Ten Debunked Myths About Redheads

The colour red connotes danger, passion and power, so this could be where the bad-tempered stereotype comes from. Some redheads choose to own this passionate reputation, while the rest of us couldn't care less about it.

1. Redheads bruise more easily

After much deliberation and testing, scientists found that there is no evidence to support that redheads bruise more easily than other hair shades. Instead, it's possible that bruises appear more prominently due to our pale skin.

2. Ginger hair is unlucky

British superstition says that on New Year's Day, your first caller will bring you luck. Brunettes bring the best luck, blondes bring none, and redheads bring the worst luck of all. In Corsica, if you pass someone with ginger hair on the street, you must spit and turn around to avoid bad luck.

On the flip side, a tradition in Poland states that if you pass three redheads in a row, you will win the state lottery.

At less than 2% of the world's population, redheads are the four-leaf clovers of humans, so if anything, surely we're the lucky ones?

3. We're vampires

Greek mythology states that redheads turn into vampires after death. We can laugh, but gingers do tend to avoid the sunlight as much as vampires do, so perhaps there's some truth in it.

4. We have bad tempers

The colour red connotes danger, passion and power, so this could be where the bad-tempered stereotype comes from. Some redheads choose to own this passionate reputation, while the rest of us couldn't care less about it.

But, if we hear "Does the carpet match the drapes?" one more time, of course we're going to see red.

5. Gingers are more sexually active

There seems to be an obsession with redheads' sexuality, and it largely goes back to the connotations of redheads having a passionate and fiery nature, which is thought to transfer to the bedroom.

Additionally, a recent University of Hamburg study examined the sex lives of hundreds of German women with different hair colours, and revealed that redheads are significantly more sexually active than their blonde and brunette counterparts.

It's unclear how trustworthy this data is, particularly as Professor Dr Werner Habermehl also said: "Even women in a fixed relationship are letting their partners know they are unhappy if they dye their hair red. They are saying that they are looking for something better."

So it has nothing to do with wanting to be on Team Ginger?

6. Pain tolerance and anaesthesia

After hearing horror stories about fellow redheads waking up during surgery, there may be some truth in this.

Some people say that redheads require around 20% more anaesthesia than other hair colours, with their MC1R gene being the reason behind it.

Most surgeons, dentists and doctors don't formally acknowledge it, however, and tests have previously shown that there is no significant difference in reactions to anaesthesia in patients with red hair and those with any other hair colour.

However, research from studies shows that gingers are more sensitive to hot and cold pain, because our magical bodies are able to change temperature quicker than others. Countless studies have looked into the genetics behind redheads claiming that they are more or less sensitive to pain.

7. Conceived during menstruation (bit icky... sorry)

Not to get too graphic, but redheads were once thought (and still are, in some cases) to be conceived out of "unclean" sex. Apparently, it's something to do with the colour of red hair, but let's not talk about it anymore. Just NO.

8. Gingers don't have souls

Thanks to South Park's 'Ginger Kids' episode and to Mikey Kittrell's subsequent famous YouTube meltdown, this myth is a hot topic.

In reality, we have so much soul that we've starting stealing everyone else's. Each freckle on a redhead represents a soul that they've stolen.

9. We're mutants

This one is technically true. Natural red hair is caused by a series of mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) on chromosome 16. Basically, redheads are superheroes. And our superpower is awesomeness.

10. Redheads will become extinct

Would you like a lesson in genetics? Red hair is a recessive trait, meaning it only occurs when both parents carry the 'ginger gene', but they don't have to be redheads themselves. According to BritainsDNA, a massive 40% of Brits carry this recessive gene and have the ability to procreate a cute ginger baby. We like to call these people 'Secret Gingers'.

This genetic trait can lay dormant for generations, until two gene carriers reproduce and their 25% luck creates a baby with gorgeous ginger locks. Unless every being on planet earth carrying this gene fails to reproduce (heaven forbid), red hair will always exist.

Apart from anything, redheads are the feistiest people I know, so we'll outlive everyone.

Emma Kelly is the Founder and Editor of Ginger Parrot (www.gingerparrot.co.uk), a website for redheads, delivering news and features on topics specific to those with ginger hair, including General News, Fashion, Music, Beauty, Film, Health and more.

Ginger Parrot also sells hair products, clothing and gifts for redheads and redhead lovers alike.