What kind of ginger would I be if I didn’t include some of the most fascinating facts about my species? I’ve compiled a list of random facts about redheads, found on none other than the 100% trustworthy interwebness. Enjoy!
- Natural red hair is harder to dye than other shades.
Headstrong as it is, ginger hair holds its pigment much firmer than any other hair color. If redheads desired to dye their hair to any other color (why would you?), it would only have a noticeable difference after bleaching the hair beforehand. Otherwise, the color won’t take.
Bleaching, of course, is just bad news for hair. Especially red hair, which is much more fragile than other shades anyway.
- Redheads have less hair on their heads.
In terms of total number of strands, gingers have far fewer atop their red heads than any other color.
On average, flame-haired beauties have 90,000 strands, compared to blondes with 110,000, and brunettes with 140,000.
They’re not exactly going bald though, as each strand of natural ginger hair is much thicker, so the appearance is often that redheads have more hair in general.
These fewer but thicker strands make it easier to style, so be jealous.
- Redheads don’t go grey.
Staying true to its stubborn stereotype, ginger hair retains its natural pigment a lot longer than other shades.
So there’s no need to panic about going grey – red hair simply fades with age through a glorious spectrum of faded copper to rosy-blonde colours, then to silvery-white.
- Red hair and blue eyes is the rarest combination in the world.
The majority of natural redheads have brown eyes, with others likely to have hazel or green shades.
But like red hair, blue eye color is a recessive trait, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for a child to be blessed with it. This makes those with red hair and blue eyes the rarest minority in the world, with only 1% having both.
So, each one is about as rare as a four-leaf clover.
- Redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain.
Countless studies have looked into the genetics behind redheads claiming that they are more or less sensitive to pain.
Research shows that redheads are more sensitive to hot and cold pain, with their bodies able to change temperature much quicker.
Also, in surgery, gingers might require approximately 20% more anesthesia than other hair colors. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it is thought that a link to the mutated MC1R gene could be the culprit to its effectiveness.
- The Romans kept redheaded slaves at a higher price.
Those with fiery-colored hair were held in high esteem in Roman art and culture. Thought to be strong and determined, they were more expensive than other slaves, and prisoners would even have their hair dyed to be displayed as trophies.
Either that, or wigs of red hair were reportedly imported from northern Europe, for slaves to wear.
- Russia means ‘Land of Reds.’
Translating to mean ‘Land of Reds,’ Russia boasts a high density of gingers located in its Kazan region, at over 10% redheads, a similar density to Scotland and Ireland.
- 40% of Brits are ‘Secret Gingers.’
Extensive research conducted by BritainsDNA has found that more than 40% of the population carry the mutated MC1R gene that’s responsible for red hair.
Both parents must carry the gene to be able to spawn a ginger baby, which lies at 25% if they’re not ginger themselves, but still carry the ‘secret gene.’
- Adolf Hitler reportedly banned ginger marriages.
…For fear of ‘deviant offspring.’ Of course.
- Gingers generate their own Vitamin D.
Having pale skin may mean that redheads burn more easily when exposed to UV rays, but their paleness can serve as an advantage.
Redheads can’t absorb sufficient Vitamin D due to low concentrations of eumelanin in their body. This may sound like bad news, but this lower melanin-concentration means that gingers can cleverly produce their own Vitamin D within their body when exposed to low light conditions, which was important for people living farther away from the equator. However, today’s redheads are more likely to develop skin cancer and premature wrinkles.
- Only 2% of the world’s population has red hair.
So you’re a majestic unicorn, basically.
- You’ll never get lost in a crowd, because your hair is like a mighty red beacon of hope.
True story. Try it.
- Since red is the hardest shade to maintain, this means no one can REALLY ever fake the gingerness.
We know who you are, fakers, and we accept you.
- Redheads don’t have to worry about being unique.
Your hair does all that work for you.
- If you get angry, you can always use the classic excuse.
“I have a fiery temper. Duh. You wanna mess with me? Go for it. I dare you.”
- Redheads are natural muses, and we’re used in famous works of art A LOT.
In 2010, Roy Lichtenstein’s “Ohhh…Alright…” painting of a redhead sold for $42.6 million.
- Queen Elizabeth I was a redhead, and she was a badass.
She reigned for 44 years and ushered in the Elizabethan era, which is responsible for William Shakespeare’s popularity.
Other famous redheads? How about George Washington, Vincent van Gogh, Roman emperor Nero, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, the ancient god of love Aphrodite, Napoleon Bonaparte, Oliver Cromwell, Emily Dickinson, Antonio Vivaldi, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Winston Churchill, Malcolm X, Galileo, King David, AND CHUCK NORRIS.
- Mark Twain, also a ginger, compared us to the best animals ever:
“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.”
Sorry, dog lovers, but cats are for the win here.
- As a redhead, you develop an awesome sense of humor, because you grow up being teased.
South Park, anyone?
- Every year, there’s an entire day dedicated to celebrating red hair in the Netherlands.
This year’s International Redhead Day has already passed (September 7th), but you’ve got time to plan your trip for next year!
- Red hair comes in so many different shades, and yet each one is vibrant.
How is this possible? Magic, most likely.
- In medieval times, Romanians believed that redheads were vampires, which is pretty sexy.
Don’t mess with us, or we’ll bite you!
- When you see other redheads, you immediately feel an unmistakable solidarity with them.
It’s like we’re all in the best club in the world, and we know the secret handshake.
- During the Middle Ages, a child with red hair was thought to be conceived during “unclean” sex” (a.k.a. during menstruation).
- According to Hamburg sex researcher, Dr. Werner Habermehl, women with red hair have more sex than women with other hair colors.
Herr Doktor also postulates that women in a relationship who dye their hair red may be signaling that they are unhappy and looking for something better.
- During the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, many women were burned at the stake as witches merely because they had red hair.
Yay 21st century!
- Redheaded women report bruising more easily than other women of different hair colors.
This doesn’t mean you should try out this theory. I do not condone extracurricular walloping.
- People with red hair have twice the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.
Well, boo on you, genetics!
- Redheads are more likely to be left-handed than other people.
Does that mean we’re smarter, too?!?!
- In ancient Egypt, redhead were buried alive as sacrifices to the god Osiris.
But rose again as VAMPIRES!!!
- Ruadh gu brath is Gaelic for “Redheads forever!”
New tattoo idea…booyah.
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST:
- There is a common perception that redheads could become extinct in 100 years.
However, a National Geographic article states that while redheads may decline, barring a catastrophe, the gene for red hair will not likely become extinct.
Note: This post is subject to change as I add/edit/remove facts from it as I see fit. 🙂