Do you have any special gingers, carrot tops, orphan Annies or strawberry shortcakes in your life?
In recent years, it seems like redheads have been the brunt of plenty of jokes, but we think they’ve gotten a bad rep. In fact, their red and orange locks just might indicate that they’re slightly more interesting than us brunette and blonde-headed plebeians.
Though they are often seen as an anomaly, redheads have left just as much of a footprint in human history as the rest of us. For example, contrary to popular opinion, redheads didn’t simply emerge from the moorlands of Northern Europe. Even centuries ago, there were redheads in China, Russia, and even pockets of indigenous Africa!
That’s just one of the many interesting facts about these fiery-headed beauties. Check out the rest below!
#1. All redheads don’t have blue eyes.
Most people think of blue eyes when they think of red hair, but it’s not true. The most common eye color for redheads is brown, followed by hazel. Blue eyes and red hair is actually extremely rare.
2. Redheads are mutants.
In the best possible way, of course. The recessive gene that causes red hair, MC1R, is actually a genetic mutation.
3. Redheads don’t actually have a lot of hair.
It seems like many redheads have huge bushy manes, but in fact, they have less hair on average than brunettes and blondes. Brunettes have approximately 140,000 strands of hair, blondes generally have 110,000, and redheads have a mere 90,000. So why does their hair look so wild and bountiful? Red hair is usually thicker and coarser than the other hues.
4. Today, redheads are pretty rare.
Though once more common, today redheads only make up 2% of the population (although, it’s 13% in Scotland). What’s the reason for this? Well, it’s simply due to the fact that the world’s population is more mobile and prone to emigration than they were in previous centuries. The redhead gene is recessive, and two mutated copies of the gene are required: The bottom line is, people are mating farther and wider than before, and that means there’s less of a chance for two carriers of MC1R to get together and produce a beautiful ginger baby.
5. Redheads have had royal status.
Queen Elizabeth I was a famous redhead. In fact, many in the Tudor bloodline had golden red locks.
6. Redheads have a strange relationship to pain.
The MC1R mutation causes an excess release of pheomelanin, which interrupts the brain’s receptivity to pain sensitive. In laymen’s terms, this means redheads have a high tolerance for pain. Interestingly enough, it also means that it takes more anesthesia to sedate them.
7. There is an official Redhead Day.
In the Netherlands, there is a two day festival to celebrate people from all over the world with natural red hair. It’s held at the beginning of September each year.
8. Redheads are diverse.
Some are golden-red, some are insanely orange, and some are just a light strawberry blonde. All are still considered part of the redhead club.
9. Redheads have experienced oppression in the past.
In Nazi Germany, redheads were considered to be evil and Satanic. In fact, Hitler banned marriage between two redheads, believing that they would produce demonic offspring.
10. Redheads are usually lefties.
Being a redhead means you’ll probably write with your left hand.
11. Redheads have a place in horror history.
In Greek mythology, there were many stories about redheads turning into vampires after they died.
12. Bees love a good ginger.
According to a few studies (with a lot of brave redheads), bees prefer to sting people with red hair. We’d like to think it’s because they look colorful like flowers.
13. Redheads have hot hair and hot tempers.
One redhead stereotype is that they are prone to anger. I’ve known a few redheads that fit the mold, have you?
14. Redheads are inspiring.
In art history, painters depict their muses with red hair, such as The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.
15. Mary Magdalene was a redhead (maybe).
Much early Christian art depicts Mary Magdalene with red hair, but there’s no mention of it in scripture. Perhaps her spirit and determination caused early artists to assume she was a redhead?
16. Redheads can be extremely handsome.
When someone says “redheaded male,” your first thought might be Carrot Top. Before you make generalizations, I have two words for you: Prince Harry.
17. Men with red hair may have an added health benefit.
According to studies published in the British Journal of Cancer, men with red hair are 54% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
18. Marilyn Monroe was a redhead.
Her platinum locks are iconic, but we can’t help but wonder if she would have been such a famous bombshell if she had kept her curly red mane.
19. Redheads have a really hard time dying their hair.
Redheads have a difficult road to hoe when it comes to hair dye: Because red is such a strong pigmentation, they have to strip their hair of its natural color and then dye it. All this is to say, don’t dye your awesome hair, redheads! It is magnificent, and so are you.
Were you surprised by any of these? Share this with your favorite redhead!
Want to see more facts about hair? Here’s 16 Fascinating Reasons Why Brunettes Are TOTALLY Awesome.