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9 Strange Facts About Redheads You Never Knew Before

While only about two per cent of people in the world have naturally red hair, there are plenty of fun facts about gingers.

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They’re harder to anesthetize

A small study in the journal Anesthesiology found that redheaded women required 19 per cent more of the anesthesia desflurane to be put to sleep than women with dark hair. Some scientists think that the protein mutation that causes red hair and fair skin makes redheads more sensitive to pain and therefore it’s more difficult to anesthetize them.

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Red haired woman with pinstripe sweaterPhoto: Shutterstock

They have more sex than blondes or brunettes

“The sex lives of women with red hair were clearly more active than those with other hair colours, with more partners and having sex more often than the average,” Hamburg sex researcher Professor Werner Habermehl told the Daily Mail, after leading a survey of 6,000 German women through the Hamburg Medical Research Institute in Germany.

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Melanoma on backPhoto: Shutterstock

They’re at risk for melanoma

According to a 2010 meta-analysis in the International Journal of Cancer, a fact about redheads is that they are about two and a half times as likely to develop the dangerous skin cancer as people with other hair colours.

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Red haired childPhoto: Mariia Kan/Shutterstock

Scientists have used birds and boars to understand redheads

In their attempt to understand how pheomelanin, the pigment that makes hair red, affects gingers’ health, scientists have examined similarly auburn-tinted feathers and fur. The results? Boars taught the experts that redheads may be at high risk for cellular damage from free radicals; and a study of more than 1,400 species of birds suggested that the pigment may be associated with smaller brain size.

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Smiling red haired womanPhoto: Shutterstock

They’re not going extinct

As science journalist Maggie Koerth-Baker writes, “Actually, redheads are stealthily infiltrating the rest of humanity.” Here’s her proof: Even though only 2 per cent of people have red hair, 4 per cent have the gene that makes redheads. (If you have freckles, you’re probably a carrier). So, while two redheads won’t produce a brunette, two brunettes could produce a redhead.

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They’re more likely to be left-handed

Another fun fact about redheads, they’re more likely to be left-handed. Both of these characteristics come from recessive genes, which typically come in pairs.

Check out the surprising benefits of being left-handed.

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Red haired man with beardPhoto: Shutterstock

They won’t go gray

One of the many facts about redheads is that their hair will never turn gray. The pigment in their hair that causes it to be red will just fade over time, causing their hair to turn blonde or white, but never gray.

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Red haired woman drinking winePhoto: Shutterstock

Redheads have less hair

People without red hair have about 140,000 strands of hair, while people with red hair have only 90,000. But red hair tends to be thicker so it looks just as full.

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Bumblebee on red flowerPhoto: Shutterstock

Bees are more attracted to them

Some scientific studies have found that bees are more attracted to people with red hair. This is one of the many strange facts about redheads. Research has found that it is most likely because of their hair’s resemblance to bright flowers.

Next, learn about the rarest hair and eye colour combination in humans!

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest