October 10, 2002
Mutation for redheads is of recent origin

In evolutionary terms a mutation that arose only 20,000 years ago is pretty recent. If this is correct then the pheomelanin variation of melanin that produces red hair is pretty new.

According to the most recent estimates, the first red hair sprouted just 20,000 years ago, long after the advent of modern homo sapiens.

Well, whether your hair has (or had) eumelanin for brown and black hair or pheomelanin for yellow and red hair some day gene therapy or cell therapy will make it possible to turn gray hair back to a youthful color. Women wanting a different color will even be able to choose which type of melanin and in what quantity they want to have. Probably some adult stem cells will be able to be converted into youthful melanocytes and melanosomes:

Research suggests that we may be able to reverse the graying process in the future. Tobin's group, for instance, has determined that the dormant melanocytes and melanosomes in gray hair follicles can be coaxed into creating melanin again

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 October 10 03:13 PM  Human Population Genetics

John Bray said at June 22, 2004 9:21 PM:

Is there any info available that might tell where these beautiful creatures started? I suspect it was among Europeans for that's the only place even today that that mutation exists. Or at least I think so. Wherever the strain started, it certainly has been persistent through the generations. I am very interested in this subject and as I travel,I see more and more redheads. I think they're growing wild!!

John Bray said at June 22, 2004 9:21 PM:

Is there any info available that might tell where these beautiful creatures started? I suspect it was among Europeans for that's the only place even today that that mutation exists. Or at least I think so. Wherever the strain started, it certainly has been persistent through the generations. I am very interested in this subject and as I travel,I see more and more redheads. I think they're growing wild!!

Not red said at June 24, 2004 6:00 PM:

between 8000-12500 years ago, over a priod of roughly 50 years, large numbers of immigrants from the middle east, asia and northern africa travelled west in ships and by land.
They first landed in greece, mated with the women, some settled, some went further west and the greeks were no longer aryan.
Those who carried on travelled to southern Italy and spain, the same thing happened, though still today there are villages in spain that are pure aryan and untouched by colored people.
A while later, they came to Ireland, a nation of uber whites, mated with them, but this time they didnt go black. The mixture of brown skin and black hair with pure white skin and blonde hair and weird weather cause a genetic defect. Red hair and freckles were developed.
The mix of habitats placed in a weird climate produced mixed up genes. The intense sun tolerance of black skin and the moderate tolerance of sun by white skin caused the sun tolerance gene to malfunct.
There spawn after 6 generations without out another black parent had no tolerance of sunlight (freckles) and hair that was useless in light attraction (red hair). This explains inense redheads that inhabit Ireland.
More recently, 3-200 years ago Irish settled in britain and america, now fully integrated through many areas of society, most whites, not aryans, have freckles and some have red hair.

This claim is backed by DNA location trackers

Holly said at July 1, 2004 10:37 AM:

I am a redhead, and get very irritated when people say i must be irish. My ancestors are from Germany and people try to argue with me about this. I am the only redhead in my family and i understand the nature of the genetic defect but does this mean that i am irish if i have red hair i am a little confused.

Bob Guise said at July 23, 2004 5:37 AM:

I have had some redheads in my family. My aunt was a sun worshipper, and a freckled red-head. She died of skin cancer. I stay out of the sun, even though I lack the red hair and have far fewer freckles.

What I note is the cultural association of red hair and green eyes is not addressed in the articles I have red involving the genetics of red hair. Why is that? Are they separate phenomenon?

Also, as Holly posted above, Red Hair is not relegated to Ireland, though it does seem to be very common there. I have noted (in my personal, non-scientific experience) that two countries seem to produce a number of redheads: Ireland and Israel (!) - countries which are very different in many ways, including genetics. The person with the most red (natural) hair I ever have known, had a german last name and ancestors from all over northern europe. Holly, I think that your red hair is more dependant on the genes of your family for the past several generations than the country with which you identify.

Kat said at September 16, 2004 2:52 AM:

They should have a moderator for this site if people are going to post nonsense! I am a redhead and i do have some irish in my background, but also German and French. ALL of the redheads in my family are on my mothers side, which is German and French!! I read NOT REDS post and it is really insulting and completing without basis in fact. If anyone is really interested in looking up the genetics of redheads they should look up RH negative blood factors, which alot of red heads with green eyes seem to have, including myself. For anyone to try and say redheads are a mutation resulting from colored people mixing with the " pure white " people is just so much neo-nazi uneducated crap! Not Red should change to Not Read, (as in a book once in a while!!)
Who could believe that someone saying mixing races and RAINY WEATHER!!??!! cause hair color to turn out red?!!? what the ****!?

Anyway, freckles are caused by an over reaction of melanin ( everyone has melanin, it determines how dark or light your skin or hair is so the darker your skin or hair the more melanin you have) which causes the melanin in fair skin to over compensate to try and protect the skin causing hyperpigmentation, ( freckles ). Also, blondes and brunettes hair color is determined by the level of melanin. Red hair is derived directly from their genetic information, not melanin. I have read that is why someone who has truly red hair, ( not auburn ) will have a longer time before there hair color changes when they age and then it will turn completley white and not gray like everyone else when melanin production slows down.

Anna said at September 25, 2004 8:49 PM:

My cousin has 3 children, all with red hair. Her daughters are 12 and 8 and she is finding white hair on their heads. Is there a medical explanation for this? Is there something she can do to stop the growth of this white hair?

sara said at October 23, 2004 6:21 PM:

Kat, interesting comment about the RH negative blood factor, which I found out I have when my daughter was born...I do have green eyes and some freckles, although little red pigment in hair...more light brown. Could be coincidence, but still interesting...will read up on genetics.

My background is Irish on my father's side and french on my mother's side. My mother is a redhead with green eyes. No one with red hair or green eyes on father's Irish side.

Angelxxxx said at October 24, 2004 9:22 PM:

I'm a redhead and I"m neither Irish nor European. In fact I feel like I'm the only redhead in my culture. Its so cool because my red hair has always made me stand out from the crowd. Everyone remembers me. Anyways I don't think its a mutation and and I don't know about my RH factor. oh and I don't have freckles although I do have the pale skin. I have no redheads in my family so I used to think I was adopted from a different country(lol)

Melissa Embury said at November 30, 2004 6:53 AM:

I have observed that most red haired people with pale skin have blue or green eyes. My eyes are very dark brown with no variegation, and I have very pale skin aburn hair and freckles. I would like to know how this combination occurs genetically, and why.
My mother had bright orange hair, green/blue eyes, freckles everywhere and pale yellowly skin. She is Scottish, French and German. Mom has 13 brothers and sisters, all with bright orange hair, so the gene must be strong. Her father has red hair. My father has pale skin, black hair and dark, almost black eyes. His background is Scottish, English, and Irish.
I am getting married to a Indian man from the Punjab region. In Punjab there are alot of people with blue or green eyes and paler skin than most other people in India. Nigel, my fiance has dark brown eyes and honey coloured skin.
What are the chances of my children having red hair and/or blue or green eyes?

Lisanne said at December 4, 2004 9:44 AM:

Sorry to say - your kids will probably be dark. Unless your intended's family can remember anyone with red hair in the past few hundred years.

My brother and I are throw-backs to some unknown relative. Entire family on both sides are dark with the exception of 5 blondes. Parents are Polish/Dutch brunette with blue eyes and Mexican/Native-American, brunette with hazel eyes. My younger sister is a brunette with chocolate eyes. Wierd family pictures! So, there is a chance that he carries the gene - but not much.

My own children are dark. My husband's dna took mine, threw it on the ground and stomped on it ;) I count myself lucky that my son has slightly lighter hair that goes blonde in the summer sun.

Many you should reconsider your choice :p It's too late for me, but we must perpetuate the superior race of redheads :D


Kim said at December 4, 2004 10:32 PM:

*laughs* Then I bet Luc Besson's Fifth Element movie pointed out that being a redhead was still beautiful because Leeloo was considered a redhead (even with orange hair) the most beautiful woman on earth. The perfect being. If you notice maybe the divine language she spoke was a mix of every language spoken by redheads. *feels better about her hair color now and feels beautiful*
I have seen some redheads speaking Russian too. I wonder if we really are Northern Europians.

I am also the only redhead in the family. But why are we called redheads? Are hair is actually orange. Atleast my hair is orange and my skin is pale/fair and lightly freckled. The more skin I expose in the sun light, the more freckles I get. Sometimes I love the why I look from seeing how Leeloo was thought to be beautiful. (knows Milla Jovovich is really a brunette though)My eyes are also gray. Sometimes I wish my hair was brown. I have to remind myself, I still look like mom but with lighter oranger hair then auburny brown. I am American Canadian Irish. At least I can prove that. Now I have to learn my own heiritage's background and languages. I guess I should combine them too and make my own divine language.

Elaine said at December 14, 2004 2:34 AM:

Very interesting thoughts on red hair. I have a very rich unusual shade of red. People do not forget me after they see me. My parents have black and brown hair. I have an older sister who people think is my twin and she has slightly darker red hair than mine but , she got tannable skin(olive) brown eyes and super curly hair and a cat eye with a half pupil(speaking of genetics)and I received the Irish red hair freckles , pale /pinkish skin, blueish/greenish eyes. People say we are twins but our coloring is so different . Mind you my father when he grows a beard it is my exact red. My mothers side is Irish and British but not a red head as far as we can tell. My fathers side though was Spanish (hmmm) and Cossack (Russian) Living in England . So i assume the red came from Russia or Spain. Anybody have any info on Spanish red hair? I had heard that redhair reflects the light and that we are the base of all hair colors. It is impossible to dye red hair. Ive tried it . One halloween I put fake wash out "Black!" hair dye in and nobody even noticed. It seems to not attach to the hair.I also have tried putting red dye in my hair. The reddest red barely dents it. THe only way you can change your hair is by bleachng it and then putting other color in it. Ifeel redhaeds are misunderstood and have many stigmas attached to them. When I had my daughter she appeared with auburny redish hair that seems mostly brown at the moment , red in the light . She came out screaming and boy does she have a set of lungs. The seemingly level headed doctor just minutes after the wee bairn was born said" wow a redhead, look at the temper on her, ohhh better watch out for this one. This was quite insulting to my mother who was there. The baby has barely taken a breath and a highly intelligent individual makes the assumption that she has a fiery temper. Genetics? Having red hair does make you feel different. I have come to the conclusion that we really are our own race I think we should get special treatment like other minorities. We are picked on for years because we are different and we have emotional issues because people stare at us when we put our hair down. They also have predjudicial ideas about our characters based sharly on our hair color hmmm interesting. My son was born with blonde hair and not a hint of red , he got daddys side.

M.J said at January 6, 2005 10:29 PM:

Hello, I am Afro-Caribbean American. A lot of people say that freckles develop on fair-skinned people due to over-exposure to the sun, but this can't be the case in my situation. Although I have enough melanin in my skin to protect me against the sun, I have freckles on my hands and arms. I can see the freckles because I am sort of light-skinned. Does anyone have any idea why I have freckles?
My parents aren't purely black. I have some ancestors from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Also, a lot of my family members have freckles developing on their faces!

I am searching my family tree information on the surname "Fenty". If anyone has anything, or knows anyone by that surname, please email me. We think the surname is of Scottish origin.

mb said at January 29, 2005 3:58 PM:

FYI. I have been interested in human origins since the age of 5, and it consumes much of my private study time. I also study evolutionary biology. The history of "Red Haired Ones" is particularly intriguing - what little of it there is. Certainly, thru archeology & anthropology, there is very little that can be said about past peoples hair and skin colours, present populations may not reflect past habitation, or the evolution of same. Very few skeletons are found, even fewer have hair still attached - and very little dna has been ever been successfully extracted in skeletons this old - this science really must be understood to be in its infancy.

Much of archeology and anthropology is not considered "politically correct", and the findings are only published in scholarly journals - which does not capture the interest of the average person. What has been established thru the few skeletons that have been found with hair still attached and, the even fewer, that have been cross-matched genetically, is that red haired peoples were once much more common than at present.


Ramses II had red hair (with the mummification process, hair colour is much more likely to be perserved) and it is estimated that 10-15% of the Egyptian population was red-haired at this time.

North-west China, Mongolia and Siberia were, at one time, almost exclusively Caucausoid (which is NOT the same as "white European")with a number of red haired skeletons, and dna sampling from one such skeleton which was conclusively linked to the present population.
Red haired skeletons, in fact, appear to be the most frequent finds (in skeletons that are to be found with hair)in all northern latitude areas such as Siberia.

This can be cross-referenced with the myths and legends of ancient peoples. In China, the populations were, at one time, far more diverse than at present, where the descendents of the Han now dominate. The Hmong people claim that Chi-Yu had "red hair" (Chi-Yu was a contemporary of the legendary "Yellow Emperor" who, along with the Hmong and the Han, represented the three nations that formed China) although other contemporary indigenious peoples in the area speak not of "red-haired ones" but of "yellow haired ones". Among the Inca, the Aztec, the Haida, the Okanagan and many, many others - there are legends of white-haired, or red-haired, or yellow haired, or blue eyed, people.

I could cite example after example, however, many governments and peoples are openly hostile to archeologists who wish to explore human origins and have shut their borders to them.

This is unfortunate, as the legacy belongs to us all, and it appears that early humans were far more sophisticated and widely travelled than is commonly imagined.

However, the most authentic "birth certificate" for red hair, if one could call it that, is "The History of Germania" by the Roman historian/scholar Tacitus - widely regarded as the most accurate of all ancient writers. In commenting on the physical appearance of the "Germans" (please note that the ancient Romans were not much better than the average American in lumping peoples of a geographic zone together such as the misnomer of calling anyone who lives in the Middle East an "Arab", or, even worse, a native North American an "Indian"!!!)he noted that they were exceedingly tall (archeologically this has borne up - average height male 6'5", average height female 6'), "powerfully built, and red-haired with blue eyes - the whole damn race of them!"

Unfortunately, the disappearence of the "red-haired ones" has not been an accident. Rather than get into the depressing details let it suffice to say that, in Europe (according to Tacitus), the women were venerated, and it was a matri-lineal culture. The women, and their adoring males (Tacitus also noted that "the Germans" differed from all other peoples as they were content with one wife apiece, or, perhaps it was the women who suffered no rivals!)stood vehemently opposed to imposition of the "Christian" faith. They valued freedom and were fiercely independent, fighting first the Romans and then the Catholic Church, to bring an end to Slavery - and were one of the few peoples in the world who did not base their economy on it. The women were well known for fighting in battle (the legend of the Amazons) and led many an army into battle against their enemies.

The battle against Christianity in Europe raged for over a thousand years(!)and, in order to break these people, the Church, adopted and then promoted, the belief that red-hair was evil and a product of "the devil". The on-going slaughter that resulted has changed the face of Europe. Today, in Germany, only 5% of the population is considered indigeneous. The "Germans" really only exist in myth and legend now. The Lord of the Rings - is a truer story about this past than people realize - JRR Tolkien was a mythologist (scholar).

Also provoking curiosity are the paintings by Renaissance artists such as Titian and Micheangelo, and the murals that cover the churches in Siena, Florence, Venice - dominated by red haired subjects. Reflections of their populations at the time?

The most fascinating statements that Tacitus made was that these red-haired people were considered by the Romans to be "the most ancient race" of man. HHmmm. The fact is that the history of all peoples has suffered great harm thru the loss of oral tradition, and the rise of institutionalized religions and governments that seek to legitimize themselves by wiping out all knowledge of what preceeded them (witness the burning of the Alexandria library, not once, but twice!).

It is sad, and leaves humanity the poorer for it.

In case you are wondering - I do not possess red hair, and would be considered a regular 20th century homo sapien sapien mutt.

juls said at March 12, 2005 6:15 PM:

i am an irish redhead (medium auburn, curly, green eyes, small ring of hazel around my pupil, anyone else got this??)
i would like to respond to some comments that lots of redheads are found in israel and russia, note how it is mainly women that you see, do u see any men in these 2 countries with red hair??? red hair dye(clue!) is available in russia and israel, and it is especially popular for Russian women to die their hair red. i think that the origins of the celts in what is now czech republic, germany etc and other Celtic nations is where u find redheads(also where these people have travelled to, US, Canada etc) Highest % in Scotland and Ireland as they had better chance of survival, away from norman, arab, roman influence etc

Lacy Williams said at March 15, 2005 9:08 PM:

Hi! my fiance is african-american with very fair skin and a face full of freckles and like a sandy reddish tint hair color that has medium course texture with brown eyes. He is related to the president with the last name Harding. I am dark hair,med brown eyes,and olive color skin. When we have a child which will be more dominate in skin color,eye color,and hair color.

Lacy Williams

mye said at March 28, 2005 12:52 AM:

I'm an Israeli very fair skinned redhead of German and Syrian descent. I don't know about Russia, but I agree with the comment made much earlier that there are a lot of redheads in Israel. Infact, I have never seen more redheads anywhere else! I'm not talking about redheads who have dyed their hair, but natural redheads. Many of these redheads are descendent from places such as Germany, Poland, and Russia. I have never been to Ireland or Scotland (though most people I meet seem to think I have some connection to those countries) and I don't disagree that these countries may have the highest percentage of redheads, but I think people are really stupid when they immediately assume that if you're a redhead than you're most likely Scottish or Irish. Though scotland and Ireland may have the highest percentage of redheads within their countries, how high is their percentage as compared with the rest of the world? Being a redhead makes it really hard for me sometimes to convince people I'm Israeli. Maybe this is because of stereotype of Middleasterners: all dark skinned, dark haired. I guess this just goes to prove that people should expect to find redheads in unexpected places.

JELY said at April 6, 2005 3:09 AM:

hi i liv in singapore so i'm on of the few redheads living on the island. mb thnx for information it was really well done. In singapore i go to an international school and a lot of people here say tht alot of redheads r in Israel and Russia but i know alot of ppl from these countries and have never seen anyone with redhair from these countries. I thought tht redheads were only form Scotland and Ireland and now i see tht i'm wrong its nice to know there are alot more of us out there than i originally thought. My mum is irish redhead and my dad has black hair and is scotish, i hav redhair and yellow eyes which no one else in my family has. As for discrimination, i totally sympathise i lived in australia a few years back and they hav a word ranger (slang for redhead) it really impacted on my life and was one of the reasons i moved to singapore.

coiled said at April 17, 2005 2:02 AM:

I am a big european mix. I often get mistaken as Irish/ Scot. Though I only have a small amoutn of that blood, which includes English= a quarter of what I am. The rest is Scandinavian, Russian and German. From the research I have done, Redheads may have originated in the area that is now the Ukraine.

spiral said at April 17, 2005 10:22 PM:

I had a shocker last month! I just got genetic testing done...

All of my life I've been told that I'm German. My mom's grandparents on both sides came to the US from Germany, so I grew up with German speaking grandparents (that also spoke English). My Dad's side was German/Polish. Well! That meant to me that I was either all German or German/Polish.
Everyone kept telling me that because I am so fair and have a ton of red curly hair that I must be Irish!

I would always say, "No, I'm German." I actually started getting frustrated that people just assumed I was Irish as a redhead.

Well, guess what? They were right! I had the testing done and I'm Scottish/Irish!

It just goes to show that you really don't have any idea what you "are" based on what your parents say or even what their genetic code is. Being a redhead stems from a recessive gene, from what I remember in biology.

I feel so silly now for being so emphatic about being German. But, I'm also amazed that they can look at your code and tell you what you "are"! It was like going to a fortune teller when the doctor called with my results. He had never seen me before, but he was like, "Well, you must be a redhead." over the phone. Pretty cool.

Kim said at April 23, 2005 5:24 PM:

I also heard that in Egypt (a long time ago), the Egyptians considered redheads to be a curse and even burned female virgins or something like that. (Leeloo was at in Egypt too, in the Fifth Element movie.)

Didn't the Egyptians worship a sun god? Maybe the redhaired and freckled complexions caused alot jealousy or envy in the past. (Like the sun.) We are not fiery in personality. We are individuals.

I don't agree with the gene mutations though. My mother's side of the family has redhaired people too. It's inherited somehow. Perhaps stronger genes?

Alot of people living on the equator have dark skin and hair with the exception of travelers from the far north. I don't think it changes anything. One parent can have the gene strain bred into them and that will determine the child's hair and complexion. I don't think we are from dark haired or dark complexion people breeding with lighter people.

Some dark blonde individuals' hair lightens in the sun while their skin darkens too. I have also seen from African beauties with freckles too. It's the hair color, not the skin.

David said at April 27, 2005 3:56 AM:

All very interesting!
I Once got speaking to a person I worked with, and she studied Genealogy/had a interest in it, and from what she said Redheads are very closely related to blondes, and its a very fine line between being blonde or a redhead, and it originates from the Scanivains/Germans, as United kingdom/Ireland, were all generally fair skinned/dark haired people, and when the German Vikings came over and concur the United kingdom, they brought with them the blonde and redhead hair colour traits, and banished or killed most of the male pollution over time, hence a lot of english/scotish/welsh are blonde/redheaded but still get the dark hair pale skin of the native united people, as they kept the females, and of course mated with them etc!.
And the redheads in island become so due to the scanican Danish or Norwegian Viking, (I forgot which ones now!).

Hope that all makes sense


PS - I am a blonde

Terrence said at April 28, 2005 8:01 PM:

Yes, all very interesting. I am redhead (and always felt very different from other kids). Both both paternal grandparents were Irish but I'am the only redhead among about 60-80 first and second degree relatives. Must be very recessive. But as I get older I am getting more and more senstitive to clothes. Most clothes, especially shirts, are itchy to me so I always have to be hunting around for soft fabrics and I wonder if that is related to very white skin. Just looking at wool gives me the shivers!

Also, for any surgery, such as at dentists, they always have to give me a double dose of anesthetics and it takes longer to get numb. One day I read that redheads are often more sensitive to pain, seems to have something to do with melanin, and often need more anesthetic than most other ppl.

Don't know if that information is useful to anybody.


Pidge said at May 26, 2005 11:12 AM:

I find it interesting that a lot of people are saying they're of German origin. .
I have thick red-gold hair, pale skin, freckles and green eyes and my mother is from Germany/former Poland. My ancestors on her side are from Germany and they are mainly blonde. However my father's family are all from within the UK and that is where the 'ginger gene' comes from in my family. My cousin, sister, and my father and grandmother all have redhead traits. I would be very interested to know of its origins. I am still wondering if it must of be Celtic origin .
Very interesting thread.
I think that the redhead gene is recessive because are an evolutionary quirk and we don't really work very well.. I mean I cannot see an advantage to having such pale skin that burns too easily and is so sensitive, except for the levels of vitamin D in our skin which prevents us from getting rickets maybe. I find it interesting that most redheads I have spoken to have been out with/dated another redhead at one time in their life and always describe the same thing: 'he/she felt too much like my brother/sister.. it was too weird'. Perhaps we just instinctively don't want to interbreed, or perhaps it's just that humans generally don't want to breed with those who are too genetically similar to themselves. Does anyone know of any redheads marrying redheads or redheads having children together? I certainly haven't..

Aidan Mahony said at May 30, 2005 9:05 PM:

I'm an irish/scottish immigrant. I have a deep auburn hair color, fair skin and amber/green eyes. My adopted mother started finding white hairs among the red.And lately more and more have been growing in. Will the new hairs keep coming? What is the nature of piebaldism?

David said at June 3, 2005 1:37 PM:

Anyone recommend places to sue for testing/analysing your jeans?


robert said at June 7, 2005 7:59 AM:

I am from South-Africa.
My father and grandfather hava german surnames & my mother's side english and dutch surnames.
My father had very red hair when he was about 20..and my mothers side more dark hair.
The majority had brown hair.i have brown eyes with green circles..and I have freckles.

Is there a chance I can have kids with smooth white skin and blue eyes one day?
And what do I have to look out for in a partner then?

many thanks

robert said at June 7, 2005 8:00 AM:

I am from South-Africa.
My father and grandfather hava german surnames & my mother's side english and dutch surnames.
My father had very red hair when he was about 20..and my mothers side more dark hair.
The majority had brown eyes.i have brown eyes with green circles..and I have freckles.

Is there a chance I can have kids with smooth white skin and blue eyes one day?
And what do I have to look out for in a partner then?

many thanks

robert said at June 7, 2005 8:31 AM:


Does coloured eyes like blue,green,grey etc originate from europe?
and where did dark eyes originate from?

:-) not totally sure if my emailaddress is .com or .co.uk

robert said at June 7, 2005 8:54 AM:

so what is your opnion of the human race and where we originated from? and where did all the different colour skins,hair and eyes come from?

Interesting to know.
Thank you

April said at June 13, 2005 3:20 PM:

Hello everybody i was looking up the origins of redhair and stumbled across this thread which i found extremely interesting.Me i am Irish i have red hair which has blond gold strands through it and light brown but has overall prominant copper colour i have gray/blue eyes with sallow/pale skin.I have been told that i have german scottish ancestors i am the only redhead in a family of ten all who have brown or black hair the majority of them whom tan easily.Im v interested in the origins of redhair and found this thread a valuble source of info.Recently ive noticed that i get white hairs.Is it possible that the redhair gene has some relation to albinism? As these traits are considered recessive.

ZeraKodesh said at June 22, 2005 12:45 PM:

It is said King David was a redhead.

Aaron said at July 7, 2005 10:45 PM:


I really do not agree with the claims of this website. For example, it states:

In evolutionary terms a mutation that arose only 20,000 years ago is pretty recent. If this is correct then the pheomelanin variation of melanin that produces red hair is pretty new.

According to the most recent estimates, the first red hair sprouted just 20,000 years ago, long after the advent of modern homo sapiens

A mutation it might be, but news has been unearthed recently that such a 'mutation' would be directly linked to the Neanderthal. The main supporting evidence for this is the survival of the so-called 'Ginger Gene' in existing populations who are predominately of some kind of Nordic descent. Somewhere else I've heard that the majority of today's redheads are predominately of Scandinavian heritage where the Neanderthal's ginger gene had successful survived in isolation.

I, myself, am an American of mixed European descent from Northern Europe. As far as hair-color goes then I am a mixed bag of all hues -- predominately brunette but recessively blonde and redheaded. Both my mom and grandma were creamy skinned and freckled and so is my aunt, though brunettes and blonde. And for those that don't believe in the possibility of human/neanderthal hybrids google in a seach for Lisbon child or something because random evidence of this has been found all over Europe.

Anyways, I just wanted to forward this to the webmaster. Thought he might be interested since he thinks it's a recent result of human evolution rather than a very ancient one.

ozsean said at July 9, 2005 9:54 AM:

I believe the words "auburn" and "albino" both mean white. The romans referred to the germanic tribes as auburn because they had white skin. Likely that the red hair in israel comes from the northern european ahkenazi jews, descended from israeli men who moved to europe over a thousand years ago and married northern european women. Hard to pinpoint in which dna haplogroup red hair originated as it is spread right across northern europe, with quite a lot in southern europe as well.

Nicolette Hsu said at July 13, 2005 12:16 AM:

I think there is a confusion between blondness and redhairness. Pale hair color (blondness)is the result of low production of any sort of melanin."Sandy" blonds may produce only eumelanin. Strawberry blonds are pale redhairs producing phoemelanin. Conversely, redhairs with an intense red color produce as many melanin as a brunet but don't have dark hair because phoemelanin at high levels of concentration is orange. Many people in Europe produce both melanins in variable proportion. Scotland is actually the region with the highest proportion of redhairs.
It is believed that here are different sorts of mutations that can cause redhair, of which only some have been identified around the same gene which is responsible for redhairness in animals (cats, guinea pigs..). Any missing part on the assembly line of eumelanin will result in redhair, so cases of redhairness caused by very poor nutrition may be seen among children in normally blackhaired populations.

Kim said at July 13, 2005 10:38 PM:

Maybe redheads are born from a blonde haired parent and a light brown burnette parent?
You never know though.

David said at July 15, 2005 1:35 PM:

All this in so darn interesting, I have a real interest in genealogy!
What people have to remember with bringing up German origins a lot! Is that England, was taken over buy German settlers some time after the Romans left (not really told much in united kingdom history), and a lot of German Vikings settled here, mixed with the population at the time etc, and the German people are from the so called Nordic people. And latter the Danish vikens/Nowegian settled here, so England on the whole is quite a mixture of Europeans, Celts German/Danish/Norwegian people (not forgetting of course the Scottish/Welsh Irish)! not forgetting the Normans, which of course were of Norwegian descent, from, Normandy in France, which of course was the only part of France were the vikens settled!.


Peter said at July 17, 2005 3:54 AM:

Hello there,

I basically have red hair with dark green/hazel eyes, but consider myself to be different form most redheads as well as no-reds. My father had typical english brown hair with blue/grey eyes. My mother however was different. She had sandy-blonde hair until she was 16, which then turned a silvery-ginger as she has got older - her eyes are dark grey with green/blue hints rather than the typical light/pale grey commonly found in redheads. Her hair still instantly bleaches back to the sandy-blonde again when she is in the sun for any length of time. Up to the age of 3 I had blond hair with blue eyes and looked quite anglo-saxon-germanic, and after that my hair became red and my eyes became medium/dark green. That is why even though I am a red-head of sorts I consider myself to be one of the few surviving men with anglo-saxon genes here in England. As I have aged (I am 24), my hair roots on my head have become dark, as have my eye-brows (virtually black) and my hair bleaches to a great fresh strawberry with blond tips in the sun; my legs are blonde; my eyebrows are very dark brown, almost black; although I am fair-skinned I can build up a deeptan, more so that most other redheads over time; now I have noticed that recently my eyes are just starting to turn dark grey like my mother's. If you were to see me you would see what I mean when saying that I am different other reds. I consider myself to be one of the few surviving men in England with Anglo-saxon genes, and that is due in no small parto to the red/blond genes in me. And the amazing thing is that you would not believe the racist crap that redheads have to put up with in England. People say the word 'red' and 'ginger' with venom... but in fact the original angles and saxons who came over here had blonde/red hair!

Is there anybody else out there with similar features to me?

english king said at July 31, 2005 11:00 AM:

Lets get this straight from the start. the redhair gene is not a 'mutation'. what we are seeing is infact a new version of human being. If the first human was version 1, and say black people are version 1.3, then redheads are the most latest, at around 1.9!!!! The gene is not a mutation, but it is EVOLUTION. For dark genes to progress, there has to be first contact with someone who visibly shows the genes. therefore for example, regardless of the family history, two blue eyed people can only have blue eyed kids. However, this rule does not apply to the nordic genes as at a genetic level they are more advanced. You do not need first hand contact to inherit the genes that make redhair. I myself am a redhead, but neither of my parents are. i inherited this ethnic trait further down the family tree.
It appears that the nordic or 'ayran' northern european genes have learnt a new trick in ensuring long-term survival in human beings. This would suggest that they are a little more 'evolved' than other genes, and this is reflected in the undoubted (yet politically uncorrect) beauty of the people, intellegence and advanced cultures and technologies.
Im no facist, but perhaps we are a form of, well not 'master race' but just newer and more advanced? Due to every evil of the world being associated with people of blonde, red and fair appearance due to hitlers legacy of hate, even suggesting this is a huge taboo. but just because it can be offensive, does not change the truth. look for yourselves, the way the world is panning out, and the reasons why are right infront and all around you. make up your own mind i guess.

justice for gingers said at August 1, 2005 2:37 AM:

Redhair does not come from neandathals. even if both the homo-sapians and neandathals existed at the same time, which i personally doubt, i also doubt that their genes would even be able to mix and breed life. abit like a dog trying to mate with a cat, or an ape trying to mate with a chimp, or a dolphin tyring to mate with a whale. This is just ANOTHER stigma of hate placed upon something that people do not understand. You know what humans are like, if you dont understand it, destroy it.

ANGELICA said at August 6, 2005 3:32 PM:

I am red headed with green eyes ,my father is mexican and my mother is white and and they both have red heads in there famlies ,what I dont understand is that I thought red heads dominated in genes but i have 3 children and they all have black hair and brown eyes.Alot of people look at me strange because im bi racial they thnk im lieing I hate when people ask me are you irish or am I english .So how do you see this in the mutation for redheads!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Van Nostrand said at August 12, 2005 4:17 AM:


Many thanks to the person Kat for raising this connection. Via a linguistic route some have traced the earliest European migrations [including Sea Peoples and North Africans] to RH Negative blood.

Basques, Morocco Atlas Mountains, Celts seem to have 15-35 percent, and these people also have many red haired.

Then someone mentioned Israel as having many red haired and this struck me as interesting because many were from Poland and Germany.

Is there any information on RH NEG and/or Red haired populations in Poland [or Germany]?

JJ said at August 13, 2005 11:32 AM:

**** Lets get this straight from the start...The gene is not a mutation, but it is EVOLUTION." ****

Let's get THIS straight from the start: all evolution is the result of mutations.

**** For dark genes to progress, there has to be first contact with someone who visibly shows the genes. therefore for example, regardless of the family history, two blue eyed people can only have blue eyed kids. However, this rule does not apply to the nordic genes as at a genetic level they are more advanced. You do not need first hand contact to inherit the genes that make redhair. I myself am a redhead, but neither of my parents are. i inherited this ethnic trait further down the family tree. ****

Yeah, that's because it's a recessive gene, and brown hair is dominant. Simple genetics. There's nothing "more advanced" about recessive genes.

**** Im no facist, but perhaps we are a form of, well not 'master race' but just newer and more advanced? ****

God, what a loon. You have different-colored hair. That's all. Get over yourself.

B said at August 18, 2005 10:33 AM:


I am a red headed female of Polish descent on both sides. I have hazel green eyes that change from green blue to green to green brown depending on my clothes, but the dominant color is green. My hair is a light auburn, naturally wavy, but annoyingly fine and thin, and I have fair skin that gets lots of small freckles in the sun. I don't tan well. In school, most of the other Polish kids had blue eyes and blond, brown and rarely black hair and people always think I am Irish. I am blood type B negative.

I've never met any other Polish redheads.

Peter said at August 23, 2005 1:29 PM:

I have red hair and am Blood-type A-negative. There you go, there's my Rh-ve connection.

erfq said at August 26, 2005 3:48 AM:

it's not true
i've seen chinese ginger people

sullinsea said at August 26, 2005 8:08 PM:

Not surprisingly, this discussion was of interest to this red-haired Irish-American. I have several questions to contribute that may elicit further speculation. Most curious to me was the absence of any mention of or apparent curiosity about the red-haired Ainu of Hokkaido in northern Japan and Russia's Kuriles (perhaps because the racial policies of the dominant people of Honshu have driven them nearly into extinction). As for German redheads -- don't forget the Celts resided in Bavaria for awhile (the mound builders, there's a Celtic museum in Augsburg) on their way to the British Isles and Ireland.I have read elsewhere that they originated in a region stretching from the Carpathian mountains of Slovakia into Austria. Also, as for middle eastern redheads in Israel and elsewhere (let's not forget the red-headed Iraqi, Sadaam's right-hand thug who is still at large and apparently running the Baathist bombers from Syria -- Izzat Ibrahim), don't forget the recent archaeological discoveries of a branch of the Celts who ruled Anatolia (central Turkey) in biblical times. Indeed, they were the Gallatians of Paul's Epistle. And how else could there be only two cultures who play bagpipes (Iran and the Celts) unless they were neighbors at some time in the past. Finally, I went to high school with a red-headed freckled African-American from Brooklyn. Is this always a result of the introduction of European genes in America, or do these traits occur randomly in Africa as well?

j said at August 27, 2005 3:18 PM:


Meet another Polish redhead! It's from my father's side of the family, who were living in the area south of Krakow. While my father, his brother, and male cousins all had orangy-red curly hair, the only 2 direct female descendents (me and a cousin)have a beautiful and uncommon auburn shade that was identical to the hair my Polish grandmother. The females all have a multitude of thick hair. I have always rec'd compliments about the specific color as well as the quality and amount of hair.

Does anyone know about medical issues for redheads? I keep hearing such things, but cannot find supporting information.


sheeza fine girl said at August 31, 2005 5:41 PM:

I am a 6'2" female with hazel eyes, light (brassy) gold/brown hair - and good ole' type A, RH negative blood. I have freckles. My son is 6'8" tall, also with RH negative, type A blood, with dark brown hair -- which has a auburn-reddish tint. My son and I began reading exceptionally early; have both had to deal with early promotions in school, leading to early high school graduations and very young freshman years in college. I have had an ability to anticipate events -- predict outcomes -- and work inter-personal communications channels that do not always involve speech (if you do this, you'll understand what I said -- if you don't, you'll think I'm talking nonsense). My ancestors came from France, England, Scotland, with a little Swiss mixed in. There's no German/Russian/Polish background in my famly.

Chowder said at September 2, 2005 5:07 AM:

My G-mother was a 110% German Redhead. Not any doubt! Our genes(or the lords)selection,skips a generation,throughout my families history.O.K there must have an Irishman hiding somewhere in the "Woodpile!"Onething, I do know,we are unique.If you ever think we are not superior than any other W.A.S.P. YOU, MY ANGLO COMPADRE ,ARE MIS TAKEN!REDHEADS DON'T DISCRIMINATE! WE OWN (and you know it)YOUR ASS! Never, have I seen, or been through, more discrimation than what anglo's have put me through. If anyone know's 'bout being judged by the color of your skin(hair)never ever, underestimate what a redhead has been put through! More to come.

Robin said at September 8, 2005 2:28 PM:

I am one of only a few redheads in our family My grandmother was the first then my mother and uncle have red hair. I am the only grandchild out of 7 with it. Non of the great grandkids have it . I have three children my youngest is 4 mths he has strong red highlights and red eyelashes will he haev red hair ? I have a very pretty red hair that everyone ask me i i dye my hair(obviously i don't) i have brown eyelashes and brown eyes so i am really confused as to what color hair my son will have. When i was little i had really orange hair. So what is the verdict yes or no on baby having my precious and treasured hair color ?

Paula said at September 8, 2005 5:21 PM:

I'm a true redhead...flaming hair and green eyes..milky skin and all that goes with it...Irish on both sides...Everything I have read says that redhair is surely of Irish heritage and I have met many other Irish redheads to prove it...Don't be ashamed of being redhaired and Irish...be proud of it live it!!!!

ashleigh said at September 16, 2005 12:17 AM:

My partner and i have been talking about having children sometime in the near future.
he has dark blonde hair, blue eyes and a red beard. I have almost black hair and brown eyes.
there are no red heads in my family but my partner's brother has bright red hair and his mother has auburn.
What are the chances of our children having red hair????

TallRed said at September 28, 2005 8:51 AM:

The chance of having any red-haired children with your partner is close to 0 %. The gene for red hair is recessive, which means both parents have to carry the gene in order to have a red-haired child... and you most likely don't. Even if you did, there's only 1 chance in 4 of having a red-haired kid.

BUT...you might have a child with SOME red hair! My 9 year old son (whose Father is pure Yoruba Nigerian)has very dark brown eyes and dark brown curly (not very kinky) hair and fairly light skin (he tans to a gingerbread cookie color)and, SURPRISE, he is getting more and more red hair (coppery red exactly like mine) at his temples. He has had a few red hairs scattered on the top of his head since he was born, but now the red hairs are increasing...along with his temper!! Go figure...

PS: I am the only red-head (with blue eyes) out of 3 children from parents with light brown hair (and blue/hazel eyes). My Father's Father was a carrot-top (with a temper to boot) and my Mother's Mother had red coppery hair like me. All Scandinavian ancestry. I'm sorry to have contributed to the demise of the red-haired race...but I have never been attracted to fair haired men and I'd like to think it is a survival of the fittest kind of thing...red-heads are just too sensitive for this world...

Osean said at October 7, 2005 5:37 AM:

In answer to why red hair is called red when in fact it is rust coloured - the real name for red hair is auburn. So think in shades of auburn - blond auburn, dark auburn, etc. Auburn comes from the same latin root as albino, from the word albus which I think means chalk, as most auburn haired peoples are very fair. The romans named the colouring of the germanic tribes they encountered across the rhine this way due to their fair skin and the name stuck to the hair colour as well. They also noted that the tribes in scotland at the time (not the scots, as they arrived from ireland a few hundred years later)looked similar to the germanic tribes. Auburn hair is a bit more common in scotland than ireland and probably nothing to do with being celtic as celtic was a culture that covered people from spain across to turkey and north to belgium. The celts living in those days were more likely to be olive skinned than fair. I beleive auburn hair is more a nordic trait as it is common in northern europe - but interestingly seems most common amongst those living in the border areas between northern and southern europe.

Want to be a red head real bad!!! said at October 11, 2005 6:29 PM:

I want red hair!!! GIMMMMEEEE!!! You are so lucky!!!!! Treasure your beautiul red hair!!!!
(tear, tear...why not meee????)

K.C. said at October 13, 2005 6:10 AM:

I have red hair and am the only one in my family. I was wondering how this could have occured since my family on my dad's side is pure creole (french and canary islands) and my mom is half african american and cajun. There has never been anyone that either of my parents can remember in our family with red hair, and I was wondering if maybe I was just a fluke.My m om has also braided my hair and I have been mistaken by my african american family as an albino.

Aponine said at October 18, 2005 6:27 AM:

I can't believe the tall tails flying around this site. Mixed in with some very informative posts!

The reason why Israelis ( I have seen PLENTY of redheaded Ashkenazi Jewish males, thank you!) and the Irish/Scottish have a red headed trait is because they trace back to the same stock of people: Scandinavians.

There are redheaded Arabs because of the crusaders. Scandinavian.

There is very little racial purity on this earth. Thank God! And certainly very little in Europe. Europeans are an ancient mix of Asian, Caucasian, Arab, and likely African.

BTW--I am half Irish, and my mother is an Ashkenazi Jew. The redheads in my family are on her side.

ginger farmer said at October 29, 2005 11:01 PM:

Such glorious discussion!
Redheads of the world, unite & take over!
But first...

Why do rarely ever see two redheads together as a couple?

Two blondes: no problem.
Two Chinese: ditto
Two Africans: all the time.

So......why no two redheads? If we do, we stare!

Please educate me.

Danny said at November 2, 2005 10:39 AM:

I am a redhead. As far as genetics go, both my parents are Irish. However my dads hair is black, mums brown and sisters blond. Nobody can remember a redhead in our family. And this annoys me. I think - why me? - why couldn't it have been wiped out

The subject of black redheads interests me. Malcolm X the political leader was a dark redhead. His nickname was 'Detroit Red' until later on in life, he dyed his hair black. I suppose this was his way of covering up any white he had in him.

Redhair has a really broad spectrum. You can be lucky and have a beatiful auburn or be unlucky (in my opinion) and have the classic copper. There was a girl I knew once and she had the rarest, most beautiful hair I have ever seen. It was very very dark almost black but where the light caught it you could see it was deep red.

I also think redheads are badly represented in the media. No honestly. Where are all the redheaded superheroes. There are hardly any and they are only side characters! By the way, I'm not bitter

When I see a redheaded professional on the bus I feel like saying 'You go get 'em'. All right, I'm crazy.

I live in England. We call it 'ginger' hair here. I don't think in my life I go a day without hearing that word. Ginger. ... shudders. Its not odd for somebody on the street to shout something at you along the lines of 'Ginga Minga', 'Copper Balls', 'Ginge'.

For me, having no redheaded family or redheaded friends, and living in a country which appears to HATE redheads with a passion, its easy to feel the odd one out sometimes. But its stuck with me. Hell it is me

Unless i chose to dye it. And by the way, you need to bleach redhair before putting another colour in, it is the hardest colour to dye.

good luck to all the redheads.

lane said at November 9, 2005 4:59 PM:

hey wuts up all of yall everyone on here seems to either have dark hair and dark eyes or light hair and light eyes... well i have fair skin.. very fair i get sun burnt very easily.. and i have very green eyes.. but.. i have medium to dark brown hair.. is that unusual or is that normal.. on my dads side everyone is either scottish, irish, and indian.. on my moms side its irish,swedish, and english/ everyone on my dads side has dark hair, either brown or blue eyes no green and on my moms dark hair, and either hazel or blue blue eyes/ but the weird thing is my cousin has green eyes just like mine and red hair and she is the only one in our family with it/ well just wanted to know what yall thought.. the real question i guess.. is how the green eyes got to me and my cousin and about her red hair.. and if its normal to have dark hair and brown hair.... which i get died blonde cause it looks way better! by the way 15 m here..... if u know the answers to this feel free to email me at pmhsdude2005@yahoo.com

Diana D said at November 10, 2005 6:57 PM:

I'm recently fascinated with the human genetics of eye, hair color, ect.. I've always been involved with the color genetics and patterns of animals since I do raise horses, goats, and multiple others. I am curious as my boyfriend has questioned this of me and human genetics is one subject I have NEVER looked into. My bf is a natural blonde. Now a 'dirty dishwater' blonde as he has aged. He has blonde hair everywhere with one exception. His beard is red. True red hair for sure which is easily seen. I'm confused as how can a blonde person have only a red beard? Is this like a modifier? I'm looking for a way to explain this to him. He's also wondering if he could pass it on? I'm really confused guys and would love any input that could be given.

I asked him the first basic questions from knowing animals. His mother is naturally dark haired. Either brunette or black, I'm not sure which. His dad was a blonde, but very dark so looked brunette. His dad did Not have any red hair. His grandfather through his father was as well a dark blonde. No red hair either as confirmed by his grandmother. But his greatgrandfather was exactly like him, blonde, blue eyes, and a Red Beard??? So I am assuming it has skipped 2 generations and is showing up in him. Is this being carried as a hidden recessive through his father's side?

Please either email or post here. I'll save the site so I can read it. :) Thank you for any input.


P.S. I have family who are two redhead's together. So they are out there, and they have red headed children.

ellie said at November 21, 2005 11:23 AM:

i am red haired with blue eyes (noticed that not many people have got this?) english, but with some irish roots from my great grandparents. my boyfriend is also ginger but with brown eyes. what are the chances of us having a red haired child?

also, i have noticed that people have said you cannot dye your hair if you are ginger - fear not! when i was younger, i dyed it many
colours and it was fine. it is only when i wanted really vibrant colours or blond that i had to bleach it first.

thanks, ellie

beatlesfan said at November 26, 2005 6:14 PM:

Everywhere we go, my daughter gets comments on her curly dark auburn hair. Her hair seems to lighten up in the sun just a bit... It just glimmers in the sunlight. She is fair skinned with freckles & she burns easily. She has BROWN eyes, though which I thought would be green, like mine. My husband has some Irish from his grandfather. "Black Irish" as I have heard it called, although I am trying to learn more about this. I am a huge mutt, with light brown hair (although it was dirty blond as a child) & green eyes (no freckles) but I am RH negative, while my husband has black hair & brown eyes with fair skin & freckles. We both have curly hair, so that doesn't suprise me that she has curly hair also.

Recently we were talking with my husbands' aunt who also has red hair & she said that she was told the dark auburn color comes from France, not Ireland. I am suddenly very fascinated to find out more about this red hair since there is really no red hair on my side. After reading that both parents need to carry the gene, I am wondering my genetic history. Why couldn't I have been blessed with this auburn hair she has, LOL!

Any direction on info into genetics & the origins of auburn hair would be greatly appreciated. Please post other websites where we might find some information. Thanks! : )

Angela said at December 6, 2005 11:52 AM:

I have vivid auburn hair, blue eyes, and extremly pale blue-white skin and freckles. I'm mixed half Scottish and half Cherokee Indian. Seems my mother's Scottish side was dominate, since their all faired skinned Redheads, although they have Green eyes and no freckles. However, my sister is also superpale with blue eyes and freckles, but has brownish-black hair. Even more odd is my sister and I are the only blue eyed people in my family, for as long as anyone knows. Weird.

Jennifer said at December 14, 2005 3:19 PM:

Hi, I'm hoping to find a redheaded mate (or someone with red hair in their family) to eventually have children with. Red hair does run on my mother's side of the family. But I have heard that if you have a child, both parents must carry the red gene or there is no chance at all. Well here in Southern California (San Diego), there's not too many redheaded men. I have brown hair and green eyes and I have two aunts who have red hair. One of their grandchildren has bright orange-red hair and blue eyes and red lashes and eyebrows. So right now, there's only three living redheads in my family. My great grandmother was a redhead, but she's dead. She also had eight brothers who were all redheads as well.

AT said at December 21, 2005 7:41 AM:

I have thick Auburn hair Brown/Hazel eyes ( dark eyelashed and eyebrows) & no freckles ( My half sister and brother are dark haired with blue eyes and covered in freckles )

My great grandfather on my dads side had bright red hair and his surname was Todd ( I looked it up and it means fox or red haired so red hair must go back a long way ) he had a daughter who was supposedly the double of me but she died as a toddler ( he thought I WAS her when I was taken to visit him not long before he died ) All of his decendants are darked haired apart from me and her. My father has an Auburn Beard but dark hair.

I have a lot of Irish on both sides & some scottish French and German ( on the Todd side I believe )

Regarding hot tempers I do have a temper but perhaps that is from the way we are treated ( I had an awful time at school ) Funnily the red coated type of the dogs I own have a reputation for being bad tempered, we've had two reds & they where very grumpy ,lol

tom said at December 21, 2005 12:55 PM:

Does being over exposed to sun as a baby create freckles or make them more obvious later in life?

Osean said at December 26, 2005 3:36 PM:

You say red hair is very unpopular in England. This may come from the fact that the native brits have been ruled for the last 1,500 years by mainly red headed Danes and Normans. Most of the rulers of England have had red hair, especially the most famous ones - e.g. William I (the Conqueror), William II (Rufus), Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Ann Boleyn, Mary I, Mary Queen of Scots, Oliver Cromwell, Winston Churchill, etc. Same in the USA - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson - all redheads. Interesting that modern DNA analysis is now proving that most english (about70%) are native brits, with dark hair and skin (southern europeans) and not anglo-saxons (northern europeans) who would have fair hair (red or blond)and skin.

AT said at December 29, 2005 3:30 PM:

I think it's more to do with red hair being a minority and making people stand out ( especially if they have freckles and pale eyelashes/eyebrows aswell ) People will pick on anyone who is different.

I was watching a TV program earlier where they where calling a girl a minger because she was "ginger" .
Having red hair is one of the few things that is still acceptable to ridicule

red in oklahoma said at January 4, 2006 7:30 PM:

My mom has told me for years that my red hair was from my spanish ancestory. I have never heard of a red headed spaniard and I was wondering if she really is crazy. I'm white as can be but tan easily, with blue/green eyes. (nothing at all to resemble a spaniard)By the way I am planning on marrying a red head!

Barry said at January 5, 2006 11:08 AM:

Hi all

Very interesting thread I have stumbled across here! I am a geneticist and write answers to people's questions about genetics. Awhile back we answered a question about red hair genetics at http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=44 and the connection between Rh- status and red hair at http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=60

Other interesting red hair questions we've answered:

Erin said at January 11, 2006 2:06 PM:

My paternal grandmom has a deep red hair and all eleven of her siblings had shades of red. Our family tree has a good number of red headed people, stemming from those twelve kids. The funny thing is that, one sibling had six redheaded kids, while another had none and so on. My father has red hair, but none of his kids do though I have a strong Scottish, Irish, and English background. His cousin, who had brown hair, married an Italian who has black hair and near black eyes, and they had two redheads!! Unfortunately, my family thought we had lost the red hair gene as my uncle has black hair, and my two aunts have brown and blond hair. None of my first cousins have red hair, but the funny thing is that when my first cousin had a child, though both he and his wife had very dark hair and and tannable skin, the child was born with the palest skin we have seen and hair that is fiery red. My family guesses when our next red head may appear, but genetics has a mind of it is own.

Kristy said at January 13, 2006 6:38 PM:

I'm a red head and I have terquise eyes.
My grandma on my dads side is half cherokee native american and half irish. All her siblings have black or golden brown hair. Most have brown eyes and some with blue. Her father had blond hair and mother had black.On my mothers side my great grandmother was bohemian and very dark. She married a dark English and
German husband who had black hair. Both my grandma and her sister were born with red hair. My moms father is half german and dark norwegian. my moms sosters have dishwter blond or brown hair and my moms brother ended up with red. Brown eyes have always been the dominate eye color also. Now my mom has dishwater blond or bruneette, dad brunette. THey both have blue eyes all thought there is more brown ancestory. I ended up with red and terquese eyes. Many red heads today are mixed. It's like mexicans after generations having a blue eyed child.

Tom Lehman said at January 14, 2006 11:26 AM:

Well, it is extremely important to know what is actually being written about. Like MB, I see oversimplified understandings: In saying "red hair originated only in the last 20,000 years", the article to which you-all have been responding is based on the genetics of the sample from which the DNAs were analyzed, modern European-descended red-heads. But APPARENT differences (phenotypes) MAY or MAY NOT be controlled by a SINGLE gene, & a gene does not necessarily develop a mutation/evolution in ONLY ONE population. There may be multiple origins for red hair: in northeast Europe (the Baltics) BEFORE Indo-Europeans arrived; 2) Central Asians ancestral to the Mongols (who were NOT "Chinese-looking"); and 3)among Pygmies(Ba-Mbuti) in Central Africa. For those of you mystified about being "not Irish" and having red hair- I hope this helps.

Autumn said at January 16, 2006 2:04 AM:

Hi. I have auburn hair color and medium brown eyes. how uncommon is this trait? I have occasionally seen people with orangeish hair and brown eyes, so I wouldn't call them redheads. Also, everyone in my family has blue eyes. I mean absolutely everyone. I am the only one with brown eyes. How is this possible??? Could it be from my Native American ancestry that dates back a century or two ago? I am of mostly western European descent, but I am also of two indian tribes too. I'm hoping someone can give me an explanation!!!

Osean said at January 22, 2006 2:58 AM:

Red in oklahoma
Two "spanish" red heads worth while thinking about - Queen Isabella and Chris Columbus. Well, chris was really italian and isabella decended from the germanic goths who became the rulers of spain after the moors. Basically, there are red heads in spain, possibly as spain has received an influx of germans long ago.

keyserroll said at January 23, 2006 1:55 PM:

I've only read a few of these posts, but one thing has become clear: the belief that red-haired people have short tempers is more than likely based on fact! Why are you all so angry about what someone said about your origins, etc.? We're all humans and that all that matters. Wanting to know the genetic links is one thing, but getting insulted when suggestions are offered is entirely uncalled-for!

Auttie said at January 24, 2006 6:02 PM:

Does anyone else think strawberry blonde hair is really pretty?

Suzy said at February 1, 2006 7:45 AM:

I just have a point about rhesus negative blood, I have A- blood type but was told this came originally from gypsies/jews/indians(internet searching seems to agree partly). My fathers mother was supposedly from proper romany gypsies and she sure looked like one(as did my father), they generally speaking have dark hair, olive skin and never red hair. How then can redhair possibly be linked to the rhesus negative bloodgroup if the hair colour in fact comes from nordic/celtic types. By the way I have naturally blonde hair(dyed dark:p) even though my father was very dark and my mother was brunette. None of this makes sense to me.

Auttie......strawberry blonde hair is pretty lol

JELY said at February 4, 2006 10:26 AM:

The redheaded gene is not related to the A- blood group 3 ppl in my family are redheads and were all O

auttie said at February 6, 2006 8:26 PM:

heyyo! i have dark brown hair, with a reddish tint. whats up with tints? why is it like that? cuz in normal light it just looks brown, but in sunlight it looks sort of orange-ish... something interesting there...

Michael Ruger said at February 14, 2006 11:12 PM:

Hi, i'm Asian and Korean. I have blue eyes and light blonde hair. My father has red hair but his beard is brown. Many people ask him if he's Irish too. He's proud of his Korean ancestry so he also gets annoyed by that. My mother just has normal blonde hair, she is of Chinese origin.

David said at February 15, 2006 9:20 AM:

"Does anyone else think strawberry blonde hair is really pretty?" -
Yes I do, along with blue eyes, or green!.


sean said at February 17, 2006 11:53 PM:

only 8% of irish people have redhair,more irish people have black hair then red black hair is very common in ireland ,and my moms family is from scotland and they all have jet black hair and brown eyes,and about rh negative thing most people in british isles with a high rh negative factor have black hair and brown eyes,rh-blood is what basque people in spain and the berbers in norht africa have.

Teresa said at February 25, 2006 8:04 AM:

Responding to the question about red hair in Spain, yes, there are many people with red hair in northern Spain, where most of the celts moved after the series of celtic invasions from northern Europe between 1200-500 BC. At that time, the Iberians (a "mediterranean type") lived in most of the peninsula, with small Phoenician settlements along the coast, such as Gades (Cadiz) and Basques in the northeast. The distribution of ethnic groups became: North -celts; Central - celtiberians (mixed); South - Iberians; Northeast - Basque. Later there were roman, germanic and moorish invasions, which mostly affected the nonceltic areas. My husband's grandfather was from a mountain town in the province of Santander, northern Spain. He was very pale with carrot red hair, although with dark eyes. His three daughters inherited auburn hair, but a grandchild, my husband's sister, inherited his carrot red hair.

Check and see where you Spanish ancestors came from - it was probably from the northern celtic area.

auttie said at March 1, 2006 5:21 PM:

marcia cross's hair is GORGEOUS! i want to steal it!!!!!

an auburn brunette said at March 1, 2006 5:41 PM:

ok, this is quite a puzzler to me. everyone in my family has any color but brown eyes. blue, green and hazel. now i am the only exception. i have brown and gold eyes, and i don't know why. could it have skipped 3 or 4 generations, back to my native american great or great-great grandparents? please answer!

Wendy said at March 8, 2006 5:39 AM:

I have very light reddish-blonde (and unfortunately thin!) hair - and greenish-hazel eyes. I'm the only living member of my family with red hair. My eyebrows and lashes are very blonde (you can barely see them). When I was young, my hair was a darker strawberry blonde, but as I got older it has thinned out - and it seems that it is the darker red hair I've lost the most of - leaving a very pale reddish blonde now.

My father was a very pale blonde (now bald!) with brownish-hazel eyes - and he's from Sweden. My mother was a brunette with grayish-hazel eyes. Her background was more mixed - with primarily English with some German and Scottish. There are only two instances of red hair in my family's past - that they are aware of. My Great-Grandmother on my Dad's side - in Sweden - had almost the identical shade of hair and eyes that I have (per what my grandmother told me). On my Mom's side - her grandfather had brownish hair, but had a red beard. My brother has light brown hair and brown eyes.

I found the threads above mentioning Rh Negative being tied to red hair interesting - as I happen to be B negative. My father is B positive - and we think my mother was O negative (though she claimed to be O positive, though I don't think that's possible).

My daughter has dark ash blonde hair and brown eyes (my husband has dark brown hair and brown eyes) - but from when she was a toddler until she was about 3 or 4 - she had reddish blonde hair. When she was born - she had brown hair but blonde eyebrows. As she got older - she lost the reddish blonde hair and went to the ash blonde she is now - with dark eyebrows/lashes. In the sumemrs, swimming and playing tennis - her hair bleaches out to almost a light blonde - and she gets some red highlights.

I understand red hair to be recessive - so it will be interesting if any future generations of mine end up with red hair. It almost seemed a quirk that I ended up with it - with no one else (living) having it.

denise said at March 15, 2006 2:42 PM:

My daughters all are redheads. One, deep auburn with green eyes, another, strawberry blonde with blue grey eyes, and the other daughter-ginger hair with hazel eyes. Red hair has skipped my family for generations. Two of my children are of one father, one is from another. Yet, they favor each other in features and all are red heads. I have dark brown hair and brown eyes, light skin and freckles. Both my husbands are natural blondes. Yes, my family background does include irish roots, but generations ago. My husbands had no redheads in their families. My first husband was from germany, my second husband's family is jewish and from the U.S. This really makes me scratch my head. I have never seen children who look like mine except in Missouri, I thought a little girl was mine. Lots of Red heads in Missouri. People remard constantly on the different shades of red my daughters have and the fact their eye color is different. Is this the result of one mutant gene? To display itself in three different shades of hair and color of eyes?
Curious to find out

Maria Khan said at March 31, 2006 12:19 AM:

Well this is really odd! I am a half pakistani half english red head! My mum who is english has very light blonde hair and blue eyes and very pale white skin. My father who is pakistani has ink black hair and dark brown eyes and olive skin. I have red-brown hair with black eyebrows, black eyelashes, dark eyes, naturally fair skin, but in the summer I turn light brown. Everyone says I look like my dad, but they can't believe my hair color. I would really love to know where my hair color came from! My pakistani relatives find me a complete and total novelty. In the summer When I was young kids used to come up to me and say who ever heard of a tan redhead? I used to get really annoyed and I'd yell because I'm paki! I guess I had the bad temper to go wit it.

Trent White said at April 4, 2006 5:17 AM:

Anyone that says red hair is specifically an Irish trait is very ignorant and obviously has not travelled much in Europe. I have travelled extensively in Eroupe and Britain and Ireland and in my experience not only is red hair not restricted to Ireland it is more common in other countries, namely the Scandanavian countries. There are also plenty of people with red hair in countries that have had extensive Scandanavian migrations over the centuries, e.g Germany, Poland, Russia and the Netherlands.

Freckles seems to be a celtic trait much more common in Ireland and Scotland, whereas in the other countries people with red hair usually do not have freckles, or very few, and are often not even pale in complextion.

Belinda said at April 8, 2006 1:12 AM:

Hello to Peter, I have grey eyes. They do seem quite dark, at times. I do have a brown-ring around the pupil.
I do have red pignants in my hair (in the sun) and I'm brown-haired and I'm pale-skinned.
I have all my genes coming from the British Isles (England, Scotland etc.) But on the side that I inherited the grey eyes, there is not the prevailance of Scottish blood, that I know of. I wondered if grey eyes is from Viking heritage?

A cousin in my tree inherited a lighter grey, maybe blue-grey.

Good luck with finding someone exactly the same.

gurlie said at April 29, 2006 2:45 AM:

does anybody else have reddish pigment in their eyes? and no, i don't mean the kind when you don't get enough sleep. just wondering because i have a rusty red pigment in both my eyes, where as most of it is brown and gold. anybody?

jane said at May 10, 2006 2:04 PM:

True: It is a scientific fact that 'some' redheads take more than 20% more anethisia during an operation to get them to sleep, and also, redheads are known to wake up during or before their surgeories are complete! Red heads are proven to have sleep depervation, and still function as if they have slept all week, and go through long periods of insomnia, without the side effects, or no known cause for the 'wide awake' syndrome!....lol....

True: To answer the question of the gentle man above, red heads are not becoming more abundant, the red head gene is actually fading fast, and according to researchers, a "true" redhead in the year 2100 (very close future)will be a rare thing indeed! Why?.....Because according to researchers, the red head gene is not dominent in a brown eyed brown haired dominate society....with the mixing of cultures now, the red head gene will become less and less passed on. All the redheads you have been actually seeing my freind, are color dyed redheads. Yes, red hair has become quite the fashion for the ladies agian....and its about due!...Red heads are fancy, smart, vivacious, and playful with a hint of zanyness. They can be very serious when it comes to the truth, and don't play mind games. They don't have to, they are honest souls, and love to have fun, but not gossip or hurt others. A rare breed is a true redhead!!

True: Many claim to be a true redhead today, but atlas....I've met a few that used to be brunettes!....lol..

True: A true red head cannot lighten her hair to a blonde status....only get it to a lt strawberry color at the most. And yes a true red head, will most likely turn white, and the color will change slower than most colors, only seen as that because the red hair will take on a bleached strawberry blonde appearence, before turning completely white, thus making the person appear like it took years longer.

True: In egypt a red head is either a curse, or a queen!!...

Fable: On new years in some countries a red head is lucky to have enter your house, but, she can not be the first female to enter, a female of blonde or brunette must enter first, then if a red headed female enters your house after that, you are a lucky homeowner for the entire year!...lol..

True: In other countries a red head is considered exotic and sexual. And a painter named Teson loved painting strawberry blonde women, because of their mystery and rarity. So, for those ladies who color their hair Red....We thankyou, for the compliment!......Lt Col.

Sinead said at May 14, 2006 12:16 AM:

I have auburn hair with golden highlights in the winter, and very gold, almost rich red/blonde in Summer. My hair always looks totally different in different lights and it's a very very rich colour. I have loads of freckles, I guess partly because I live in Australia and am at the beach all the time. I have hazel eyes that vary from very green to quite greeny-brown, and very dark eyelashes but light brown eyebrows. My mother is Irish, but she has always had dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and quite olive skin. My father is Australian but I understand in the first fleet his ancestors came from Scotland as free settlers, and my aunty on his side recently had a DNA test which showed they came from Finland. All his side was born with very blonde hair and blue eyes with tanned complexions, but most (including my dad) have ended up with light brown hair.
With my grandparents, 3 had blue eyes and one had green eyes, 3 had blonde hair and one had strawberry blonde hair. My brother has blonde hair, blue eyes and is tanned. Is it possible I got my copper/gold/auburn hair from my grandmother with strawberry blonde hair?
One of my uncles (a son of this grandmother) also has strawberry blonde hair but neither of their colours is like mine at all.
And about all the Irish red hair thing, I lived in Ireland for a year and have travelled there many times to visit relatives, and most people have either blonde or dark brown/black hair from what I've seen.

Anyway, considering the colouring of all my relatives, how did I end up with my colouring of very freckled skin, auburn/gold/copper hair that changes seasonally and hazel/green eyes?


P.S. I am thirteen and don't get much red-hair taunting at school at all, even though I'm one of like 3 at my school, my friends always compliment me on my hair. Although it is annoying living in such a sunny country with my complexion.

SoFo said at May 14, 2006 1:38 PM:

Hi everyone, i stumbled on this site while looking for info on Rhesus negative, I just want you all to know that there are Full African Negro red heads in West Africa near the equator where i live. i cannot speak for any other part of africa but i know for certain and have seen from when i was little, african red haeds not bearing any of the usual features of mixed race africans and so appear to be red headed red (ish) skinned africans- they did have some similar features with albino's and appear to be a kind of albino variation. this is not meant to join in any debate on whatever issues are being discussed here but to provide this info which i think may assist in the discussion. Just today i saw one little girl about 8 years old with the reddish dusky colour and orange/copper hair. in school they used to call them "palm oil colour" after the red coloured vegetable oil.....

L said at May 15, 2006 6:08 AM:

This is a very long thread and haven't read every single one on here yet, will do soon, so what I will write may have been written...I did notice one error, like one person saying that the german settlement in England is not taught much in the UK... I will clear up at least that part and say it is, and the movemet of particular peoples in history, which will include the Red genes. Be patient, as I will come to it soon enough. I will also paragraph this, if it doesn't work...well, i tried to save your eyes..lol It will refer to the movement of peoples. If you are interested in such, the following will be of interest.

To start with, it is commonly accepted due to particular research that the Red gene relates to people of Celtic origin. These people can be traced to around central europe, for example, germany, and then spreaded out in varying directions. One path led them to Britain and Ireland.... The Romans eventually conquered the southern half of Britannia... skip forward to when after the Roman's left Britain and the Anlo-Saxons (peoples of what is modern day Denmark, northern Germany and parts of Holland of whom Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians were the bulk) arrived. These peoples pushed most of the Celtic and Ancient Britons of England west into Wales and Ireland.

Next were the Vikings to arrive. They raided, traded and certain number settled. Genetically, and interestingly enough, Norweigan, Danish and Swedish genes are not the same. Recently there was a fascinating series called Blood Of The Vikings. Along with the history of the Vikings in Britain, during the series they tested a large number of the population to find out the genetic map of Britain and Ireland. They tested people who had lived in particular areas for several generations but only the male side was possible. It was discovered that it was impossible at the time to seperate the Danish Viking and Anglo-Saxon genes, they were so similar.

Check out the website for Blood Of The Vikings to see the results of settment in Britain and Ireland from their results http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/bloodofthevikings/ or more directly http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/bloodofthevikings/genetics_results_01.shtml

Refering to the Red gene and people assuming those with Red hair are Scottish or Irish holds had a foothold in fact due to following the movement of these peoples. The majority of people living in Wales and Ireland and parts of Scotland and England (though majority of England from this survey were decended from the Danish Viking/Anglo-Saxon gene... it will be fascinating to find out when these can be seperated) from this survey were decended from Celtic and other Ancient Briton origin.

(for an addition comment, the Royal Family today are decended from Alfred The Great of the Anglo-Saxons as well as Chief Rollo of the Vikings of whom William The Conquerer was decended...Normandy = Norman = Norseman = Northman (Viking). With Prince Harry, a Red head, and from other Red headed monarchs of the past, the Red gene is certainly alive and well within the Royal Family)

Myself, my mum is a Red head and my dad, fair headed and both blue eyed people, which left me with unfortunately my dad's balding gene (red hair is supposed to be thick, however i took my dad's hair colour and have to shave my head very regular...sides and back look is not good in the mid 20's...lol), I burn too easily in the sun... but I certainly hope the longevity gene in my family passes to me.

I don't usually comment on these threads but have nothing planned for today, and if you have read all this... You deserve to be bought a pint..lol)

L said at May 15, 2006 6:18 AM:

oh yes...i am aware i made a typo early in this and said anlo-saxon... obviously it was a typo for anglo-saxon...i'm sure others will be found...lol

L said at May 15, 2006 7:17 AM:

last little bit...not that anyone really needs to know or even cares..lol but although i am fair headed by nature (not there now if you remember, it's shaved) my facial hair has plenty of red in it, shaved as well, apart from a soul-patch which is pure blonde.... oooh now it is time for a drink. Oh yes, I live in England... I have no intention of going out for a drink at the time that will be shown below this message..lol

Adam said at June 2, 2006 8:32 PM:

Sounds like you have unusual colouring - light, golden hair with dark eyelashes and greeny-brown eyes. Very beautiful.
The red in your hair may have come from generations before your grandmother, but you also could have gotten your hair colouring from her. I'd say you have so many blonde highlights because you still carry a strong blonde gene, and red is genetically marginally different to blonde.
From what I can gather there is a high chance you will pass on a blue eye/blonde hair gene. Can anyone back this up?
Great genes you've got there, lol.

David said at June 5, 2006 2:34 PM:

Hi,L , thanks for correcting me, no worries(I sort of meant that ,just not put v well, forgive I)!...
on another note.. They have found now, the baldness gene, is not from your fatherís side, but your mothers (as in her father/male side I assume) ! thought I correct you there.


becky said at June 9, 2006 5:08 PM:

i am a redhead, i am 'mixed race' black american and white american. i have tan/olive skin and freckles on my cheeks, both of my parents have dark hair. oddly no one that i know of in my direct blood line had red hair, but i have and uncle and great aunt with red hair.

when i was younger i used to get "why do you look like that?" a lot..and now i get "where are you from?" alot,.. people expect to hear that i'm from some exotic island i presume, but i have white american ancestors dating back to the revolutionary war, and we all know where black americans came from, they've been here for at least 200 years or so when the atlantic slave trade became illegal.

L said at June 21, 2006 3:51 AM:

Thought I would check back onto this site and it is interesting to read david refering to information that found the balding gene is from the mother's side. I don't claim to know the full info on this but only mentioned I got it from my dad side because he lost his hair, along with his dad while my mum's dad has a full head of hair...ah well, it's just fortunate the shaved look suits me..lol

oh yes, I took a look at becky's link...very beautiful

jake said at June 27, 2006 8:55 PM:

I have freckles, dark green eyes, temper and chestnut hair but my facial hair is starting to turn red (can anyone explain that?) I come from a HUGE celtic background, Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Austrian (my austrian grandpa had TONS of freckles and red hair).

jake said at June 27, 2006 9:02 PM:

I have freckles, dark green eyes, temper and chestnut hair but my facial hair is starting to turn red (can anyone explain that?) I come from a HUGE celtic background, Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Austrian (my austrian grandpa had TONS of freckles and red hair).

Joe said at July 2, 2006 9:57 PM:

I have red hair (hazel eyes) and I married a redhead (hazel eyes as well) and shes pregnant.....I wonder what color my childs hair will be,will the eyes be the same?. Hmmmmmmm

Peter said at July 12, 2006 2:17 PM:

I have red hair, which turns a bit brownish in winter, and turns a bit blondish during the summer. I cut it short and looks straight, but when it was longer, it was somewhat curly. I have red coloured hair on my chest, but dark brown stripe of hair on my stomach. Have freckles mostly on my arms. I also had a pale skin, though I can bear the sun and somewhat get a good suntan.
As of my origin, I am Hungarian and I have dark haired parents (my father is almost black). My brother has brown hair, but looks a little bit reddish in the light.
I looked back my family tree recently to 18th century. That's like 6-8 generations, but no evidence for Irish/Scottish ancestors. I know, that my mother's father had also red hair, but that branch of family was originated simply from Hungary.
Also, I have blue eyes.. When I was in Ireland, people said that I looked so Irish, so I can't be Irish :)


auttie said at July 14, 2006 4:51 PM:

does anyone else have amber eyes? a combination of gold, copper and russet colors, i think they're very gorgeous indeed. they are often mistaken for hazel eyes, and are dubbed as "cat eyes". amber eyes are actually less common in humans, as you often see them in cats and dogs. i have amber eyes and i enjoy them. anyone else got?

pelirojo said at July 14, 2006 6:02 PM:

Been very interesting to read all this. I'm Irish, one of 5, all redheads (varying carrot to auburn, all freckled with blue/ green eyes), born to 2 redheads! All the boys have curly hair and no part. My hair actually grows curly Afro style if I don't cut it....what's the genetics here? I note curliness often goes hand in hand with redness.

I live in the UK and although have never been taunted / teased I have been disgusted to note the general negative handling of red heads in the media....I think it's cos brits can't no longer get away with picking on specific minorities so they pick on the next easist target. In Ireland red heads are also very much in the minority (despite popular belief) but here I was teased about everything but NEVER because of my red hair!!!

From my travels I've noted a significant number of red heads in Andalucia (including one guy leading a Flamenco choir at a Mass!) and Asturias. Look at the Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez....he's from Malaga! Seemed less prevalent (interestingly) in 'Celtic' Galicia. In France especially in the North/ East (I haven't been to Brittany/ Normandy so can't comment). I didn't notice many red heads in a month in Norway, neither many in Switzerland, Northern Italy/ Tuscany or Austria. I've even seen a few bona fide red headed Colombians !!! I've seen none in Asia-Africa.

I've noticed that red headed kids are very popular with advertisers in magazines/ placards in France/ Spain....in Britain the preference is for deeply tanned brunettes more typical of the classic Mediterranean complexion. Yet again why are the Brits so obsessed with the bronzed look? On Spanish TV you are quite likely to see a pale blonde/ ginger / brunette reading the news: many of the 'white' guys on BBC/ ITN look like they've been toasted pre-broadcast.

My wife is Latin American (black/ auburn tinged hair, brown skin, brown eyes) with aunts and cousins who have green/ blue eyes/ blonde hair so it'll be interesting to see what happens if we can produce offspring!

I find it interesting to read all the research about links between melanoma/ skin cancer risk and red hair/ fair complexion. In my immediate family (grandparents, uncles/ aunts, grand uncles/ aunts etc.) there has never even been a single case of Basal Cell Carcinoma let alone melanoma! And we've all gotten sunburned...plenty! The risk of developing melanoma is probably a bit over-hyped generally and certainly I think red heads shouldn't become overly worried about some of the stats being banded about. Despite what one might read/ choose to believe the link between sun damage and melanoma hasn't been proven beyond doubt (neither the preventative effect of sunblock creams); there is however a definate link between so called 'non melanoma skin cancers' and UV damage so the best advice is that which describes covering up (hand, long sleeves etc.) / staying out of the mid day sun (leave that to the mad dogs and Englishmen).

RChunn said at July 16, 2006 11:52 AM:

BTW: fact: having blond slaves (african albino variants) was so fashionable around 200 AD that women first started bleaching their hair in the mediteranian areas to keep up with the fashion.
Thank goodness since the influx of Cro-Magnon vertical forehead types and the possibly later influx of similarly more lean, less hairy, "savanna types" has given many Heidi Klum's throughout Europe...much better than the residual neanderthal look of the Indian subcontinent and middle east....take gilda radner, joan rivers, miriam margoyles (http://www.hannahfrank.org.uk/) for example. no offense, but the newer savanna look is the winning genetic phenotype in this evolutionary competition we called human existence.

Funny though, the neanderthal look (short, thick limbs, sloped back forehead, hairiness, large ears, large head, wide lip to face ratio, hump nose rather than a saddle, lower baseline estrogen levels {higher levels are a more recent genetic selection}, short neck, little or no waist....basically perfectly suited to the 200K years plus of European episodic ice age living) may have been present in the genes of all europeans...short thick red-headed scottish and german as well as in the middle east. The "modern" looking variant that we see in all runway models for example probably came in first through the cro-magnon {blonde? maybe maybe not}(all 6 feet tall and over, lean, vertical foreheads, full lips, with art and clothing typical of african nomadic hunters) migrations 30Kyrs ago via Spain on to france etc and then perhaps the slave trade brought in by descendents of neanderthals (middle easteners including arab/jewish traders/merchants) over 3K years ago. The fact is the slave trade was greatest in spain/france/portugal, not N.Europe as the Jewish led media would have you believe....google it!)
Heidi Klum married Seal partly because other than pigmentation, they are very similar genotypes. Look at a picture of them (google it and click "images"). you'll see the similarities in head/lips/eye/ear shape. The most beautiful finnish and swedish women look to me exactly like the Ivory coast africans except for pigmentation....totally non-neanderthal.

To see what a typical jewish person would have looked like 2K yrs ago check out this link:
or Google: "jesus bbc"

This "archaic homo sapien" or "homo sapien neanderthalensis" (versus homo sapien sapien= "modern post cro-magnon") look is seen in the south of europe (from the agricultural neolithic expansions that started 10-12K yrs ago out of the middle east), Indians (both american and S Asian), arabs, jews (Google: Einstein,adam sandler and father, as well as mel brooks). In the mormon bible, in the first chapter or two, it is written that the american indians are a lost tribe of israel! This is no coincidence since back a couple hundred years ago... the differences were more sharply defined and the many american indians originally came from the middle east. Genetic studies may bear this out....check out the migration patterns at the national geographic genographic project website:
click on the timeline bars and then on the migration lines. very interesting to check out the Journey Highlights section on the bottom right...particularly the CroMagnon and Neanderthal portions. You'll see that it is very clear that adam sandler is part neanderthal, and heidi klum is a CroMagnon variant. Note that while the neanderthal look is a bit odd and outdated (so thought hitler), they WERE possibly the first europeans (there are many neanderthal scottish types also that fit the bill), they had one of the largest brain cases known to homo sapiens @a max of 1700cc....were the craftsmen and artists of modern civilisation. They say there are more type A personality, hairy, short, big headed types among doctors and lawyers. Behind every german auto design team you'll often find a black haired neanderthal/cro-mag mix. All the famous authors...google a few on the wall at the starbucks/barnes and nobles bookstore look part neanderthal type. If you don't believe in the nenderthal/cro-mag/modern mix theory.... google it... there are many books and websites dedicated to this very hot debate in anthropology. They are now in the process of trying to map out the entire neanderthal genome to get to the bottom of it. I doubt the truth will come out for obvious reasons. A funny site:neanderthal for bush website: think of the neocons such at wolfowitz

compare these photos

Albino red head africans:

MoreGood ones:
Japanese Albino:
Pretty one:
Notice the bottom left girl:

Mexican albinism:

The entire middle east saga has origins based on genetic differences. the word Iran originates with Ayran.. they are part aryan! A google of Iranians will show you much more of the genes for the northern vertical type (less neanderthalian). the media won't mention that will they.
By the way israel is also populated by the tall modern influx. A google of Rabbi will show many howard stern, tall vertical forehead african savanna nubian types with more recent african features very obvious particulary among the european rabbi google results. One jewish guy with last name of Cohen (variants are Khan etc John Kerry was a cohen) wrote on his blob that his genetic analysis resulting in ancient origins to the Nubians of Eygypt. A google of Nubians shows a few darker howard stern, john kerry types). Cohen's are descendants of the ancient jewish rabbinical priestly class. Perhaps they are the result of the delayed "modern" influx into the middle east.... which would explain why they were the rulers over the more primitive neanderthal remnants. The "modern" type among the egyptians ruled the jews and other arabs....The northern "great white invaders" that moved into India created the caste system, and diluted then prevalent "aboriginal" type still seen in Southern India and australia. These cro-mag northern steppe (from present day kazakstan areas?) nomadic herding aryans that invaded Iran/palestine/india thousands of years ago thought they were superior to the ancient native cultures and enslaved many. The question is were they evolutionarily more advanced. I would say in some ways yes in some ways no. Jesus, the son of a roman soldier and jewish woman was genetically a neander-N.european/cro-mag mix...thus his feelings of anarchy and objective rebellian to the then prevalent merchant class obsessions with money/material possessions. The northern and african cro-mag type is historically less concerned with these things and is more balanced in demeanor with less obsessive compulsive (jewish/gypsia/indian[india])neurotic tendencies. He resisted the status quo and was admired I bet in part because of his different attractive mixed features (possibly some hybrid vigor to boot).
Poor neanderthals (think american indians run over by post cro-mag n.europeans.... india repeat).

Arvid K. Gromholt said at July 21, 2006 5:36 AM:

I read somewhere that the people of Atlantis were redheads, anybody wants to comment on that?

AIDAN said at July 24, 2006 5:58 PM:

Where to begin?First if you read a little Charles Darwin you will come to realize how (evolution) mutations occur in the human race.In brief if a human with a longer arm then his fellow tribesmen whom relied on grabbing fruit from trees for survival,the man with the longer arm would prevail over the others.hence he would have the abundant food supply,renown,and of course would be the better provider.This means of course he would propigate his genitic type and their would be a higher demand for this genetic type amongst the females.over time when life boild down to pure survival of the fittest the ancestors of the long armed man would most definatly flourish over the others.(THIS IS ASSUMING OF COURSE FOOD RELIED PURELY ON GRABBING FRUIT FROM TREES. LOL)This can be seen today with modern dog breeding.People breed dogs for a desired look,aggressivness,size etc.Of course this is not love and we select partners from the human condition (emotions).Traits from both individuals though can clearly be seen.Through these methods the mdern day redhead evolved.There are numerous scientific explanations,but the end result is the same:mutations occurring whith-in the Caucasoid Peoples created the redhaired homo-sapien.
Now to clear up this Irish,German,English myth crap.The caucasoid peoples (white races)migrated up Caspien and Black Seas.Nobody has a historical G.P.S,but im sure many of the caqucasoid peoples broke off and went differnt paths.The fact still remains that the bulk of the caucasoid peoples went west to all corners of Europe.One can now deduce that through various migrations,wars,and marriages the redheaded hommo-sapien spread themselves through-out Europe.Remember that migrations,wars and marriages were not one-fold,but occured many times through out unwritten history.Note that warfare back then was winner take all,specificaly the loosers woman and the breeding rights.Finaly there are 3 scientific distinctions amongst the caucasoid peoples 1(proto-germanic)witch includes the Angles,Jutes,Saxons,Lombards,Burgundians,Visigoths,Ostrogoths,and the Franks.2(celtoids)many of these tribal names are eluding me at the momment,but simple research will give you their names.And finaly3(slavics)where your modern day Russians,Poles,and Checz and Slovakiyans come from.So everything else is just political boundrie names.The best example of this is the always changing Balkins.My time has come,I hope ive put light on this subject nothings that complicated except teen-agers and love.By the way I am a redhead with green eyes.

Meredith said at August 9, 2006 3:47 PM:


I scanned through this whole thread on redheads and never saw a mention of Italian redheads? I am redhaired with brown eyes, can pick up a pretty decent tan on a good day. Half of this is from Irish heritage, the other half from a great grandfather from Italy who apparently had redhair. Has anyone heard of this?
Interested to know.

Eleni said at August 19, 2006 5:35 PM:


I'm married to a Spaniard, and he has a brother and a sister who are redheads but none of them have green or blue eyes, they have light brown eyes and freckles. My husband who's not a redhead does have blue eyes but does have many freckles on his body (and he once told me he doesn't like redhead women). I'm guessing his family has some Celtic ancestry. They are from southern Spain and I don't know if they have Basque ancestry (northern Spain), maybe they do, who knows.

I'm a brunnette, but my hair seems to have a shade of red but there are no redheads in my family. I used to be almost blonde when I was a child.

Generic traits are so interesting and unpredictable hehe

Eleni said at August 19, 2006 5:44 PM:

^I forgot to mention that i have green eyes and fair skin

Carol E.Cox said at August 20, 2006 10:41 PM:

Heidi Klum is a Brunette; a Bleached Brunette. She's got a disguise on and you can't see through it because it's like looking into a giant blinding bleach spot-light.

ginger said at September 24, 2006 1:56 PM:

I was born blonde with grey eyes. As time went on it turned bright red. I am a natural redhead born to a black father(who's covered in blonde body hairs) and a mother with jet black hair who is native american, welsh, german... I am the only redhead in my family??? I have freckles all over, brown eyes and some hairs are a cheastnut hue. My eyebrows underarm hair& and eyebrow hairs are chestnut while my eyelashes are chestnut with blonde tips. I also have white hairs mixed since i was a kid. I also have skin that burns then tans. My crotch hair(for the sake of science) is bright orange... what am I? just kidding but I have been idolized or hated... oh and my son has dark hair with red hairs laced. By the way, I am typical stereotype, fiery personality. I always get the famous are you mixed with Irish(I am not) Is reheadedness a race? Any educated answers are gladly appreciated, thanks

Rock on Red Heads!!

robert slone said at November 2, 2006 12:54 PM:

Can anyone tell me is it possible for a couple to have a simple genetic test to decipher the probability of them having a child with loveley red hair?

diamond said at November 3, 2006 8:00 AM:


Anyway, my question is what is the probability of myself and my husband having a red head/ginger child whcih i would be happy to have.

I think its a possibility although my husband doesnt (hes willing to bet a fully paid vacation on it and allow me to choose the childs name). We agree on nothing! . He wants to name the child George Reagon after our Presidents. Hes a Republican I am a democrat.

I have brown hair and blue/green eyes. My parrents are blonde/blue eyes and dark hair/dark eyes. My grandparents are 50% dark hair/dark eyes and 50% blonde though I do have a few uncles and aunts from both sides who have red hair. Furhturmore, my large familiy of brothers and sisters are dark with blue or brown eyes and so my young niceces and nephews are blonde with blue or brown eyes.

My husband has red hair and blue eyes pale skin but no freckles except a few on his arm. His parrents are both dark with blue eyes and his 4 sibblings, 2 nieces, 12 uncles and 6 aunts are too along with 95% of their children. Three of his grandparents are dark with blue eyes but one is a redhead.
My husbands argument is that he is a 'recesive/inferior' gene that was a mutation and the likely hood of him recreating a redhead is the same probability is as his redheaded grandmother who had 9 children non redheads. Though I suspect although my parrents/ grandparents/sibblings/nieces/nephews dont have red hair my family must carry a small trace of the gene?

If someone could give me the odds I would really aprreciate it. I would much rather have a child with any hair colour than a child named after a fool. I really need a vacation too I'm now English Pale and no longer californian gold.

If I'm on to a looser I will get of this bet soon and think of another bet!

Diamond. (Bored Pregnant American Housewife)

mikesey said at January 1, 2007 3:55 PM:

I've been interested to read these comments about red hair and especially those about Jesus Christ, and the links to photos purporting to show him as having black or dark hair.

As you probably know, the Knights Templar were alleged to have found the remains of the Holy family whilst carrying out excavations in Jerusalem in the early 1100s. These remains also included those of the body of Jesus Christ of course. It is also thought that the Knights had sight of the shroud used to wrap his body after death, and that they "knew" what the "Holy Grail" actually was/is. No physical description of the Christ exists today, but interestingly, an image (which is a panel-painting) DOES exist, and it was created by the Knights Templar.
The painting has been carbon-dated to Circa AD 1280. What maybe of most interest to readers on this thread, is that The Christ is shown as having red hair. It is certainly possible that he DID have this colour hair, but it would have been very unusual and would have marked him out as "special".

Did the Knights actually SEE hair on the remains of the Chist, and was it red?
No answer, but it IS possible.

Just a flippant note to finish; He would have had to stay out of the Sun or used a hood of some sort whenever outside in bright weather.

I have placed a URL to my images taken of the panel-painting, located in the Church of St. Mary, at Templecombe, Somerset, England. During the 12th century, a Knights Templar preceptory was in full flourish in the village. The URL is above, but just in case it isn't:


You should look at the folder "Knights Templar painting"

Maloy said at January 4, 2007 1:58 PM:

I have (had when younger...LOL!)red/auburn hair, light skin and freckles with green eyes. I am marrying a beautiful dark skinned African American woman. What are the chances that I will pass any of my coloring to my future children?

egnirys said at January 14, 2007 12:20 AM:

My aunt is red-haired and hazel-eyed. Now we, including my aunt, all have freckles (some more than others). My aunt however, is the only red-head. Otherwise, we all have some shade of brown hair and hazel or brown eyes. Although my cousin's eyes are blue.
Now while the rest of my family was born with their dark hair and eyes, I was born blonde with blue eyes. Now my hair is dark brown laced with red black and blonde... and I'm 17 but I'm already seeing white grow in. My brother's hair is jet black but if you look real close, you can see red strands too.

Go figure.

P A Jones said at January 20, 2007 6:19 PM:

This is a very entertaining site! I didn't know so many folks would be interested in the subject of the origin of red hair. I do genealogical research and also Biblical research. I read on one site that the red hair gene originated with the Iranians (Persians). Perhaps red hair has more than one place of origin, and more than one cause. My grandfather had red hair. He was Irish and English. He had 5 children, none of whom had red hair. His wife, my grandmother had Scottish, French, and Cherokee ancestry. All 5 of the children had dark brown hair and blue eyes. Two of us grandchidren were red haired and freckled, small freckles, and one had red hair and large brown freckles, and one had a "strawberry blonde" color red hair. The family that had 3 varient colors of red, the father was of Scottish decent. Only 4% of the world has red hair. We are now an endangered species! Wonder if we could get any government money out of that fact. :) Then again, they might put us in a "biological park."

I believe it's tradition that King David had red hair. When I was a child, I was teased unmercifully about my red hair and freckles--associated with the poor Irish immigrants, I guess. But, if they deleted all the Irish descent stalwarts of our American history, there would be a big hole.

I had auburn hair, have dark blue-green eyes, and pale skin. Now my hair is almost white. I had very thick hair when I was young, which was stated as a red hair characteristic. My family tree includes, so far, Irish, Scot, French, English, German, and Cherokee.

Mike R. said at January 26, 2007 2:08 PM:

I have studied human history for twenty years. NOT RED is absolutely correct. I'm of Scottish and Irish and English descent and I still have contact with my distant relations in Ireland, I visit often. Red heads ARE the absolute balance of black and white. Most of the time a baby who is born from black and white parents ends up with mostly afrocentric features with light skin. About 30% of ALL red heads have afro hair. Or at least frizzy hair. That is the African genes dominating in that area. the highest number of red heads are in Scotland not Ireland. The first humans in the British Isles were from Spain, they came from France, they came from Italy, they came from Greece. The very first red heads were born in Egypt. That's why most of the Pharohs had red hair. The original Egyptains were caucasoid. When they began to build structures they enslaved Nubians, Asians, and other whites. As the slave population mixed over hundreds of years a new race was born. They were known then as Semi's. Today we call them Semites or Middle Eastern. They are a blend of all races. When the slaves were freed they eventually rose up the ranks and absorbed the white Egyptians and took over the Empire. A new dynasty was born from slaves. The new, mixed Pharoh changed the belief system from pagan to Monotheism. They worshipped the ONE true sun god, known as AMEN-RA. After many years that dynasty was toppled by a new Pharoh, Ramseys the second. He brought back paganism and kicked the other group out of Egypt. They knocked down all their monuments and scratched the images off the stones. When the defeated Pharoh and his followers fled they went to the Middle East. Over many years these people mixed with the other peoples in the Middle East who were Caucasian and became known as Hebrews. The word HE-BREW means people who are mixed. They wrote down their history of fleeing Egypt and that became the first scrolls of Judaism. But! They were just one tribe of many in the Middle East. Combined together they were known as Phoecians. Located in modern day Lebanon and Israel/Palestine. The Phoecians were very advanced due to the fact they were descended from Egypt. They began exploring the Mediterranian with ships. Settling in Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland and Britain. The more west they went the more they mixed with the white people living in that area. At that time All Europeans were blondes or sandy haired with milky, white skin. When they mixed with the darker peoples on the coasts they created a new ethnic group of people with brown hair(CELTS). As this was happening Egypt was becoming more African and eventually crumbled from within. Then a white guy from a Greek Provence named, Alexander the Great took control of Egypt. He was the first person in the world who wanted to unite the world into one people. I know this from being a student of history for twenty years and because older people of Western Ireland still practice rituals that are unchanged from ancient times, and they are exactly like old rituals in North Africa(Lybia) and Ancient Egypt. Their are even old Irish mythical songs sung about how they were once Egyptians. Here is a way to see for yourselves. Open TWO browsers on your computer screen. On one screen open up an image of the leader of Lybia, Moammar Kadhafi. Than in the other browser open an image of legendary Welch pop singer, Tom Jones. They look like brothers. Now do it again with a photo of Welch, HollyWood actress, Catherin Zeta Jones and a photo of a Lybian woman. See what I mean?
Red heads are simply a fifty-fifty mixture of black and white. Instead of the skin blending the two colors stay seperate, white skin with black freckles. Just like in the animal world. Some animals have stripes and spots instead of middle color. The climate does play a factor over many, many years. the red hair color is just dark hair without the proper nutrients from the suns rays over many life times.
Also, the reason Christians say AMEN after the prayers is because it's left over from Egyptains sun god AMEN-RA. In the Irish language most of the names have an O in front, such as, O'Flaherty, O'Connor, O'hare, etc..etc. In modern times it's just the letter O. But! In ancient times it was a circle over the name. The circle represented the sun. The O still means SON OF. O'Connor means SON OF CONNOR. In Scottish MC and MAC in front of the name means the same thing.
If anyone wants me to elaborate more just let me know. I will be happy to. History is my favorite subject and I can speak on it for hours.

june said at January 30, 2007 10:28 AM:

I am a black women with natural red hair and a some feckless. From the day I came out the womb I had a head full of red hair so did my grandmother. As a child it was extremely difficult because children use to torment me due to my hair color. In my 22 years of life I ran across 3 black individuals with natural red hair so I'm curious in know if anyone with black person with red hair particular anyone from down Florida please respond!

Angie said at February 7, 2007 1:28 PM:

My twin sister and I both had bright red hair as kids. Now it's darkened some, but is still red. We also have green eyes, very pale skin with freckles. Our brother has dark hair, blue eyes, pale skin with freckles. Our parents are from the Basque town of Guernica in Spain. Although both have dark hair (mom has auburn hair), there are red heads on both sides. Is red hair common in this area of Spain? I haven't visited the area since I was a kid, so I can't say for myself.

Melissa said at February 18, 2007 2:59 AM:

Greetings Fellow RedHeads (and also a special note to JUNE who posted recently about naturally red headed black people)

I am ALSO a black women with Natural Red Hair and Freckles. I came out of the womb with strawberry blond hair and dark blue eyes both of which gradually darkened to the red and brown eyes I cherish today. The only other person with naturally occurring red hair in my family is my female cousin who is 11 years younger than I am (I'm 23). In the way of skin issues, perhaps the already present abundance of melanin (is that pigment compound of everyone's skin?) kind of protects me from the sun so I have not had serious issues with my skin, however, with this red head gene comes just a natural, well, crappiness of having sensitive skin so I have to be extremely anal retentive about what goes on to my skin (issues with eczema, unexplained rashes from rubbing up against seemingly harmless substances, etc. ).

What I have also found interesting with black red heads similar to, at least what I have observed in Caucasian redheads is this appearance of paler skin. When I look at my parents' skin tones, I should be a lot darker than I came out. Even when I was born, the family "joke" was that my mother had had an affair with a Caucasian man because no one could tell me apart from the other newborns in the hospital ward. Funny enough, I look almost 100% like my father and nothing like my mother and also my skin gradually turned darker as I grew up. A similar phenomenon has occurred with my little cousin.

Imagine that normal redheads get tormented because of their coloring. In the US it is practically an anomally to see a black person with naturally occuring red locks and so already there is a stronger assumption that they have dyed their hair. Over the years I have given up trying to prove this to people while in the past I would just flash them my arm pit hair (Always loved the reaction... and yes, we definitely can be fiesty when we need to be) and that would shut them up.

JUNE, my family is from West Africa and if you were ever to visit this area (at least, my experience has mostly been in Ghana) you would find that your appearance is not as odd as it may be in the US. You would feel at home in more ways than one.

Anyone with questions on non-traditional red heads or just to chat, send me an email at africanaroja@yahoo.com (I'm really getting to appreciate my uniqueness and reading about subjects on redheads) and to all redheads all over the world: keep shining, keep proud, and keep loving the skin (and the hair) that you are in, because it seems moreso nowadays, where you are ONE redhead grieving over the plight of your genetics, there are about umpteengagillion people who would love to look like you. I personally think this redheadedness thing goes beyond genetics; that we are meant to stick out on this earth for our own particular reasons...


Winston said at May 9, 2007 1:51 PM:

I think the whole "ginger" stigma must be some kind of British crap. I live in Canada and no one has made fun of my hair since I was like 5. It's so much more interesting to have red hair than brown or black, and who the hell can tell if anyone is really blonde anymore?! You can ALWAYS tell a natural redhead!
Plus, I see a million different red hair dyes in the drugstore all the time. Why would there be so many products if people didn't want red hair? I think it's totally cool that there are so many redheads in Britain- it's one of the only countries! It's such a pretty colour, I think everyone that hates redheads is jealous because they have mousy, ugly brown hair that no one ever remembers or comments on. Ha!

Celeste said at May 15, 2007 6:16 PM:

Hi. I'm a female, redhead, blue eyes, freckles, fair skinned and O-. As far as my background...pure mutt...LOL I am Cherokee and Dutch from my Mother and...German, Irish, Scottish and English from my Father. I was lucky to pass my red hair onto my oldest son and my daughter has beautiful auburn hair with golden highlights. My youngest...a blonde. I got two out of three...LOL

Jovie said at May 30, 2007 2:12 PM:

I am a Jewish/Spanish redhead. I have black eyes, eyebrows and eyelashes and very very fair skin. I have dark auburn hair, it's wavy and it's a pain! For one, it doesn't look like a natural color, so I'm frequently asked WHY I dye it that color. I don't, it grows that way. I'm half Jewish, half Spanish and don't have half a clue where I got my coloring. My brother and sister are both beautifully dark-haired, olive skinned, gray-eyed Spaniards. I'm the genetic weirdo. I don't tan, I don't burn either. I don't get freckles. There are no redheads on either side of the family, just lovely olive-skinned, dark-haired folks. Thanks, gene pool.

JPS said at June 11, 2007 12:09 PM:

Hi. I so love my husbands colouring -but he is very light skined -Fine in NYC but not in Columbia where he (we) is to be redeployed. We want to have children soon and with him being a red head and my father being a red head we have a good chance of having red headed children. Again fine in NYC but if we move to Columbia they (along with my hubby) would have a high chance of contracting skin cancer. Sun lotion is great but sometimes is in practical. With my husbands mother developing skin cancer in CA this relocation seems to be a little concern that has now become a major one. Itmakes us rethink this amazing oppurtunity in south america.

Is there any way to influence that our offspring get my dark features over my dads and husbands light skin? I believe we have a 50/50 chance of dark haired/red haired child. I'd ideally like a red haired child with my dark skin but I believe dark skin and red hair usually come as a pair.

Alternatively, anyone know of any foods or supplements that increase your tolerance to the sun. I believe theres some studies out there loooking into the possibility of increasing the skins eumelanin in fair skined people.


atrox said at September 13, 2007 9:51 PM:

My father was half Italian, and he LOOKED Italian. Black hair, dark eyes, tanned. My mother is a natural blond with pale hair and naturally dark, red-tinted skin, freckles and hazel eyes. Somehow I turned out to be a redhead, but I've got some sort of roan thing going on, 'cause I've got fine blond hairs mixed evenly throughout - with the exception of the back of my head, around the base of my neck, where my hair is extremely fine and so pale it's almost white. I've also got a white spot on my inner thigh. I tan, easily, and am mottled with freckles. My eyes are primarily green, but the pupils are ringed with hazel.
Please explain?

atrox said at September 13, 2007 10:12 PM:

Me again. Forgot to mention.. strong German and Native American genes on mother's side, I'm assuming that explains the red skin and blond hair? I don't know my father's side of the family that well, but I've been told I'm the only known 'redhead' in the family? I've also been called strawberry blond, at least in the summer, as the sun tends to bleach out my hair to the extent that it almost looks blond. My freckles, like my mother's are tiny, dark, with clearcut edges.. not large, pale, and faded at the edges like I see on a lot of redheads.

M-A said at October 15, 2007 1:10 PM:

I'm a female red head. My father is French/Italian and my mother is German/French descent. Both have slightly wavy dark brown hair. I have a brother and a sister, both with dark brown hair same as our parents. My father remarried another woman, who has medium brown hair, around 10 years ago and had another child. He has the same shade of red as me. Very curly and deep red. The red hair seems to come from our Italian side, as I've visited cousins in Italy several times and they are the only red heads in the family. The originally came from an Island in the Meditarian. I'm always fascinated with the origins of red hair and have visited site several times in the past years to see other peoples opinions on the red hair topic.
Recently I've found something I haven't seen before. I met a man, whom I'm in relationship now, who is chinese with red hair. He has the typical black staight hair on his head, but he often lets his beard grow, (yes uncommon for a chinese man)his beard is mostly black hair but with noticable red hairs as well, around 15% of his beard is red. The red is the same shade as my own hair, deep red. He said his sister has even more red hair then he does so that it looks almost brown. I have yet to see her in person. Both his parents have black hair. I assumed he must have some white ancentry somewhere in his family tree. Has anyone seen this before...

M-A said at October 15, 2007 3:59 PM:

I noticed that eye colour seems to be mentioned alot on this site as well. I have grey eyes with fun flower yellow ringing the pupil. How common is that? I've never seen anyone with yellow in there eye color before. Everyone always comments on mine...

Ti-vor said at November 6, 2007 2:44 PM:

Are there redheads in Portugal? I know a girls whose mother used to have dark red hair and is from southern india.

Mjl said at November 24, 2007 7:29 AM:

you are all idiots, the origins of redhead IS FROM IRELAND!they are an isolated race as they are on an island. what is this bullshit about africans and "uber whites" thats a lie. there are RED squirrels and RED foxes in the UK, why are they red? NOT FROM AFRICANS MATING WITH WHITE FOXES AND MAKING THEM RED!!! also it has been recently discovered that neanderthals has red hair, so that excludes the african bullshit. ANYONE THAT HAS FRECKLES, GREEN EYES OR REDDISH HAIR IS DECENDED FROM THE SAME PLACE.

mary said at December 30, 2007 9:27 AM:

I am not a typical redhead - my skin is darker than most redheads -it's not that milky pale skin. I have very few freckles and I tan though never get truly bronzed. My eyes are hazel with a ring around the pupil the same color as my hair - they change colors from blue to green to brown. My hair color is medium auburn, straight and fine and NO I am not Irish. The redheads in my family come from my father's side and his family has been traced to the 1600s and they are of Germanic descent. My mother is dark haired and olive skinned- of European descent. I would love to believe the whole Viking theory but my guess is that I'm more Israeli than anything. My blood type is o+

mary said at December 30, 2007 9:54 AM:

I would like to add that the whole Neanderthal thing is really insulting. I am more prone to believe in the mixing of races for the redhead gene. Also, I am one of those who truly needs extra novacaine when having dental work done. And when I had my c-section, I was given an epidural and right in the middle of the surgery, I began to feel the cutting and the pain. I needed more anethesia. I would like to know why that is, especially considering that I only weigh about 100 pounds. I think that the redheaded gene is so complex and I wish someone had better answeres. No, we are not all from Ireland yet I know that we must all be related somehow - regardless of race.

L said at January 5, 2008 4:51 AM:

Okaaaay... it has been a long while since I wrote on here. I don't claim to have all the answers, but can offer a little help, for example with mary. If you want to read what I wrote during May 2006, it gives a little info on the movement of peoples (a fabulously detailed ramble which doesn't answer necessarily the true origin, but it goes back quite a way in history). It refers to Celtic people, and its association with red heads... the links are now redundant, but I do have one which may interest you regarding red heads... http://www.geocities.com/red_head_stranger66/

Oh, and mjl... I really can't help but laugh at such an individual making himself look stupid (saying all red heads soley originate from Ireland quite aggresively) whilst calling everyone else one.

Avatar said at January 12, 2008 11:21 PM:

I read somewhere that the Irish got the reds and blondes from the Vikings that conquered their lands?

The Nordic/Scandanavians hav lots of redheads. Their not all blondes as you would think. Sadly, Swedish beauty Ann-Margaret is not a real redhead! She's a dirty blonde.

I also heard that a good amount of Sicilians hae redhair because of the German invaders.

This must be how my ex-girlfriend got her red hair! She is swedish and sicilian. Her dad is auburn with olive skin and her mom (she swede) was fair and plantinum blonde. So Aurora got light olive skin that can get sun tanned and strawberry blonde hair.

So that's a good example of "incomplite domaninace!"

So, Redhair or red-tinged hair can just pop up! Granted you will never see a Asian girl with flame-red hair unless she got it from a box or is an anime character!

mike ross said at January 29, 2008 9:45 PM:

My grandfather of SE Poland had dark auburn hair. A firey short man, who worked hard for a living. In one article, it states that azhkenazi, iranian trait of 'reddish' hair is common. A fellow I met from Bulgaria said that the word ...'opar'...has a meaning of 'volitile, firey, hot tempered', and you can find that in western ukraina, poland, and rus'. Anyone else hear of this...??? mike

Mary Shipp said at February 8, 2008 12:08 AM:

Can a child of about 3 with dark red hair change to a Blonde haired child within a couple of years. In this time she has not moved to another country so the weather conditions [more sun strength] have not changed?

web j said at February 8, 2008 1:29 AM:

We have redheads scattered throughout my family. My father was blond pale, a blue-eyed Dutchman, and my mother looked middle eastern or dark european, with black hair and black eyes, dark olive skin. I got auburn hair, auburn eyes and skin that tans auburn-copper and is normally a paler olive. I guess I'm an oddity even among oddities. Sometimes I am nearly one solid copper color! I have always recieved compliments on my hair and coloring. I treasure my unusual combination of tones. I have heard a few slurs toward the color of my hair, yes, but all in all, most seem fascinated by its color. And I'm no spring chicken!

Dee said at February 19, 2008 11:08 PM:

I'm a red-head of mixed Indian, black, and white ancestry. My hair is usually copper during the summer and dark auburn during the winter (even though I'm in Florida!). I have freckles, too. My grandmother was mulatto and looked white. She had green eyes, red hair and freckles. My mother is medium brown skinned but she ,too has freckles and very beautiful gray eyes. Our oldest child has dark blond hair; our second, chestnut hair; our third, dark brown with red strands mixed in; and our fourth, is finally the red head like his Mama! Oddly enough, my skin color is not far off from my hair color--I look unusual. I have a few cousins who are red headed as well.

Hmm, there are a lot of theories (unfortunately, some really ludicrous ones) on red heads here. Red hair actually was a mutation but it occurred first in the Scottish highlands--not Ireland. Scotland has the highest percentage of red-heads in the world--1 in 5 has a shade of red hair. It goes without saying that this mutation could and did appear in other places. Red hair genes are often passed down quite a ways before finding a matching gene and actually 'showing' red hair. It has partial expression--that is why you will see a brunette or even a blond sporting freckles (freckles and red hair are on the same allele) and then the offspring will have red hair. That is why you can see a few red-hairs among someone with darker hair. This is also how strawberry-blonds are produced.

See? Not a lot of mystery. Just some simple science coupled along with a fascination over a very beautiful hair color. Long live the red heads!

Mike said at May 3, 2008 12:15 PM:

I would have to say this is interesting. Because I myself am very confused on how genetics work.
I am half Italian, half Irish.
My hair is brownish-red on top. and dark brown/black in the back.
My father has black hair, black eyes(no joke), and is pretty dark tan to boot.
My mother had ginger red hair, glass green eyes, light yellow skin, and some freckles.
I have DARK brown, almost black eyes.
black eyebrows. and most of my body hair is black or brown(pubic area red and black...)
black eyelashes. and I have light olive skin. Naturally very white-ish. But a couple minutes in the sun
and I am as olive as most Italians are.
Makes NO SENSE to me.
explain please?

miguel said at May 9, 2008 12:35 PM:

im a red hair brown eyes freckles and my skin tans a bet; i was born in usa but my parents are from puerto rico
my mother was pale with red hair and my father is olive dark like some people from india im tall and muscular; my daughters one has brown hair and red underneath and the other has black hair and red patches ;my last names are from spain and france.

RedAllMyLife~ said at June 14, 2008 6:08 AM:

To the people who think red hair is limited to Europe are idiots. Stop the entitlement, because I know many Blacks with red hair and freckles. And what the hell is a "true red head"- some type of variation to exclude people who are really true red heads? What does eye color have to do with being a redhead/freckled? Nothing. Red hair occurs in all races, ALL! So, some of you need to get off of your Irish high-horses.
Sincerely, an African-American fire crotch~
P.S. Blacks with red hair are not albinos-

T said at October 2, 2008 9:55 PM:

Wow, what a wide array of posts on here. I was just trying to find out if there are any other red heads with olive skin out there. My 5 month old son was born with brown hair that has turned strawberry blonde and eyes that are a olive green that get lighter and darker depending on what he is wearing or lighting and such. His hair is really the most unusual shade I have ever seen really. But his skin tone is like mine fair olive shade as a baby that browns up quite nicely once exposed to the sun. My dad is a redhead and my husband has red in his facial hair. My hair is a true brunette with the copper highlights when the sun hits it giving the appearance of being a dark shade of red. My husband has blue eyes and I have brown. My dad mentioned green eyes on his side through my grandmother. my grandmother was from sweden and my grandfather on that same side was full blooded Italian. My mom's side is german, french canadian (which I am told that is where my skin coloring comes from)and maybe even some native american among other things. My husband says he is a mutt, lol! But really just anglo saxon i would say. Everyone in his family has blue eyes and pretty much all brown hair too. In looking at my son I have come to believe that we don't just get one full feature from either of our parents, that there are alot of things that make up the way we look. My son looks so much like my husband as a baby but at the same time he looks so much like me also as a baby. His smile is neither mine or my husbands, but a combination, his eyes are not just my eyes, but there are hints of my husband in those eyes too. He is just a great mixture of both of us. I tend to think that hair color, eye color and skin color are that way too. Just because you have red hair doesn't mean you are going to get the fair skin. Maybe that is the way it happens alot of times, but they aren't connected in that you absolutely cannot have olive skin with red hair. No more than you have to have green or blue eyes with red hair. My dad has a light brown eyes with his red hair. It just seems to me that alot of people on here have clumped red hair, fair skin and green or blue eyes in with red hair as the only way it is going to be. But the way we look is way more complicated than that. Seems to me that there are genes that give direction to even the tiniest of features that are so sutle that we don't even notice. Anyway, are there any other strawberry blondes out there with olive skin like my son? His complextion is very pretty really, blemish free and smooth. I have to say it gives him a rather unusual look. He is absolutely gorgeous. One of those babies that everyone just wants to sit and stare at he is so pretty to look at.

Jessica said at July 26, 2009 10:04 AM:

I think it's neat to see quite a few people writing in who are black/African descent with red hair. I'm a black woman with intense, bright red hair, freckles, and dark brown eyes. On my mom's side of the family, I'm not aware of any redheads, but the ethnic background is mostly African with a little Native American and Irish. My dad was biracial black/Jewish, my paternal grandmother was a redhead (she was mostly black and 1/4 French). On that side, besides my grandmother, the redhead gene didn't show up again after me, until my cousin had a baby recently who is a redhead (though a darker shade of red). Growing up sucked because while redheads aren't common, black redheads are even less common, and so I'd get made fun of for my hair throughout my childhood. More commonly as an adult (as well as growing up), people aometimes think that I could not possibly be black because of my red hair and freckles, or even think I'm albino, which I'm not.

About redheads pairing up, it is pretty rare, although I think it's also because there aren't a whole lot of us and we don't exactly create our own community or culture (like specific races or ethnicities). I have seen red-haired couples out in public on occasion. Personally, I had never imagined myself with another redhead, hair color in a mate hasn't mattered to me a whole lot. However, currently I am in a long-term relationship with a Caucasian redhead of Dutch descent with blue eyes (his hair is somewhat less intense than mine, but still red). I wonder sometimes if we married and had children, what hair color the kids might have.

marysusan said at January 10, 2010 8:56 PM:

iwas wondering if my father had sandy blondish red hair and mother had dark brown almost black hair, what would my hair color likely be? also is it possible if my father fathered other children with red hair, would that mean his wife had light colored hair? please help.

Bob Badour said at January 11, 2010 7:10 AM:

The dark brown/black is dominant. It is impossible to say for certain what color hair the children would have. They would either have dark brown/black from the mother, or a color produced by whatever recessive the mother has and what the father contributes. That's assuming no mutation.

Ally said at June 2, 2010 3:44 PM:

My mum has bright red/orange hair, blue eyes and has French and German ancestry. My dad has auburn hair, grey eyes and scottish ancestry. Because of this I have a very unusual hair colour, it is a dark pumpkin/auburn colour with three different hair colours evenly spread throughout, some orange, some auburn and some light brown and my eye's are blue/grey. Many people comment on what an unusual colour my hair is and that they have never seen it before. The orange hairs have the texture of my mums orange hair - rough to run my finger down a strand whereas the other hairs feel smooth, the orange hairs put a sparkle in the shine which I love! I have freckles all over my body yet I can tan... although I am older and wiser now and stay out of the sun because I have some moles. I'm wondering if there is a co-dominance factor happening here for example if a brown cow has offspring with a light tan coloured cow, the offspring have both of the coloured hair types giving them an in the middle type colouring yet a closer inspection reveals speckling of the two different colours, no in betweens. My son also has speckled hair, his dad is blonde, my son has light blonde hairs and red hairs, no in betweens throughout his hair, he's strawberry blonde. Can anyone shed some light on this?

CJB said at June 3, 2010 5:39 AM:

Hello. I am black, but very pale with freckles. My dad and his mom are very pale with red hair and freckles, my dad also has green eyes. My mother's side has many people with freckles and red hair. We know that we have african and native american, but we are wondering if these traits, pale skin, freckles, green eyes, red hair are nordic or what other type of mixing could cause this. Does anyone know any good, but affordable places or sites where we can track our ancestry? Thanks.

CJB said at June 3, 2010 5:39 AM:

Hello. I am black, but very pale with freckles. My dad and his mom are very pale with red hair and freckles, my dad also has green eyes. My mother's side has many people with freckles and red hair. We know that we have african and native american, but we are wondering if these traits, pale skin, freckles, green eyes, red hair are nordic or what other type of mixing could cause this. Does anyone know any good, but affordable places or sites where we can track our ancestry? Thanks.

Tara said at October 26, 2011 4:04 PM:

Hello, i am an Italian redhead with green eyes who i recieved from my grandfather who's parents came from genoa Italy..
All three of my children also have redhair. I also get very angry when people assume i am irish, I am not Irish !!! I have been
looking for years for some scientific proof so i can show people !!!!

Post a comment
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
Remember info?

Go Read More Posts On FuturePundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright ©