5 Facts About National Redhead Day (and redheads)

1. National Redhead Day is today, Nov. 5.

2. Red hair occurs naturally in one to two percent of the population.

3. Red hair varies from a deep burgundy or bright copper, to burnt orange or strawberry blond.

Characterized by high levels of the reddish pigment pheomelanin and relatively low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin, it is associated with fair skin color, lighter eye colorfreckles, and sensitivity to ultraviolet light.

4. Ireland has the highest per capita number of redheads.

Red hair is most commonly found at the northern and western fringes of Europe centered around the British Isles. About 10 percent of Irish people are redheads.

5. Redheads are often accused of having hot tempers.

In Anne of Green Gables, for instance, a character says of Anne Shirley, the redheaded heroine, that “her temper matches her hair.”

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