Redheads finally learn to love their locks aged 20, say researchers – who have produced a “50 Shades of Ginger” colour chart. Nearly seven in ten red-headed adults (67 percent) have spent years battling with their distinctive look, with nearly half (48 percent) even attempting to dye it.
And 47 percent have experienced bullying because of their hair – with three-quarters of those having wished at some point they had a different colour entirely.
But the poll of 500 adults found that, by their early 20s, 34 percent loved the fact their red hair stood them apart from blondes and brunettes – as a quarter finally found a style which compliments their distinctive look.
In fact, 71 percent said their experiences in their formative years had made them stronger, with 69 percent saying they would never change their hair colour now.
The research was commissioned by Roland DG, which has created the “50 Shades of Ginger” colour index – including the Sheeran, Canyon, and Sunset – to help redheads find their exact match, and to celebrate World Redhead Day on May 26.
The digital printing solution brand teamed up with TV celeb, Jenny Ryan, who said: “As a proud redhead, I’ve grown to truly love my red hair, and embrace the fact it makes me different to others.
“But I wasn’t surprised to hear that wasn’t the case for many – growing up with a different hair colour to most was challenging, but now I celebrate my redhead status. If anything, I’m proud of it!”
The research went on to find 54 percent would never describe their hair as “ginger”.
More than a third (36 percent) of these don’t feel like the word is a good representation of their hair colour.
And 28 percent think it has negative connotations, while 27 percent associate it with bullies.
The most popular terms they actually use to define their shade are dark burgundy, strawberry blonde, and bright auburn.
But 73 percent did admit it can be difficult to know how to describe red hair, the research, conducted via OnePoll, found.
However, 77 percent now believe it is very fashionable to have red hair – and 78 percent feel celebrities sporting the bright look have helped to reduce the stigma around having it.
Ed Sheeran, Prince Harry, and Nicole Kidman have been named by the panel of redheads as the most iconic to rock the hair colour – followed by Mick Hucknall and Chris Evans.
In fact, eight in ten believe it is important for younger redheads to have role models for them to look up to with a similar colour.
Lauren Swinnerton, from Roland DG, added: “Our research found that 54 percent of red heads would never describe their hair as “ginger”, and for years, people have struggled to truly define their hair colour – with many viewing the most common term as somewhat derogatory.
“So, we got to work to develop 50 shades, to show the full spectrum of shades that make up the vast colour gamut of redheads.
“Being a redhead goes far beyond hair colour – it’s a visual representation of individualism, expression, and beauty, and we strongly believe no one term can define the many shades of redheads, which is why we’ve created our celebratory redhead colour index.
“This rings true to the ethos we hold as a printing business – as we celebrate colour and expressiveness, and thrive on standing out from the crowd.”