5 Surprising Facts About Redheads You Didn't Know!

5 faits surprenants sur les rousses que vous ignorez!

It is estimated that between 1% and 2% of the world's population has red hair, which also makes it attractive. If redheads were considered vampires by the Ancient Greeks, today beliefs have changed: we are simply jealous of not having the gene that allows us to have such flamboyant hair. Here are some surprising facts about redheads!

1 - They owe their pretty pigmentation to a genetic mutation.

Both parents must carry the mutated MC1R gene to be able to produce red-headed offspring, of which there is a 25% chance if they do not have red hair themselves. If you have freckles, you are probably a carrier of the gene.

2 - Redheads are more difficult to anesthetize!

A study in the journal Anesthesiology found that red-haired women needed 19 percent more anesthesia to be put to sleep than dark-haired women. Some scientists believe that the protein mutation that causes red hair and light skin makes redheads more sensitive to pain and therefore more difficult to anesthetize them.

3 - They are rare, but not endangered!

Less than 2% of the world's population has red hair. This represents approximately 140 million people. Scotland has the highest percentage of natural reds, at 13% while Ireland comes in second with 10%. As science journalist Maggie Koerth-Baker explains , “In fact, redheads are stealthily infiltrating the rest of humanity. Here's the proof: even though only 2% of people have red hair, 4% have the gene that makes them redheads. So while two red heads will not produce a brunette, two brunettes might produce a red head.”

4 - They will never have gray hair (the lucky ones!)

The red pigment disappears over time, gradually transforming to blonde, rose gold then white, but never gray. Fortunately for them, because it turns out to be extremely difficult to dye or bleach their hair because of their pigment which is very tight.

5 – They can produce their own vitamin D

Due to their low concentration of melanin, they cannot absorb enough vitamin D. But fortunately - and incredibly - they are the only ones that can produce their own vitamin D when exposed to low light conditions.

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