The Travels of a Red-head and Other Hair Colors

I’ve had just about every hair color that you could imagine. I’ve had red, brown, black, blonde, orange, purple, pink and multi-colored hair.

The last thing that you want to do when you travel is stand out in a crowd. You may not have considered it before, but the color of your hair can play a big roll in your experiences of different countries.

I’m naturally red-headed, but I have found that black hair is the easiest to travel with. Here are a few of my experiences with tresses and travel.

I love being a red-head. Despite my experiments in the numerous and questionable hair colors that I have sported, I always seem to return to red.

We red-heads are a dying breed, and there are very few of us left in the world. It’s no wonder that people are drawn to look at red hair especially in countries where it just doesn’t occur.

Traveling across places like North America and the UK with red hair are quite easy, no one really bats an eye. But, even just traveling to nearby places like the Caribbean or Southern Europe with red hair is a different story.

I wouldn’t suggest to go out of your way to dye your hair red if you have any big upcoming travel plans, but if you’ve already got it, be prepared to get some stares.

I’ve done the majority of my travels as a red-head.

Brown hair is the most common hair color in the world, so as you can imagine, it is a great color to travel with. Brunettes can vary in shading, but it’s best to travel with a darker head of hair.

On multiple trips to Trinidad & Tobago, I returned with different colors of hair. The first time around I had dark brown hair. My pale skin made this backfire a bit, but I still received less attention than the second time around, when I arrived with red hair (photo below).

Brown isn’t boring, but it definitely helps you lay low when you are off exploring the world.

And, I do seem to like those brunette boys.

Trinidad with brown and then red hair

Blonde may not be as unique or rare as red hair, but it’s certainly just as noticeable–if not more.

Traveling as a blonde is an absolute guarantee for getting (sometimes unwanted) attention. If you’re traveling in a country where blonde hair is not as common, which–let’s face it–is most of the world, you are bound to turns heads.

If you enjoy the attention, that’s great. But, the stares and gawking can start to get old after a few days.

Obviously a natural blonde can’t avoid the attention (unless you want to dye your hair), but there are a few things that you can do to downplay the drama.

Try tying your hair in a pony tail or loose bun, this is less flashy than flowing golden locks. You could also wear a hat or other covering like a scarf.

Black hair is my favoured color for traveling. Not only is it less noticeable, but it helps you blend in, in other countries where dark hair is dominant.

The year that I had black hair, I made trips to Spain, Greece and Turkey. In Turkey, the locals would approach me and begin speaking Turkish, assuming that (despite my pale skin) I was also Turkish. The same thing happened in Spain.

When you look like a local, you will be treated like a local. Every traveler knows that it’s always best to travel like a local.

I love being a red-head, but I’m always tempted to go back to the black hair.

What color hair do you have, or like to travel with?

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9 Responses to “The Travels of a Red-head and Other Hair Colors”

  1. Erica
    July 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    I love this post! What a cute idea 🙂

    I’m quite jealous that you can pull off so many shades! I have naturally black hair, and through one or two experiments, have come to realize that I can’t pull off any other color. The trouble with black hair, though, is that it gets so hot! I have to keep it covered when I’m somewhere with a lot of sun.

    • Seattle
      July 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      @ Erica – Ohhh you’re definitely right about black hair getting hot–even dark brown is bad for that!

  2. This Battered Suitcase
    July 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    I used to dye my hair a lot, but in recent years I’ve just let it go back to its natural colour, which is blonde. I frequently travel in countries where blonde hair is not the norm, but I find it’s more my blue eyes that people comment on than my hair. I just try to ignore all the unwanted attention, or, like you said, pin my hair up or wear a headscarf!

    Great idea for a post…
    This Battered Suitcase recently posted..Rainy Days and Happy Announcements

    • Seattle
      July 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      @Battered Suitcase – Yeah, I bet the blue eyes draw a lot of attention. I don’t dye my hair much anymore either.. but it used to be a fun thing to do :]

  3. Cassie
    July 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Honestly, I hadn’t even considered hair colours when travelling. I haven’t even travelled out of my country yet (Australia) but I do plan to eventually so this will definitely be something to keep in mind since i’m forever changing my hair colour too! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

    • Seattle
      July 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Glad to help 😀
      I hope that you get the chance to travel somewhere soon!

  4. Alouise
    August 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    This is such a neat idea, and I have to say I’m just a little jealous you’re able to pull off so many different hair colours and look fantastic. I dyed my hair red in High School, because I’d always wanted to be a red-head (The Little Mermaid might be my favorite Disney film). I loved it, but there was so much maintenance involved – since red dye fades so quickly – that I went back to my natural blonde hair color. I havent’t had much problems but I think that might be because most of my travels have been in the US and Canada where blonde hair isn’t that exotic. Also my hair is darker blonde, and if it was a lighter shade I think it might stand out more.
    Alouise recently posted..Opening Thoughts on New Orleans

  5. Abby
    August 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    I’m about to travel to spain, and I’m a natural redhead. am I going to stick out like a sore thumb?

    • Seattle
      August 19, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Yes, I’m afraid you will, haha. But, Spain is definitely less intense than some other destinations. Especially if you’re in a city; they are used to tourists, so you should be fine :]

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