How to be a Redhead: Redheads describe their hair in one word

Redheads have rare genetic traits, finds study

There's more to redheads than British royalty and Hogwarts-educated wizard families

Olivia Petter@oliviapetter1
Monday 04 December 2017 10:50

They may only make up two per cent of the population, but redheads might be even more unique than you thought.

It turns out that there are a number of special genetic qualities that give those lucky redheads a surplus of evolutionary advantages.

As revealed in The Big Redhead Book, written by flame-haired writer Erin La Rosa, there's a lot more to people “with flaming locks of auburn hair” than Dolly Parton's lyrics would suggest.

Firstly, they have a higher pain threshold than us blonde/brunette muggles.

As proven by a 2003 study by McGill University, 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.

In fact, research has found that an evolutionary adaptation means that they make it themselves and in a very efficient manner, reports The New York Post.

Finally, redheads might even smell better than most of us.

As noted by French philosopher and author Augustin Galopin in his 1886 book Le Parfum de la Femme, a redheaded woman exudes the strongest natural scene of all hair colours, an earthy combination of amber and violet.

Thanks to greater levels of acidity in the skin’s surface, redheads evaporate their scent at a higher - and more fragrant - potency.

So, there you have it: blondes may be wild and brunettes might be true, but you never know just what a redhead will do.

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