Red-Hot Facts About Red Hair
by Susannah Murdock November 02, 2017
Image by Madison Reed
There’s something about red hair that makes people stop and stare. Sure, it’s a striking, eye-catching hue with the fiery beauty of the sunset (do we sound jealous?). But it’s the way redheads rock their locks that turns heads. They know they’ve got something special going on. So special that less than 2% of the world’s population can claim it. Love Your Red Hair Day is fast approaching on November 5th, a celebration that was the brainchild of two redhaired sisters and approved in 2015 as a national holiday to honor this vivid hue. We’re paying homage to this day and flaming shade with some brilliant party facts that even your non-crimson friends will enjoy. Red, we mean, read on…
Red Hair Facts
- Red hair is caused by the most kick-ass mutant gene of MC1R. Here’s your science lesson for the year: MC1R is responsible for pigmentation and how much melanin, or pigment, your skin and hair has. There are two forms of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin. Those with more pheomelanin have red or blond hair, freckles, and skin that burns easily.
- Redheads have super-skin powers. Their fair skin has trouble absorbing vitamin D from the environment, so somewhere along the way, it adapted and can produce its own vitamin D in low-light conditions. Redheads can also sense changes in the temperature faster and more intensely than those with other hair colors. So if you’re cold, they’re colder, and if you’re warm, they’re hot.
- You need to have two copies of the gene (a.k.a. both mom and dad had red hair). If both parents are gene carriers but do not have red hair, you have a 25% of being a gorgeous ginger.
- Less than 2% of the population are redheads. This percentage is much lower than in the past. As people move about more, travel, and find partners from different cultures, there’s less potential for them to mate up with other gene carriers. Northern Europe has the largest concentration of natural redheads.
- Red hair color has secret strength. Red hair holds onto its pigment the hardest. Maybe it’s trying to make a point, as in, don’t change me. This hue needs to be bleached out, then dyed over to alter its natural state.
- Reds have fewer and thicker strands than blondes and brunettes. On average, redheads have about 90,000 strands, blondes 110,000, and brunettes 140,000. Because each fiery strand is significantly thicker and coarser than its color counterparts, it makes hair look fuller and easier to style.
- Most redheads have brown or hazel eyes. Blue eyes and red hair are both recessive genes, so if you’re lucky enough to possess this exotic combination (only about 1% of the population does), count yourself extra lucky and go buy a lottery ticket.
- Fame loves redheads. From Marilyn Monroe (as Norma Jean she was an auburn beauty) to Adele to Queen Elizabeth I and Prince Harry, red hair, red carpets, and royalty just go well together.
- Ginger won’t gray. Red hair color fades instead. As the years tick on, imagine a sophisticated transition from light copper to strawberry blonde to a soft white. It sounds like a graceful and gorgeous way to age.
- It isn’t just a hair color…it’s a lifestyle. With books, festivals, blogs, and a magazine dedicated to red hair, one thing is clear...being a redhead is more than meets the eye.
No matter if you’re a natural redhead or color your hair a rich, fiery hue, we invite you to join the celebration...tag your photos with #LoveYourRedHairDay and #MadisonReedColor.
And be sure to check out our inspiring red hair colors on our red hair color ideas page!
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