With Thomas Knights crossing the globe with his ginger genius and photography, changing the stereotypes of red-haired men as he goes, he decided it was high time that female redheads got a piece of the action. And aren’t we glad of it!
If there was ever any doubt about redheads not being sexy, RED HOT changes all that. It might even change the world (probably).
In an exclusive interview with the original RED HOT girls, we got to know what they love most about their red hair, along with their best haircare tips. Fellow redheads and ginger lovers, meet Steph, Charlie and Edwina.
Steph Tat with RED HOT’s Jake Hold
Are you a natural redhead?
E: No, but I’ve been red for most of eight years.
C: Yes – red hair, blue eyes and freckles!
S: I am not a natural redhead, I took the plunge about two years ago by accident, but when the hairdresser was trying to correct my hair it went ginger. I immediately thought, “Hell yes”.
Why did you decide to join in with RED HOT?
E: Why not?
S: I was easily coerced into shooting for RED HOT simply because I am in awe of people born with natural red hair and I can’t believe that ginger men aren’t seen as sexy. Also, the stigma attached to a redhead dating another redhead totally had to be debunked.
C: Red hair was a very difficult colour to grow up with and I was, at times, bullied for the colour of my hair. Thomas Knights’ message is very powerful and I believe in it. I was tired of having hidden my hair for the majority of my life and this was an opportunity to try and make amends for that.
What are your hopes for RED HOT?
S: I don’t think it’s as hard being a redheaded woman than a ginger man, but my hopes for RED HOT I share with Thomas. Like him, I want to see more redheads in leading roles in films, fronting campaigns, being viewed without underlying presumptions about their character, and just generally being appreciated for having the gift of fantastic hair colour!
C: I hope RED HOT will get rid of that phrase, “you’re attractive for a ginger“, and to raise awareness of people with red hair. I’m reluctant to say, “to make people realise that people with red hair can be attractive”, as I am a strong believer of beauty coming from within. I just hope that it makes people stop and think before they open their mouth and realise that there is a human being who is on the receiving end of their comments.
I wish I could tell all the little girls out there with red hair that it’s going to be OK.
Have you always been proud of your red hair?
E: You bet!
S: For the last two years I have been extremely proud of having red hair, I am always complimented on it and some of my friends don’t even remember me before I went red.
C: Honestly? No – at times I absolutely hated it. I wanted to be just like everybody else. I regret hating it for so long and not being strong enough to embrace it. Now, I love that I am different and I stand out from the crowd. It has become my unique selling point. I wish I could undo all the years I tried to play it down. I regret the tears. I am also sorry to my parents for all the brown dye I got on the carpet after all the times I tried to dye it! I wish I could find all the little girls out there with red hair and tell them it’s going to be OK.
What was it like growing up with red hair?
C: I think my low point was standing on a hockey pitch having stones thrown at me and all because I had red hair. I didn’t realise that I had red hair until I was about 11 – I had lived in blissful ignorance up until that point. Then the comments started and I thought I was different and not in a good way. Now, I realise that I am different in a good way.
Red is the colour I always come back to – it’s the one I most identify with.
Do you believe that your hair colour contributes to your personality and identity?
E: It does for me. I’ve had various hair colours, and they definitely bring out different personas. Red is the one I always come back to – it’s the one I most identify with.
C: I think the bullying made me tough and develop a sense of humour. Apart from that I would say that it doesn’t contribute to my personality. Perhaps it does contribute to my identity – but you would have to ask other people that!
S: I feel like people automatically assume that ginger women have a fiery temper and a minx-like disposition. This stereotype has stuck around for a long time but I laugh it off when people ask, “Do you have the character to match your hair?” I’ve been fiery and bad-tempered my whole un-red life!
S: I have Scottish family so there are a few redheads floating around but generally my family are all quite fair.
C: No, I am the only redhead. Apparently we are distant relatives of Henry VIII… that might explain the red hair!
Who is your all-time favourite ginger and why?
E: Hmmm…Pippi Longstocking! I related to her a lot in my childhood… and I still do to a certain extent!
S: Geri Halliwell; she was my first genuine idol and at the time I probably didn’t realise why but she is fierce and funny and just the embodiment of girl power and ginger awesomeness. She was the reason I first dyed my hair red at age 11, and the reason I tried to pull off a Union Jack dress to my school disco!
C: Wow – tough question. Probably Julianne Moore as she has never tried to hide it as much as other famous redheads.
Do you believe that the stereotypes of redheads are true?
E: Well, I believe that redheads are sexy as hell! Or I wouldn’t have spent so much money over the years to be one. From what I’ve seen, gingers are passionate – the part about them all being fiery vixens though, not necessarily.
S: I don’t believe the stereotypes are true. People are not defined by their hair colour in any way. I have many ginger friends, some of them have short fuses and some of them are totally chilled out; one thing they have in common is beautiful, natural, enviable hair.
C: I’m not fiery in personality and I absolutely hate confrontation. So those stereotypes are not true for me. Are we good in bed? Of course! We are the best!
What’s your favourite thing about being a redhead?
E: It increases my pain threshold!
C: Being different…and I never once thought I would say that. Oh, and apparently we go grey last!
S: My favourite thing about being a redhead is how striking the colour is – I just look a little more eye-catching than before. I get some lovely comments about it, and the ginger community has been very welcoming.
You are totally blessed and privileged to have such a beautiful trait – embrace your uniqueness and laugh off the comments. Never hide your hair.
What’s your best haircare beauty tip to your fellow redheads?
S: I’m sure redheads who have been doing their natural thing before me know exactly what goes with their skin tones and hair colour so my tip would be to the fakers (like myself). Make sure you keep your hair conditioned and trimmed and use colour-extending shampoos so the colour looks fresh and shiny. I would also add, to any redheads who are scared to wear a red lip, DO IT NOW.
What is your advice to young redheads who are being bullied for their red hair?
E: Be proud! You’re a rare breed and that colour is stunning!
C: Take a deep breath and feel sorry for their ignorance and feel stronger in the knowledge that you will never be as nasty as them. You will be fine – it is purely jealousy and boredom. Just take each day as it comes and don’t regret it like I did.
S: If you are being bullied about your hair colour I would just offer this: you are totally blessed and privileged to have such a beautiful trait, embrace your uniqueness and laugh off the comments. Never hide your hair.
You can now purchase the RED HOT Girls (and Boys) calendars in the Ginger Parrot Store.