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What is National Love Your Red Hair Day and how do people celebrate?

Less than two per cent of the world's population have fiery tresses

Sarah Young
Monday 05 November 2018 14:22 GMT
How to be a Redhead: Redheads describe their hair in one word

From fiery copper to strawberry blonde and deep burgundy, whatever your shade, today is a day for redheads to celebrate their tresses.

This November 5, the USA is calling on everyone to celebrate redheads for having one of the most alluring and rarest of all hair colours.

What is National Love Your Red Hair Day?

National Love Your Red Hair Day is celebrated every year on November 5.

A day dedicated to celebrating the beauty of ginger locks, it’s designed to empower men and women with red hair to feel confident and embrace their hair colour, natural or not.

When did it start?

Naitonal Love Your Red Hair Day was started by Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti, co-founders of the website How to be a Redhead in August of 2015.

The registrar at National Day Calendar declared it will be celebrated annually on November 5.

Why does it exist?

Adrienne and Stephanie noticed the rise of hateful days like “Kick a Ginger Day” and wanted to create their own event to spread a positive message instead.

“We wanted to create a nationally recognized day of the year that empowered redheads to love their hair,” the sisters say on their website, How to be a Redhead.

“But, most of all, it’s a reminder for women everywhere, redhead or not, to love their unique qualities.”

How do people celebrate?

The majority of people choose to celebrate their red hair by posting selfies on social media using hashtags like #LoveYourRedHairDay and #NationalRedHairDay.

Is it celebrated elsewhere?

The UK celebrates National Redhead Day on May 19. For 2018, the day saw redheads and redhead lovers congregate in Camden, London, where live coverage of fellow ginger, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was shown.

There was also live music, comedy, talks, games and food and drink.

The day is also celebrated in the Netherlands on the first weekend of September in the city of Breda. Called Roodharigendag, the two-day festival, which inaugurated in 2005, is attended by thousands of people with natural red hair.

Why do some people have red hair?

Less than two per cent of the world's population have red hair, making it the rarest hair colour in the world.

The gene that causes red hair is recessive, and comes from the MC1R — which is a genetic mutation.

Because it is recessive, both parents need to carry the gene for it to be expressed. That means even in both parents carry MC1R, their child still only has a 25 per cent chance of getting lovely, red locks.

In the UK alone, it’s estimated that 40 per cent of Britons carry the MC1R gene capable of producing a ginger child

What makes red heads so special?

They might only make up two per cent of the population, redheads are even more unique than you might think as it turns out there are a number of special genetic qualities that give lucky redheads a surplus of evolutionary advantages.

According to a 2003 study by McGill University, they have a higher pain threshold than blondes or brunettes.

It found that scarlet-haired women can cope with up to 25 per cent more pain thanks to the rare genetic mutation associated with red hair and fair skin: MC1R.

This nifty gene also means that redheads react to changes in temperature more intensely.

A 2005 study at the University of Louisville revealed that MC1R can amplify the activity of the genes which detect and respond to temperature changes, meaning that redheads are likely to be shivering more than most this winter.

The rare MC1R gene mutation also means that flame-haired people need less vitamin D than the rest of us.

Who are some famous redheads?

Some of the most famous redheads include Prince Harry, former Vogue creative director Grace Coddington, and actors such as Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Christina Hendricks, Cynthia Nixon, Damian Lewis.

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