Do you call redheads “ginger”? Do you? Oh, I don’t really like it, you know… But then it’s not a big deal. I have red hair and I love it. It’s a beautiful shade of darker red, not the orange-y kind of red. I sometimes wonder if I’m really a ginger. I always thought only the redheads with the more orange tone and fair skin are called ginger. Apparently that’s not the case, though.
There are many myths about gingers out there. Some I think might be right, some are just made up nonsense. I figured I share some funny facts about redheads with you:
- Only 1-2% of the world’s population have red hair.
- In Scottland 14 out of 100 people have red hair. It is the country with the highest density of red heads (not Ireland)
- Red heads only have approx 90’000 hairs on their head in comparison to blondes with 100’000 and brunettes with 120’000. Because the red hair is thicker it appears though as if red heads have more hair.
- Apparently red heads are feeling cold and heat more intense…
- Red heads don’t turn grey. Red hair might get beige in age or just simply turns white (like in my case)
- A red head needs approximately 20% more anesthetics for surgery than others
- Until the 16th century the fat of red headed men was used to produce poison…
- During the Roman Empire a red headed slave was more expensive than another one
- The DNA of a red head is easier to identify for forensic investigator than others
- According to the Greek Mythology red heads turn into vampire-like creatures after their death…
Now let me assure you: I’m not a vampire!
This one I found really interesting:
Red hair is the rarest natural hair color in humans. The non-tanning skin associated with red hair may have been advantageous in far-northern climates where sunlight is scarce. Studies by Bodmer and Cavalli-Sforza (1976) hypothesized that lighter skin pigmentation prevents rickets in colder climates by encouraging higher levels of Vitamin D production and also allows the individual to retain heat better than someone with darker skin. In 2000, Harding et al. concluded that red hair was not the result of positive selection and instead proposed that it occurs because of a lack of negative selection. In Africa, for example, red hair is selected against because high levels of sun would be harmful to untanned skin. However, in Northern Europe this does not happen, so redheads come about through genetic drift.
A 2007 report in The Courier-Mail, which cited the National Geographic magazine and unnamed “geneticists”, said that red hair is likely to die out in the near future. Other blogs and news sources ran similar stories that attributed the research to the magazine or the “Oxford Hair Foundation”. However, a HowStuffWorks article says that the foundation was funded by hair-dye maker Procter & Gamble, and that other experts had dismissed the research as either lacking in evidence or simply bogus. The National Geographic article in fact states “while redheads may decline, the potential for red isn’t going away”.
Red hair is caused by a relatively rare recessive gene, the expression of which can skip generations. It is not likely to disappear at any time in the foreseeable future
The things you learn when you blog…
Inspired by the A-Z Challenge