Can redheads wear pink, and other questions about red hair

Can redheads wear pink? (And other questions about red hair, answered…)

Can redheads wear pink? “Of course not!” says just about everyone I’ve ever spoken to on this topic. Well, here’s what my jumper has to say about THAT…

Can redheads wear pink, and other questions about red hair

Actually, I CAN. And I quite often do these days, because although I grew up keenly aware of all of the things my hair colour was going to prevent me from doing/wearing (Wearing pink, wearing red, procreating…), I grew up to realise that very few of these little “redhead rules” apply — or, at least not to all of us. 

As a child, I blindly accepted all of this, and obediently added “wearing pink” to the list of Things Other People Can Do Which I Can’t. (No, seriously, there is an actual list. You can find it here, if you’re particularly interested..) I even went through a stage in which I was very anti-pink, in a stupid kind of “WELL, I DIDN’T WANT TO WEAR PINK ANYWAY, SO THERE!” kind of thing. Kids, huh?

As an adult, however, I eventually started to question The Redhead Rules, and to experiment with colour. I’m not saying I now just wear anything and everything, but what I discovered is that there actually aren’t many – if ANY – colours that redheads absolutely CANNOT wear. It’s not like there’s only one shade of red hair, after all, or one skin tone that all redheads share, so what works for one redhead might not work for another, and vice-versa. You know, just like with every other hair colour out there? (Breaking news: People With Red Hair Found To Be No Different From Anyone Else)

As for myself, it’s true that there are some shades I avoid altogether, but these days pink isn’t one of them: in fact, it’s become something of a favourite. I love the softness of the colour, and although it can – and does – clash with my natural ginger hair, occasionally, the fact that it doesn’t leech all colour from my skin, the way darker shades can, makes me willing to compromise on it.

Here are some other common questions about redheads…

  1. Is red hair rare?

    • Yes, red hair is relatively rare, accounting for only about 1-2% of the world’s population. Here in Scotland, though, it’s not particularly unusual: there were at least three redheads in my class at school, and while that didn’t do much to stop us all getting constant, idiotic comments about it, it did mean that it wasn’t as much of a novelty as it might have been elsewhere in the world, where red hair is much more unusual.
  2. What causes red hair?

    • Red hair is primarily caused by variations in the MC1R gene, which leads to the production of a specific type of melanin called pheomelanin.
  3. Do people with red hair have a higher pain tolerance?

    • There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that people with red hair inherently have a higher pain tolerance; in fact, I remember when I went in for my c-section, the doctor told me some redheads feel MORE pain, although she admitted that there’s no scientific evidence for that either, so it’s purely anecdotal. For myself, I obviously have nothing to compare my tolerance for pain to, but my husband tells me I’m an absolute BABY about it, so take from that what you will…
  4. Does red hair come from a specific ethnic background?

    • Red hair can be found in people of various ethnic backgrounds, but it is more common in individuals of Northern and Western European descent. One thing that’s certain is that, for a baby to have red hair, both parents must carry the gene –– which is why I always knew it was highly unlikely my Greek husband and I would have a red haired baby, no matter how certain the people around us seemed to be that we would.
  5. Are there different shades of red hair?

    • Yes, there is a wide range of shades of red hair, from strawberry blonde to deep auburn. Mine started off as a vibrant ginger, but has faded to a strawberry blonde as I’ve aged, which I use henna to turn back to its ‘natural’ colour.
  6. Do redheads have a higher sensitivity to temperature changes?

    • There is no scientific evidence to suggest that redheads have a higher sensitivity to temperature changes, however, speaking for myself, I can tell you that I’m super-sensitive to the cold, and will be shivering in temperatures other people find fairly comfortable. I never go anywhere without a sweater, sleep with a hot water bottle from about September – May, and would happily leave the country every winter if I possibly could…
  7. Can redheads tan or do they always burn?

    • While redheads may be more prone to sunburn due to their fair skin, they can still tan with proper sun protection. I’ve personally never had a “real” suntan in my life, because I burn really quickly and don’t want to risk it. Pale and proud!

8. Do redheads go gray or white as they age?

      • There’s a common misconception that redheads don’t go grey, but I’m here to tell you that’s absolutely not true: our hair loses pigment the same as anyone else’s, it just might look a little less obvious as the white strands mix with the red.

9. Do redheads require more or less anesthesia during surgery?

        • Studies have shown that redheads may require more anesthesia than individuals with other hair colors, although individual responses can vary. Again, the surgeon who did my c-section told me this was true, but I don’t know how much anesthesia I required, and how much that compares to non-redheads, so I can only take her at her word!

10. Are redheads more prone to certain health conditions?

          • Redheads may have a higher risk of skin cancer due to their fair skin, but there is no conclusive evidence linking red hair to specific health conditions.

11. Do redheads need more or less vitamin D from sunlight?

            • Redheads may need to take extra precautions in the sun due to their fair skin but can still obtain sufficient vitamin D with safe sun exposure or supplements. I take a daily Vitamin D supplement because I live in a place that gets very little natural light, but I’ve never had my vitamin D levels tested, so don’t know for sure whether they differ from anyone else’s. 

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  • Shani


    You look great in pink!

    November 14, 2014
  • Cristina


    You look so lovely! If I had the pink coat and the gorgeous red hair I would shamelessly copy it the outfit. Honestly, I never got the British people and redhead hate thing. Where I’m from I’ve never heard of this stereotype.

    November 14, 2014
      • Ed


        It’s the best hair colour, and I hope it’s not too chauvinistic or objectifying to say that you make it look even better 🙂

        June 23, 2017
  • Myra


    I don’t get the red hair thing either. My father was a redhead and I always wanted to have red hair too. I wasn’t aware of this prejudice until the last few years – I guess people will always pick on the most salient feature of someone they want to put down (but why do they want to do that?). But it is perhaps because red hair does set you apart from others as it is fairly unusual, that made me want to be a redhead.
    Out of curiosity Amber, have Boden sent you this coat as a gift in the hope you will review it, or have you bought it yourself? I love it, by the way and you wear it so well.

    November 14, 2014
  • Rachel


    I’ve never been a fan of pink so the “rule” that I shouldn’t wear it never bothered me, but red!! I rock that colour a lot, even though right now my hair is dark, red looks great on redheads. I was always told brown was the best colour for redheads!! As a result I hate it, it’s all mud.

    November 14, 2014
  • Maria


    I was told that pale people should never wear pale colors, and that pink looks AWFUL with my skin… So I basically didn’t have anything in that color, until this year, when I tried various shades of pink and discovered that there is a tone of bright, almost-white pink shade that lights up my skin and doesn’t clash with it! Right now it’s rare to find, especially in winter, where basically 99% of clothes are dark and gloomy, but I’m sure next spring something will turn up!
    I really like the coat, it’s so nice and lady-like!

    November 14, 2014
  • Amelia


    Amber, You look great in pink. I’m British, but don’t get the hating redheads thing either. I have a beautiful one-year-old nephew, with the most gorgeous red hair. I was personally affronted when my next door neighbour said his red hair was a ‘shame’. Haven’t spoken to the woman since! And I won’t.

    November 14, 2014
  • Absolutely adore this coat, and I think you’ve perfectly smashed the assumption that redheads can’t wear pink! I’m not a redhead, but did also break the rule that you can’t wear a red wedding dress. Luckily no one died!

    November 14, 2014
  • I have my eyes closed in pretty much all of my photos too – sometimes, I get really lucky, and one is closed and the other’s a bit creepily open…ANYWAY, you keep on destroying this stupid ‘rule’ because this coat looks great with your hair. I’m sure it looks a million times better than it would with my boring brown hair – as it probably does with everything as it’s such a unique colour (unlike my hair which is found on approximately 50% of the UK)! On a related note I do not like this country’s attitude towards redheads, it’s literally ridiculous. How could anyone not like your hair and colouring, it’s beyond me!

    November 14, 2014
  • You look beautiful! I have a pink coat I got about 10 years ago. Of course, now, living in Florida, I hardly wear coats ever, but I’ll have to bust that one out in January for a couple of days.

    I don’t know if we’re the opposite on the redhead thing here in the U.S., or if it’s just me, but I’ve always wished I had red hair. I think it’s the U.S. desperation to be more unique. 🙂 I finally gave it a go a couple of years ago, and alas, it was not becoming with my complexion. Anyway, when my first son had reddish hair as a tiny baby, I (and many passers-by) was very happy. 🙂

    November 14, 2014
  • LOL, as a blond I think I shouln’t wear pink. To avoid that Barbie-look (thoug that prepends on the pink). In my case Weight-Watcher-Barbie 😉

    November 14, 2014
  • As a fellow redhead totally agree about the list of nos and pink. I wear all sorts of pinks now but wouldn’t as a kid. This made me lol- hope u write the redhead list!

    November 14, 2014
  • Sarah


    Gorgeous coat, and it looks so good on you. My brother has red hair and I was always so jealous of it when we were growing up. My son also has red hair and I love it and always tell him it makes him unique and he should be proud of it and he is, he loves that he’s a little different to everyone else.

    November 14, 2014
  • I have actually heard quite a bit of “playful” redhead discrimination in that States! I find it rather odd, to be honest. You would think that by 2014 we would no longer be commenting on natural physical traits, but I digress. I think the pink coat looks lovely on you and if you are happy wearing it, wear it everywhere! Side note: I remember people mentioning as a child that redheads can’t wear pink, and I immediately thought that was a wrong mindset because Arial in the Little Mermaid was beautiful in a pink night gown. Oh yes.

    November 14, 2014
  • The cutest look ever and there should totally be a pink coat army! Mine is vintage! 😉

    PS get better soon x

    Secret little Stars

    November 14, 2014
  • Great to see you on the Boden Facebook page too today.

    November 14, 2014
  • The coat is lovely and I’ve always wondered about that ‘redheads can’t wear pink’ rule because actually, I think it is a really lovely combination!

    November 14, 2014
  • I’ve just bought a bright pink coat from Ted Baker and I LOVE IT!!!

    November 14, 2014
  • Jules


    Been reading your blog for a long time – generally more of a reader than commenter – but this look is one of my favourite of yours.

    You look fab in this pink. And I agree, it is all about shade – few colours are ever a complete no go for anyone!

    November 14, 2014
  • Emily


    I love the look of red hair with pink/red, so pretty. My brother in law and sister both have red hair so I was hoping for some red haired children but my boys both have boring mousey hair. I think the horrible prejudice has got worse, my dad was born in 1945 and when he was a young man, red headed girls were considered the most beautiful apparently.

    November 14, 2014
  • So I stumbled onto your blog like an hour ago and I have been giggling through numerous posts. Especially the ones involving Rubin, he is adorable.

    But anyway ~ I’m from the U.S. and I wouldn’t say Americans HATE redheads by any means but people definitely get a good laugh out of the “gingers have no soul” idiocy and the like. I’m not a redhead myself but I, too, have always wondered about the “red hair = no pink” rule. I think you absolutely rock that coat!

    November 15, 2014
  • You look fabulous in pink!

    November 17, 2014
  • I think you look fabulous in these photos – I want the Eliza coat in purple, so badly!

    November 17, 2014
  • What a gorgeous coat! And a lovely outfit; proving that redheads can wear pink! xxx

    November 19, 2014
  • Selina


    I adore red hair, always wanted it even though it would look ridiculous with my skin colour. I always praise it when I see it, I just love it. Pink does look good with red hair, people should pay less attention to these silly rules and brighten up the place with more colour

    January 5, 2015
  • I’ve just discovered your blog and I have to say, as well as being gorgeous and having such a wonderful, classic style, your writing is also brilliant – I literally laughed out loud reading this post!


    January 18, 2015
  • I love your blog, It is so refreshing to find a red head blogger. I am a natural red head and have only just become acceptable to wearing pink and bright colours. As a child I remember people saying that you shouldn’t wear pink or red. I never understood this I have seen many people with red hair and look fabulous in these colours, as do you in your pink coat! 🙂


    March 24, 2015