Surprising FACTS About GINGERS: Redheads Rule!

Gingers, redheads, carrot tops–there are
a lot nicknames for those with red hair, especially considering that red is the rarest human hair
color. However, while gingers may be (relatively)
few in number, their fiery locks attract outsized attention. Nonetheless, there are some facts about redheads
that may still surprise you. Below, find 10 fiery facts about the gingers
who walk among us… 10. They congregate Gingers of the world, unite! That’s the message behind “Roodharigendag”
(“Red Head Days” in English), an annual weekend festival held in the city of Breda
in the Netherlands that draws gingers from across the world (and thousands of spectators)
to celebrate their fiery locks. The festival began in 2005, when a local Dutch
artist sought to emulate some of history’s great painters by looking for 15 redheaded
models for his paintings. When his ad in the local paper drew ten times
that number, the gathering kicked off an annual tradition. 2013’s festival in Breda set a world record
for the most redheads gathered in one place—1,672—who were captured in a photo at the event. Breda’s Roodharigendag has inspired additional
gatherings around the world. In 2015, Chicago held its own Redhead Days,
drawing more than 1000 gingers and similar gatherings were held in 2016 in the UK and
in Ireland, though as of 2017, Roodharigendag remains the world’s largest ginger party. 9. There are some “beard-only” gingers One of the many trends driven by hipsters
has been a resurgence of the popularity of facial hair. But as some men grow out their beards for
the first time, they may be in for a surprise. Redheaded men aren’t the only ones who grow
red facial hair! The so-called “gingerbeard” can appear
on men with blond, brown, or black hair on their heads. What’s behind the gingerbeard–the same
force that drives red hair—genetics. According to an expert at a Dutch genetics
organization, the MC1R gene, which produces red hair when two copies are present (one
from each parent), can produce patches of red hair elsewhere (including in facial hair),
when just one copy is present. Basically, any guy with a redheaded ancestor
has a chance of carrying this gene, and thus, of being able to grow a gingerbeard. One Irish publication went so far as to say
this genetic twist is the reason that all Irishmen have beards with at least a touch
of ginger in them. 8. Not all gingers are white When you picture a redhead, chances are you
picture someone who looks like Ed Sheeran or Christina Hendricks, which is to say someone
with very fair skin and features that are stereotypically “white.” But people of color can have red hair too. Photographer Michelle Marshall captured this
reality in her photo series MCR1 (named for the gene that produces red hair), which features
portraits of gingers of Afro-Caribbean ancestry. In China, the Uyghur population counts natural
redheads amongst its ranks. In both of these cases, scientists believe
the redheads reflect some degree of European ancestry (though not recent ancestry). However, in the Solomon Islands, about 5 to
10% of the population, who generally have dark skin, also have blond or reddish hair. While scientists initially suspected some
long-forgotten European ancestors were responsible for the genes that produced the light hair,
studies showed a completely different gene, TYRP1, which is not linked to European ancestry,
was the cause. There are also some diseases or genetic disorders
that can result in red hair, including one variety of albinism, a syndrome caused by
malnutrition, and the absence of a certain precursor polypeptide. So, while many redheads have European ancestry,
not all do, and there are redheads of color whose appearances challenge conventional ginger
stereotypes. 7. Depending on how you measure it, gingers have
the thinnest, or the thickest, hair – and it wants to stay red On average, redheads have the thinnest hair. They also have the thickest hair. How can you untangle this gingery paradox? The truth depends on your definition of “thick”
or “thin” hair. On average, a strand of red hair is larger
in diameter than strands of other hair colors, red hairs are on average the “thickest.” However, on average, redheads have the fewest
number of hair follicles on their scalps—90,000–vs. brunettes, who average 140,000 follicles and
blonds who clock in with 100,000, on average. So, in terms of number of hairs per head,
redheads have the “thinnest” hair. In addition to these physical differences,
the composition of red hair means that, basically, it fights to stay red. Red pigment is the hardest hair color to remove
through bleaching, which is why brunettes (whose hair contains some red pigment) trying
to go blond may end up with a brassy shade of copper. Additionally, as gingers age, their hair is
more likely to appear strawberry blond than grey, because the lightening effect that happens
to hair as we age combines differently with red pigment than with other hair colors. 6. Gingers have inspired great art Red hair catches the eye, both because of
its brightness and relative rarity. This quality has long attracted artists, many
of whom have featured redheads prominently in their work. Titian, the leading member of the 16th century
Venetian school, featured redheaded women in several of his works. His use of color was very progressive for
the time and his signature “Titian red” color survives to this day, both as a paint
color and an adjective applied to gingers. Later, the painter Rossetti would also be
inspired by redheads, using several as models for his portraits of “
flaming libertines,” and even taking one as his lover. Other artists drawn to redheads include Toulouse-Lautrec
and Degas. Degas painted perhaps the most ginger painting
of all time, “La Coiffure” (“Combing the Hair”), which features a an older redheaded
woman brushing out the fiery locks of a younger woman on a red background. 5. Gingers aren’t going extinct any time soon In 2014, there was a flurry of media coverage
that suggested that redheads could be going the way of the dodo. Articles, such as this one, suggested that
a change in climate that produced less cloudy weather could cause the recessive gene that
causes red hair (and also allows for better Vitamin D absorption in locales without much
sunlight) to die out within a few hundred years. So will humanity’s future be gingerless? Not likely. The premise of the extinction of redheads
is based on a lot of faulty science. Basically, even if we assume the future will
be sunnier, and that redheads will be uniquely disadvantaged in their ability to handle the
new climate, and that redheadedness is exclusively linked to a single gene which confers no other
qualities than hair color and reaction to sunlight (all of which are themselves problematic
and likely incorrect assumptions), this premise ignores the fact that most carriers of the
gene that is most clearly linked to red hair are not, themselves, ginger. Basically, as long as anyone with any ginger
in the family tree is producing offspring, there’s a chance that the gene survives
and eventually, when two non-ginger carriers of the gene have a baby (or several), BAM,
gingers will be produced and redheads will avoid extinction. 4. Gingers have their own dating websites Speaking of not going extinct, gingers have
found another way to ensure the continuity of their redheaded genes—through ginger
dating websites. Taylor Swift once reportedly said, “I like
people with red hair, I would do a ginger” and the existence of numerous matchmaking
websites for redheads (and those who love them, or want to love them) proves that Taylor’s
not alone in that sentiment. While mainstream dating website
came under fire for ads that suggested red hair and freckles were “imperfections,”
sites like,, and are designed for those
who think redheads are the perfect potential partners. Most of these sites only offer their services
in countries where redheads are relatively more common—the US, the UK, Ireland, South
Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, so if you’re in a part of the world that’s light
on gingers, you may have to meet them the old-fashioned way. 3. Being a ginger can be a pain—literally! Do redheads really feel pain differently? Even the researchers who conducted studies
around this issue admit that they initially viewed the idea that redheads require more
anesthesia as an, “urban legend in the anesthesia community.” However, science has shown that those who
carry the MC1R gene (which includes a majority of redheads, as well as some non-redheads
who are carriers) really do have different reactions to pain medication than the general
population. In terms of anesthesia, redheads require more
medication for general anesthesia and are less sensitive to the effects of local anesthesia
(like the numbing agents used by dentists). A study by the American Dental Association
showed that redheads were more likely to have dental phobias and avoid dental care, perhaps
because of this effect. Gingers are also more sensitive to pain caused
by temperature—so grabbing an overly hot cup of coffee may cause more intense pain
for a redhead than for someone without the MC1R gene. But it’s not all bad news for gingers. In some areas, like opiate/analgesic painkillers,
drugs actually impact MC1R carriers more strongly, meaning redheads can withstand more pain at
the same dosage of painkiller, than their blond and brunette counterparts without the
MC1R gene. 2. Redheads are rare, but less so in some countries While there is no “ginger census,” making
exact figures difficult to come by, it is generally estimated that 1-2% of the world’s
human population has red hair. However, these tens of millions of redheads
are not evenly distributed across the globe. Instead there are “ginger pockets,” places
where the genetic predisposition for red hair is carried by a higher percentage of the population. These redhead hot spots fall largely where
you might expect, with England, Scotland, and Ireland having the highest per capita
ginger rates. Scientists suggest that a form of natural
selection that took place tens of thousands of years ago meant that the ginger gene became
most common in human settlements in areas with less sunshine, since redheads are more
easily able to produce Vitamin D, even with minimal sun exposure. According to a 2013 DNA study, Scotland is
the Earth’s ginger capital, with roughly 6% of Scots having red hair. The Edinburgh region was the most ginger area
of Scotland, with 40% of the population carrying a genetic predisposition for red hair. In terms of sheer numbers, the US is likely
to have the largest ginger population of any country, up to 18 million according to one
estimate. 1. Gingers have been well-represented amongst
British royalty Redheads have been well represented on the
British throne and amongst its Tudor royal family. Perhaps the most well-known royal redhead
is Elizabeth I, who reigned as Queen of England from 1558 to her death in 1603. Queen Elizabeth often wore wigs, and made
her red hair a signature part of her look, with some rumors suggesting that she even
had the tails of her horses dyed to match. Why did she make her ginger tresses a key
component of her look, especially since, at the time, red hair was stigmatized for its
association with the “barbaric” Irish and Scots, as well as its association with
Judaism (including the frequent depiction of Judas, who betrayed Jesus, as a redhead)? Queen Elizabeth had a few reasons for her
ginger pride. Her father, Henry VIII, had been a redhead,
so her red hair helped definitely establish that she was clearly his legitimate child,
and therefore, entitled to the throne (her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, also inherited
the Tudor red hair, but her tresses were not sufficient to protect her throne, or ultimately,
her life). The red hair, coupled with her pale skin,
also helped to differentiate Elizabeth’s look, and Protestant England, as distinct
from the darker looks and Catholicism that predominated elsewhere in Europe. While she clearly chose to be a redhead through
her wigs, accounts suggest Elizabeth’s ginger roots were also natural. The most prominent contemporary royal ginger
is Prince Harry. Prince Harry once complained that an official
portrait made him look, “a little bit more ginger…than I am in real life” and shared
that his brother and Army buddies had teased him for his red hair. Prince Harry’s lack of redhead pride didn’t
stop a so-called “ginger extremist,” with neo-Nazi beliefs and mental health problems,
from concocting a bizarre plot to murder Prince Charles and Prince William so that Prince
Harry would become king and the crown would once again rest on a ginger head. Luckily, the plan was foiled, and those who
want to see a redhead on the throne will now have to hope that Prince George (William’s
son) gets more ginger with age.

100 thoughts on “Surprising FACTS About GINGERS: Redheads Rule!”

  1. Itโ€™s funny how redheads with blue eyes are the rarest but the only other redheads I know(including me) have blue eyes…

  2. My dad, a brown skinned Jamaican for reference, was born with red hair when he turned 5 his hair started turning towards dark brown. My mother, Native American and African American was born with blonde hair and her hair darkened as she got older, not as quickly as my dads did though. My moms hair darkening was a much slower process. I have a mix of med brown to dark brown hair with a streak of red thatโ€™s harder to see now that Iโ€™ve locked it. However, as my locks have grown out Iโ€™ve noticed that half way down most of my locks look redder than they do at the roots. Genetics is well…weird…awesome…idk lol

  3. How would you count the number of hairs on someone's head with any sort of accuracy? Would you take the number of hairs located over a certain area and then average it?

  4. This answers some things I've wondered about myself. I am strawberry blonde with red facial hair. When I was younger and my facial hair came in I was quite surprised to see that it was red. I've always wondered how this could be. I too am deathly afraid of dentists and require more anaesthetic than what is 'normal'. This has been of occasional issue when a dentist has told me that I should have felt the effects of the medication already and doesn't want to give me more. Knowing that it's at my detriment, I avoid all dental professions at all costs and only when I have been in constant excruciating pain will I then only go to a dentist that offers sedation dentistry.

  5. In my studies in sociology I interviewed 400 university graduates about their views on dating and the possibility of dating gingers/red heads. Of those 400 interviews I found some interesting results. 98% of men interviewed said they would date a ginger woman irrespective of if she was employed or unemployed. Only 5% of women would date ginger men. (Reason = "unattractive" or no response given). The statistics however did improve if the red head man had a decent job but the overall result was again low. 44% of women would consider dating a ginger man if he held a decent job or income……. Very interesting statistics indeed!!

  6. I've been told that redheads have a problem with what to wear.ย  Most of them look awful wearing orange or red.

  7. I don't get this statistic on women finding ginger guys unattractive.. My mattress tells a different story.. head to foot including the beaty swolicks.. # Ginger..

  8. Red hair is so beautiful honestly, I dyed my hair auburnish red because I wanted to see if I could pull it off, I think it looks better on me than my natural blonde. So many are upset or embarrassed to be ginger but it's so pretty no one needs to worry

  9. have you ever thought about if vampires need vitamin d supplements since they can't take sunshine? no? Tha's because you only think about yourself.

  10. We are also told we have no souls, and beg to differ. We gingers do have souls, for every freckle we get, it's another soul stolen from you heathens!

  11. When I was a child my hair was really really red, nearly neon orange but nowadays it's more blonde ๐Ÿ™ want my red hair back

  12. You forgot to add that while gingers are more susceptible to temperature pain we are 20 percent more resistant to all other pain.

  13. it's funny that y'all keep saying gingers with blue eyes is rare, but all the gingers I've ever met have blue or green eyes. myself and my siblings have brown eyes. and yes i have a low tolerance for pain

  14. I am a hazel eyed fickle face ginger and I proud of it my hair has gone later for the summer but I will be going to copper this fall and winter redheads are magnificent unicorns Due to our rarity

  15. What you get your dad is Scottish and your mum is Italian:
    -Red Hair
    -Brown Eyes ๐Ÿ˜‘
    -Pail skin
    -Barely any freckles

  16. My girlfriend is a ginger and I made the perfect nickname for her, ginger, ginger face, ginger face loca head and ginger face loca face ginger head. yeah I know very unique. sheโ€™s 5โ€2โ€™ and has an attitude like sheโ€™s 6โ€ tall.

  17. I can forgive mispronouncing foreign words, which Simon so often does, but surely : Titian is not 'Titan', but 'Tishian'. I thought everybody knew that.

  18. This might sound odd but I believe ginger… With Which I hate that name…
    Men are much more attractive than woman. Deep red hair. We have some ginger men and our family.

  19. I was a red head when I was little, but as I got older I ended up to be strawberry blond. Also my niece is a ginger ninja๐Ÿ˜

  20. Lol some kid in my class made fun of me hair because his girlfriend cheated on him with one ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚โœŠ

  21. 70 year old ginger here. Still red, more so in the winter months, if turns a glorious gold color to match my eyebrows in the summer. I tend to stay to the shade but I can spend time in the sun if I work up to it. A couple of people this year have commented they like the pecan color my freckles turned.

    You missed out the most important fact. The elongated skulls found in Peru all have wavy red or strawberry blond hair. Would like to compare genetics. So a clue to the overthrow of the Royal family might have under currents having to do with the ET that visit us? I'd say live on the moon but that has yet to be proved.

    Truly wish I had been born in the red haired town south of me. I wasn't. I was the only red haired girl in my boomers school. Talk about dealing with being different.

    The pain threshold might explain why I woke up while my eggs where being stolen after my genes had been tested for a family genetic disorder. I was negative. I also weigh more then I appear to, by 30 pounds. They jumped when I started to talk to them in my stupor and topped me off.
    My menstrual cycle stopped 15 years before it should have but at least I didn't experience menopause.
    Lots of money in the sale of eggs these days. Around $10 grand each. Makes me wonder if the young girl in the 2016 Rothschild family image, is one of mine?

  22. Actually, other races cannot have red hair unless they are hybrids. Red heads are exclusively white. Albinism is not caused by nutrition. It is caused by race mixing. It is genetic. Taylor Swift is a male to female transgender. She/he/it is not a woman.

  23. My dad and grandmother were both gingers, my aunt, mother in law and my son are gingers and my husband grows a ginger beard. One of my daughters was born with red hair but it all fell out within a month or two and now sheโ€™s blonde ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ In any case I have so many more family members with red hair that I am fairly certain we could carry the ginger gene through the ages lol

  24. It used to be a source of embarrassment being a carrot top , but now I see my red-roof in a different light. Thank you Simon Whistler.

  25. i was born auburn , my mum too and her mum and her mum too BUT at 6 i turned dark haired , though in the sun my hair is very red still , only red on one side of the family is why , my half siblings stayed red and my niece too

  26. Glad to hear that there are dating websites for gingers! A hair color that always catches my eye in a crowd and fascinating health adaptations to boot.

  27. I have auburn hair on my head, and bright red pubic hair…and its true ouR tolerance for drugs is RIDICULOUS…

  28. So redheads going extinct science is kind of like the science for global warming is just a bunch of made up scare tactics to frighten people.

  29. Christian Bale is a Ginger Beard-Check out "Reign of Fire" to see what I mean (I guess 'Fire' doesn't only mean the fire the dragons breathe but the color of Bale's beard as well LOL)

  30. My younger son has blonde hair but a ginger beard. My elder son has very long silky ginger hair. Every one compliments it. My sons have a number of ginger ancestors on both sides of the family.

  31. people need to understand that ginger is a type of red hair. like auburn and strawberry blonde are also types of red hair ffs

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