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Why Do Many Redheads Have Thick Hair?

Here's the Science Behind It!

thick red hair

Redheads have a lot in common, and when it comes to our hair, the similarities don’t stop at the color. Most redheads have hair that is quite thick and we get asked often why this is. You might think it’s a coincidence that most redheads have thick hair, but there’s an actual science behind it. Here’s everything we know about why redheads have thicker hair than blondes or brunettes. 

It’s about the thickness of the strands 

Your first instinct might be to assume that redheads have more hair than blondes or brunettes, but it’s the opposite. Blondes average about 150,000 strands of hair on their heads, while brunettes average around 110,000. Redheads average only 90,000 strands of hair. If redheads physically have less hair, how is our hair thicker overall? It’s because redheads have thicker hair strands, even if they have less of them.

Here’s the thing about red hair strands, a general rule of thumb is that the lighter the hair color, the thinner the hair strands. That’s why a lot of natural blondes have thin or fine hair. The darker the hair is, the thicker the hair strands. This is why many people with dark brown or black hair have more coarse hair. According to Modena Hair Institute, “This is believed to be due to the amount of melanin in the hair. The more melanin, the darker the hair, and the thicker the strand. Less melanin means lighter hair and a finer strand.” We know that red hair is caused by eumelanin, which redheads have a lot of. So it’s believed that this is why redheads’ hair strands are thicker.

We have thicker hair follicles

We have thicker strands and thicker follicles. Redheads also (often) have thicker hair because they typically have more hair follicles than people with other hair colors. These extra follicles contribute to the appearance of thicker hair. Additionally, red hair tends to have a thicker shaft compared to other hair colors, adding to the overall thickness.

How to keep hair healthy + thick

So now we know why redheads have thick hair, but there are some downsides. This also means that redheads are more prone to noticeable hair loss. Because we have fewer strands, it’s more noticeable when they start to fall out. This is usually an issue for redhead men. We are also more prone to frizz and coarse hair. Want some thick hair tips? Here are some tips for redheads:

1. Hydration is Key: Keep your hair well-moisturized with hydrating shampoos and conditioners to prevent frizz and maintain shine.

2. Color Protection: Use color-safe products specifically designed for red hair to preserve its vibrancy and prevent fading.

3. Heat Protection: Limit the use of heat styling tools, or use a heat protectant spray before styling to minimize damage and maintain the integrity of your hair.

4. Trim Regularly: Regular trims help prevent split ends and keep your hair looking healthy and full.

5. Opt for Red-Friendly Styles: Consider hairstyles and cuts that complement your red hair, such as layers or long waves, to enhance its natural beauty.

6. Accessorize: Experiment with hair accessories like headbands, clips, or scarves to add flair to your red locks.

7. Nutrition: Maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote hair health from the inside out.

8. Consult a Professional: If you’re considering a major change, consult with a professional hairstylist who specializes in red hair to ensure you achieve the look you desire without damaging your locks.

9. Gentle Cleansing: Avoid over-washing your hair, as this can strip away natural oils and cause dryness. Opt for a gentle shampoo and consider washing your hair every other day or as needed.

10. Deep Conditioning Treatments: Treat your hair to regular deep conditioning treatments to replenish moisture and keep it soft and manageable.

11. Protect from the Sun: UV rays can cause color fading and damage to your hair. Protect your locks by wearing hats or using hair products with UV protection when spending time outdoors.

12. Cold Water Rinse: Finish your shower with a rinse of cold water to help seal the hair cuticles and lock in moisture, leaving your hair smoother and shinier.

13. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Minimize exposure to harsh chemicals found in hair dyes, bleach, and other styling products that can weaken and damage your hair over time.

14. Use a Wide-Tooth Comb: After washing, gently detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb to prevent breakage and minimize stress on your strands.

15. Sleep on Silk: Switch to a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent frizz while you sleep, helping your hair retain its smoothness and style.

16. Regular Scalp Massages: Stimulate blood flow to your scalp with regular massages to promote healthy hair growth and maintain scalp health.

17. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your hair hydrated from the inside out, which can contribute to overall hair health and shine.

18. Protective Hairstyles: When engaging in activities that may cause hair damage (such as swimming or intense workouts), consider wearing protective hairstyles like braids or buns to minimize exposure to environmental stressors.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: 6 Tips for Air Drying Thick Red Hair 

READ: Frizz Fighter: 6 Ways To Tame Thick, Frizzy Hair This Summer

READ: How To Tame Coarse Frizzy Red Hair