silly. It’s just what made me wonder about this in the first place. Apparently there isn’t a clear line, which doesn’t surprise me. It always throws me off when someone describes my sister’s hair as brown or light brown, when to me, it seems obviously blonde.
Hair color seems to be very open to interpretation which means that hairdressers have a complicated job.

JLeslie's avatar

@DigitalBlue The dirty blonde/light brown question also can be a toss up. My husband’s hair is black, but to him it is brown.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@JLeslie yep, just what I mean. It’s all kind of subjective when you think about it. I also have a friend who has dark hair and people usually say it is black, but she insists that it is dark brown.
Eye color does that, too. I have a somewhat unusual eye color. I say it is “green,” but that is not accurate, I have blue eyes with brown central heterochromia, so they look green from a distance. But growing up, people would argue about whether my eyes were blue or green or something else entirely, like hazel or grey.
Just one of those things that I think is neat. We think of things like hair color being cut and dry, but it’s a good example of how significant our perception is.

JLeslie's avatar

@DigitalBlue I think it is partly cultural and what hair colors are in your community. My husband comes from a country of mostly dark haired people. His neice used to play with a girl across the street (here in America) who was platinum blond like many children are here when they are very young and especially in the summertime. My husband’s father asked why her mom would color her hair at such a young age. They called me “blond” really it was a slang word for blond used in Mexico and when they met me I was not blond to my mind. I had some highlights in probably. I have been blond, but not when they first knew me. My hair was fair compared to the people in their country though I guess. Now everyone is blond so things are probably changing.

dxs's avatar

Anything but red.

Brian1946's avatar


“And the lipstick is nicely understated.~”

She is exhibiting some majorly IN-YOUR-FACE! subtlety. ;-)

Crumpet's avatar

I think of anything from copper, to a dark auburn.
Basically autumn colours.
I’m not a redhead, apart from the 4 ginger hairs that grow amongst my stubble!

OpryLeigh's avatar

Reba McEntire’s colour is what springs to mind when I think “red head”.

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