By Mayukh Saha
Redheads have always attracted the attention of people. Firstly, they are just 2% of the entire population of the world and on top of that, back in 1886, Dr. Augustin Galopin reported that they had a strange aroma too. Scientists have now proven that the acidic film present on our skin is more acidic for redheads leading to a faster breakdown of perfume which results in this strange aroma. They have also found out a special MC1R gene mutation in redheads – a powerful gene that gives them tolerance, increased sensitivity, and easy Vitamin D synthesis. These are some of the ways redheads are better than most of the people with other hair colors:-
Easy Access To Vitamin D
Due to the cold and cloudy environment of Europe, most of us don’t get the sunlight that is so necessary for the synthesis of Vitamin D. But for red heads, Vitamin D deficiency is not a problem at all. Due to the MC1R gene mutation present in their body, they can produce more Vitamin D when they go out than any other ordinary person. Vitamin D is vital and a lack of it may cause arthritis or rickets – but redheads don’t have to worry about them anymore. It’s also a great evolutionary advantage for them in the European climate.
They Can Tolerate Pain
Studies show that redheads have more tolerance to pain than any other person. According to a 2003 McGill University study, they can handle about 25 percent more pain when compared to people who have any other hair color. As a result, they are harder to put to sleep during operation as per an Oslo University Study. Even 20% more anesthesia than normal is necessary to sedate a redhead. They are somehow powerful because of their hair color.
They can feel the changes in temperature
Any kind of change in the temperatures can be felt very easily when you are a redhead. They have sensitive temperature indicators due to the MC1R gene they carry. This gene makes them sensitive to temperature signals and so if your redhead friend tells you it’s getting chillier, get ready with a blanket.
You can’t fake red
Red is an intense color. It’s bold and if you dye your hair with it, chances are it will fade away fast. As per Danny Moon, the molecules in the red hair dye are large and do not enter the hair properly. As a result, it can get washed off easily. So, you either have to be a rare natural to be able to sport your wonderful red hair, or you might appear as someone wearing a cheap dye.
It’s not always present on white people
While we may not see them on screen or on posters, red hair is not a patent held by white people. In Morocco and Papua New Guinea, there are many native redheads, and they carry a darker skin tone. Polynesians call native red-haired Polynesians, ehu, believing them to be descendants of the fire gods.
They are popular on TV
If you watch TV and go through all the long period of commercials, chances are you have seen a redhead. Actually, you have probably seen a lot of redheads. On 2014, an Upstream Analysis discovered that about 30 percent of the TV commercials aired a redhead. It was found that at one time, CBS had shown redheads on their channel every 106 seconds. That quite a huge number when you think about how redheads are just 2% of the population.
Redheads appear as funny
Have you been to the circus and saw the shocking colors that the clowns wear? Professor Andrew Stott from the University of Buffalo traces redheads in comedy back to the 19th century when the clowns put on big wigs. They had to be visible to the back of the crowd and since red is naturally an intense color, it was an easy choice to make. As a result, by the early 20th century, the red-haired clown became a part of our culture coinciding with the entry of Irish immigrants in the US. That’s the probable reason why the Macdonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald is spelled in the Irish manner.
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No wonder redheads are special. Somehow nature has favored them with an evolutionary advantage. But while we can be jealous of them, we also love them.
IMAGE CREDIT: Volodymyr Nikulin