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Redheads: Living on the endangered species list

Growing up having red hair can be a curse or a blessing.  For a little boy it probably means you’ll grow up knowing how to fight or how to run fast, or both (I won’t go into my own experiences.)  A little girl with red hair seems to have a easier time of it, and may even like being “special.”

However, according to scientist it’s a moot point in 100 years. via Neatorama:

Redheads are becoming rarer and could be extinct in 100 years, according to genetic scientists.

The current National Geographic magazine reports that less than two per cent of the world’s population has natural red hair, created by a mutation in northern Europe thousands of years ago.

Global intermingling, which broadens the availability of possible partners, has reduced the chances of redheads meeting and producing little redheads of their own.

The article goes on to say that the highest concentration of this red gene is in Scotland where 40 percent carry it and 13 percent actually have red hair.

200708230759I’ve grown to value my own red or “ginger” hair and I would hate to see it die out.  My paternal grandfather had red hair.  He had nine children, none with red hair, and I was the 16th grandchild and the first to again exhibit this red gene.  I have two children, neither of them have red hair, and no grandchildren thus far.

This gene can be dormant for generations before making another random appearance so I’m still hoping to see it again somewhere down the line.


We last of the redheads should stick together so maybe I need to start a special blog roll for redheaded bloggers?


…and an official banner/button for display on our blogs?  ;-)

If you’re a “genuine” redheaded blogger leave me a comment and I’ll add you to my blog roll.

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35 Comments on Redheads: Living on the endangered species list

  1. Sorry, Earl. I can’t join! No redheads in my family! :-)

  2. So Earl, as my wife has red hair, does that make her more valuable than I realized? I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t let her know about your post, or I’ll have to start acting better or getting her more things that are more expensive?

  3. Louis,
    I’m sure she’s more valuable then you realize…just ask her! ~wink~

  4. Hello. I’m the only redhead in my family (and the only left hander as well).

    I’m Irish/English, London born and bred but living in the West Midlands.

    I occasionally search for ginger/redhead references and usually get Oriental cookery tips or porn.

    This makes a change.

  5. I was born with red hair & it has turned dark/auborn over the years. I have a true
    curly redhaired son(7 yr old),my brother had red hair that is darker now & it comes from my maternal grandmother-she & 1 of her 3 brothers have red hair(gray now !). I have seen atleast 6 other children at my son’s school with red hair.
    Hopefully it will continue to turn up over time.
    My oldest son & other family members don’t have red hair. We are Welsh/French/English & Scottish
    descent. Hope this helps-we are still rare.

  6. I have red hair and green eyes and freckles, my father and 1 of my 6 siblings (a boy) has red hair. We are Scots/Irish. None of my other relatives except for 1 cousin (my father is the youngest of 14) has red hair, but there are a lot of red highlights in many of the brunettes.
    I really hope that redheads do not go extinct because even though I had to endure the torment of children saying, “I’d rather be dead than red on the head,” I’m very happy that I am “unique.”

  7. @Kristen

    I agree, it is a good thing to be unique and to have red hair.

  8. Holy Cow!
    We can’t let that happen.
    Maybe the redheads just need to breed together more.
    How about a night club for redheads only, and free alcohol.

    man… now I want to be a redhead.

  9. I’m brown-haired and brown-eyed and of mostly Scots-Irish descent, my husband is light-brown and blue-eyed of English and Italian descent. Our 3rd child is a red-head, revealing some long-dormant red genes on both sides. Don’t write the red-heads off yet! :)

  10. My father had red hair. I got brown hair. My son got the red hair — and it’s curly to boot (and beautiful). Of course, it’s wasted on him. :-)

  11. @Dianna Huff: Girls would love to have curly red hair but boys not so much. I got a lot of kidding in school growing up. Thanks for commenting.

  12. Maggie D // 8 Jan ’09 at 9:45 am // Reply

    My paternal grandfather and my husbands maternal great-grandfather were both redheads. Our 8 year old girl is the only redhead on either side. Of course it is beautiful with spiral curls. The boys love to touch her hair and she is growing to like it more every year. Her softball coaches call her “Red” and we love it. People are always telling me they wish they had a redhead!! Lucky us!

  13. @Maggie D: Redheaded girls are something special. You’ll have to be watching “those boys” in few more years! ;-)

  14. I have blue eyes and red hair, and I can’t roll my tongue!! I AM SO RECESSIVE!!!!

  15. Redhead56 // 9 Feb ’09 at 9:08 pm // Reply

    I am a 100% natural redhead :-)

  16. @Redhead56: We’ll just take your word at that! ;-)

  17. 100% genuine 16 year old redhead right here, folks.
    Check out my blog :)
    Read the very first one to understand the name, but then again, if you are all redheads, I’m sure you’ve come by “Ranga” before!
    Haha cheers!

  18. Females with red hair are something special…good luck with your blog! ;-)

  19. Hi all I am a true redhead also but as the years go by it gets darker and darker and my sides are turning white, my maternal grandmother was redhead, then me and I have 1 daughter that is red head, now all 5 of the grandkids don’t have it so it has skipped that generation and may not come back. Yes we are special people we are kind, loving, will do just about anything for other people esp the ones we love but don’t make us mad…My temper has mellowed with age but when I was younger OMG!!! This is sad to know that we are slowly fading out. Slight pun!! lol And I despise all those people that try to pull off they are a redhead, we know better!!! If you aren’t a true redhead don’t even try!!! But I hope we can keep the gene alive somehow. I was called all kinds of things in school good and bad, I finally said you only wish!!

  20. redjennie78 // 6 May ’09 at 10:29 am // Reply

    I am a natural redhead. Two of my aunts have red hair and one uncle. My grandfather had red hair. I’m not sure if they’ll be any in my descendants, but I sure hope so. It makes me so sad to think that we will be “extinct”!

  21. Ahhh i hate being a red head!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kylie, So did I when I was younger but now I’m okay with it. It’s sometimes hard growing up different then then everyone else, no matter what the reason. :-)

  22. Susan Graves // 17 Jul ’11 at 2:19 pm // Reply

    Hello! I’m an adopted person with brown hair, and I have a biological grandma with curly red hair. My natural mother’s hair is auburn by nature, and various other family members have the fabulous red hair. My husband is blonde with no red haired family I know of. I have five children, only one of whom is a redhead. His hair is curly. I have one brunette son, two blonde children who are deaf, one with straight and one with curly hair. I have another dark blonde child. The redhead has epilepsy. The red hair, epilepsy, and deafness are all from recessive genes at play. When I go places, I’m asked which children are from which marriage. And I have to explain that I’ve only been married once, to the same man. And never cheated. People have a tough time believing. I don’t qualify to join this blog, but as a carrier of red hair, I felt obliged to comment. I hope you don’t mind. P.S. You should have seen the looks when my curly, red haired, pale skinned, blue eyed son won the Native American Student of the Year Award! We’re Turtle Mountain Chippewa also!

  23. Amber Wilson // 14 Oct ’11 at 4:43 pm // Reply

    I’m a red head and am seeing a large amount of people dyeing their hair head but not many with real red hair like me :((

  24. I used to hate my red hair,but I’m told all the time just how beautiful it is and how strikingly pretty I am because of the combination of my red hair,blue eyes,fair skin & freckles! I’ve learned to LOVE being a genuine redhead :)

  25. Dear Earl,

    I am a redhead and i am 10 years old. My dad has red hair and we are the only redheads in the family. I’m afraid of our species dying out so i feel like i have to marry a redhead but i’m kind of boy crazy and i have a crush on a boy who dosen’t have red hair. What should I do when I’m older?

  26. Tammy Ford( maternal fam name O'Brien) // 6 Sep ’12 at 10:47 pm // Reply

    Dear Earl, I’m a redhead…my husband was a redhead(died 2008) and we have a gorgeous 16yo son with red hair! He has promised his mama that he will marry a redhead…lol I’d love to join your blog. Thx Tammy

    • Tammy…you’ve certainly done your part to perpetuate the redheaded gene — my condolences on you husband. Neither of my two children have red hair but I hope that trait pops back up perhaps in the next generation. Thanks for your comment.

  27. As a child I had bright red hair. It is true that I had to fight a lot. Comments such as Red on the head like a dick on a dog, would normally cause me to bust someone in the mouth. After a while I wasn’t kidded so much. My father had red hair and died of skin cancer, which I’m told all redheads need to worry about. I would love to have a DNA sample done, that would tell me a lot. I also had a son, which I’ve never seen, who I was told had red hair, but I don’t know for sure. I also find myself very attracted to redheaded women as I find most are quite lovely.
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Wayne, I certainly identify with growing up as a red headed boy and I’ve heard that taunt on more then one occasion — with often the same results as you. Now I’m perfectly fine with being a redhead and wouldn’t change it. Thanks for your comment.

  28. Carol moll // 7 Nov ’12 at 8:21 pm // Reply

    Hi. My daughter has gorgeous red hair and blue eyes. I had blonde hair up until about third grade and then it eventually turn dark red. The only person for generations in our family with red hair is my daughters paternal grandmother. We are of polish and German descent. Also some french

  29. Well… I’m a 30 year old red headed girl. I don’t know anyone in my family with red hair. My father had a red beard but his hair is brown… I was never made fun of for being red headed. I’m portuguese (my whole family is) and I don’t have any relatives with red hair… could I be adopted? =P

  30. Chayna ♥ // 3 Jun ’13 at 12:17 am // Reply

    all 100 percent red head, fair skin, bright bright blue eyes! and freckles to go along with it. hated it growing up. but now i embrace it. ♥

  31. hey I still have red hair I have natural highlights that are blonde also I dyed some of the bangs anyways I didn’t dye my whole head im the red headin my family that hasn’t dyed there whole head well I just feel lucky to have red hair.

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