As a natural redhead, my life has been marked by both fierce ridicule and serious hairdresser envy. "Ginger" might as well have been my second name for the better part of primary school, and I spent most of my tween years begging my mother to let me get blond highlights, never understanding why she kept refusing and ruining my life. Now, I silently thank her every day for the adamant refusal and count myself lucky for having a color that is nearly impossible to replicate from a bottle. There's something to be said for being a member of the 2% of the world's population who are natural reds.
Yet lately, I've been amused to notice that more and more celebrities have adopted the look. I learned to love my locks, yet no one else really seemed to and, in general, successful redheads are few and far between. There just aren't that many of us, dyed or not, and as a result I developed a minor fascination with almost anyone with red hair. So this sudden development from negative nickname to rising trend has left me slightly confused. Why the sudden change of heart, ladies? I certainly can't tell you--I was born this way (sorry).
Some have made the switch for movie roles, others because they simply like it. The former is even more interesting--do ginger leading ladies send a certain message? Are starlets aiming to channel the success of flaming names like Amy Adams, Christina Hendricks, and Emma Stone (who, incidentally, is now blond)?
Whatever the reason, the surge is undeniable. Check out our gallery of girls who have recently gone red:
Lady Gaga Just a few days ago, the master chameleon stepped out in a ginger-and-skunk beehive. However, given her frequent re-stylings, it's doubtful she'll remain red for long.
Blake Lively The Karl Lagerfeld-muse shocked the masses a few weeks ago by going from her coveted honey to a more-than-strawberry blond.
Scarlett Johansson Also formerly sporting enviable golden waves, Johansson sheared off a few inches and went a bright auburn.
Drew Barrymore Perhaps the best looking thus far, Barrymore returned to a tamer version of the flaming color she had in the Charlie's Angels era. The look is more adult, and works well against her skin tone.
Evan Rachel Wood Wood actually did a reverse; formerly a deep, pin-up girl ruby red, she softened to a strawberry for Mildred Pierce in order to play Kate Winslet's daughter, but never quite abandoned her signature color.
Ashley Greene The Twilight star dipped her ends in rust in late 2010, doing her own version of the ombre style.
Mandy Moore Not much for the limelight these days, Mandy Moore made a relatively quiet switch to a deeper, almost maroon color, and can proudly say she was at the forefront of the redhead revolution (that is, if she cares).
Rihanna It must be noted, of course: Rihanna herself sparked a thousands hairdresser requests when she went from her natural deep brown to deep burgundy and then brilliant tomato this year. As extreme as it may be, the look works phenomenally on her--she's been channeling the iconic Little Mermaid, with her Vogue US cover in April and here, at the recent Costume Institute Gala, with a sleek fishtail braid.