Carrot top. Ginger. Ranga. Redheads have copped a lot of flak over the years, but as far as distinguishing features go, ginger is hard to beat. While many of these women have spoken about enduring schoolyard taunts, as adults, you can't deny there's a certain kind of cool mystique associated with being of the fiery haired variety.

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Blame the recessive gene or the sheer rarity of being a natural red (it accounts for an estimated 1-2 per cent of the world's population), but it's so coveted that even natural blondes are willing to join the club by dyeing their locks. Yes, even actresses known for their arresting flame-coloured hair like Emma Stone (natural blonde) and Christina Hendricks (born mousy brown) are willing to fake it. "I was obsessed with Anne Of Green Gables," says Hendricks, who has been experimenting with coppery locks since her teens. "There was something about her that spoke to me - and I wanted to have her beautiful red hair."

And as far as shades go, like blonde and brunette there's a surprisingly diverse range of crimson shades. From sweet strawberry blonde through to deep auburn, as our gallery will attest, there's really a striking red to suit every colouring. 

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