A mere two percent of the world’s population is made up of redheads. Yes, these flame-brained creatures are rare, very rare. We all know them as “gingers,” even though we don’t quite know why we refer to them as this. Could it be from the red-haired woman named Ginger on Gilligan’s Island? Or is it derived from the root vegetable that doesn’t really have an orange-ish tint to it at all? We just don’t know.
The truth is, redheads are a rare form of human being that could be categorized as mystical, considering that we are mutants. Yes, actually mutants. According to WebMD, the recessive gene that gives us people our pigment, MC1R, is actually a genetic mutation. So, in order to have red hair, something has to go wrong in your genetic makeup. Speaking of mutants, we are also less likely to feel pain than any other hair color. A chemical called pheomelanin is released when pain is inflicted, giving us a higher pain threshold than any other hair color. On the flip side of this, a study was conducted and found out that redheads require about 20 percent more anesthesia when going under the knife. So, not everything is glamorous for us all the time. And not only are we mutants, but we have less hair than any other hair color. On average, a typical redhead has about 90,000 hairs on our head, whereas blondes and brunettes have upwards of 140,000 strands. However, it’s hard to tell unless you get up close and personal because our strands of hair are actually thicker than everyone else’s. Even though we have less hair, we are less likely to go gray compared to other hair colors. When our hair fades, it turns white, since it has a lack of pigment. So, at least we have that going for us.
On the flip side of things, redheads have a history of being mistreated. No, I’m not talking about the ginger jokes that came out right after South Park released an episode condemning all redheads to hell because they suffer from “gingervitus,” but something similar. According to Buzzfeed, in Greek mythology, redheads were considered vampires once they died, so they burned their bodies immediately so they could not resurrect and haunt the living while stealing their souls. This is where the idea of redheads having “no soul” comes from. Also during Hitler’s regime, he convinced his people to believe that they were demonic, and having two redheads marry and have children would only produce demonic offspring. Thus, redheads had a rough upbringing throughout history.
People who want red hair simply cannot have it. No matter how many salons and stylists you go to, you will never achieve the pigment of a true redhead. On the flip side, if you’re a ginger, you’re basically stuck with your fiery locks. It is nearly impossible for red hair to hold any type of pigment that you put in your hair, so spending hundreds of dollars trying to dye it is a huge waste of money. Trust me, I know. Within two weeks, your hair will be the same exact color it was when you started. Unless you have the time and money to get your hair colored every two weeks, you cannot escape or hide the fact that you are a ginger. This is because science has told us that we are basically a step down from being an albino on the pigment spectrum. Lucky us. You have to learn to embrace it or let it define your existence; your choice.
And let’s not forget about how redheads sense temperature more extremely than any other hair color. The cold are is frigid, and the heat is the equivalent to talking a nice leisurely stroll through the gates of hell. So on those cold blistering days when you wish that it were warmer out, think again. Because here comes the sun, and the sun wants to hurt you and your precious porcelain skin to the point of no return. That’s right, the sunburn, only our sunburns blister, leaving us with even paler skin and no gorgeous tan.
Yet, we persevere. Despite all of these negative comments, redheads take pride in the fact that we are unique. Every day I wake up, look in the mirror, and see someone who is different from everyone else. Yes, I see fair skin, sun damage, and fiery locks, but I am unique and the fact remains the same. I am a human being.