Red Hair

Red hair occurs naturally on approximately 1–2% of the human population. It occurs more frequently (2–6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations. Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein.

Red hair varies from a deep burgundy through burnt orange to bright copper. It is characterized by high levels of the reddish pigment pheomelanin and relatively low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The term redhead (originally redd hede) has been in use since at least 1510. It is associated with fair skin color, lighter eye colors (gray, blue, green, and hazel), freckles, and sensitivity to ultraviolet light.

Cultural reactions have varied from ridicule to admiration; many common stereotypes exist regarding redheads and they are often portrayed as fiery-tempered.

Read more about Red Hair:  Biochemistry and Genetics, Red Hair of Pathological Origin

Famous quotes containing the words red and/or hair:

    Hm, the beacon of the press. In the hell to which all journalists must descend when they die, Mr. Wiggam, we shall sit at red hot desks with quills of fire in our hand and spend eternity on eternity writing about the salubrious weather of that region. Let us serve our apprenticeship here thoroughly and intelligently.
    Ben Hecht (1893–1964)

    To-night she will spread her brown hair on his pillow,
    But I shall be hearing the harsh cries of wild fowl.
    Patrick MacDonogh (1902–1961)