World Redhead Day

Okay, so this is going to be a little different bit of writing than I normally include in my blog. Rather than being completely philosophical or writing with the intent to put forth some kind of intense rhetoric about a subject, I think I’ll leave this blog post short, sweet, and to the point.

Today is a day to honor and send love to all of your redheaded friends and family! I can never remember which day of the year is World Redhead Day, but given the Facebook notifications I’ve received today, it seems like my questions have been answered. Today is a day all about ME!

Well, it’s not all about me. Instead, it’s a day to honor and love all redheads around the globe. Redheads only take up around 2% of the world’s population. We are an incredibly rare breed. While redheads are rare, it is even rarer to have red hair and blue eyes. My eyes are green, so I’m not as rare as other gingers around the world, but I’m still a part of only 2% of the population.

Given the diversity around the world in terms of races, genders, eye colors, and otherwise, it is quite the feat to contain a small part of a rare example in human genetics. This means that I carry the redheaded gene. If fortune and favor holds, perhaps my children will be redheaded as well. But while we give a hug or loving message to our redheaded loved ones on this day, let us not forget the downfalls and cons of being a redhead.

Redheads actually have a higher sensitivity to pain. In other words, we feel pain more intensely than other people. This high sensitivity to pain also means that local anesthetic is less efficient with us. The reasoning is relatively scientific, which involves the gene that causes red hair and how its mutations can affect certain pain receptors in the body. The link above gives a good explanation of it.

I’m not sure on the logistics or facts of this, but apparently redheads are inherently more likely to contract Parkinson’s disease than other hair colored people. I’ll have to do more research on this fact.

A more common known fact about redheads is our sensitive skin. This obviously leads to a higher chance of getting sunburn, among other aspects. Besides having to constantly apply sunscreen and spend more time inside than out, new studies show that we are at a higher chance of skin cancer solely because of our red hair.

Apparently, redheads are more likely to have skin blemishes and black or brown birthmarks. This is another fact of which I’m unsure, but it’s definitely something worth researching. I do have medium-sized birthmark on the middle of my back that is dark brown. Whether it has anything to do with my skin tone or hair color is unknown.

These are just a few of the smaller facts that I’ve heard or researched throughout my life as a redhead. To be honest, this idea and these “prejudices” are more for a laugh than anything else in my eyes. It’s true we are the rarest hair color. It’s true that we have fair skin and burn easily. It’s true that we feel pain more intensely than other people. However, most of the others either need more research or are just for laughs in my eyes.

This doesn’t take away from the fact that being a redhead is wholly incredible. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of times people have asked me if they could touch my hair, comment on the color, or just give me a really nice compliment. Granted, I can’t control my natural hair color, but the compliments and moments of grace are always welcomed and appreciated.

I love my hair color. I love being a redhead.

Here’s to all the redheads out there! Enjoy the shade!

Wow, that really wasn’t a short and sweet blog post, was it? Oops.

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