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6 Crazy “Facts” About Redheads…Are They True?

True, False or just plain crazy?


There are a lot of redhead “facts” out there, and while some of them are certainly true, there are some that are just plain silly. Let’s talk about some of our favorite redhead crazy “facts” and see which ones we can prove, and which ones are up for debate:

1. True: Redheads are mutants

Yes! Well, technically red hair is caused by a gene mutation, but that makes us mutants, right? But like the cool kind? Red hair is a recessive trait that comes from a mutation in the melanocortin 1 receptor or the MC1R. This single gene mutation is what causes our gorgeous hair. We’re chalking this one up to a fun fact. 

2. False: red hair = bad/fiery temper

Ehh…While it’s true that redheads are perceived to be more temperamental, as studied by the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. A person’s temper is unique to the person. You might know a redhead with a fiery disposition, but it’s not directly linked to the color of their hair

3. True: Redheads feel pain differently

Yes! Redheads need more anesthesia, but redheads also often have a higher threshold for pain. According to a study reported on by Readers Digest, this is because “redheads’ melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) release factors that effectively favor the signals to the brain that say ‘don’t feel pain’.”

4. False: Redheads can’t tan

Nope! Some redheads can tan but most should not even try. Redheads are actually at a much higher risk of skin cancer than any other hair color. Majority of redheads will burn before tanning, but their sunburn will often turn into a tan. Because of the burn risk, cancer risk, and sun damage risk almost all redheads stay out of the sun and use sun protection year-round so they don’t tan.

5. True: Redheads are ultra rare

Yes, but there’s more than you think. Redheads make up somewhere between 1-2% of the population. To put that into perspective the estimated world population is around 8 billion, meaning redheads would account for around 80-160 million. That is a large range, but it can be hard to quantify who’s being counted as a redhead. If we take the midpoint, around 120 million, that’s roughly the size of the population of Japan or the Philippines.

6. True: Red hair is more common on TV

Sure thing! We already know redheads are rare, but studies have shown that around 30% of network ads on prime-time television feature a redhead, and redheads may be more common in movies and TV shows. Some people may argue that redheads are just more memorable when seen on TV, but take a peek next time you’re watching and count how many you see on the screen vs how many you encounter in real life. 

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: 5 Facts About the How to be a Redhead Brand

READ: 7 Scientific Facts About Redheads You Might Not Know About