beauty

9 Things About Being A Redhead That Make You Unique

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

It is an extremely rare trait to have naturally red hair. Along with the rarity of it, you probably didn’t know that gingers have a lot of other characteristics and sensitivities that make them quite a unique bunch.

To name a few: Their hair doesn’t go gray as quickly, and they are more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Who knew?

The gene that causes red hair is recessive, meaning it can exist for generations without families even knowing they have it.

So, while chances are that you might not be a readhead, you could become the parent or grandparent to a child who is!

Point being, even if you’re not personally invested in what it ultimately means to be a redhead, it’s a good idea to learn more about their unique strengths since you could end up being related to one.

Photo: Laura Caseley for LittleThings; Wikimedia Commons / Ripert

1. Red Hair Is A Genetic Mutation

1. Red Hair Is A Genetic Mutation
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Like many other distinct physical traits, red hair is caused by a genetic mutation.

The US National Library of Medicine explains that red hair is a recessive trait caused by a mutation in the MC1R gene.

As a recessive trait, both parents must carry the gene (which, again, could be dormant for generations) in order to create offspring with red hair.

2. Only 2% Of The Population Are Redheads

2. Only 2% Of The Population Are Redheads
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

While it is difficult to collect data on exactly how many redheads there are in the world, the BBC estimates that around 1% to 2% of the entire world population has red hair.

With that said, most redheads are concentrated in areas with large Caucasian populations. The BBC points out that an estimated 19% of Scotland has red hair.

3. Your Hair Doesn't Go Gray As Quickly

3. Your Hair Doesn't Go Gray As Quickly
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

No one is immune from going gray eventually, but redheads seem to have more time to enjoy their fiery locks.

Netdoctor explains that red hair fades slowly over time to blonde tones, then finally to gray or white.

The experts at Ginger Parrot, a site dedicated to all things redhead, speculate that this is because red hair retains its pigment for much longer.

4. You Are More Sensitive To Cold Temperatures

4. You Are More Sensitive To Cold Temperatures
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Is your ginger friend always cold? If so, there’s a good reason.

The Guardian cites a study done by Louisville University where researchers found that “the ginger gene, known as MC1R, may cause the temperature-detecting gene to become over-activated, making redheads more sensitive to the cold.”

5. Bees Are More Attracted To You

5. Bees Are More Attracted To You
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

No one likes to be swarmed by bees, but redheads have to be particularly careful when in the company of these flying insects.

According to an excerpt from Jacky Colliss Harvey’s book Red: A Natural History of the Redhead as published by Daily Mail, various studies have found that gingers tend to get stung more by bees than people with other hair colors.

6. You Have Fewer Strands Of Hair Than Other People

6. You Have Fewer Strands Of Hair Than Other People
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

When you think of redheads, you probably imagine them with thick luscious hair. The truth is, redheads have fewer strands of hair than most people.

On average, according to USA Today, redheads have 90,000 strands of hair while blondes have 110,000. Brunettes have a whopping 140,000.

While they have fewer hairs, a redhead’s individual strands are thicker in diameter, which is what gives their hair that fuller look.

7. Red Is The Most Difficult Shade To Dye

7. Red Is The Most Difficult Shade To Dye
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you’re lucky enough to have red hair, hopefully, you’re proud to show it off.

However, if that’s not the case, you’re probably going to have some difficulty dyeing it another color.

Part of this has to do with the fact that red is such a rich color pigment that it’s difficult to alter.

Another reason has to do with the fact that, as mentioned, red hair strands are usually very thick. This makes it difficult for the dye to penetrate the hair cuticle.

8. You Need An Extra Large Dose Of Anesthetics

8. You Need An Extra Large Dose Of Anesthetics
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

As the urban legend goes, redheads need an extra large dose of anesthetics. Interestingly, this myth does have some evidence to back it up.

A study published in The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists found that volunteers with red hair required 19% more anesthetics than those with dark hair.

9. You're More Efficient At Making Vitamin D

9. You're More Efficient At Making Vitamin D
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although a ginger’s fair skin does make them more vulnerable to sunburn, they do have one advantage when it comes to the sun.

Health cites research done by ScotlandsDNA project which found that redheads are better at creating vitamin D than people with other hair colors.

Be sure to SHARE these facts with your redheaded friends!