How to be a Redhead
A Guide to Beauty, Skincare, Hair Care, Fashion and Confidence from the Sisters Who Started the Red Hair Revolution
By Adrienne Vendetti, Stephanie Vendetti, Ekaterina Petropavlovskaia, Yarden Karako, Luciana Pampalone
Page Street Publishing Co. Copyright © 2016 Adrienne & Stephanie Vendetti
All rights reserved.
"I love that our hair isn't simply a color, but a real identity. One of my favorite things is to pass another natural redhead on the street, and do that little acknowledgement thing that redheads do — a small nod, a tiny smile — we're proud and we cheer each other on. Being a redhead means that I get to be a magical unicorn. I'm part of the small population that naturally has this gorgeous color, and that makes me (and my fellow gingers) so incredibly unique."
— Erin La Rosa, redhead and BuzzFeed deputy editorial director
This book will provide you with the best advice and tips for redheads, but confidence is the first step to true beauty. Since the whole world admires the beauty of red hair, redheads should feel empowered by its distinctiveness. We define "redhead confidence" as the ability to love, embrace and accept your red hair and unique features.
In most cases, a redhead is usually the only person with red hair in a room and it can be tough to stand out when all one wants to do (especially during the teenage years) is fit in. There are many mean nicknames and phrases used to describe a redhead's presence, and many call these acts "ginger bullying" or "redhead bullying." We're overjoyed when we hear from our followers that HowtoBeaRedhead.com has served as a positive place for redheads to feel confident enough to go to school or work. We hope this book will do the same for you.
Redheads can choose to let bullies bother them, or they can hold their head high and respond with, "I know, isn't my hair amazing?" It look us years to figure out this secret. Going into a shell the minute someone calls you ginger, carrot top and/or strawberry will only make situations worse. We always suggest to "fake it until you feel it" or to genuinely respond with a confidence-boosting response.
If you're a redhead experiencing bullying, do know that it will pass. There will be a sudden shift when everyone begins to compliment and love your red locks (for us, it was in college). It goes from, "Go away, carrot top" to "Your hair is absolutely stunning." Children can be mean, but always know that people are envious of red hair because it is the most gorgeous hair color in the world.
Keep your head high and rock that red hair with pure confidence.
our "redhead friendly" approval process
We always thought it would be wonderful (and informative) to have products marked "redhead friendly" when purchasing them at a drugstore or local department store. That way, redheads save hundreds of dollars on unused products and know immediately that the product will work for them.
We apply the same concept in this very book. All brands and products mentioned have been tested on a redhead for a maximum of ten days. If it passes, it is deemed "redhead friendly," meaning a redhead can trust that the product works for her skin and/or hair. If it fails, it means one of the following things happened:
1. It made the skin break out.
2. It irritated sensitive skin.
3. The item did not complement red hair or particular skin tones.
4. The products had an excess of harsh chemicals.
five steps for "redhead friendly" products
1 We search for products that complement a redhead. All beauty products must be designed to complement sensitive, fair skin and red hair. They must be made without harsh chemicals.
2 Companies send their products to the How to be a Redhead team for approval.
3 Product is then tried for a maximum of ten days by a natural redhead.
4 If the product does not cause irritation or harm the hair or skin in any way, the item is then deemed "redhead friendly" and receives the stamp of approval.
5 How to be a Redhead will then work with the company to spread the news about the product to the redhead community.
"Color connects with our emotions. In life, when we see color it affects our feelings. Red can be associated with hot, and redheads are thought to be a fiery breed."
-Nick Arrojo, owner & founder of ARROJO NYC
Hair is a huge part of a redhead's identity, not only because the color is unique, but also because it defines a person. People recognize a redhead from miles away and commonly describe them as "the one with red hair." If you were anything like us growing up, your red hair was probably (as our mom described it) uncontrollable. In our later years, we learned that the uncontrollable nature of our hair had a strong connection with our feisty personalities. But we'll save that for later.
For a redhead, hair is everything because the color itself is attention grabbing. It screams, "Look at me!" This is why redheads are under the most pressure to keep their locks looking gorgeous.
Adrienne has a wild, frizzy and coarse mane, but with strong natural color. Stephanie has wavy locks and struggles to keep the red vibrant enough. Throughout the years, we have mastered how to make red hair look great with certain tips, suggestions and "redhead friendly" beauty products.
Definition of a natural redhead: someone born with red hair.
"An exotic woman with a fiery temper. One of the most beautiful creatures on Earth, too bad there are so little of them. Redheads are commonly a human, characterized by pale skin, freckles and bright red hair."
— Urban Dictionary
Definition of a "by choice" redhead: someone who dyes their hair red.
the different red hair colors
Red hair is categorized as light, medium or dark. Within those shades there are different tones, defined as the following:
Hair that is on the lighter side and usually lacks warmth.
strawberry: This is the subtlest of the reds. It is a cheerful blend of blonde with earthy red that makes a beautiful version any redhead should be proud to wear.
copper: This color is also known as ginger. The shade is sometimes mistaken for more orange than red. This tone falls somewhere between strawberry and the classic red. It has more orange in it than the subtler strawberry and less red than classic red.
Hair that is on the warm side, with rich undertones.
classic red: This is the red often imagined when people picture a redhead. It is vibrant, deep and attention grabbing. This red is richer than almost any other hair color.
deep red: Darker than the classic red. This color is a gentler version of the auburn tone; it has all of the rich darkness and hints of brown.
Natural redheads do not turn gray like blondes and brunettes do. Red hair initially tends to turn blonde and then white.
Just like fingerprints, no one has identical shades of red hair. This applies to natural and "by choice" redheads. Redheads should be proud of their unique, imprinted code.
auburn: The darker side of the red family. This color verges on being defined as brown, but luckily, it easily holds enough red to ensure the person is a redhead. The red tones bring a vitality and joy to the shade.
deep auburn: This is a rich and deep tone of red hair with more hints of brown than red.
red violet: Just like strawberry blonde, this color is sometimes mistaken as not being in the red family. It's absolutely a version of red and is the deepest of them all.
how to prep red hair
the best shampoo & conditioners for your hair type
We began experimenting with different hair products when we were in middle school. We vividly remember scouting through aisles at big-name stores to find the perfect shampoo and conditioners. We'd buy and test different brands to see which worked the best with our red hair. It was noticeable almost immediately that the products with heavy chemicals made our hair felt soft at first, but days later, our hair was frizzier and seemed angry with us. It's true! Hair has a temper (especially RED hair) and wants to be treated with care. That's when we realized that sulfate-free and paraben-free products were best for redheads.
Redheads, either natural or by choice, should always choose sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners. Chemicals can strip the hair and create breakage, and they can even dull color (whether you're natural or by choice). If you want to go a step further, 100% natural hair products with absolutely zero chemicals are an even better choice as they provide superior results. The more natural, the better!
A sulfate-free shampoo is a shampoo that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Parabens are preservatives that prevent bacterial growth, used in many different products because they are inexpensive and effective. Also, products with sulfates and parabens can stay on shelves longer. The chemicals in both sulfates and parabens can irritate the scalp, excessively strip essential oils and cause hair to dry out.
do you have a dry, oily or normal scalp?
1 dry hair
This is the most common hair type among redheads. Adrienne has this hair type, and it is the exact reason why she does not wash her hair frequently. Dry hair is coarse, unruly and shows signs of damage such as split ends and breakage. It's caused by a lack of natural oils produced by your scalp to keep your hair soft.
best dandruff shampoo/conditioner for your red hair
$: AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL shampoo and conditioner
$$: Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner
Dandruff is the most common scalp condition among redheads with sensitive skin, dry and/or oily hair. The yellow or white flakes at the top of the hairline are actually dead skin. Choose a gentle shampoo and conditioner that will not cause irritation.
Tip: Bacteria can live in hats, so just like all other clothing, they must be laundered to prevent bacteria from returning and causing the reoccurrence of dandruff.
"Because redheads are usually a little more sensitive to product ingredients, be careful when selecting products to combat oily scalps. Number one reason people have a perpetually oily scalp is over cleansing. If you do shampoo daily as you may have an oilier scalp than most, choose a shampoo that doesn't contain a chemical solvent."
— Christyn M. Nawrot, redhead & national training director of PHYTO HAIR CARE
2 oily hair
Excessive oil production by glands in the scalp can be a problematic condition causing greasy hair and dandruff.
3 combination/normal hair
A happy medium. Stephanie has this hair type, and depending on the season, has a mixture of dry and oily locks.
red hair types
1 straight hair
This type of hair is straight and next to impossible to curl. It is commonly the most oily hair type.
2 wavy hair
Hair that is somewhere between straight and curly. This hair type is prone to frizz, but not as much as curly hair is.
3 curly hair
Curly hair has a definite S shape, with or without products. This hair type is usually full-bodied and prone to frizziness and damage. Curly hair requires the most maintenance and if not properly taken care of can result in dull-looking hair.
4 kinky hair
This hair type is tightly coiled and very fragile. Instead of an "S" shape, the hair type has a zigzag pattern. This is the driest hair type. It is prone to breakage and requires a gentle touch. Experts recommend treating this hair type like a fine silk blouse: cleanse gently, detangle softly and avoid harsh chemicals.
red hair textures
1 fine hair
Fine hair happens when each individual strand is thin. It is the most fragile hair and requires the most care because it can be easily damaged. It is a fact that people with finer hair tend to have more hair than people with thicker strands. Fine hair can be oilier than other hair types because the fine texture of the hair absorbs oil very easily. For this reason, redheads with fine hair should learn how to style hair correctly. This hair type usually can't hold styles well, but certain products can help you get the look you desire.
best "redhead friendly" products for thinning hair
$: OGX Biotin & Collagen shampoo and conditioner
$$: Keranique Scalp Stimulating shampoo and conditioner
Fellow redhead and national training director of PHYTO Hair Care, Christyn M. Nawrot gives us the scoop on thinning hair:
Thinning hair is definitely different from fine hair. Everyone has a genetic predisposition to have fine, medium or thick hair, just as we are predisposed to have a certain hair color. If you're born with fine hair you're probably going to have smaller hair density, meaning a smaller diameter of each strand of hair on your head.
More times than not, the (genetic) color of your hair determines how much hair you have per square inch. Blondes usually have the most hair per square inch, followed by redheads, and the darker the hair becomes the less hair they usually have. But thinning hair is not more predisposed due to your natural hair color. Redheads are subject to the same variables and causes of thinning hair as any other natural color of hair. Thinning hair is not always a direct result of having fine hair either. The main contribution for thinning hair is a disrupted growth cycle.
Thinning hair happens when the growth cycles are compromised due to changes in the phases of growth. The anagen phase (active growth phase) is shortened, prolonging your catagen phase (resting phase) and the telogen phase (falling out phase) is significantly lengthened, causing the hair to thin. There are three main types of hair thinning:
1. TEMPORARY HAIR THINNING is caused by stress, medication, diet, fatigue, hormones and seasonal changes that can cause premature hair thinning. Phytocyane and phytogrowth both work to counteract temporary thinning.
2. TRACTION HAIR THINNING is caused by braiding, weaving, extensions and excessive heat styling (such as blow drying, curling and straightening). These factors cause collagen to build up around the hair follicle, preventing healthy, new hair growth. This can then lead to hair thinning. Phytotraxil works to counteract traction hair thinning.
3. CHRONIC AND SEVERE HAIR THINNING is caused by a genetic predisposition for premature hair thinning. Phytolium 4 works to counteract chronic and severe hair thinning.
Yet, a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and sufficient exercise and physical activity are always going to positively regulate the body. Also, stay away from hair products that contain heavy waxes and silicones that coat and clog the scalp. Many of these products are notorious for causing dormancy in the hair growth cycles that can ultimately contribute to hair thinning. Regular scalp massaging, at least once a week, with a natural fiber boar bristle brush to gently stimulate the scalp is always a good idea to promote microcirculation without injuring the scalp.
2 coarse hair
Many people think that if you have coarse hair, you also have curly hair. This is a common misconception. In fact, most redheads have coarse hair and can also have a combination of thin, straight, wavy, frizzy and/or curly hair. If you have this hair type, the hair is actually thicker. When coarse hair is properly cared for, it can be soft and silky. If your hair is rough to the touch, your hair is probably dry or damaged. It does take effort to get it to shine, which is why we recommend using minimal heat products and the proper "redhead friendly" products.
3 frizzy hair
Common among wavy, curly and kinky hair types, frizzy hair occurs when moisture passes through the hair and the strands swell. As a result, hair appears dry and frizzy.
Because redheads have thicker hair than people with other hair colors, they have fewer strands of hair. For example, while blondes have on average 140,000 hairs, redheads have approximately 90,000, according to Cass Cort's The Redhead Handbook.
the best shampoos + conditioners for hair type
For "by choice" redheads, turn to here for shampoo recommendations. All redheads can use these shampoos, but certain "color enhancing" products are best for vibrancy.
how to traditionally shampoo and condition your red hair
If you have unruly hair, like most redheads do, or if you're simply looking for a controlled look, gorgeous hair starts with this process:
1. First, gently brush your red hair before hopping in the shower. This will keep the locks from tangling when wet and will allow the product to evenly distribute throughout the hair. Use a wide paddle brush with 100% natural boar bristles reinforced with nylon pins. We prefer this type of brush because it's gentler on the hair and never tugs or breaks the ends. It is ideal for all hair lengths and types. The boar bristles evenly distribute the scalp's natural oils to promote shiny, healthy hair.
our "redhead friendly" favorites
$: Conair Mega Ceramic Porcupine Cushion Hair Brush
$$: Denman Medium Grooming Brush Natural Bristle & Nylon Pins
$$$: Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hairbrush
2. After a long day at work or school, who doesn't love a hot shower? Although it is relaxing, your hair hates it! The heat and steam actually deplete the hair of its natural oils and can make it dry and frizzy. Make sure to shower with lukewarm water because it opens up the cuticle, letting your hair know it's time for a wash.
3. Grab your sulfate-free shampoo and squeeze a quarter-size dollop into your hand, rub hands together to lather, then massage evenly over your scalp. If your hair has extra buildup, shampoo twice. This will make sure your hair is fully clean. (Continues...)
Excerpted from How to be a Redhead by Adrienne Vendetti, Stephanie Vendetti, Ekaterina Petropavlovskaia, Yarden Karako, Luciana Pampalone. Copyright © 2016 Adrienne & Stephanie Vendetti. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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