Science of ginger hair
Appearance Bullying

The Science and History of Ginger Hair

Ginger hair, red hair, auburn hair, strawberry blonde, carrot top…

…call it what you will. People with red hair have borne the brunt of bullying, teasing and nasty comments for decades… 50% of people under 25 experience appearance-based bullying but here are some things you didn’t know about our friends with cherry red locks which might make you think twice before you kick a ginger.

1. Gingers are a rare breed

1-2% of the world’s population have red hair- making it the rarest natural hair colour in the human race… that’s a pretty big deal.

2. Hot topic in the history books

In the Elizabethan era, red hair was considered to be the pinnacle of fashion – Queen Elizabeth the 1st had naturally red hair.

3.  Gingers are Godlike

The Norse God, Thor, is said to have red hair and many greek mythologies include references to ‘Godlike’ ginger hair.

4. Scientifically speaking…

There is actually such a thing as the ‘ginger gene’ (its sciency name is MC1R or Melanocortin 1 Receptor) it is a recessive gene which comes from both parents.

5. Anything is possible:

It can be possible for two non-red-haired parents to produce red-haired children.

6.  Chemically speaking…

The pigment that gives red hair its colour is called Pheomelanin.
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7. Our fairer-skinned friends…

Red-heads often have fair skin as well because of low levels of Eumelanin which is often a characteristic of the ‘ginger gene’

8. …and another thing

This also means that people with red hair often don’t tan and are more sensitive to sunlight – quick, pass the sunscreen! ☀️

9. Ginger myth #1

Not all ginger-haired people have freckles.

10. Ginger myth #2

The idea that ginger hair is going extinct is, in fact, a myth – even though it is a recessive gene, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is dying out!

11. Ginger myth #3

Not all people with red hair have fiery temperaments – there is no correlation between hair colour and temperament.

12. Geographically speaking…

Scotland: Land of the red-heads! Scotland has a higher percentage of red-heads than the rest of the world, 13% to be exact.

13. Contrary to popular belief…

Not all red-heads are white and of European descent, red hair occurs across many different races, nationalities and heritages and we think it’s beautiful!

Check out 10 Things Every Red-head has (Probably) Heard in Their Lifetime >>