Red hair first appeared as the result of a genetic mutation with the first documented case of natural-born redhead occurring in Scotland.
Less than 2% of the world’s population have red hair.
Scotland boasts the highest percentage of natural redheads while Ireland comes in second.
Natural redheads are rare — the gene is recessive — meaning both parents must each be carrying the recessive gene for their child to have red hair.
Natural red hair is less likely to go gray.
A redhead’s ability to produce a pheomelanin also allows them to have a higher resistance to pain.
Although red hair is frequently associated with Scotland, Ireland, and England, people of color can also be born with natural red hair.
For example, places like Morocco and Central Asia have higher proportions of redheads.
In fact, some research suggests that the first redheads were from the Steppes of Central Asia more than 100,000 years ago.
It was caused by a mutation in the M1CR gene which caused hair to turn red, but in return, this mutation is what allowed red-haired folks to be more efficient at absorbing much-needed UV light.
These pioneers from Central Asia eventually migrated throughout Europe and to the British Isles during the Bronze Age.
Science shows that given the small percentage size of the recessive red hair gene out of the world’s population, it could at some point become extinct.
Also, with climate change causing warmer conditions throughout the world, redheads in places like Scotland someday might not need to absorb as much Vitamin D as previously needed.
For now though, redheads continue to be genetic anomalies with a secret gift for thriving in winter.
So for all those natural redheads — you are extremely rare!