World Redhead Day 2023: 3 fast facts about redheads

World Redhead Day celebrates people who have red hair on May 26 every year. Here are three facts about this unique hair color.

World Redhead Day celebrates people who have naturally red hair on May 26 every year.

There are many interesting facts about people with red hair. So in honor of World Redhead Day, VERIFY checks three quick facts about redheads.

Sign up for the VERIFY Fast Facts daily newsletter!

THE SOURCES

QUESTION 1

Do redheads naturally produce more vitamin D?

THE ANSWER

Yes, redheads naturally produce more vitamin D.

WHAT WE FOUND

The same genetic trait that causes red hair also makes redheads more sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, according to UCI Health. But that sensitivity also allows redheads to produce more vitamin D, which is essential for bone development and good health.

A person’s body generates vitamin D when the sun’s ultraviolet B rays (UVB) penetrate the top layer of the 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 from Charles University and the Institute of Endocrinology in Prague, Czech Republic, found that redheads are more efficient at synthesizing vitamin D.

Sign up for the VERIFY Fast Facts daily newsletter!

QUESTION 2

Is there an annual redhead festival?

THE ANSWER

This is true.
Yes, there is an annual redhead festival in the Netherlands.

WHAT WE FOUND

Every summer, tens of thousands of redheads from more than 80 countries come to the Netherlands for the annual international festival Redhead Days. It is said to be 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 exclusive to natural redheads is the big group photo shoot, which takes place on the last day of the event.

This year’s Redhead Days festival will take place in Spoorpark, Tilburg, Netherlands, from Friday, August 25 through Sunday, August 27, 2023.

QUESTION 3

Are redheads with blue eyes rare?

THE ANSWER

This is true.
Yes, redheads with blue eyes are rare.

WHAT WE FOUND

If you come across a blue-eyed redhead, you’re looking at the rarest color combination of all humans, 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 have red hair. This means the chance of having both red hair and blue eyes is about 0.17%, said Mark Elgar, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Melbourne, in 2018.

Healthline says gene 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 multiple genes and dominant genes generally win out over recessive genes. That’s why brown hair and brown eyes, both of which are 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 it’s the result of two different sets of DNA instructions, or mutations, happening in the same person, according to Elgar.

“The mutations happened tens of thousands of years ago and are now established as different versions or variants of the genes that help determine our skin and eye color,” Elgar said.

“Red hair and blue eyes are both recessive traits, meaning that a person must inherit both genes for red hair and blue eyes from both parents. Brown hair and brown eyes, on the other hand, are dominant traits, which is why they are much more common,” Elgar continued.

The VERIFY team tries to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and what is false. Consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, SMS alerts and YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn more »

follow us

Want something VERIFIED?

Text: 202-410-8808

World Redhead Day 2023: 3 fast facts about redheads

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top