UTC Provides Feedback on Redhead Emoji

The prospect of a redhead emoji was discussed at last week's Unicode Technical Committee meeting in Cupertino.

Multiple options were presented[1] and the Unicode Technical Committee has shown a preference for options #1 and #4:

Option #1 appears to be the simplest method, which would involve the creation of a new, standalone "Person With Red Hair" emoji.

This would be able to support genders and skin tones.

Above: "Option 1" is one of the preferred redhead options from Unicode.

Option #4 involves the use of ZWJ Sequences, which could (theoretically) be extended to support additional hair colors.

A previous proposal to encode color swatches may be required if this approach is chosen by Unicode.

Above: Option #4 could permit additional hair colors.


A revised proposal focussing on these options has been requested for a future UTC meeting, and could be tabled for further discussion as soon as May 2017.

If approved at the next UTC meeting, the earliest a redhead emoji could be made available is mid-2018, in time for Unicode 11.0[2].

  1. Disclaimer: I am one the primary author of this proposal, submitted on behalf of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. ↩︎

  2. Actually, if the ZWJ option were preferred, this could be implemented sooner than mid-2018, as Emoji ZWJ Sequences can be released outside of full Unicode releases. ↩︎