There are a million-and-one “redhead facts” floating around on the web and on social media. Many of them are based on myths, rumors, or stereotypes and can’t be proven or only applied to some redheads. For example, it has been said redheads create their own Vitamin D. While this is true, redheads should still check with their doctor on their personal levels of Vitamin D. Many redheads report they’re still low on Vitamin D even though their bodies supposedly produce more.
Being born with red hair isn’t just a fluke — it’s in our genes. This is why there are some hard core scientific facts about redheads and our uniqueness.
Check out these 7 scientifically proven facts about redheads:
1. Red hair is recessive
Some non-redheads seem confused about how red hair comes to be, and are usually shocked when non-redhead parents have a redhead baby. Scientifically, we know red hair is recessive and is carried by a recessive gene. This gene can skip one or more generations and as long as both parents carry the gene, a child may have red hair even if neither of their parents are redheads. It’s also possible for a family with multiple children to have children with red hair and children without.
2. Redheads do need more anesthesia
Redheads feel pain differently, which is why redheads need more anesthesia. The actual amount will differ from redhead to redhead, but it’s been proven by science that natural redheads will need more than blondes or brunettes.
3. Redheads have a higher risk of skin cancer
Having red hair does come with a few downfalls, and one is that we are at a higher risk of skin cancer. This is because the gene that creates red hair also affects melanin production making redheads less protected from the sun.
4. Red Hair is rare
Redheads only make up 1 – 2% of the world’s population, making it the rarest naturally occurring hair color in humans.
5. Redheads aren’t going extinct
Because red hair is rare, people like to say redheads will go extinct. This isn’t true! Even if there were no more visible redheads on earth, red hair is a recessive gene and there’s no way to know when it could pop up again.
6. Redheads have less hair, but thicker strands
Redheads have fewer strands of hair on their heads with around 90,000. Brunettes have the most with around 140,000 and blondes come in second with 110.000. But, redheads are said to have thicker strands.
7. Not all redheads have freckles
Red hair is often linked to freckles, but the two genes are actually separate. This means not all redheads have freckles, and not all people with freckles carry the redhead gene.