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Understanding Hair Type: Redheads... Much More Than A Stepchild

Updated: Mar 31

woman with long red curly hair winking

Lucille Ball, Carol Burnette, Mark Twain, Van Gough, Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington, and Galileo all have this in common!  The rarest natural hair color in the world!!

At Fringe Hair Studio, we believe that red hair is more than just a color—it's a lifestyle. Our salon is a haven for redheads, a space where you can forge connections with kindred spirits and draw inspiration from the allure of fiery tresses.

Become a part of our community of red hair enthusiasts, and together, let's revel in and celebrate this distinctive style and jewel of a gene.

The Science Behind Red Hair

Red hair is primarily caused by a genetic variation in the MC1R gene, which is responsible for producing a pigment called melanin. Melanin is the primary determinant of hair, skin, and eye color in humans. It comes in two primary forms: eumelanin, which produces brown to black colors, and pheomelanin, which produces yellow to red colors.  You can read a little more about melanin here from the Understanding Har Color blog series.

Is Red Hair the Rarest Hair Color?


It’s genetic.  People with red hair have a specific variation in the MC1R gene that affects the production of eumelanin and increases the production of pheomelanin. In simple terms, genetically redheads produce a little less brown hair gene, and more yellow hair gene.

The MC1R gene mutation reduces the activity of an enzyme that converts pheomelanin to eumelanin, resulting in a higher concentration of pheomelanin in the hair shafts.  The gene is also being associated with fair skin, freckles, and a heightened sensitivity to sunlight. 

The Light Spectrum

Pheomelanin being responsible for the red coloration in hair by reflecting and refracting light differently than eumelanin. It appears red or reddish-orange due to its molecular structure, which absorbs more of the blue and green light spectrum while reflecting and transmitting the longer wavelengths associated with red and orange colors.

The exact texture or shade of red hair can vary greatly among individuals due to other genetic factors and variations in the concentrations of eumelanin and pheomelanin. Factors such as the presence of other pigments, variations in the amount and distribution of melanin, and environmental influences can also contribute to the wide range of red hair shades observed.  Red hair can also comes with all kinds of texture.  You can learn more about hair textures in this article here.

A Lesson in Geography:

Celtic map

Red hair is most commonly associated with people of Celtic or Northern European descent. Historically, regions such as Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and parts of Northern Europe, including Scandinavia, have had higher frequencies of redheads. This is due to the prevalence of the MC1R gene variant in these populations.

Scottish Flag

In Scotland, for example, around 13% of the population is estimated to have red hair, making it the highest percentage in the world. Ireland also has a significant population of redheads, with an estimated 10% having red hair. Other countries with notable red hair populations include the Netherlands, Belgium, England, and parts of Northern France.

Celtic cross

It's important to note that while red hair is commonly associated with Celtic and Northern European cultures, redheads can be found in various populations around the world, albeit with lower frequencies. The MC1R gene variant can occur in individuals of diverse ethnic backgrounds, although at lower prevalence compared to those of Celtic or Northern European ancestry.

A Captivating Color Choice

Happy Red headed girl with curly hair blowing back with her eyes closed

Red hair has an undeniable charm that has captivated hearts throughout history. With its fiery hues and multidimensional shades, it exudes confidence, individuality, and a touch of mystery. Whether you opt for a fiery copper, a rich auburn, or a playful strawberry blonde, red hair offers endless possibilities to express your personality and make a lasting impression.

Embracing Red Hair: Confidence and Style

Sporting red hair is more than just a change in color—it's a statement of confidence and individuality. Redheads are known for their magnetic presence, turning heads wherever they go. Embrace the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and let your red locks become a reflection of your inner fire and strength. Unlock your true potential, embrace your individuality, and let your fiery locks set the world ablaze.

At Fringe Hair Studio, we understand that every client is unique, and our skilled stylists are dedicated to crafting a red hair look that aligns with your style and enhances your natural features. We understand the intricacies of red hair and utilize advanced techniques to bring out its true brilliance. We take into account your skin tone, eye color, and personal preferences to customize the perfect shade of red that complements your features and enhances your natural beauty.

Nurturing Your Red Locks

Maintaining the radiance of your red hair requires proper care and attention. At Fringe Hair Studio, we not only provide exceptional color services but also guide you in maintaining your red locks' vibrancy between salon visits. Our stylists will recommend professional-grade color-safe products and share invaluable tips to keep your red hair looking fresh, healthy, and full of life.

Red Hair and Sun Protection: Shielding Your Fiery Locks

While red hair is undeniably captivating, it tends to be more susceptible to sun damage due to the lower levels of protective eumelanin. At Fringe Hair Studio, we emphasize the importance of sun protection for redheads. We offer expert advice on the use of UV-protective hair products, stylish headwear, and other measures to shield your fiery locks from harmful rays and maintain their vibrant allure. Read here for tips on protecting your hair

Visit Fringe Hair Studio: Unleash the Power of Red Hair

Are you looking to embark on a transformative journey and embrace the enchanting world of red hair? Come to Fringe Hair Studio in Palm Harbor, where our team of stylists will guide you every step of the way. With our expertise, personalized approach, and passion for creating breathtaking red hair looks, we are committed to helping you discover and unleash the power of your unique style.

Book your consultation here.

So in closing, whether you're a natural redhead looking to enhance your hue or someone ready to take the plunge into the world of fiery locks, Fringe Hair Studio is here to welcome you with open arms. Let us be your trusted partner in your red hair journey, guiding you with expertise, passion, and an unwavering commitment to your satisfaction. We can't wait to embark on this exciting adventure with you!

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