Some of us are drawn to
the color Red like a bull in Spain, relentless, fixed, and
pure. Less than four percent of the world population has
naturally red hair. That is less than two percent in
America. The gene for Ginger hair was discovered in 1995 and
this discovery got little attention. This is not consistent
as red heads have gotten lots of it. Some negative such as
the association with witches and a crazy temper. Some are
positive, such as our love for Lucy, The Little Mermaid, and
the Feminist icon of Lilith, the first wife of Adam who
insisted on sexual equality. So many deceptive MYTHS are of
common knowledge concerning the crimson strand. Read up on
the TRUE history of this striking genetic endowment.
Sixty percent of women who dye their
hair do so at home. Of them twenty six percent choose to go
blonde, twenty seven percent go basic brunette, and thirty
percent choose to become redheads. The sale of at home red
dye kits has gone up seventeen percent since the year two
Professor Jonathan Rees conducted a
study of redheads at Edinburgh University.He identified
the"gene for red hair" the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R),
found on the 16th chromosome. He found that this single gene
was responsible for red hair.
Red hair is a genetic mutation.
Red hair is seen on the heads of only
four percent of people. Most of these exist in the U.K., the
Republic of Ireland, and Australia.
The highest percentage of
natural redheads in the world is in Scotland (13%), followed
closely by Ireland with 10%. In the US, about 2% of the
population are natural redheads.
There is a belief that redheads are
prone to industrial deafness. This actually could be true as
the melanocytes are found in the middle ear.
The color Green tempers red.
Look at a color chart. This is why redheads are taught as
children to wear lots of green. As if red hair is a shameful
state of being.
In the early 1600’s, at the end of the
reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the belief of Pixies (aka
fairies) emerged in southwest England. They were then and
have since been strongly associated with red hair for their
mischievousness and otherworldly talents.
A 2002 study found that redhead are
harder to sedate than any other people requiring twenty
percent more anesthesia. Inadequate doses cause people to
wake up during surgery and have increased recall of
procedures. (I can vouch that study is accurate)
Adults have about 120,000 hairs on
their head; redheads have fewer, blondes have more,
brunettes have the most.
Harvard Dermatologist Madhu Pathak
calls redheads "three-time losers" because their red pigment
is an inadequate filter of sunlight and their skin is more
susceptible to sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkling with age.
Wear your sun block !!! We are not losers though.
Red headedness is, genetically
speaking, a recessive trait. It may appear after several
generations of darker hair.
Redheads don't turn grey. Red hair
turned sandy, then white. They are also found to loose their
color later in life than people carrying other hair colors.
The perception of the color
red, scientifically speaking, enhances the viewers
metabolism and increases heart rate and respiration.
The first human redheads walked
this earth about 50,000 years ago in Africa and then spread
throughout Northern Europe.
The country name of Russia
means "land of reds" in honor of a redheaded Viking by the
name of Rurik.
Red-haired Clowns have their
origins in Russia.
From the 1930’s to 1950;s in
Cassville, Missouri, there existed a women’s basketball team
called “The Redheads.” For a while they became the talk of
the country and a much sought after exhibition team compared
to the Harlem Globe trotters. It is important to note that
they were not natural red heads, at least not all of them.
In the late 16th
century, the fat of a redheaded man was an essential
ingredient for poison.
Adams first wife Lilith, always
depicted as a redhead, is known to have refused to lie
beneath Adam during sexual intercourse, and stated” why
should I lie beneath you when I am your equal since both of
us were created from dust” –Patai
At St. Paul’s cathedral in London,
figurines tell the story of the fall in the Garden of Eden.
Adam points one hand to the forbidden fruit and the other to
a golden haired Eve. Then the arch angel drives them from
the garden. Adam with his fig leaf loops his arm around Eve
who is now cowering and sporting a main of long red hair.
Similarly in the paintings of the
Sistine Chapel in 1874, Michelangelo’s Temptation depicts a
brown haired Eve being handed a red apple by a red headed
bare breasted serpent woman (Satan manifested as woman of
course carries red hair). In the adjacent fresco Eve is
thrown out of the garden with a shameful face and a twist of
Eves’ red hair is seen as the stain
of sin like the original scarlet letter. Later her son,
Cain, will bare the red hair and also a fall from grace.
The first redheaded British monarch
was a woman. Boudicca was a Celtic warrior was led her
people, the Icenti, against the Romans in the C.E. 60’s.
Belief that redheads are witches is
a folk belief in Germanic culture. From 1483-1784 thousands
of suspected witches were nearly always stripped and
searched for “marks of the devil”. These included any
“abnormality” such as freckles, moles, warts, and
birthmarks. Red hair was certainly considered an
abnormality. Considering the freckle factor for redheads
this was a deadly and shocking horror. Somewhere around
45,000 women were tortured and murdered usually by burning
at the stake or by drowning.
The Egyptians regarded the color as
so unlucky that they had a ceremony in which they burned
red-headed maidens alive to wipe out the tint- Claudie De
British Press recently reported
that that the MC1R (redhead gene) will be used in DNA
testing to rule out, or in, if suspected killers in crime
scenes are redheads. This will narrow a search if the gene
is found to a small percentage of perpetrators. The hope is
that next skin color and physical features will be
In central Africa’s Cameroon
redheaded albinos, called Nguenguerous, are believed also to
come by this color by menstrual intercourse. The UN and
other world organizations have studied and advocated for
their rights as there have been allegations of the ritual
murders in some regions of Africa.
Archaeological digs in the Chinese
desert of Takla Makan found mummified redheads dating back
An Irish judge in 2001 fined a man
for disorderly conduct stating “I am a firm believer that
hair coloring has an effect on temper and your coloring
suggests you have a temper.”
Redheads have always been thought
untrustworthy. Judas is most always depicted as a redhead
displaying the prejudice against red hair.
The Romans kept red haired slaves,
and at a higher price.
Adolph Hitler reportedly banned the
marriages of two redheads as he feared their children would
be “deviant offspring”.
“Ill beat you like a redheaded
stepchild”. This phrase was born out of the American south
and implies the status of illegitimate offspring with a
At some point in history Brahmins
were forbidden to marry redheads.
In France, to be redheaded is
thought to be a fate so dire that some women have formed a
“Proud to be Red” association.
Red haired children have been
historically branded as offspring of “unclean” sex. This has
earned them taunts such as “red-knob” or “tampon tops.”
The Bible states in I Corinthians
11:15 that a woman’s long hair is a glory to her because it
can be used as a covering. Yet in Song of Solomon 4:1 it
states that it is an object that invites desire. I guess
there is no loosing.
Bees are thought to sting
redheads more than others.
In Denmark it is an honor to
have a redheaded child.
In Corsica, if you pass a
redhead in the street you are to spit and turn around.
In Poland, if you pass three
red-heads you'll win the state lottery-Sylvia Stevez
In Greek Mythology, redheads
turn into Vampires when they die.
During the Spanish Inquisition
flame colored hair was evidence that its owner had stolen
the fire of hell and had to be burned as a witch.
Russian tradition declares
that red hair is both a sign that a person holds a fiery
temper and craziness.
A Russian Proverb warns “There was never a saint with red
Folklore in Liverpool states
that meeting a redhead at the beginning of a journey is a
terrible luck and bad omen. If you came upon one while still
on dock or aboard the ship, you are smart to return home.
In English and Scottish
tradition when the New Year arrives, your “first caller”
will bring you luck. Brunettes bring the best luck. Blondes
bring no luck at all. A widower brings bad luck. A redhead
brings the worst luck. This “first footing” custom was so
strongly practiced at one time that some homes would hire
Aristotle was known to believe
that redheads were emotionally unhousebroken.
A French Proverb states
that “redheaded women are either violent or false, and
usually are both.”
LIST OF A FEW REDHEADS: SOMETIMES OR
Vincent van Gogh, Wilma & Pebbles Flintstone, Pippi
Longstocking, Cyndi Lauper, Annie Potts, Carol Burnett (with whom I share
a birthday), Winston Churchill, Anne of Green Gables,
Mary Queen of Scots (who was ordered exterminated by cousin,
Queen Elizabeth I, and fled from Lochleven Castle), My mother, Galileo, Sarah
Bernhardt, My Sister, Lucille Ball, Ronald Mc Donald
(corporate mascot) Conan O'Brien (love him), Queen
Elizabeth I (my Lady), Sarah Ferguson, Henry VIII, Susan
Sarandon, Raggedy Ann & Andy, Katherine Hepburn, Bette
Midler, Ginger Rogers, Red Skelton, Kendra "Dove" (my
best friend in childhood) Rita Hayworth, Nichole
Kidman, Molly Ringwald, Ann Margret,
Bonnie Rait, Julianne Moore (looks like my sister),
William Clark (of Lewis and Clark), Tori Amos, Both of My
Grandfathers, Kate Winslet, Princess Fiona from Shrek,
Danny Elfman, Bernadette Peters, Sissy Spacek, Toni
Collette, Gillian Anderson, Sarah Mclachlan,
Little Orphan Annie (a childhood favorite of mine indeed), Axl
Rose, Jessica Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Peppermint
Patty, The Little redheaded girl (also from Peanuts), Mary
Jane (the wife of Spiderman), Emily Dickinson (who in 1853
posted a lock of her hair to a female friend which still
exists today and is kept at the Amherst College’s Robert