In honor of National Love Your Red Hair Day, which is celebrated annually on November 5th, we’re going to take a look at some fascinating red hair fun facts.
The annually-observed day of red hair appreciation was kickstarted in 2015 by Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti, who run the website “How to be a Redhead.”
The duo noticed the distinct lack of love for redheads on the calendar and petitioned the “National Day” Calendar to make the 5th day of November the official celebration of red hair.
National Love Your Red Hair Day has the stated goal of “empower[ing] redheads to feel confident, look amazing, and rock their beauty.”
Red locks are the rarest color of hair you’ll ever see! Less than two percent of the world’s population has red hair, owing to the gene’s strange capacities for not passing to children. That’s because red hair is actually a genetic mutation, not a normal phenotype of the human population.
Specifically, the mutated MC1R gene is responsible for red hair. If both parents have the gene and pass it to their child, there’s a 25% chance the child is born with red hair. This can occur even if neither parent has red hair!
Redheads also have a higher likelihood of another strange indicator of unique genetic development: they’re often left-handed. Handedness is a complex and poorly-understood aspect of human development, and many argue about what causes it.
However, for whatever reason, left-handedness is overrepresented among redheads.
Those with red hair will be pleased to note that their hair will almost certainly not turn gray with time. That’s because the pigment that gives their hair its red hue never burns out entirely, but instead only fades with time. This means that older people who had red hair when they were younger tend to sport softly blonde or even white hair as they age.
On a related note, redheads also have less strands of hair on their heads, on average, than blonde or brunette counterparts. For whatever reason, red hair tends to only result in 90,000 strands on the head, as opposed to blondes’ 110,000 and brunettes’ 140,000.