10 Facts You Might Not Have Known About Redheads
Photo: Tim Robberts (Getty)
As a redhead, I can tell you I’ve probably heard every ginger joke in the proverbial book. I get it: We’re pale, have orange hair and lots of freckles. This is uncommon, so we’re ridiculed for it. This discrimination is all very funny, especially when there’s no originality in these remarks (and that a good 90 percent of them are about our pubic hair, which is incredibly strange).
Seriously, if I hear one more time that I have a fire crotch, I don’t know what I’ll do. Maybe unleash my ancient ginger powers or something. You didn’t know we have powers? Yeah, we’re basically X-Men; red hair is the result of a genetic mutation, after all. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Here are some other things about redheads you might not have known.
1. Less than two percent of the world’s population have red hair
That makes us the rarest hair color on the planet (hair not from the bottle, that is). Two percent of our world’s population works out to approximately 140 million redheaded people. Where can you find us? According to statistics, Scotland boasts the highest percentage (13 percent) and Ireland comes in second (10 percent).
2. Redheaded women have more sex
A German study found that redheaded women have sex more than both blondes and brunettes. A similar study from England found that redheaded gals had sex an average of three times a week, while others have sex twice a week. I only assume these numbers were significantly smaller for redheaded men, though. What? I can totally say that. I AM a redheaded male.
3. Our hair is thicker than yours
Each strand of red hair is generally thicker than those other, more boring shades. Redheads, on average, boast roughly 90,0000 strands while blondes have 120,000 and brunettes have even more, at 140,000. What’s responsible for this? Researchers suggest it’s so we can absorb more sunlight through our scalp. Because as redheads, it’s pretty easy to blame the sun.
4. Redheads will NEVER go gray
We do go white, though.
5. Redheads with blue eyes are the rarest combination in the entire world
Redheads with blue eyes are the rarest genetic combination on earth. Most redheads, you will find, have brown eyes.
6. Redheads were once believed to be vampires
I mean, I guess there are a few similarities: pale skin and a subsequent aversion to sunlight. But this bizarre myth steeped in mysticism came courtesy of the ancient Greeks who believed that when redheads died, they’d emerge as bloodthirsty vampires.
7. Apparently we were witches, too
45,000 women were killed between the years 1483 and 1784 for witchcraft. All of them had red hair. Why? Well redheaded women were believed to be practitioners of dark magic (for no other reason than their appearance) and would be “hunted” and burned at the stake in front of discriminating audiences.
8. Hitler hated us
But then again, Hitler hated everyone. Gingers were just one of Hitler’s many undesirables. Reports say that Hitler banned intermarriages between redheads and non-redheads out of fear of “deviant offspring.” Because historically/apparently, red hair was a symbol that told everybody we were all complete sh*theads.
9. So did Egyptians
We really didn’t do so well among various cultures, did we? The reason EGYPTIANS hated us was because our fiery locks were associated with the evil god Seth, whom the Greeks knew as Typhon. Romans (yes, yet another group of haters) showed their distaste for gingers by giving red wigs to people playing slaves and other undesirable characters in their dramas. This was way before Shakespeare made it cool to have red hair. And thank God he did.
10. OK, everyone hated us
Yes, somehow we’ve offended another religious collective by doing nothing more than having hair. In James George Frazier’s “The Golden Bough,” he discusses that past Christian communities also didn’t like us very much. What were their reasons? Many Christian communities believed that marks of the devil were: “Syphilis, gonorrhea, leprosy, birthmarks, freckles, and-of-course- red hair.” Why STDs were on par with red hair is anyone’s guess.
Many speculate that this prejudice is a product of old Christian communities who believed Judas was a ginger. This belief actually inspired many artists to paint Judas with red hair, despite any evidence of this being fact from the Bible.