As though having red hair naturally wasn’t enough of a rarity, there are scientific facts regarding the MC1R gene mutation, which gives the hair it’s color, that prove that redheads are actually as unique as their hair color.
In, “The Big Redhead Book,” author Erin La Rosa gives some insight into what those unique things are. For instance, they have a higher threshold for pain and redheads need less vitamin D than the rest of the population. More interesting facts include:
- They know when it’s getting cold – In 2005, the University of Louisville discovered this hidden gift and hypothesized that the redhead gene, MC1R, may cause the human temperature-detecting gene to become overactivated, making readheads more sensitive to thermal extremes.
- Red is the hardest color to fake – Celebrity stylist Danny Moon told “InStyle,” the dye molecules found in red hair are larger than those in other hues — and larger molecules can’t penetrate the hair as deeply as smaller molecules can.
- They aren’t all white – Redheads aren’t all fair-skinned. There are redheads born in places such as Papua, New Guinea and Morocco who have darker skin. There’s a Hawaiian word for Polynesians with red hair — ‘ehu’ — whom they believe are the descendants of fire gods.
- Redheaded women handle pain better – A 2003 McGill University study showed that redheaded women can tolerate up to 25% more pain than people with other hair colors. Another study out of Oslo University found that redheaded women feel less pain when pricked by a pin.
- Redheads are seen as funnier – According to Professor Andrew Stott, who teaches the history of comedy at the University of Buffalo, we first began to see the circus clown as we know it — complete with face paint and brightly colored wigs — in the early 19th century. The wigs needed to be bright to be seen from the backs of large theaters, so red was an obvious choice. Stott also speculates that the notion of the red-haired clown solidified in our culture during the early 20th century as a nod to the influx of Irish immigrants to America. “It’s no accident,” says Stott. “That Ronald McDonald spells his surname the Irish way instead of Scottish.”
Source: New York Post