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    Updated on 1 Sep 2020. Posted on 2 Nov 2016

    17 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Redheads

    Blondes may have more fun, but redheads have more sex.

    1. Red hair is a mutation.

    20th Century Fox

    Basically, red hair is caused by a series of mutations in your MC1R gene. It's a recessive trait, so both parents need to carry the trait for it to be inherited.

    2. And redheads are more likely to be left-handed.

    Fox

    Recessive genes apparently often appear in pairs.

    3. Having red hair and blue eyes basically makes you a unicorn.

    EuropaCorp

    Another recessive trait, having blue eyes and red hair is apparently the rarest combination in the world.

    4. The Dutch celebrate a festival in the first weekend of September called Roodharigendag, or Redhead Day.

    5. Redheads make up only approximately 2% of the human population.

    Disney

    6. It's believed redheads require more anaesthetic than other hair colours.

    MTV

    7. And contradicting studies have found redheads may have very different reactions to pain.

    Netflix

    While one study found redheads had lower thermal pain tolerance, the second study tested humans with an electric shock and found redheads had a higher threshold.

    8. There are also reports of redheaded women bruising a lot easier than women of other hair colours.

    NBC

    OK so there's no science to back this up. In fact, studies done couldn't find reasoning behind it, but redheaded participants in a 2003 study reported slightly more bruising than the women with darker hair colours.

    9. In the Middle Ages, red hair was considered a sign of being a vampire.

    HBO

    Montague Summers, known for the first English translation of the 15th-century witch-hunting manual Malleus Maleficarum also wrote, "Those whose hair is red, of a certain peculiar shade, are unmistakably vampires".

    10. And many women were persecuted for witchcraft simply for having red hair.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    While it's difficult to confirm, a lot of sites report more than 45,000 women who were killed for being witches were also redheads.

    11. In France, red hair was considered a means to exclude men from priesthood because Judas is often depicted as a redhead.

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    12. Bees are apparently more attracted to redheads.

    Paramount Pictures

    This is all anecdotal, and there haven't been widely published studies done on this, but many redheads report bees and wasps are more likely to sting them than those with other hair colours.

    13. There was a recipe for "Spanish gold" that required the blood of a redheaded man.

    Disney

    The jury is still out on if the recipe was for an actual paint colour or if it was some kind of alchemical code, as the recipe asks for red copper, basilisk powder, human blood, and vinegar. "The blood, meanwhile, must come from a red-haired man, and must be dried and ground."

    14. Evidence was found that indicated Neanderthals carried a variant MC1R gene similar to the modern redhead trait.

    BBC2

    15. Redheads are less likely to go gray.

    Buena Vista Pictures

    The pigment in red hair stays around much longer than other colours, and instead of going gray, the reddish colour simply fades to a silver-white.

    16. They have less hair, but it's thick.

    Disney

    While redheads have fewer individual strands of hair on their heads, the strands themselves are thicker.

    17. Blondes may have more fun, but redheads have more sex.

    Universal Pictures

    In 2006, a German sex researcher found redheads reported having more active sex lives than blondes or brunettes.

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