6 Things About Having a Red Head Baby or Child

Nearly six years ago, Bart and I unexpectedly hit the parenting jackpot when Ani was born a red head baby.

 

Being a mom of all girls has had some unexpected surprises. Pop in your email address and I’ll send you the six things that have surprised me the most.

redhead toddler

Within moments of her birth, the nurse was looking at our baby daughter carefully and saying, “Does she have some red in her hair or is it the light?”

Every nurse and doctor who stopped in to check on her over our hospital stay asked about our redhead newborn.

And as she’s grown up, her hair has become more and more noticeably red.

redhead little girl

Since both Bart and I are not redheads, we weren’t ready for what life would be like with a red head baby.

Here’s a few insider tips, in case you also have a red headed baby girl or boy too:

People will comment on their red hair constantly

Frankly, it’s a little like going out in public with a celebrity sometimes. I can’t remember a time we’ve been in public in the last six years that SOMEONE hasn’t mentioned it, whether it’s the cashier at the grocery store or an old man in the parking lot. And guaranteed, they will tell you about their red haired grandson or their sister with red hair(I’m 100% guilty of this same phenomenon with twins – anyone with twins, I am basically forced to tel them that I have twin nephews).

Sun protection is no joke with redheads

With that gorgeous red hair often comes some pretty fair skin, which means that although I try to be careful about sunscreen or hats for ALL my children, Ani is the one I worry about the most. I definitely don’t want her skin to be the same color as her hair!

red head baby

That stereotype about red heads having fiery tempers is a stereotype for a reason

At least in Ani’s case, there’s an element of truth to that redhead stereotype. Generally, she’s very pleasant, but if she’s mad? She’s MAD. And she’s been that way since she was an infant.

If you don’t have red hair yourself, everyone wants to know where your red head baby came from

This doesn’t happen to me as much if I’m out with the girls on my own, because probably people assume my husband is a redhead, but if we’re both out in public with Ani, everyone is so curious about where that red haired baby came from.

red hair baby

Dressing a red head baby is a little harder

With my other blonde babies, most colors look reasonably good on them, but red hair and very fair skin makes it a little more challenging to pick shades that are flattering.

You will NEVER get tired of having a red-haired child

Six years in, and I still am floored by how beautiful Ani’s red hair is. She also lucked out with really great, thick straight hair (it was curly for the first three years or so but now is completely straight) in addition to a great color. She’s probably sick of people commenting on it right now, but someday, I think she’ll love her gorgeous red hair. And if I’m very lucky, I’ll end up with some grandchildren with red hair too.

Any red-haired babies in your family tree?

cute redhead babies

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60 Comments

  1. As the odd red-head in my family (my brother’s hair is dark brown! My mom’s was black) we get asked ALL THE TIME where my red hair comes from. We think from my dad, who had some highlights. But still. That one gets tiring 🙂 I also got “Oh! You’re so lucky! You’ll never go gray” I would like the gray hairs peeking through to pay attention to that. Maybe Ani will have better luck that I in that department.

    1. We have a long story, but to make it short. We adopted. We knew we would have a stranger’s baby to raise as our own love. It just so happens that she was born with red hair and my God, is she gorgeous! Like you, the pediatricians and nurses had so many compliments, they would beg us to hold and cuddle her. We happily obliged. Our darling, Ava Danielle, could not be more perfect. She looks exactly like me, but better! Same fair skin and all. Her eyes are a striking light grey and her attitude is fast forward at all times. My, my, I do love this little girl!

    2. Red hair is a recessive gene, so it must come from both sides. It can reappear after several absent generations.
      My son has red hair, but on my side my last ancestor with red hair was my maternal great grandfather. I also know it comes through my mothers side because my hair is the same colour as my fair-haired father, so the recessive gene had to come from my mother. My husband has some red uncles too on his mothers side. We.re Irish though so it’s never far

      1. I am 64 and have very few grays. My grandmother, who passed at 80yo, did not have completely gray hair. My mother,however, who was also red headed, was fully gray in her early 20s!

    3. I think it’s more important that the kid be healthy then you to constantly focus on the hair color. And then to top it off to say she was lucky because it was thick and straight well how do you think that makes redheads with curly/kinky on straight hair feel? Maybe you should think about those things instead of constantly thinking about your kids hair color.

  2. Just be careful what story you tell about where that red hair came from. I heard my dad tell a few people that mine came from the milkman (they did, in fact, have a milk man). So one day someone asked my tiny little self where I got my red hair from and guess what I told them. Then I couldn’t figure out what was so funny about my answer or why my mom’s face turned so red.

    1. I did the exact same thing in a jewelry store when I was 6. The store erupted in laughter and I was lost! Lol

  3. My mom always said “redheads are extra credit” (she had 2 of them!). When I was born the nurse said, “a lot of babies are born with red hair but they lose it.” My mom looked down and saw my red eyelashes and eyebrows and knew I’d be a real redhead.

  4. I’m a redhead with bright red hair like hers. It’s a gift! One recommendation I have is to expose her to older female role models and media with red headed protagonists and Scandinavian women with fair features like hers. When I was little there weren’t very many and so I always felt “less than” other girls, and high school was particularly difficult. It’s subconscious but seeing red headed beauty and strength reiterated outside of verbal family affirmations could help a lot.

    1. My Sara is tall red headed and fair and she definitely is a minority and sometimes wishes she wasn’t. So we constantly are telling her how perfect she is. Everyone comments and I think it drives her and her 5 siblings a little crazy

  5. I’m about to be 32 and people still comment on my hair. Now that I have a little girl, the comment I hear most often is, “It’s a shame she didn’t get your shade of red.” Her hair definitely has red in it but it’s more to the strawberry blonde/brown shade.

  6. Her hair is gorgeous! I know that at least in the past kids were teased for having red hair, but I’d love for my hair to be the color of Ani’s!

  7. I am like Ani–a redhead daughter of two brunettes–but none of my three children got red hair. (Holding out hope for my grandkids!) I’m almost 37 years old, and I don’t think a day goes by that someone doesn’t compliment me on my hair. And yet somehow, it always feels like a fresh compliment–I’m still surprised people would go out of their way tell me that and it always means a lot. I didn’t really care one way or another about my hair as a child, but now I love it. She will too. 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh – I love this post! I have two red-headed boys (7 and 3 years old), and older people touch their hair all the time (especially the one with curly red hair!). People always tell me how they wanted red heads (because they had it in their family) or they give them a family history of how the red passed down. I hear it’s a “dying breed” to have red hair, but now that I have two kiddos, I see red heads (or hear about them!) all the time. You’re not kidding on dressing them. We are Clemson fans, but let me tell you how bad a red head looks in orange – ha! Such a fun post!

  9. Yes! Our second born came out with lots of vivid red hair and he still has bright red hair 7 years later. C lives up to all of your comments and we love it. We are both brunettes, as are our other two kids. The only thing that gets me how a few people will make snarky comments insinuating that he isn’t our child or my husband isn’t his father. I resist the temptation to tell them to study genetics and manners. 😛

  10. I’m the only redhead in my family of 6 girls and this is all 100% correct. I have the fairest skin of my sisters and feel rather limited on colors (I have yet to find a red or pink that work well with my hair, which is fine because I wear mostly blue). I have one cousin that’s strawberry blond but other than that, it’s just me in my whole living blood relatives. But I like it! Also, I can blame my temper on my hair which I 100% have. Hahahaha.

  11. Ah!! I could have written this post. My hubby and I are both non-redheads, but we have 3 red headed daughters. (And a blonde son.) I always adored red hair, and couldn’t believe it when the doctor said our first born was a red head!

  12. My husband and I are both redheads and both of our daughters are redheads (although one is very strawberry blonde, the other more like your daughters). Did you know that redheads are also more prone to asthma, eczema and allergies (which my kids can attest to)? They need more anesthesia and pain medicine (several anesthesiologists have confirmed this) – good to know when she is having a dental procedure or someday having her own little one! Also, redheads don’t go grey – they go straight to white hair. Still, hopefully she will always be proud of her red hair. I think it’s beautiful.

    1. I find that interesting about anesthesia. My husband is a redhead and super sensitive to it, he needs a lot less. I guess to every rule there’s an exception.

  13. Yes I have FOUR redheads (all of our kids) and neither my husband and I are. (He’s blind I’m super dark) We can’t go anywhere without it being the main topic of conversation. I don’t mind 🙂

  14. Red hair is a rare and beautiful thing. And, according to Google, red hair + blue eyes is rarest of all. Jackpot, indeed. 🙂

  15. I love this! I am the one and only redhead of 5 kids in my family, and neither of my parents have red hair either. I relate to this SO much, especially the questions about where it came from. I still remember the constant questions directed at my parents when I was young! Your daughter is lovely. 🙂

  16. Both my parents are redheads and all the kids (5) are redheads. I thought for sure I would have redheads of my own, but none of my 5 children are redheaded. Maybe I’ll have redheaded grandchildren.

    1. Your husband would have to have the red head gene as well, and after 5 with no red head I would guess that he doesn’t have it. You could have red head grandchildren because your kids would have the gene from you. So if they marry someone with the red head gene then it’s quite possible that you would have red headed grandchildren.

  17. Yes! Red heads unite. I used to tell people my red hair come from Jesus and my grandma when I was little. I have naturally curly hair too so I get a lot of comments. It is a fun conversation starter…although in my tween/teenage years I hated being different…I enjoy it now.

  18. Apparently people couldn’t get over my red hair as a little girl either and it made my older sister so mad! One time, after the bazillionth comment on my hair, she told a stranger, “I have brown hair!!” She didn’t like me for the longest time. I wonder if your other girls notice Ani getting so much attention?

  19. My oldest has a very unique shade of auburn hair. It also curls in ringlets. She’s only 3 so I get lots of complements about her hair. Neither me nor my husband are redheads but have parents and grandparents who were. When a stranger asks if my husband is a redhead I’ve just started to say yes rather than a long explanation. ?

  20. My dad’s dad and mom’s mom both were/are redheads. My grandpa was called Rooster because his curly red hair looked like a rooster’s comb. I’m the only grandchild on both sides with red hair and mine’s strawberry blonde. I have green eyes and very fair skin-I don’t tan, I burn. My mom was like you and made me stop every 90 mins to reapply sunscreen when playing outside or swimming. I’m grateful now because I don’t have so many freckles nor any concerning moles. I always loved Anne of Green Gables for her red hair and her issues with it. I’m my grandma’s favorite and it definitely started when I was born with red hair.
    My husband is Comanche Native American. Our kids were all born with black hair. My oldest daughter’s lightened to dark blonde, it’s a honey chestnut color and really pretty. My other two (son and daughter) have dark hair. My mother in law was very interested in how our kids would look since she has redheaded twin siblings. So we could have gotten a red head. Genetics are funny!

  21. Apparently it’s so rare because the gene has to be in both sides of the family. (Irish on mum’s side, Russian on dad’s in my case) I have the red hair/brown eyes combo and was teased mercilessly as a child. My mum always told me that people would love it when I grew up, and I do get a lot of compliments… particularly if I’m in Scotland – Scottish men love red hair! My youngest son is a redhead with hazel eyes but kids don’t seem to be teased as much as they did a few years ago… and he’s certainly got all the sass to see off anyone that gives him a hard time!

  22. Apparently it’s so rare because the gene has to be in both sides of the family. (Irish on mum’s side, Russian on dad’s in my case) I have the red hair/brown eyes combo and was teased mercilessly as a child. My mum always told me that people would love it when I grew up, and I do get a lot of compliments… particularly if I’m in Scotland – Scottish men love red hair! My youngest son is a redhead with hazel eyes but kids don’t seem to be teased as much as they did a few years ago… and he’s certainly got all the sass to see off anyone that gives him a hard time!

  23. This is my whole life! I’m the only rehead out of the 5 children in my family but my grandma has red hair and two of my aunts. I remember going places as a teen and I had thick, wavy, long hair at the time. One time I whispered to my sister, “people are always smiling at me. I think it’s because of my hair.” She thought that was crazy. But it’s so true. I still get comments on my hair almost daily when I go out. Especially if I go places with my kids because none of them have red hair. I also have blue eyes, not brown which I guess is even more rare. I have always loved my hair…is that vain? I have never not loved being a redhead. Your little one is darling.

  24. I honestly think that redheads come from a blonde hair and a dark haired parent . (Isn’t this true for you and Bart?) There are five kids in my dad’s family and 2 of them have red hair. My grandparents were both German but one blonde, blue-eyed, fair skin, and one dark hair, hazel eyes, and tanned easily. And each of my red-headed aunt/uncle has a child with white, blonde hair. Genetics are so interesting, aren’t they?

  25. When I look at our new baby girl, I swear I see a little bit of red in her hair. My husband says he doesn’t see it (and truth be told I may be projecting my wishes onto her), but he has red in his beard so I am keeping my fingers crossed!

  26. Yes to all of this! My 2-year-old is a redhead and each time we go out someone mentions her hair and then asks me where it comes from. She also has a firey temper.

  27. My red headed child is 4.5 and like your daughter, we cannot go anywhere without a comment. By the time my son turned 3 he would correct anyone who mentioned his red hair and tell them no I have gold hair because he knows that for some reason red is notable and worth talking about and he doesn’t want the attention of red hair he just wants the attention of gold hair 😂

  28. Being a redhead myself has always felt like I won the lottery of hair colors. And now two out of my five kids are red—and I feel like I e hot the parenting jackpot!! I have to be careful because my brunette daughter often bemoans that she isn’t red and asks how old she has to be to dye her hair! Whoops! But we certainly love red hair at our house. I get told regularly by doctors that redheads are prone to be “bleeders” (true for me! I also bruise exceptionally easily) and need extra anesthesia (not something I’ve noticed—but maybe my dentist just gives me extra without telling me lol). Even as an adult I get comments on my hair color from strangers, though not quite as often as I did as a kid :).

  29. My son immediately came out with a full head of red hair. Nurses came in multiple times just to see the red headed infant. His hair is gorgeous and I wouldn’t change it! He gets it from my brother who probably got it from my moms cousins lol. I can relate to your paragraphs about the questions or comments. Happens a lot.

  30. Yes! I have 3 red headed boys and me and my husbands hair is brownish similar to yours. That is the question of our lives…”where does the red hair come from?!” It is so interesting people hardly ever comment on any other random genetic trait right?! 😂 I do get defensive because some comments are just not ok. Like “maybe they’ll grow out of it!” or “you’re going to let them dye it right?!” Mama bear wants to come out at those! 🐻 I love their hair so much, I think it is so beautiful and unique! Ani is beautiful!

  31. I’m the only red head (carrot top, blood nut) In my family and at 68 the red has mingled with grey. People often comment on my hair which is still down to my waist but when I am referred to as a blonde I bite! Once a red head, always a red head. One of my sons is 6’ 4” and shaves his red hair but you should see the beard! I remember seeing a program about red heads and many of them told of being teased as youngsters but when asked what color hair they would rather have, not one of them would change. We’re a special breed aren’t we? Your daughter is a wee darling.

  32. My daughter is almost 3 and has the same shade of red and its curly. Between that and her blue eyes I get stopped everywhere. And although I’m strawberry blonde everyone assumes my husband has res hair when I’m out with her.

  33. I became a Grandma for the first time in August 2020.
    My daughter has beautiful – Red hair.
    My grandson is bald for now, BUT, his eyebrows are a familiar red to me, so I think he will have red hair too!

  34. The nurse yelled out before our daughter was born “She’s a redhead!” I didn’t really realize until the next day when they were washing her hair. I could not believe my eyes. The nurses, friends, and family all said, oh she’ll grow it out. Three years later, she still has beautiful, thick curly red hair. I’m praying it will stick. She definitely has the personality to go with it. Like someone else commented, she has the eyelashes and eyebrows to go with it. We do get stopped all the time since both my husband and me, and her two brothers are all brunettes. It’s gorgeous and like you say, a jackpot! Thanks for your tips.

  35. Aw, having a red head is the best! It was always my dream to have a red head but I never thought it would happen. My oldest son is a red head. I have a tiny bit of red, it was more obvious when I was a child. But the only other red heads in either of our families is my husbands grandpa and I have a cousin with a red headed child that we haven’t traced back yet either but is obviously there somewhere! Totally agree with everything- I never went anywhere with him without someone commenting on it! And he definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve- when he’s happy he’s REALLY happy, mad REALLY mad, etc. Super sensitive skin, most sunscreens & lotions give his face a rash. So funny how universal so many red headed traits are!

  36. Red hair is a co-dominant gene. It’s different then recessive; although, both parents have to give the gene to the child for red hair. As a red head you can only give the red gene. Any hair or race can have a single red gene and they wouldn’t have red hair. It can go generation until it finds a match & produces a red headed child. The gene is mutated. It could been a blonde or Burnett gene that mutates & this is why there are so many shades of red. If a red head has one blonde and one brunette mutated gene- the brunette would over power the blonde, just like normal. The gene can be different degrees of mutated also. The mutation has other biological effect then just red hair: like feeling sting pain more & other pain less then normal, produce but D, more common for some illness, high tolerances to anastisia, lower tolerance to UVrays & more. If you only have one mutated gene for red hair; you might notice things like: fair skin, freckles, or red body/ facial hair. 2.5% of the would is red headed- most live in the northern hemisphere. Scotland has the highest concentration of them at 13%; but the USA has a higher amount. In many countries red heads are bullied relentlessly & people fell it’s appropriate to ask very personal things- when it isn’t. Or say things about red heads that is pure stereotypical bigotry. In the UK they even made hate speech & red head specific bullying a hate crime. Which it is. Also in the UK the check all crime DNA for the red headed mutation, bc it can narrow down a suspect to less then 13% of people- although often red hair turns: Brown or blonde with age, prior to turning white- not grey. Also red heads have been persecuted sence the very beginning: burnt as witches, said to turn into vampires at death, havibg no souls, not allowed to marry other red heads, sold for higher prices slaves, the mark of the beast, said to be bad luck or conceived during menstration. The list goes on. Even the “evil” people in the bible are depicted as red heads: Caen, Judas, lilleth & Mary of Magdalene. In reality it’s evolution.

    1. The Bible never says they had red hair; all of it was just tradition that was added later on. Plus Lilith isn’t even in the Bible.
      The only Biblical character that I can recall explicitly being stated to have red hair is Esau. But I do know that some people have interpreted David also having red hair.

  37. I enjoyed reading this article. It is most definitely like having little celebrities. I have two red headed little girls both with blue eyes. Both my husband and I have brown hair. We both had a great grandmother with red hair! I had no idea how rare, and beautiful red hair was until I had redheads!

  38. people like to kid themselves that stereotypes have no basis in fact UNTIL they describe an MC1R redhead 👩‍🦰 !!! … truth be told , my redheaded Mom got ALL the attention in her family , favorite granddaughter of my very ambitious great grandfather … Mom was a 39 year old go-go dancer and the den mother to all the 20 year old dancers … always drove her ‘64 Galaxie wide open and even outran the cops one night … the fiery redhead ed Mom could also out-cuss a sailor … stereotypes , yes indeed , when it comes to redheads , they’re real and on point !!!

  39. Positive redhead representation: Ron Weasley and Annie Shirley. Not so Positive representation: benedetto has blue eyes and strawberry blond hair, and his adoptive father, bertuccio, cites a proverb about redheads either being completely good or completely evil (benedetto being the latter) benedetto is the adopted son of Giovanni Bertuccio in the count of montecristo. (Bertuccio is a former corsican thief and smuggler turned steward of the protagonist Edmond Dantes)

  40. My son is 5 years old, and he has red red hair however he isn’t fair skinned! He has olive skin like his dad and I, and I’ve yet to this day met a tan red head other than him. Everyone comments on his long red hair but they also comment on his skin, so we get stopped at least 2-3 times every time that we go out. People think that I dyed his hair or something, and I just tell them “No” “that is a god given gift, thank you!” He wants to cut his hair now that kids in his class are starting to call him a girl, but daddy says no. I believe it should be his choice, and want to do it anyway. Any ideas or advice? 🙂

  41. Our son was born with spectacular, bright red hair! He hated it from the beginning. Before his first birthday, I was in the grocery store with him. He was in the cart and a little old lady came up, patted his head and said, “What beautiful red hair!” He looked straight at her and screamed, “NOT RED!!!!” Those were the first words he spoke in his life! He hated his red hair all through his childhood and grew up to be 6’4″ so he couldn’t hide in the crowd. When he was in his late twenties, he was working on a photo shoot in the desert said to him, “Don’t move! In this light your hair looks a little reddish!” He said he felt like he’d been kicked in the stomach. His identity all his life had been RED, RED, RED and suddenly it wasn’t. His hair had been fading into reddish brown. Apparently that happens to quite a few red heads. Now in his late 40’s, there are a few white hairs creeping in….
    My hair was light brown and my husband’s was black. My mom’s sister was a red head, as was one of their cousins (football player Red Grange), his brother and their father. I have a red headed cousin from the other side of my mother’s family. My husband’s grandmother was a redhead. When she was young, she was sitting at a table in an outdoor restaurant. A young man was sitting with friends at a table on the other side of the restaurant and saw her. He asked if any of his friend knew who “that beautiful red haired girl” was. One did and introduced them. They became my husband’s grandmother and grandfather! My husband wouldn’t exist without that red hair!

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