I had long red curls as a small child. Then, my mother learned how to french braid hair, so for a number of years as I grew older, I had braids that ultimately grew to a length more than half-way down my back. From that point on in my life, my hair has been of various lengths, with various degrees of waves or curls. For some years, I've had short hair which is what I most prefer now, a style I will likely keep for the rest of my days.
As a young child, teenager, young adult, I was never subjected to derogatory words or name calling because of my red hair, though I've heard some redheads have had that experience. My mother did prepare me with awareness and skills as best she could to deflect whatever words might come my way, in the eventuality any did. I expect many parents for many reasons quite different from mine have found it necessary to arm their children with the skills to cope with possible, hurtful and demeaning, or worse, comments. What's most troubling is that some of those comments are actually made. I was the recipient of some teasing but never in a malicious manner intended to hurt or offend.
I do recall in college coming out of the dining hall one evening to walk past the gaunlet of boys sitting on the curb across from the door assessing the girls, when one said, "I'd rather be dead than red on the head." I knew he just wanted attention, but I was too tired, just getting off work with lots of studies ahead, to indulge him.
The "red" in "Joared" refers to the fact that I am a redhead. Well, at least I was, until the silver threads started creeping in amongst the golden red hairs. Furthermore, the silver threads are proliferating. The invasion continues and is insidious. Seems as though it happens at night, because when I look in the mirror in the mornings the silver threads are there, increasing in number before my very eyes. I give serious thought to staying up all night thinking this might prevent the onslaught, but the need for sleep gets the better of me. Yes, I miss each one of those red hairs. You see, I don't just like my red hair, I really like my red hair.
Most recently I am noticing the silver threads in my hair have begun to predominate in number. What that means is, many fewer golden red hairs are present with some of them darkening, too, then turning to silver. No longer do I say, " I have silver threads among the gold." Now I more accurately say, "There are golden threads among the silver."
Yes, I gave some consideration to trying to recreate the red hair color through artificial means--hair dyes. I know others, men and women, make this choice and I respect their right to do so. However, I have seen those who have become incapacitated also become distressed, demoralized, and depressed when they viewed their reflection in a mirror. Their self-image was visually shaken because of their personal appearance, not only from the effects of their illness, but the sight of their hair dye disappearing as their unwanted natural hair color emerged.
For me, personally, healthy or ill, I don't want to be thinking about whether or not my "roots" are showing, when I must go again for a touch-up, or a full hair dye job. My hair grows very fast and thick, though it recently may be thinning a bit, so would require frequent care. I don't want to spend the additional time, or dollars, required to dye it in the first place, much less to have to constantly keep it up. Another appointment I don't have to make, keep, and work into my schedule. Just one more responsibility I can welcome not having.
Those are some of the several factors that have kept me from trying to recreate the original shade of my red hair color. The primary factor is that I strongly believe in aging naturally. I'm curious to see what happens during the aging process from beginning to end, and in between, with all the possible variations in hair color, skin, body shape, whatever else. That's not to say I'll like all the changes, but I will accept them, for they are me at any given point in time.