Ginger Hair: The Magic Behind Red Hair

There’s certainly something about red hair that’s beautiful and mysterious at the same time. Whether it’s the little mermaid swimming in her part of the sea or Isla Fisher dazzling us with her magical looks, red hair is certainly something to be envied.

In today’s article, we’ll talk about this amazing, magical hair color: ginger hair!

History of Ginger Hair

Despite modern movies depicting redheads as bully-victims and odd black sheep, the truth is, history has always been colorful for our ginger-haired friends. 

Back in Ancient Egypt, red hair was regarded as a powerful color. In fact, even Ramses II, AKA Ramses the Great, was known to have been mummified with his hair still colored with a red pigment. The famous Queen Cleopatra was also said to be a redhead, and thus, many women of her time aspired to look like her.

Meanwhile, in Ancient Greek culture, red hair was seen as a symbol of courage and honor. Two of the most famous Greek heroes in literature, Achilles and Menelaus, were described to have red hair. Even Helen of Troy, often touted to be the most beautiful woman in the world, the woman who started wars between the gods and the human world, was said to have reddish hair.

To this day, many statues of women in Athens’ Acropolis Museum are also shown to have red hair, due to the Greeks’ adoration for the color.

However, life wasn’t always as rosy for redheads, even in ancient times. In Ancient Rome, actors who acted as slaves in theaters were often given red wigs to wear. Redheaded prostitutes also cost a lot more than ‘regular-haired’ prostitutes. Many Egyptians viewed ordinary redheads as unlucky and would sometimes even bury them alive, offering them to god Osiris to end the bad luck.

How It Happens

(c) Unsplash

That said, one of the most common reasons why red hair was so prominent back then was apparently because it was one of the easiest to get artificial hair colors of that time. 

In actuality, though, red hair is the rarest color you can get naturally. Only about 1%-2% of the world’s population is a redhead. In numerical values, this means that there are only about 75 million to 150 million gingers in a world of 7.5 billion people.

Many redheads originate from northwestern Europe, as the color is pretty much nonexistent in most other parts of the world. You would also be hard-pressed to find a natural redhead who isn’t fair-skinned. Why? Because one cause of red hair is a lack of sufficient pigment, the same thing that gives color to one’s skin. Sadly, this also means that redheads could be more prone to skin cancer. So if you have red hair, you should always make sure that you’re using sunscreen every day, both for your skin and hair.

Being a redhead also comes from a recessive gene, which means that a child could have ginger hair even if her parents do not.

Best Ginger Hair Hairstyles

Although ginger hair is insanely beautiful, many redheads suffer from drier than average, even frizzy hair. That’s because natural red strands are naturally thicker, coarser, and frizzier than other hair types. This makes styling and general hair care a bit more difficult for gingers. Then again, it only makes it more important for redheads to stick to a regular routine in order to maintain their gorgeous locks.

In our next post, we’ll talk about some of the best ginger hairstyles you’ve ever seen, so stay tuned!

For more hair tips and tricks, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!


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