People disagree on a lot of things. Pretty much everything. But if there is one thing that everyone agrees on is that red hair is incredibly attractive. But why the fascination? Why are people so attracted to redheads?
Well it probably has to do with the fact that usually people want what they can’t have. And that applies here, because red hair color is as desired as it is rare. Only about 1 to 2% percent of the human population has it. Combine it with blue eyes and it is the rarest combination in the human race. It is a recessive gene trait, meaning that the offspring has to inherit one red hair gene from each parent to develop it. That makes it extremely difficult to inherit the trait, which in turn makes it extremely desirable.
This wasn't always the case though. Red hair has been linked to witchcraft in the 16th and 17th century and Satan is often portrayed as a redhead most likely because red was viewed as the color of sexual desire and moral degradation. In Michelangelo’s Temptation and in St. Paul's Cathedral, Eve is initially depicted as having brown and blond hair, respectively. But in both artistic renditions, after she eats the apple and she and Adam are driven from the Garden of Eden, Eve is depicted as a redhead. Times have changed though and thankfully today it is viewed as extremely sexy.
And there are benefits. The gene that causes red hair initially has the benefit of increasing the body’s ability to make vitamin D, which is important for people living farther away from the equator. The color also takes longer to get gray. It will fade into blond and only then turn loose pigmentation. It also means that red hair is harder to dye, so if you want to change your hair color that might make it a bit more difficult. Women are particularly lucky though, because according to Hamburg sex researcher Dr. Werner Habermehl, women with red hair have more sex than women with other hair colours.
So if you are looking for redheads where to go? Where can you find this red treasure? Well, while Scotland has the highest proportion (13%) of redheads (followed by Ireland with 10%), the United States has the largest population of redheads in the world, with between 6-18 million redheads, or 2-6% of the population.
Mark Twain once joked that “while the rest of the human race are descended from monkeys, redheads derive from cats.” That might not be true, but redheads are on a league of their own. And we all love them for it.