The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Better Off Red


Yeah, so, spoiler alert: I don’t really have red hair.

I mean, it’s not natural. I think it’s pretty obviously that my red is paid for, but you’d be surprised how many times people think I naturally have red hair.

The truth is, I was blond back in the day. See?

I had long, blond hair. I had Jessica Simpson hair before there was Jessica Simpson. But I remember seeing the Belinda Carlisle video for “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” in 1987 and just falling in love with her red hair.

I wanted red hair so bad. I was really shy in high school (hard to believe, right?), and I thought red hair would help me stand out. For some reason I thought red hair was a ticket to a “whole new me;” a me that wouldn’t get made fun of and would be acknowledged in a positive way. I wouldn’t be the same girl who was teased so mercilessly on the bus in 7th grade that she cut her last class of the day just so she could take the earlier bus. I wouldn’t be the same girl who left high school dances crying because she couldn’t get a boy to dance with her. Nope, red-haired Sonia would be super cool, super fun, super popular.

Unfortunately, I was 16 at the time, and The Man said I couldn’t dye my hair until I was 18. I think I was 19 when I finally worked up the courage to actually go through with it and dye my hair red. Long-time good buddy Amanda helped me, and I’ve been a red head ever since. Red hair was/is a bold statement, and at 19 I wasn’t a bold person. I think I became a bold person, and maybe the red hair helped me on my journey. I’m certainly a bold person now, if by “bold” you mean “I drive a Honda Civic, and I cry when I watch ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.”

And now, at 41, I’ve spent more time as a red head than I ever did as a blonde. But how long can I pull it off?

I think about this every time I go to the hairdresser. I can’t stay red forever. At some point, it’s going to get weird, right? Do I really want to look like Mona from “Who’s the Boss?” Of course, Mona was pretty awesome …

I don’t know what the answer is here. Is there a cutoff age for red hair? Should I transition to gray? Maybe add a gray streak a la Rogue from “X-Men” or Lily Munster?

Maybe I will add a gray streak when I’m 50 or 55 … Is that a fair compromise?


Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

4 thoughts on “Better Off Red

  1. Red-haired Sonia IS super fun, super cool and super popular. Clearly something is working. Why mess with it.
    There is a long tradition of gloriously red-headed older women. Lucille Ball comes to mind. Michael’s grandmother, less famously, seems to have rocked red curls to her grave, bless her. I say why not?

  2. Lucille Ball AND Mona from “Who’s the Boss:” I could do worse with role models. HA!

  3. Mona was a slut! PYOW! I got sick of paying for my incredible hair and now I’m just a dirty (dirty, filthy) dishwater blonde. Luckily that should make the grays harder to spot at whatever time they decide to come in. Also i tried to dye my hair red once and fucked it up royally. It came out a sick mixture of black cherry and baby shit orange. I say go for the Lily Munster look, but not yet. Wait until you’re at least 85.


  4. I plan on staying auburn until I’m mostly gray. Then I’ll be strawberry blonde for the duration. Red ’til I’m dead, baby!

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