11 fascinating facts about ginger hair
Life & Style

11 fascinating facts about ginger hair

IRELAND is synonymous with red hair.

Typically, leprechauns are drawn photographed with fiery ginger locks, and the head of your classic caricature of an Irish fella will traditionally sport a delightfully rusty top. This is no accident.

November 5 is National Love Your Red Hair Day, and so, we thought it apt to provide you with a few reasons to do just that - not that you'd particularly need any help if you're a proud red-head.

1 in 10 Irish people have red hair

We told you it was no accident. 10% of us - or just under 500,000 people - in Ireland are ginger. We're second only to Scotland (13%) in red-headed prominence.

Blue eyes and red hair is the rarest combination in the world

You're like a unique little ginger snowflake. No but seriously, I for one find this fact very cool. Most redheads have green and hazel eyes, and it's estimated that less than one million people in the world have the rarest combination.

Redheads don't go grey

It's simple, they go white, instead. They skip all that horror of ageing nonsense and go from one bright shimmer to another. What could be better?

They can produce their own Vitamin D

As they can't sufficiently absorb Vitamin D (it's down to their lower melanin-concentration), redheads internally produce their own Vitamin D when they're exposed to low light conditions. Pretty cool.

Redheads need more anaesthetic than others

On average, people with red hair are 20% more resistant to aesthetic than people without. No one knows why. Maybe it's because they have super powers.

Red hair can occur in any ethnicity

When I was small, I read somewhere that there was a small race of ginger Jamaicans. That always stuck with me. But yes, ginger hair is a (lovely) mutation that can occur in any ethnicity, though it's most common in northern Europeans.

They're traditionally funny

Comedians in the 19th century used to don red wigs in order to appear funnier to their audiences. Regardless of whether they were laughing at the red hair or with the red hair, they were laughing. That's all that's important!

Both parents must carry the redhead gene for the baby to have red hair

The gene that produces red hair is recessive, which is why it's so rare. But people can carry and pass on the redhead gene without actually being redheads themselves. A redhead whose partner does not have the ginger gene themselves will not have a redheaded child - it’s biologically impossible. However a redhead whose partner is not ginger but nevertheless carries the ginger gene has 50% chance that their child will be ginger. Two non ginger parents who both carry the recessive gene have a one in four chance of having a red haired child. But if two redheads have a baby together their child will always be ginger.

They were historically thought to be savage and wild people

This is more down to their association with the Celtic people in general. The invading Romans (who ended up writing the history we read) had never encountered the colour before, and the native Celts - many of whom were ginger - were understandably resistant to the foreign invaders. Moreover, the Vikings, who also sported the hair, were known as ferocious, warrior-like savages, adding to the image.

Red hair is thicker than other colours

Each strand of red hair is generally thicker than other shades which compensates for the fact that redheads have less hair. Apparently they have - on average - 90,000 strands while blondes have 110,000, and brunettes have 140,000.

Redheads have more sex

It's true, well according to a German sex researcher anyway. Despite being repulsive to some at a young age, it seems having red hair makes you generally more attractive and stands you in better stead while trying to 'get lucky'.