Unbelievable Facts You Didn’t Know About Redheads
Natural redheads are a true rarity in the world, and perhaps that’s why we love them so much. Having red hair is a huge blessing, even though throughout history, women used to be burned at the stake for simply having this hair color. People believed that red-haired women were witches and according to some reports, more than 45,000 women who were executed for witchcraft were redheads. At the end of 16th century, people even believed that the fat of a redheaded male could be used to make poison. Red hair and red beard have been considered impure, dangerous and untrustworthy in the past, just because they did not meet the standards of the “normal”.
Luckily, nowadays, red hair is considered incredibly beautiful and unique trait that has nothing to do with witchcraft. Red hair is simply the result of a person’s genetic makeup and it’s often the envy of others who wish they had such gorgeous hair. If you want to find out a little more about gingers, we’ve collected a list of a few interesting redheads facts you probably haven’t heard before, so click through to check them out.
Redheads are considered to be a minority
Compared to the abundance of brunettes and blondes, redheads are considered to be a minority in the world. Less than 2 percent of the world’s population has naturally red hair, which is approximately 140 million people. Scotland and Ireland boast the highest percentage of natural red-headed people with 13% and 10% respectively.
Red hair is a genetic mutation
Red hair is caused by numerous mutations in a person’s MC1R (melanocortin-1) gene. Both parents need to carry this particular trait for it to be inherited. They don’t have to be redheads themselves, but if they carry the trait, their baby will have a 25% chance of getting lovely red locks and pale white skin.
Not all redheads have blue eyes
Natural redheads with blue eyes are a rarity in the world. The majority of redheads have brown eyes, while others have hazel or green eyes. Red hair and blue eyes are extremely rare and unique combination. Like red hair, blue eye color is also a recessive trait, which means that both parents need to carry this gene for a baby to be blessed with it.
Red hair never turns gray
Red-headed people are lucky – they can never go gray. Ginger hair can retain its natural pigment longer than other shades, so there’s no need to worry about going gray. The pigmentation is so strong, that through time red hair will just fade to a light copper color, blonde or beautiful silvery white, but it will never turn gray.
Redheads have less hair
While brunettes and blondes have around 110,000 to 140,000 strands of hair on their heads, redheads are known for having only 90,000 strands on average. However, even though redheads have less hair on their heads than others, their naturally red hair is much thicker and coarser than other hair colors.
Red hair is harder to dye
Natural red hair holds its pigment much firmer than any other shade. This means that red hair is harder to dye and if a redhead desires to dye their hair to any other color, they will have trouble getting that particular color. Bleaching is especially bad for ginger hair which is much more fragile than any other shade.
Redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain
Numerous studies over the years have shown that redheads are much more sensitive to hot and cold pain, but their bodies are able to change temperature quicker than others. Also, red-headed people might require 20% more anesthesia for surgery or dental procedures, because they’re more resistant to it.
Redheads generate their own Vitamin D
Redheads have pale skin which means that they burn more easily than others. However, even though they can’t absorb sufficient vitamin D due to the low concentration of melanin in their bodies, red-headed people can produce their own vitamin D when exposed to low light conditions. All of this means that redheads are at less risk of osteoporosis but at more risk of skin cancer.
Redheads are more likely to develop skin cancer
Redheads generally have fair skin and they’re extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light, so they’re more likely to develop skin cancer than those with darker hair. According to a 2010 study, people with naturally red hair are approximately two and a half times as likely to develop skin cancer than others.
Redheaded are less likely to get prostate cancer
On the other hand, another study has shown that men with red hair are 54% less likely to get prostate cancer. This happens because the same gene that causes the red hair, prevents men from getting prostate cancer because it causes cells to divide differently.
Redheads are more likely to be left-handed
Red hair comes from a recessive gene and these genes often come in pairs, meaning that people born with naturally red hair are more likely to be left-handed than people with another hair color.
Scotland And Ireland have the most redheads
About 10% of the population in Ireland is redheaded, while in Scotland this figure is around 13%.These two countries top the ginger charts and one of the possible reasons for this high concentration is due to their location – in cloudy climates, there is less need for protection from the sun.
Hitler banned redhead marriages
Adolph Hitler had a problem with almost everybody: the Jewish people, homosexuals, non-white people, and gingers were no exception. Reportedly, Hitler banned intermarriage between redheads and non-redheads for fear of producing “deviant offspring”.
Even though the world’s population right now is only 2% redheaded, there have been numerous beautiful redhead women and highly influential people in history that had naturally red hair. Some of the most legendary redheads of all time include Cleopatra, Aphrodite, Queen Elizabeth I, Nicole Kidman, Prince Harry, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Lucille Ball, Christina Hendricks, Michael Fassbender, and Ed Sheeran. Even Marilyn Monroe, one of the most popular sex symbols in the world, which was known for her platinum blonde hair, was actually a natural redhead too.
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