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red headed girl

At Peach Clinics, we love redheads! There is, of course, our lovely Georgia Peach and a few others in our own lives who are blessed with red hair (yes, Liz, Sam and Ethan!)

If you’re red you’re rare! Red hair is seen on little more than one in every hundred people worldwide so we set out to find out why redheads are special.

Fun Facts

  • On average, adults have 120,000 hairs on their head, but redheads have fewer, blondes have more and brunettes have the most. So why does red hair look so luxurious? It’s because red hair is thicker than any other.
  • Redheads can age gracefully: their hair becomes sandy-coloured and then goes white. No grey hairs for them!
  • Red hair has been around a long time and not just in northern Europe. Even centuries ago there were redheads in Asia (think Genghis Khan) and even in Africa.
  • The highest percentage of redheads in the world live in Scotland (13%), followed closely by Ireland (10%). In the USA, about 2% of the population are redheads but, in the rest of the world, little more than 1% are red-haired.
  • Redheads punch above their weight – there are many famous redheads: van Gogh, Nicole Kidman, Rose Leslie, Shaun White, Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, Mark Twain, Henry VIII, Prince Harry…the list goes on.
  • There are actually two kinds of redheads according Mary Spillane, managing director of British image consultants Colour Me Beautiful. There is the “autumn type with hazel eyes” and the “Celtic type with translucent skin and light eyes”.

Celebrating Redheads

  • In Denmark, to have a red-haired baby is regarded as an honour.
  • In Poland, people see redheads as a “good luck charm”: if you see three of them at once, you should win the lottery!
  • In September, the Netherlands celebrates redheads with a special festival called the Roodharigendag.

Medical Facts

  • What causes red hair? It is a recessive gene, the MC1R mutation. Two copies of the gene are required, so it has to come from both sides of the family.
  • Redheads are more likely to burn in the sun and have a higher risk of skin cancer.
  • On the other hand, redheads are more efficient at making Vitamin D. They have low levels of eumelanin in their bodies and compensate for this by creating their Vitamin D when in low-light conditions.
  • Studies show red-haired men are 54% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • Redheads get colder faster, bruise more easily and feel more pain. Why? Because the MC1R mutation causes an excess release of pheomelanin, which interrupts the brain’s ability to regulate pain. It also means that it takes more anaesthesia to sedate a redhead. In a recent article, Jenna Pincott reports on studies that have shown that the MC1R mutation directly affects hormones that stimulate pain receptors in the brain. In a 2011 study researchers found that red-haired subjects needed about 20% more anaesthetic to relieve pain when compared with other subjects.

Redheads’ sensitive skin and translucent hair make them unsuitable candidates for laser hair removal. Galvanic electrolysis will work where laser and IPL can’t. Talk to PEACH CLINICS about how we can help you or your red-haired friends.

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