Redheads: Myths, Legends, and Famous Red Hair

Updated on March 8, 2018
Redhead Angel by Artus Penkawr
Redhead Angel by Artus Penkawr

Where Are All the Redheads?

Throughout history, redheads have been feared and revered, loathed and adored, degraded and exalted. No other single human trait has provoked such a dichotomy of emotions in such a large number of fellow humans. It is as boiling is to freezing or despair is to hope. It is as hate is to love.

There are degrees of reddishness when referring to hair, including ginger, auburn (reddish brown), and strawberry blonde. Red hair is found most commonly at the western fringes of Europe. Leading the pack, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England have the most redheads. Scotland has the highest proportion with 13% having red hair and approximately 40% possessing the recessive redhead gene. Ireland is second highest with approximately 10% having it and 40% carrying the gene.

The U.S. can boast (or not) anywhere from two to six percent of the population having red tresses. A seemingly paltry figure, but with a massive population, this gives the good ol' USA the largest number of redheads in the world with 6 to 18 million. Compare that to 650,000 in Scotland and 420,000 in Ireland. Who's paltry now? Read it and weep you redhead haters.

Fear and Loathing

Historically, prejudice and suspicion has always greeted the redhead, along with the belief that they were fiery and hot-tempered. This image - wrong or not - most likely stems from the fact that the Scots, with their high percentage of red haired people, are descended from the Celts, notoriously violent warriers. It is this perception that spawned many strange and fantastical beliefs and ideas about red hair.

The myths do seem to permeate all cultures. The ancient Egyptians couldn't make up their minds, typical of the super superstitious Egyptians of the time. They covered all their bases with a god for every purpose and situation. Sort of a god grab-bag. On the one hand, they believed that red haired animals and people were associated with the god 'Set', and many of their pharaohs had red hair. That included Ramses who was the most powerful baddest dude of all the pharaohs. Conversely, they also regarded the color red as unlucky and many red haired maidens were burnt to death to wipe out the tint. Talk about a makeover. Stories still persist that redheads were buried alive.

It's All Greek To Me

The Greeks, not to be outdone (the Greeks were never to be outdone as they were sore losers and it really got their sacrificial goat), believed that redheads would turn into vampires following their death. Aristotle - philosopher, student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great, and all-around smart guy and occasional ass - described redheads as being emotionally un-housebroken. I don't know what that means but whadda ya say you and I step outside, Tots?

Roman historian Deo Cassius described British Warrior Queen Boudicca (or Boudicca the bodacious) as " tall and terrifying in appearance [with] a great mass of red hair." Incidentally the ancient Romans also paid a premium for red haired slaves.

During the Spanish Inquisition (one of the fairest and justified of all inquisitions) flame colored hair was evidence that it's owner had stolen the fire of hell and had to be burned as a witch. Apparently, stealing the fire of hell is a crime and crime doesn't pay. In Corsica, if you pass a redhead in the street you are supposed to spit and turn around. It is unclear if that is supposed to bring good luck or because redheads leave a bad taste in your mouth. During the Middle Ages, red was seen as the color of the Devil, and it was thought that a child born with red hair was conceived during "that time of the month". Is that a little too much menstruation information?

Don't Adjust the Color on Your Set

Russian tradition declares that red hair is both a sign of a fiery temper and craziness, and a proverb warns, "There was never a saint with red hair. Indeed, red hair figures in the bible, The word Adam is supposedly the Hebrew word for 'red' or 'ruddy', and Judas - poster boy tor tratorious - is often portrayed with red hair as is Mary Magdalene. King David is thought to have been a redhead, and some even believe the 'mark of cain' to actually be red hair.

The association of red hair and untrustworthiness and ugliness somehow prevails in the modern age. The Nazi's discussed whether red haired people should be allowed to wed, fearing their degenerate offspring. Red hair is often portrayed in less than flattering ways in films and on TV. An Irish judge in 2001 fined a man for disorderly conduct stating "I am a firm believer that hair coloring has an effect on temper and your coloring suggests you have a temper." Thomas Wolfe was right: you can't go home again. At least not if you're from Ireland and have red hair.

Napaleon Bonaparte
Napaleon Bonaparte
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

In modern-day United Kingdom, the terms "ginger" or "ginga" are used to derogatorily describe red-headed people, despite having one of the highest populations of redheads, or perhaps because of it. This has given rise to terms such as "gingerphobia (fear of redheads) or "gingerism" (prejudiced against). Redheads are sometimes disparaged with the monikers "carrot tops" and "carrot heads". Red haired children have been branded as offspring of "unclean" sex (uh oh, we're back to the menstrual thing) which has gotten them taunts like "red-knob" or "tampon tops". This intolerant attitude has led to a rise in harassment that has caused families to relocate, and has even led to murder. A 23 year old redhead was stabbed in the back. Why? "For being ginger", replied the miscreant that committed the foul deed.

There are some documented medical differences. We'll skip the fair skin sensitivity to the sun melanoma stuff, but did you know that human adults have about 120.000 hairs on their heads? Really. I counted my head. The bad news is redheads have fewer, blondes have more, and brunettes have the most. Researchers at the University of Louisville discovered that, on average, people born with red hair require about 20 percent more anesthesia to obtain satisfactory sedation. University indeed. Anyone who's ever tried to seduce a redhead knows that.

It's not all bad though. British legend states that King Arthur had red hair, and that a red haired leader would come to lead the country in times of trouble. Enter Elizabeth I and Churchill, who were thought to be answers to this legend. The Merovians of ancient Gaul were red headed and this was believed to give them magical powers.

Red On the Head, Fire In the Bed

Red hair was thought to be a mark of a beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration. See? I told you it's not all bad. It is a common belief that redheads are highly sexed. Jonathon Swift satirized this redhead stereotype in Gulliver's Travels, part 4, A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms, when he wrote: "It is observed that the red-haired of both sexes are more libidinous and mischievous than the rest, whom yet they much exceed in strength and activity." As Austin Powers might observe, Oh, yeah, baby!

So do not despair you red heads so fair. Brunettes may be smarter, blondes may have more fun, but none are wrapped so tightly in mystery and intrigue. Like a gift to be opened on a special day. That is what fascinates us about you, and that's no myth.

Redhead Quotes and the Gallery of Red Hair

  • "Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead." - Lucille Ball
  • "If you want trouble... find yourself a redhead." - Unknown
  • "You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair," said Anne reproachfully. "People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is."- Anne to Marilla in Anne of Green Gables
  • "Blondes are noticed but redheads are never forgotten." - Unknown
  • "Please just call me red-headed and forgive me." - Anne to Gilbert in Anne's House of Dreams
  • "Nobody who has known a redhead can say that redheads are tame. Even shy redheads have a burning spark of adventure inside them. Opinionated, hotheaded, logical, loyal, friendly, reserved, whatever the redheads' personality, you can bet they'll have SCADS of it!" - Review of The Redhead Encyclopedia
  • "I do believe my redheadedness plays a huge part in who I am. If I were a blonde or brunette, I would be an entirely different person." - Unknown
  • "We redheads are a minority, we tend to notice each other - you know, and notice our identity." - Juliann Moore, actress
  • "All throughout history, from Reuben to Robbins, redheads have been recognized as a rare breed. Blondes may have more fun, brunettes may be brainier, but when it comes down to raw energy, creativity, and personality ... you just can't beat a redhead well, you can, but beware ... she'll probably beat you back!" - Redheads Unlimited
  • "While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats." - Mark Twain
  • "It's not the hair that turns men on, it's the spirit that redheads exude." - Unknown
  • "When a fellow has a home and a dear, little, red-haired wife in it what more need he ask of life?" - Gilbert in Anne's House of Dreams
  • "Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but it takes a real man to handle a redhead." - Unknown
  • "Out of the ash / I rise with my red hair / And eat men like air." -Sylvia Plath
  • "I used to hate my red hair, but now I love the attention I get with it. I think that very smart, daring men love red hair, and I love that in a man." - Unknown
  • "The attraction to redheads is a lot like being addicted to drugs." - Unknown
  • "I am always asked where I got my bright auburn-red hair from, seeing as both my parents have a very dark almost black hair. My father, being 60 when I was born, always answered, "rust in the pipes." - Unknown
  • "Blondes are wild, brunettes are true, / but you never know just what a redhead will do!" - Unknown
  • "'According to the wire, you are resting well and are being taken care of by a nurse. I hope she is beautiful and that she has red hair. I don't know why, but whenever I dream of a nurse she always has red hair. Red hair makes a man want to recover his health quickly, so that he can get on his feet and get the nurse off hers.'" - Groucho Marx, in a letter to his son
  • "It was dreadful. They tried to put the little redhead in a cage" - . Sarah Ferguson, former Duchess of York
  • "There once was a girl / with a Strawberry curl / Right in the middle of her forehead / And when she was good / she was very, very good / -but when she was bad she was horrid." - Unknown
  • "My husband said he wanted to have a relationship with a redhead... so I died my hair." - Jane Fonda
  • "Ruadh gu brath!" (Scots Gaelic for "Red heads forever!")

© 2008 Christoph Reilly


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    • profile image

      Letizia 2 weeks ago

      Hi everyone! My name is Letizia I'm working on an important project for my last year of school exam project. I'm from Italy, I'm a Redhead and that's what my discussion is gonna be about: Gingers! I am collecting opinions from redheads all around the world to complete my research, so if you like I'll just leave here my email address and some questions for you, if you could spend a minute just to answer em that would be great! Thanks xx

      What's your name?

      Where are you from?

      How old are you?

      Has being a Redhead ever effected your friendships back in primary or high school?

      Have you ever had problems accepting the color of your hair?

      What's the most original nickname you have ever been called?

      Do you ever feel or have you ever felt rejected, discriminated because of your hair?

      Have you ever received special attention from men/ women for you redhair?

      Do you ever question the way you dress or the colours you like to wear depending on your hair?

      Some researches say that people with red hair are either very proud or very ashamed by their hair, which one are you?

      Thank you very much for giving me your time and don't worry I'm not gonna publish online your answer neither I'm going to write your full names on my papers, you will be totally anonymous so feel free to answer the plain truth!

      Have a nice day all of you gorgeous people xx

    • profile image

      Unknown 4 weeks ago

      How about the Wealsy's in Harry Potter. Their REDHEADS!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Name 4 months ago


    • profile image

      Marcella 5 months ago

      Red heads are proven the unicorn of human species yet you find red headed mummies all over the globe. In every race form and creed and most commonly with giants and giant cone shaped skulls. Whats that about? Even on easter island the statues have red top knots on their heads. The giants of the Americas were all known to have flowing fiery red hair. Also lesser known is Alexander the Great and Cleopatra both described with "ruddish" hair meaning red hair.

      Its also odd to note while red heads are the minority we are the majority in world leaders through out history.

      I have noticed in my research that redheads along with the symbol of the snake have two different perspectives on them.

      The snake symbol is an ancient one depicted always with medicine, knowledge, and gods. Take the ancient and modern medical symbol of staff and two snakes for example. It wasnt until the christian faith did the snake become evil. The red head is also depicted as having powers or being godly in ancient times to then being evil and connected to the devil. Which again christians invented. Again example eve is depicted as brunette while in the garden. After she eats the apple she has red hair.

      Final conclusion the world has been conditioned to see the red head as evil, unclean,unstable, or untrustworthy. When the reality is quite the opposite. However like the cute poem said. when we are good we are good but when we are bad we are horrid.

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      Mama 6 months ago

      I'm red.ginger copper coloured. My mum left me out in the rain. I have matching collar and cuff!!! And I'm proud. There is ginger in all of us but only the lucky ones are full ginger, and oh yeah, I've heard all the dumb name calls. If it's such a naff colour then why do soooo many women dye theirs ginger?!

    • profile image

      Brandi 6 months ago

      I'm a red head and so many people say that I'm evil just because of the color of my hair. I mean i love being a red head it's lots of fun, the only way people will leave me alone i tell them that if they don't leave me alone i will take their soul. it always works, but sometimes it's hard to make friends when everyone at high school thinks your evil. And is it rare for red heads to have brown eyes, cause that's what my eye color is.

    • profile image

      Emily 6 months ago

      I'm a natural redhead. I've never been called anything bad or bullied for it. Although my friends and family tease me about my temper. My hair Is waves and goad all the way down to just past my hip.

    • profile image

      unknown 9 months ago

      I find redheads attractive, and people who make mean and hurtful comments about them are just straight out rude

    • profile image

      Angie 11 months ago

      I was born blonde, but went reddish later with my eyes now mixed color. Apparently from my mom's side, my great grandma from Norway had red hair. My parents and sibling however still have blonde and brown hair with blue eyes.

      Despite that, I def' have all the symptoms of a full redhead and don't identify with any other color.....I've always been the oddball and very opinionated. I have also been called "red", and temperamental by a random kid in a hallway yea, def red now.

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      Tina O'Quinn 17 months ago

      Born with naturally curly, Strawberry blonde and blue eyes. This is all very interesting.

    • profile image

      kathiemullen 19 months ago

      Just found this. Looooove it! Thank you

    • profile image

      Blah 19 months ago

      I think that red heads have to do with putting red marking above the door is safety against gods rath or other words red hair is significant towards the ones that wont have to worry about yhe judgment day

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      Kelly 3 years ago

      The stereotypes are true, blondes are more happy go-lucky, but are ditzy, whereas brunettes are more brainy, yet have less fun, but redheads (your hair is orange, not red) are simply the most difficult to talk to and play up their "redheadness" as an excuse to be far less than nice at the slightest excuse.

      Hey, redheaded women: Dislike being called names? Then stop deserving it.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 3 years ago from St. Louis

      It was tongue-in-cheek.

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      The_Grey_Truth 3 years ago

      "Aristotle - philosopher, student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great, and all-around smart guy and occasional ass" watch out, your hubris and arrogance is showing. I have no hate for any group based off of arbitrary reasons such as color, orientation, or creed, but to call one of the most thorough and sophisticated philosophers of all time an ass simply because you disagree is silly, and then to continue on to make fun of Greek culture (calling them sore losers) does not add to any likability amongst the group this webpage supposedly advocates for. Why make such claims without any quantifiable evidence......only when we all come together and put aside our arbitrary differences as a species will we progress unto the stars.......just sayin.

    • profile image

      David T Hamilton 3 years ago

      Loved the article almost as much as I love my redheaded wife. With hair the color of a new copper penny, a wife and mother that can not be matched by anyone else.

    • profile image

      Johna647 3 years ago

      You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it! gaacefefggee

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      Johnk234 3 years ago

      Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it. fakkegcbdcac

    • profile image

      Johne930 3 years ago

      I don't usually comment but I gotta admit thanks for the post on this great one eeeddeceddfd

    • profile image

      redgold 4 years ago

      At the very bottom of this page...this Redhead just 'got-it'.

    • profile image

      Michael 4 years ago

      I believe, Eve was a red head! An eye catching bright red head ofsuch beauty none have seen since! After all GOD made her so she could not have been a slouch!God bless red ahir ,freckles and silky smooth skin!

    • profile image

      Sweets 4 years ago

      As a natural redhead I wish I could say the quotes and hub is great but it only adds to the annoying and popular prejudice redheads are growing towards others. As women we should be empowering each other not trying to claim we are better or we are this amazingly dominant breed of females because of hair color.... It's getting so old and even most annoying is when a DYED "redhead" uses these quotes or tries to act like she is a real redhead to gain some form of feminine sexual dominance. It isn't a competition people. Let's just be happy with who we are no matter what our looks include. Red haired people get picked on or discriminated a lot, so it's not something to use to make yourself more appealing to the opposite sex because that is extremely lame and desperate. It makes us true redheads look bad and we should be ourselves and feel free to do so without trying to live up to false stereotypes like the quotes about redheads being better, or hot tempered. It's a stereotype and nothing more. I've known a lot of blondes and brunette a to have hotter tempers than redheads. It's just ridiculous.

    • profile image

      TxnLobo 4 years ago

      "While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats." - Mark Twain

      Could someone please explain Mr. Twain's train-of-thought?

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      Mike 5 years ago

      I met my red haired wife when she was 16. She is a beauty with her long hair, curvy figure and large breasts. She was always teased as a child but when I met her I knew it was right. She is the most darling person I know. She is passionate in bed and we have four children.

    • profile image

      Denise 5 years ago

      I Love being a redhead!!

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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      This is such an interesting account of the history of redheads. I am from Scottish decent and have some GORGEOUS redheads in my family. I think I will use this hub in my class when I teach Elizabethan History during my Shakespeare unit. She was one of the most influential historical redheads who may or may not meet the descriptions above.

      Wonderful research! Very informative! Votes and shared! :-)

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      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      My mother is a red head....! Naturally it's nearly auburn but she lightens it strawberry blond. My dad is Indian so my hair is dark but if the sun lightens it - it turns red.

      Now I don't know what all the fuss is about....I wasn't offended...and I wish I was as good a writer as you. Fabulous work....I don't get it!

    • Redheadgirl333 profile image

      Redheadgirl333 5 years ago

      Amanda Weber, it was because redheadedness is a sign of quilt basicially,biblical people that did something against the lord were given redhair as a sign they were not to be trusted and had sinned against him.

    • profile image

      a3Fees 5 years ago

      Redheads not being in the majority of hair color from my experience try to be nicer to make a good first impression and thats good for me.

      a few of my quips:

      God gave redheads a car so they drive over to me and say hello if she is beautiful and agrees to keep her hands to herself.

      All the redhead females I have dated are 10's

      All redheads say there are beautiful

      Redheads with freckles are beautiful

      Redheaded females generally have very light to white skin.

      watch out when redheads hair turns dark red-there hormones are active and its time to take the high ground.

      I got a lot of these...

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      Amanda. Thanks for your comment. No, I don't know why they thought that. Thanks again for your thoughts!

    • profile image

      Amanda Weber 5 years ago

      I am a mother to a fiery young red head. When she was born there was some difficulty. During her time in NICU the doctors and nurses kidded with us that all her problems, which they were having difficulty diagnosing, were due to her red headedness. I found this article fascinating. Some things I knew and many I did not. I had never thought of researching facts and myths about redheads. My family has lots of them so it doesnt seem rare at all to me. I do wonder however why certain people like Judas or King David were thought to be red heads. Any more knowledge regarding this?

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      I'm proud for you, dammit!

    • profile image

      Melissa 5 years ago

      I am an auburn red head and I am DAMN pround

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      FireAnt: The man is BOLD.

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      FireAnt 5 years ago

      As a true Red-head, I've had many seemingly "meant-to-be" experiences in my life. The way people have referred to "us flames" out there has been like persicution from the start, but it honestly feels like the opposite is coming true, always winning at everything;(i.e.-sports, grades, sex, morals-& all the rest) it feels as though all my successes just results in jealousy. & "YES" sometimes I feel like I'm about to be chased by an angry mob with torches to try and finally do-away with the freak who's got the

      ABLE gene-(Cain's dead brother). Every once in a while, a miraculus genetic querk will pop up, (out of the melting pot), and produce a flaming Herculian - Able Man, that stands up to the mass horde of Cain-strain-ites all around the world. I follow the dis-information streams, and in those streams are where all the self important little fishies swim around pointing at the ugly fish, the different fish, The golden glowing Aquaman who is making people think, question even, that there is a possibility that every once in billion, there's a natural genetic querk(phenomenon) that sheds light into the darkness & changes everything. This couldn't be that moment in time, could it? It might mess up all your important plans! These couldn't be the words of wisdom & truth either, right?

      That might make all the women chase me around like a GOD wanting to have my baby,....hmmm?

    • profile image

      Jack 5 years ago

      All of my life it seems that redhaired girl have been attracted to me actully, im average in height a little chubby and a VERY mysterious personalty and brown curly hair

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      You're very welcome, L.A. Cheers.

    • profile image

      L-A 5 years ago

      As a readhead this really helped me to know the origine of my hair. thank you :)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      Adrien, And so it is for everyone, but the path to true love is often a physical one.

    • profile image

      Adrien Hessing 5 years ago

      Redheads to me are extremely beautiful angels and fairies

      without physical wings. Anyone who thinks of them only as sex symbols, or for bed exercise is but a ram in rutt, or of incredibly low I.Q. That type belongs to the mainstream of materialistic mindset of non-compes mentos human species [or,homo-sapiens sans sapiens] that reilly don't know real deep eternal love. I pity them.-------- Adrian Hessing

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      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      Thank you, Elizabethhh. I appreciate the clarification.

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      Elizabethhh 5 years ago

      And in response to the discussion of hair quantity and thickness, red hairs are thicker than others. I heard this somewhere, and I am an auburn with brown and (few) blonde hairs mixed into my hair, and my blonde hairs are the thinnest, then my brown hairs, and my red hairs are definitely the thickest so that is how it works! So don't worry, it doesn't mean your hair is thin and straggly, because the individual hairs themselves are thicker :)

    • profile image

      Elizabethhh 5 years ago

      Whaddaya say you and I step outside, tots? Hahaha. Ahh I hated my red hair when I was younger but I have learned to love it. My bf hates it, he thinks red hair is ugly which is interesting because I have met a LOT of guys who have been absolutely mad in love over it. I have cried over that a few times, if he hates it why is he with me? I am told often that i am attractive, and he says so too but he just doesnt like red hair. I will never ever dye it, I get compliments everywhere i go, and I am proud to be blessed with such beautiful hair, I used to think it was a curse, i got called a firecrotch by some ugly ass blonde crack whore looking girl in high school! but times have changed and red has become hot nowadays. Aren't we lucky ;)

    • profile image

      topless carrot 5 years ago

      Christoph - thank you so much for this article which I am clearly finding pretty late. I am pretty much obsessed with redhead facts and myths (a recent one I just discovered - redheads are more tolerant of spicy food, which makes soooo much sense to me as I basically enjoy spicy food more than anybody I know.) I hope you don't mind but I riffed on your post a little (and used one of your photos) -

    • profile image

      Andy 5 years ago

      Hi Chris, as a red head I would like to thank you for your hub. I recently found out that I have both Welsh and Irish blood in me where before I did not think I had either. I thought I was solely German. I found the fact about the anesthesia very interesting and glad to not have had to find out myself if it's true or not yet. Can you tell me if there is any truth to the rumor of red heads going extinct?

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      Fabio, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Looking back on my life, I can see I was blinded by culture in many instances where women were concerned. Thankfully, in your case, you found the woman of your dreams anyway.

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      Fabio 5 years ago

      Chris, great column.

      I grew up in Brazil, in a small town with an unusually high percentage of redheads. The hair color itself was regarded as somewhat inferior to blond or brunette, but the real implication was with the freckles: there was even an onion-based home recipe to 'get rid of that rust'.

      I find it interesting that I did not pay particular attention to redheads growing up, but later in life, after dating a wonderful woman of Irish descent who happened to be a beautiful redhead, my perception changed drastically. I began to 'see' redheads as the most wonderful of all women. By far.

      The fact that my young son is baffled by the beauty of his redhead colleagues in elementary school (he even 'decided' that one particular classmate will be his girlfriend) makes me think that I was really blinded by culture, growing up.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

      Glad you enjoyed it, Bree.

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      Bree 5 years ago

      Im a redhead living in Hawaii and this was awesome to read :). Theres not alot of redheads on Maui, just me, and it helps alot to know about all this :)

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      cam 6 years ago

      it's no surprise us reds are "spunky" when you consider how much history has just flat out killed us for our hair. our fiery traits are just pure survival instinct!

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      Gregorious 6 years ago

      Wonderful hub! I'm a big fan of redheads and freckles.

    • profile image

      Solared 6 years ago

      Redhead male here, the redheads in my family turn blondish with age, but let me say one thing some of the males have had their hair go jet black no joke, anyways I'm 31 now and the only change I have is gray facial hair on my chin, but so far no color change on head, anyways I love being a fire crotch and I swear if the hair below ever goes hair I might dye it or shave it off...LOL

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      JamKay 6 years ago

      I can also vouch for the anesthesia issue. I am a natural strawberry blonde. The anesthesia during my c-section was not enough and I found that out when it was too late. By the time they upped my anasthesia, it was over! Years before, I needed more pain meds than average for dental work. I have three children 2 blondes, one brown haired. My husband obviously, does not carry the gene. I feel blessed to be one, I've gotten countless compliments over the years!

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      itzorange 6 years ago

      i just call my color orange. never dyed and that is because i love being an orange head. we are what we want to be at any given moment.

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      Aranel 6 years ago

      I have red hair as well. Don't know the right color to call it though. I guess "fire" would be close, because it's not strawberry blonde but not orange either. I've been told MULTIPLE times I have a VERY unusual color. I hate wearing pink (clashes with my blue eyes and fair skin), but my hair goes great with red.

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      Andie 6 years ago

      it ginger. and it clashes with many things, and restricts clothing choices, there is nothing attractive about the hair colour.

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      :) 6 years ago

      In NZ red heads (like me) are told how mach money people to pay to have their hair like us. Also I find it doesn't clash with too many colours though we cant wear red or pink. :(

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      Andie 6 years ago

      im a natural red head and to be hinest no one calls it a redhead only GINGER!! which i personally hate and why does everyone love the hair colour, it clashes with everthing and is just damn annoying, if people in the us like red heads then fair enough but all red heads cant move to the U.S!! and its texas where its most adored actually.

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      Elayne 6 years ago

      Great article! Thanks, esp. for sharing the link to Life as a Redhead...I put together my own story last year at and it's amazing to me how much the stories overlap! If people are going to tease you, you would think they could at least be a little more creative. :) Oh, well! Ruadh gu brath.

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      Sarah Danylchuk 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed the read. :) I never knew there was such scrutiny against redheads. Thanks for posting this Christoph!

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      This article was written a long time ago and I can no longer find the sources. I assure you, however, everything stated had a reputable source. Wish I could provide it for you.

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      Ciara 6 years ago

      Hey, I have a question regarding the origin of the Greeks vs. Redhead vampires myth for you! Where did you stumble across it? I've actually seen that said on a few sites, but there doesn't seem to be a source. As a redhead and someone studying Ancient Greece, I'm really interested in finding out if this is actually true, or if it's a rumour that's spread online. Thanks :)

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      Maja Dezulovic 6 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

      I always knew my red hair was special! :)

      Thanks for this. I especially laughed at the quotes.

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Lisa: Thanks for the comment. Fewer hairs does not mean thinner. It could be each strand is much thicker. Thanks.

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      Jillian 6 years ago

      Why do all the redheads I know- including me- eigther have or have had waist length hair at sum point in time?

      Oh, and Lisa, its kinda like that for me 2! Im in 7th right now, but, the older Iv gotten the more people have gon from "KICK THE GINGER! IT HAS NO SOUL!" to "Hey, pick you up @ 7?" lol. Rite now its lik split in half. All the redheads I know cut their hair and died it brown :( I feel lik they wer ashamed of themselves :(

      If there ever an apocolymse, I wanna have a lot of redheads with me because instead of cryin were goin 2 fite and do sumthin bout it!

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      lisa 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this! Being a natural redhead, I was teased mercilessly when I was a kid. I was one of three redheads in the entire school and the other two were sisters. When I got to high school though, the boys stopped teasing me and started asking me out! I'm quite a bit older now and I have loved my red hair for the last 20 years. I have two beautiful, grown children. My son has thick, fiery red hair and my daughter has beautiful brown hair with red highlights. She has told me her whole life that it isn't fair that she didn't get red hair. When I cut my hair from my waist to my ears she nearly cried!

      The thing with sedation is definitely true. Whenever I am put under it takes alot and I do tend to come out of it swingin. ;) I have to question the fact that we have fewer hairs though. There are 5 redheads in my immediate family and all but one have hair so thick that it needs to be thinned by the hairdresser. The other one is a toddler so her hair will probably thicken up.

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      louromano 6 years ago

      Great work, I like all art.D.J. Funktual: Thanks for stopping by, Dude! I have read many of you "funkalicious" hubs so it's nice to see you hangin' at my pad! Thanks!

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      Jillian 6 years ago

      Your hair color actually does affect your personality- I've read one or 2 articles that say the genes that come with red hair affect your adreniline (idk how 2 spell it)

      I have red hair with blonde and brown high-lights pale-skin a short temper and large brown eyes. My hair reaches my waist and I've been to MANY schools so I know a lot of people and wether good or bad someones always has someone to say say about it. Most boys (and some girls) are afraid of me. Most of the time if I get mad I chase them trying to kick punch or whack them with a book until they run into the boys restroom (where I will NEVER follow them). Im also very independent and loyal. Im a chinese zodiac dragon and a tarus so I have 3 things pointing to a short temper for me. I also day-dream... a lot... and am random when talking to someone. I don't get particularly high grades in school but have an IQ of 162. Most people say Im not book smart but Im tricky and clever. Im basically a perfect combination of redhead superstition (minus the evil part though Im very weird so Im not so sure about the crazy lol) chinese dragon zodiac and tarus... Im frankly very dangerous. As you can see I often end up rambling when typing... or talking... or thinking you know what just 4get I said anything.

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      juliebell 6 years ago

      I am a natural and pain killers don't work well for me. Only 1/2 my epidural worked during child birth - I could feeling everything on one side of body, nothing in the other. Anytime I get pain killer / numbing @ the dentist, he has to use the max and he has to inject about every 1/2 hour. It is crazy.

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      Kelly 6 years ago

      I am a red head and when I was in delivery with my first child the nurse was warning everyone that I was a redhead... I was like yeah so what does that have to do with anything???? She informed me that redheads bleed more.. I didn't read every comment written in this hub and maybe it was already said but just thought I would share if not...

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      traged 6 years ago

      Perfect hub, thanks! i didnt know that Queen Elizabeth has been red hair as well!

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      Lorraine 6 years ago

      I completely agree! When I was growing up I hated my hair as it made me a target for the bullies, but now, those bullies are dyeing their hair and will never be able to get the colour exactly right.

      Im a celtic goddess!

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Lorraine, It makes me very happy to think my humble writing has made them feel better. Fourteen is a difficult age to be different, but in only a couple of short years, the tables will be completely turned and they will be the envy of all.

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      Lorraine 6 years ago

      This article is great. Im a natural redhead from Scotland and have 14 yr old twin daughters with red hair too. Theyre going through a tough time at school(being teased a lot) just now and I wanted to show them the true beauty of being a redhead.

      This made them feel better, and they are truly stunning looking girls who are starting to love who they are. Being a redhead is fab!


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      Samantha Joseph 6 years ago

      As I read this, it is very interesting to read! I myself was born with red hair but grew up with light reddish-brown hair and still have it. I actually am of German descent (and nothing else) from Pennsylvania and my fiancé have dirty blond hair but oftenly, I noticed a bright red tint coming out of his hair every time he passes under light such as sunlight or indoor light... Strange, huh? I wonder if this is anything that you might be interested in? Btw, he is of French descent. Lol

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Glad to see you here, Tom!

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      Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Chrisoph....You can add procastination to the redhead traits.....took me three years to get to this GREAT HUB! My scrolling finger is worn out tho. :o)

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Red Haircrow: That is very interesting. I am pretty sure I have never met a red haired American Indian, and I spent many years in Oklahoma as a kid with many Indian friends.

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      Red Haircrow 6 years ago

      Especially being naturally red-haired myself, I found your article quite interesting. I actually can't take most medications because they have crazy, unexpected results, and I rarely if ever get a cold or flu. I am a very slow bleeder, and my blood is quite dark, and actually do have a high pain tolerance. I once had foot surgery without a local as I was tired of getting jabbed and the meds weren't working. I just told them to go ahead and do the cutting.

      I am an especially rare type of redhead because my ancestry is primarily Native American, though my great-grandfather was Welsh and a redhead, but no one else but me (thus far) has inherited it. So being otherwise Native American looking with tan skin, I am conspicuous with red hair, and I actually do still have some freckles and though my skin isn't fair, I burn and peel quick in summer. Temper-wise, I'm a very mellow person and it often takes me a long time to get mad, but if I ever do get mad, I'm totally off the chain...but that's more from my Indian blood.

      My whole life I've gotten plenty of odd looks and/or people have asked if I dyed my hair to get it red, though of course, you can't often get this hue from products. I hated my hair when I was younger, tired of attention regarding it and also tried several other colors, but they just didn't "take". My color always came back through fairly quickly.

      Now I accept my hair uniqueness and find it exciting in others. Since I admire it, as a writer, many of the characters in my work have had red hair and actually in one vampire series, it is the main character's trademark.

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Keith Rosenberg: Thanks for the input. Don't remember exactly whether higher pain tolerance has been mentioned, but it sounds familiar.

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      Keith Rosenberg 6 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia

      According to some research we redheads have different Stemcells and therefore a different immune system. Most Red heads I know very rarely get sick with colds or flus, but we pay dearly for that in the summer needing SPF 2006 sunblock. I loved this article as I am a redhead. Oh btw did anyone else mention we have a higher pain tollerance?

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      anonmous 6 years ago

      i am a redhead with also some a little brown and blonde (but mostly red) but i don't have have fair freckled skin. i find these myths very interesting-i never realized how much history there is to my hair color! not to mention how many leaders had red hair! but i'm kinda confused by the thing about having less hair because i have thick hair. and about the arthritis thing-well that kinda confuses me too.

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      TangoPony 6 years ago

      A fun and informative read ... thanks?

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      SouthernRed 6 years ago from united states

      hey I'm a redhead. and I absolutely love being one. I stand out i'm different. I think it is weird, however for someone to like me because of my genetics. However I don't have those pretty blue or green eyes:(. I am stuck wit reddish brown eyes that sometimes turn a honey brown color. can you explain how that happened? because I know that the light eye colors are linked to the red hair gene.Oh and i'm the only redhead in my family on both my mom and dad's side. so go figure.

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      Chelle 6 years ago

      I am a redhead. One thing that gets my "hot temper" going is saying redheads have a hot temper. Or that my hair is orange.

      There is so much sterotyping for us. There were only two redheads in my school. I had lots of freckles and wore glasses. On top of that had religion most people tend to make fun of in the first place.And the only memeber of that religion in school.

      Elementary is a tough place for redheads. By high school things do change. The kids start to realize the uniqueness of a redhead. You begin to love your hair. You realize all the crap you went through as a redhead and only becaure you are a redhead benefits you in a way only a redhead can understand.

      I do have to say polish never sticks to my fingernails. (Didn't know this was a redhead trait.)

      I do feel I feel pain differently then others.

      Dentist office visits are not a nightmare because I have a great dentist. But I do require LOTS of pain killer.

      Medications in general do not work for me. Most Drs don't believe me. Just tell me I didn't take it long enough. Or "here try this brand" Still doesn't work :(

      My blood is dark red - something I didn't notice until reading this.

      I have several redhead cousins - the only people that really understand me.

      I couldn't wait to have children. I figured they would be the only small people not to make fun of me or wonder why I looked the way I did. Then one day my todler looked at me and said "mommy, why do you have spots on your face?" Go figure everyone wonders about those "spots". :) I say if it weren't for the freckles I'd have no color at all.

      I love being a redhead. My husband loves me being a redhead. I am hoping for redhead grandchildren as my children were not.

      Keep others informed - Redheads are NOT hot tempered - some people are just stupid and they need to be informed of their stupidness. We have charming attitude. That why ya like us now.

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      Jill 6 years ago

      My husband is a red head. I have an auburn color. We are born firey in temperament. My husband is rather firey in the bedroom too. He does require more anesthesia for surgery and wakes up wildly. This article was interesting.

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      redhedd 6 years ago

      sheesh! I can't believe you didn't mention the redhead social network:

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      Terry sass225 6 years ago

      I would have to agree. The best time of my life was with a redhead. have been maddly in love with one with green eyes that I first when I was a child in cumberland gap tn

      I was fourtunate enough to find her 20 years later and be her lover for a spring unfortunatly she did not love me as much as I did her for heart was given to another he had cheated on her which allowed me to meet her losing her afection was such a blow. I don't think ill ever feel that passionatly about anyone. I normaly have a wall up to protect my emotions but with but one kiss electricity made my defenses hit the ground and I found out what it was like to love passionatly and comppletly.

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      Evie 6 years ago

      I am a Redhead. I look at children with Redhair and know that they have a difficult road ahead.

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      The Windigo 6 years ago

      There is much more of Red haired history & genetics

      look through recorded history and you will discover that much of the Royal houses of the world had an rather abnormal level of Red hair, particularly in Europe however as noted this was true even among groups like the Inka in the Andes...heck the legends of ancient Easter Island were that the nobility had pale or burnt colored skin coupled with Red hair

      remember too it was common practice among the elite of Ancient Egypt that were not blessed from birth with this mark from the Gods to dye their hair with Henna as well

      You can travel the globe and find legends, indeed even physical remains of Ancient Red haired peoples

      it's for this reason I don't place a great deal of weight in the recent scientific notion that the Red hair gene is a recent mutation...I simply think the gentic sample used was far too limited in global geography.

      a couple other points on the genetics

      did you know that a far greater number of Red heads are left handed contrasted to any other hair color?

      if we were not damned enough being born with the Hair and often eyes we have a far greater liklihood of getting an even worse wammy of growing up Right brained in what is quite sadly a left brained world.

      While the childhood taunts did get far out of hand at times what was worse was teachers who would tie my left hand to my chair in an effort to force me to become right handed

      When that failed it was the steel edged ruler across the knuckles of my left hand

      this was common up through the 1970s

      by the time I reached high school the die was cast and set as far as my personality was concerned

      you beat a dog long enough and it either has it's soul and will broken or it becomes a skillfull and vicious predator

      this is where the crap about our firey dispositions orginates

      Bear well in mind some of the greatest of Conquors were Red heads

      I mentioned Ghengis Khan and then there is of course Ramases the Great but many historians belive Alexander the Great was a Red head as was Napolean!

      think thats something?

      Washington was a Red head as was Jefferson And Andrew Jackson...even the french savour of the Revolution, Lafyette was a "ginger"

      who else?

      Stalin and Lenin were both Red heads! a new meaning to Red Square in Moscow eh'?

      Henry the VIII, his daughter Elizabeth the 1st, Winston Churchill, Maggie Thatcher

      the list goes on and on and on

      oh and Da Vinci was a left handed Red head as well

      lots more too, these are just off the top of my head

      for the tiny precentage of the population our people...(yes I did say people) make up we have played a huge part in leading the rest far outside our puny numbers

      closing remark...many theologans belive Adam was a Red head as was his first wife per Hebrew traditions Lilith, a member of the heavenly host that was given to Adam by the creator but refused to bed down with him.

      I went through all the BS most of our people have gone through...we are truly the neglected minority but I care not

      as I have often stated one can't forge Steel without the Hammer. What others see as a volitile disposition in our nature is the Steel in our souls. It can make us difficult to deal with when compared to others who have but a lump of soft Iron for a heart.

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Thanks,Patty. Always good to see you.

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      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I'll be linking this to a Hub I write about blonde hair, if you don't mind. I do like red much better than the rest of colors, I've decided.

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      RCH - Thanks.

      Windigo - You don't have to tell me. Thanks for your insight into redhead history.

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      The Windigo 6 years ago

      There are a few other bits of trivia regarding Red hair

      First off while Red hair is most associated with Europe in ancient times it was relatively common in Asia as well as the Middle East

      For example the Manchu ruling caste in old China were predominantly Red Haired...same is true of Genghis Kahn and many ancient mongols. There is the matter of very ancient graves in western China where the majority of the mummified remains are Red haired.

      Moving to the Mid East besides the legends of David being Red haired later you have many of the earlest frescos and mosaics of Jesus depicting him as having Auburn hair but wait, it does get better!

      Have you taken note of how the religious leaders of most conservative orthodox Islam dye their beards with Henna?

      it is called the beard of the Prophet. The historical Mohammed is said to have been yes...a Red head. This was also the reason why Malcom X and other Black Moslem leader were working their hair with Lye to produce the "Coif" as it represented the Red hair of the Prophet.

      Now lets jump the pond to the pre Columbian Americas...

      The Inka, The Maya, The Aztec and a few other cultural groups all shared a belief in a Red haired God who came to educate their ancestors: Quetzcotal, Kukulkan, Viracoha...the myth of the Feathered Serpent. This played a major part in the Spainish Conquesta of old Mexico as guess what? Cortez was a Red head!

      incidently many of the ruling caste of the Inka were fair skinned and Red haired.

      In North America there are tribal legends of Red haired tribes in present day Texas, Utah and Neveda often described as Giants in the myths.

      Something one needs to take in is how the view of Red hair changed shortly after the advent of the Christian era. Prior to Roman Christianity if a child was born with a difference it was seen as a gift of the Christian era these differences were credited as Devils marks by the Clergy. Common examples were Red hair, Green eyes and the greatest stain of Lucifer...left handedness I would have been cremated at birth in the Dark Ages as I encompass all three traits...of course Witch burnings continued until the late 18th century

      on the matter of Genetics it gets a bit foggier

      some recent genetic studies seem to indicate the Neanderthal people were Red haired...

      the Red hair gene is a recessive, one of the only ones that isn't a disease of some sort. Another point is that if two Red heads mate most if not all the resulting off spring will as well be Red haired.

      This brings up another queer deal...I dated a couple Red haired ladies in my life...nothing but problems

      not so much between the two of us but with society at large as most people automatically assumed we were brother and sister or at least closely related.

      Go to a bar it was always drama as we were never seen as a Couple

      stupid stupid people...

      in closing while Red heads do get maltreatment in Western culture in my travels in South America, Asia and the Mid East it is very much revered

      we are the stuff legends are made from

      don't ever forget it.

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      RCH 6 years ago

      My wife is a redhead and has most of the stereotype features. She's highly resistant to pain killers, she's passionate, somewhat psychic, fiery temper, fiery jealousy, difficult, and high maintenance. But she's also always fun to be around, never a dull moment, exceptionally intelligent(IQ over 140), and she is extremely beautiful! Literally stunning! Many many people have told both her and myself that she is the most beautiful woman they're ever met, and certainly better than any Hollywood redhead. She has very prominent cheek bones, perfect skin, long gorgeous legs.

      I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Firefly: Thanks for your comments. You can just copy the picture from here. Rt. click on it, and choose "save picture as." That'll do it.

      Mack: Thanks for the comment.

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      Mack 6 years ago

      Redhair seems to take me over!! I see it an I'm at a loss for words it seems to put me in a trance! I love redheads! First girl I ever loved an kissed was redheaded! There jus amazing!!

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      firefly0412 6 years ago

      hey i just finished reading this hub and i was very flattered . i am a natural born redhead with brown eyes and no freckles so as u can imagine most of the sex and flattery parts were thrown at me especially as a teenager did i mention my real name is natasha and spelled backwards is "ah, satan" so u can imagine with the red hair satan in my name and the fact that im a scorpio born 3 days before halloween( that could been much worse) lol i did suffer my share of torture at the hands of many fools lol anyway i agree about the sex part being a redheaded woman and all i just cant get enough lol my fiance dont know how to keep up with me lol but i thought u would get a kick outta the whole satan and redheads are evil thing because i can be evil if i wanna be , but i have a question i would like u to do some research on "how many redheaded serial killers were/are there." that would give some insight on the whole we are evil thing dont ya think? lol anyways i am proud to say i am 28 i look damn sexy and my hair color brings me a lot of attention!!! which is great as long as its the right kind of attention right? lol anyways loved the hub and it gave me some insight on some things i always wanted to know !! thanks sweetie... p.s. the picture of the redheaded angel with her arms behind here back ( if u think blondes are better its because u never had a redhead) lol can u send that to my email i would love to get that as a tattoo on my thigh ( i have been lookin for a redheaded angel) shes perfect heres my facebook name natasha woods i live in ocala florida so u wont miss me im the redhead (sexy redhead lol) maybe u can post it on there for me and i can download it myself please =-) if not heres my email : thanks agian christoph!!! love lots firefly

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Point taken.

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      Nick 6 years ago

      "No other single human trait has provoked such a dichotomy of emotions in such a large number of fellow humans."

      Interesting claim. I'm assuming you haven't heard of how an entire race of people were systematically transplanted from their homes, enslaved, and brutalized based on the color of their skin. NOT on the color of their hair.