World Redhead Day 2023: 3 quick facts about redheads
World Redhead Day celebrates people with naturally red hair on May 26th each year.
There are many interesting facts about people with red hair. In honor of World Redhead Day, VERIFY reviews three quick facts about redheads.
THE SOURCES QUESTION #1
Do Redheads Naturally Produce More Vitamin D?
Yes, redheads naturally produce more vitamin D.
WHAT WE FOUND
According to UCI Health, the same genetic trait that causes red hair also makes redheads more sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. However, this sensitivity also allows redheads’ bodies to produce more vitamin D, which is essential for bone development and good health.
A person’s body creates vitamin D when the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays penetrate the top layer of skin, says Health. The UVB rays interact with a protein in a person’s skin (7-dehydrocholesterol or 7-DHC) and activate a process to convert the protein into vitamin D3.
In 2020, researchers at Charles University and the Institute of Endocrinology in Prague, Czech Republic found that redheads synthesize vitamin D more efficiently.
Is there an annual redhead festival?
Yes, in the Netherlands there is a redhead festival every year.
WHAT WE FOUND
Tens of thousands of redheads from over 80 countries gather in the Netherlands every summer for the annual international festival Redhead Days. It is considered the oldest and largest redhead festival in the world.
Everyone, including non-redheads, is welcome to attend the free, weekend-long festival. The only activity reserved exclusively for natural redheads is the large group photo shoot that takes place on the last day of the event.
This year’s Redhead Days Festival will take place from Friday 25th August to Sunday 27th August 2023 at Spoorpark, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Are redheads with blue eyes rare?
Yes, redheads with blue eyes are rare.
WHAT WE FOUND
When you meet a redhead with blue eyes, you see the rarest color combination of any human, according to the University of Melbourne, a public research university in Melbourne, Australia, and Healthline.
About 17% of the world’s population has blue eyes and an estimated 1-2% of people worldwide are said to have red hair. That means there’s about a 0.17% chance of having both red hair and blue eyes, said Mark Elgar, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Melbourne, in 2018.
According to Healthline, genetic traits fall into two categories: recessive and dominant — and a person’s parents share the blueprint of many of their traits, from hair color to personality, in their genes.
Hair color is influenced by several genes, and dominant genes generally win out over recessive genes. This is why brown hair and brown eyes, both dominant, make up such a large percentage of hair-eye color combinations.
But the combination of red hair and blue eyes is so unusual because, according to Elgar, it’s the result of two different DNA instructions, or mutations, occurring in the same person.
“The mutations appeared tens of thousands of years ago and are now established as different versions, or variants, of the genes that determine our skin and eye color,” Elgar said.
“Red hair and blue eyes are both recessive traits, meaning a person must inherit both red hair and blue eye genes from both parents. In contrast, brown hair and brown eyes are dominant traits, which is why they are much more common,” Elgar continued.
Follow us. Want something VERIFIED?