Ed Sheeran, Prince Harry, Nicole Kidman named the most iconic redheads, poll reveals

LONDON — Redheads finally learn to love their locks at age 20, according to researchers who have also produced a color chart called the “50 Shades of Ginger.” In a poll, two in three gingers (67%) say they’ve spent years battling with their distinctive look and nearly half (48%) even attempt to dye their hair.

Another 47 percent have experienced bullying because of their hair and three-quarters of those have wished at some point they had a different color hair entirely. By their early 20s, however, 34 percent loved the fact their red hair set 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 color now.

The research was commissioned Roland DG, which created the “50 Shades of Ginger” color index – including the “Sheeran,” “Canyon,” and “Sunset” to help redheads find their exact match – in celebration of World Redhead Day on May 26.

“As a proud redhead, I’ve grown to truly love my red hair and embrace the fact it makes me different to others,” says TV celeb Jenny Ryan in a statement. “But I wasn’t surprised to hear that wasn’t the case for many – growing up with a different hair color to most was challenging, but now I celebrate my redhead status. If anything, I’m proud of it!”

woman with red hair smiling
Photo by Gabriel Silvério from Unsplash

The research went on to find 54 percent would never describe their hair as “ginger.” However, more than one in three (36%) “gingers” don’t feel like the word is a good representation of their hair color. Meanwhile, 28 percent think it has negative connotations and 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. Over seven in 10 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 were named by the panel of redheads as the most iconic to rock the hair color – followed by Mick Hucknall and Chris Evans (the British TV personality, not the Hollywood star).

In fact, eight in 10 believe it is important for younger redheads to have role models for them to look up to with a similar color.

“Our research found that 54 percent of redheads would never describe their hair as ‘ginger’ and for years, people have struggled to truly define their hair color – with many viewing the most common term as somewhat derogatory,” says Lauren Swinnerton from Roland DG.

“Being a redhead goes far beyond hair color – 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 color index.”

Most Iconic Redheads – According to Redheads:

  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Prince Harry
  3. Nicole Kidman
  4. Mick Hucknall
  5. Chris Evans (British TV presenter)
  6. Nicola Roberts
  7. Chuck Norris
  8. Geri Halliwell
  9. Sharon Osbourne
  10. Katharine Hepburn

72Point writer Oliver Lewis contributed to this report.

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