Calling All Redheads!

 If you are a redhead only you know what being one is like.  It is different.  When you see another redhead you immediately relate to them.  If you are a redhead and you don’t feel like this then you’re not a “true” redhead.  You probably have brown eyes or something 😉

Me as a baby, yep, it's real.

Me as a baby, yep, it's real.

 My favorite shirt of all times.

Love this shirt!  Got Freckles?

Love this shirt! Got Freckles?

 My new tote!  Thanks Realm of Redheads!!!

Redheads Have More Fun!

Redheads Have More Fun!

 This will help with my carrying food into restaurants scheme right now.

 

If you are a redhead check out THIS SITE!  There are SO many cute things.  If you buy something let them know that April sent you!  Also if you are a redhead, carrot top, gingerkid or whatever you want to call yourself, let me know and i’ll add you to my ginger list to the right!

Facts about redheads:

In France, to be redheaded is thought to be a very bad fate.

Red hair is a genetic mutation.

Percentages of redheads in different countries range from single digits to a fraction of 1 per cent — a recent estimate for France is 0.03 per cent of people.

Redheads generally are more numerous in northern latitudes, but also turn up among Hungarians, Egyptians, Israelis and certain Nigerian tribes. In Denmark it is an honour to have a redheaded child.

In Corsica, if you pass one in the street you spit and turn around.

Short temper and sexual fieriness are attributed to them. It is “common knowledge” that redheads have hot tempers, but no one has ever seen a controlled study that tested the correlation. So while some like to use that excuse, it probably isn’t a valid one. As for the sexual fieriness – trial and error I say

In Poland, if you pass three red-heads you’ll win the state lottery,

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.

There are two kinds of redhead, says Mary Spillane, managing director of British image consultants Colour Me Beautiful. There’s “the autumn type with hazel eyes,” and the Celtic type with translucent skin, light eyes and carrot top — leprechaun redness “that people have trouble with.

Redheads have always been thought untrustworthy. As some claim – Judas was red-haired.

Superstitions: red hair is unlucky; it’s lucky to rub your hand on a redhead’s head; bees sting redheads more readily. The Egyptians regarded the colour as so unlucky that they had a ceremony in which they burned red-headed maidens alive to wipe out the tint.

Red hair is commonly associated with people of British or Irish descent, although red hair is found in many other parts of the world.

Scotland is the country with the highest content of red haired people which includes approximately 13% of their population.

Skin and hair pigment is made up of different types of melanin. There are two broad groups of melanin, eumelanin, which is brown, and phaeomelanin, which is red. Somebody with dark hair will have predominantly eumelanin. Somebody with very bright red hair will have little eumelanin but lots of phaeomelanin.

People with auburn hair will have some of both. Skin and hair colour often go together, but not always. For instance, people with red hair are usually fairly pale skinned, they don’t tend to tan, they burn in the sun and are more likely to have freckles. There are exceptions however to this rule.

Several years ago it was discovered that the melanocortin 1 receptor, a protein encoded by a gene previously discovered in mice, was responsible for the production of red hair in humans. Everybody has two copies of this gene but there are slight changes in the gene that are very common in European populations.

If you have one of about four or five common changes in this gene and, one of these changes are found on both of your chromosomes, then you are likely to have red hair. A little bit of basic genetics; you have two copies of every gene, you inherit one from your mother and one from your father. If both of these genes are different, with respect to the changes that might lead to red hair, then you will have red hair. If however you only have one change, you have an increased chance of having red hair but it is not certain that you will have red hair.

Such a type of inheritance is described to by geneticists as an autosomal mode of inheritance. This means, in practice, that both your parents may not have red hair, but both could be carriers for the gene for red hair. If this was the case, perhaps one in four of children might have red hair. If one of the parents has bright red hair, and therefore carries two of the changes (one on each of their chromosomes), and the other parent is a carrier, then perhaps 50% of the children might have red hair.

It is this aspect of genetics, and the mode of inheritance, that explains why hair color might skip generations. There are different sorts of red hair. Some people seem to have what we call “strawberry blonde”, some bright red and some auburn. As far as we know, the genetics underlying these differences are fairly similar, in that changes in the gene referred to above, seem to be important for all sorts of red hair. However, if you have bright red hair it seems you are much more likely to carry two different copies of the gene than if you are a strawberry blonde.

There are some other puzzles about red hair. Some men might have red beards but dark colored hair. This is not entirely surprising as in many mammals the front of the body is a slightly different color to the back. In some animals, the molecular basis of this is clearly understood, as in these animals, they produce a different protein that seems to have the opposite effects to the red hair gene mentioned above. In man, we don’t think this is the case, but we also observed that people who do have red beards are more likely to carry at least one different copy of the red hair gene.

Another puzzle is why hair color changes so much during life. Most people are aware that hair color tends to be lighter at birth and gets darker, particularly during adolescence and puberty. Apart from saying that the cells that produce melanin become more active at this period we don’t understand why this is. Similarly, of course, we don’t really understand greying and lightening of the hair in old age. People with red hair often have different colored hair at different times of their life. It seems that it is more likely to be red in childhood or in early adult life, than in later life.

One medical importance of red hair is that individuals with red hair are, on average, more likely to burn in the sun and they are at an increased risk of skin cancer. The sensible advice seems to remain that since it is painful and uncomfortable to burn repeatedly in the sun, it is sensible to alter your behavior such that you don’t suffer the discomfort! On the other hand the risks of skin cancer should also be put in context.

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19 Comments

  1. I rejoice in my redheaded-ness! 🙂 Great post! Off to check out the site!

    Also… did you know there’s a social network devoted to just redheads?!?!? Kid you not! LOL!

  2. “You probably have brown eyes or something”…

    *ahem* I resemble that remark! lol 🙂 But I assure you I am a “natural” redhead. Love this post and LOVE the bag! I never did get one of those shirts but I really need to. Off now to go check out the great site…Redheads Rule!

    • I put that in there for you 😉 Tina too but she’s not a typical redhead being happy all the time and stuff.

      • LMAO!….I’m going to have to get out my baby pictures, we could be sisters! 😉

  3. ana

    cute post … now enough of the red head stuff heheheh i feel left out 🙂 very cute april!

  4. OMG so many random redhead facts!! I love it!

    Ok so I fit into none of those categories. Tan-ish skin, minimal freckles, although I do have green eyes! I assure you though this is all natural baby…never dyed it!

    Oh and you were lucky to have so much hair as a little baby! I had nothing but peach fuzz until I was two years old. My mom had to glue bows to my head so people knew I was a girl 🙂

  5. i am not a redhead but i am a freckle face! i have always hated my freckles.. ugh.

  6. Tea

    Wow , I learned a lot about redheads there. My hair is reddish, more strawberry blond, not a true redhead. My daughter however and oldest son are as red as they come. I think redheads are adorable 🙂

  7. I don’t 100% consider myself a redhead because like our hair isn’t ORANGE or anything. I think we got the good form of red hair HAHAHAAH

  8. I love the redhead stuff!

    My in-laws have a theory that if a person with brown hair and a person with blonde hair have a baby they will end up with a redhead. Worked with my parents.

    I never truly appreciated my hair until I had a redheaded student in my class. I was so in love with his hair! (He was six – I’m not odd, I promise!)

  9. Ok, i am going to have to direct Jessica to this post b/c she obviously hasn’t seen it yet. LMAO at the ‘you prob. have brown eyes’ part. LOL

    I wish I was cool and had a family like redheads. 😦

  10. Ok, so how the heck do I follow you so I know when you have new posts up? YOU CRACK ME UP! You know, I think it is in England that reheads are looked down upon in the way that in America, white people treated (and sadly some still do) blacks during and shortly followng after the slavery times….
    My mom, 2 brothers, sister and I are all redheads. My dad was one of those “mammals with lighter hair on the front of the body.” haha. Just a touch of red to his dark brown facial hair. Oh, and my 19 month old nephew is a redhead, too! His daddy is another of those two-toned mammals.
    My husband is part Cherokee but looks like your average white boy until he’s been in the sun. He’s two-toned (haha) as well… I always joke that if we have kids, I’ll have redheaded brown babies! Won’t that throw everyone for a loop!
    Can’t wait to check out that website! My coworkers were laughing at me because I told them I’ll buy any children’s book with a redhead on it for reading to my students! My favorites are Strawberry Freckleface, by Julianne Moore, and another called, This is the Teacher. I even bought the Julianne Moore one for my sister. 🙂

    • Everytime my hubs sees a redheaded boy he reminds me why we are NOT having kids LOL!

      I was wearing my got freckles shirt and the lady who draws blood at the drs. told me about Strawberry Freckleface. She wasn’t a redhead but had plenty of freckles. That book is GREAT for kids!!!

      I’m a lucky ginger because I do get tan but I really think it’s my freckles getting darker.

  11. A couple of other good redhead sites are redhedd.com which is like MySpace for redheads and justredheads.net.

  12. haha that’s cute! My step sibliings are red heads and I think it’s awesome!! She has long red hair, but just cut it all shoppy and fun – badass. Only a redhead could pull it off!

  13. Um. I’m not even sure what color my hair is anymore. My stylist has taken me over into blond-world LOL and then some.
    😉 You rock the redheadedness girl.

  14. april

    You were the cutest baby ever!!

  15. Haha this is so funny. I clicked on your blog when I saw something pop up about red heads on someone else’s blog.. completely lost my trail here, but here I am!

    100% redhead to the core.. but I DOOO have brown eyes! Hey – haven’t you heard? It’s lucky! 😉

  16. Dana Munk

    What’s up girl! It’s no surprise to see an independent, strongwilled, energy filled, true-red haired women representing. I’m 31 years old,male, 6foot 2inches, long limbed, and I have red-gold hair all over my body, no joke. Me, my brother and sister all have true-red hair. Both parents have brown to dark blondish hair. No Red. Brother and sister have green/blue eyes, but I have green/brown eyes. So this is in regards to the weird brown eyes statement. I have done the research and supposevly, the hazel,green or blue eyes with brown around the pupil is a hybrid of all ressesive genes with dominant. The eyes themselves phyically can endure more UV rays because of the brown around the pupils, therefore allowing light skinned individuls the option to migrate to sunnier climates and their eyes ajusting to brighter surroundings. Other bonuses include, tallest in the family, self-reliant, independent, Very deep strong voice that I now use for a VO career. Completely different from the rest of the family. On a genetic level, how this happens is not yet explainable by scientists. My point is, don’t single out true-redhaired people when they have brown or brown in their eyes. They may be more original and unique than you. Don’t get me wrong,I can’t stand the possers out their that claim to be “Redheads” when they have a slight shade of rust hair.Serious, eight out of ten are those possers. If its those you were ripping on then my hats of to you. I lived in the north-west for 26 years and now Hawaii for 6 years, you would be amazed how my skin and eyes have ajusted. Great chatting, if you have any qustions about genetics of family tree E mail me. Dana

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