10 little-known facts about red hair

Aug. 3, 2020
Did you know that less than 2% of the world's population are redheads? Here we look at 10 fascinating and little-known facts about red hair.
  • Red hair is the result of a genetic mutation
The gene that produces red hair is recessive, which is why it's so rare. Both parents must be carriers of the mutated MC1R gene to be able to produce a child with red hair, but it is possible to carry and pass on the gene without actually being a redhead - about a 25% chance if neither parent has red hair.
  • Redheads are more likely to be left-handed
  • The genes for both left-handedness and red hair are both recessive – as recessive genes typically come in pairs, redheads are more likely to be left-handed.
  • Redheads are more sensitive to temperature changes
  • According to research, redheads are more sensitive to hot and cold. They tend to feel the cold and in summer, are more likely to burn in the sun due to their fair skin. Don’t forget the sunblock, as redheads do have a higher risk of skin cancer.
  • Redheads can produce their own Vitamin D
  • Redheads can produce their own vitamin D in low sunlight, an amazing evolution due to their fair skin (which has a low melatonin concentration) which can’t sufficiently absorb it through the sun. 
  • Redheads have a lower tolerance to pain
  • A study in the journal Anesthesiology found that redheads require 19 percent more anaesthetic to be sedated. One theory is that the protein mutation that causes red hair and fair skin makes redheads more sensitive to pain.
  • Redheads with blue eyes are extremely rare
  • Most natural redheads are born with brown, hazel or green eyes. In fact, blue eyes paired with red hair is the rarest combination in the world – it’s estimated that less than a million people in the whole world have both. And it looks pretty striking too!
  • Red hair is really hard to dye
  • Because red hair holds onto its pigment more than any other hair color, it’s much harder to dye than other shades. It needs to be stripped and bleached, before being dyed otherwise the color won’t take, which weakens and damages the hair. 
    Interestingly, around 30% of women who dye their hair at home choose red shades. We say – hang on to your red hair and make everyone envious!
  • Redheads don’t go gray
  • Red hair retains its natural pigment much longer than other shades and tends to fade with age from faded-copper to rose-gold, and finally to white instead of going gray.  Yet another reason to make non-redheads envious.
  • Redheads have less hair…but it’s thicker
  • On average, redheads have around 90,000 strands of hair on their heads, compared to blondes (110,000) and brunettes (140,000).  However, each strand of natural red hair is much thicker than other shades, which compensates for this, often giving the appearance that redheads actually have more hair!
  • Lucky redheads have more sex!
  • Let’s dispel the myth that redheads are unattractive once and for all. It seems that women with red hair are considered more attractive, and have more sex than their blonde, brunette, and black-haired counterparts. 
    According to German sex researcher Professor Werner Habermehl , who led a survey of 6,000 women, “The sex lives of women with red hair were clearly more active than those with other hair colors, with more partners and having sex more often than the average.”
    An English study found that redheads had sex an average of three times a week, compared to an average of twice a week for everyone else. No wonder red hair dye is so popular!
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