We all know that redheads are special creatures—these rare ginger-haired beauties are definitely few and far between. And though many of us try to achieve crimson locks of our own through expensive salon visits, it’s impossible to adopt some of their more unique traits. Here are the some of the curious ways that redheads’ bodies differ from others.
Any anesthesiologist will tell you that, before prepping patients for surgery, they will first take note of their hair color. This is because redheads need more anesthesia to make it through a surgery than the average person.
You see, all redheads are born with a mutation in the melanocortin-1 receptor—the one element, from a genealogical standpoint, that links together every person with this hair color. Though there have been many studies completed on the matter, long story short, any person who was born with this receptor – we’re looking at you redheads out there! – is in need of a greater dose of anesthesia.
So, if you are a natural ginger who has dyed your hair, be sure to always inform your doctor before undergoing a procedure!
As if redheads aren’t rare enough, studies show that they perceive pain differently than brunettes and blondes.
According to research compiled by Science Nordic, gingers are more sensitive to cold temperatures and toothaches, but are surprisingly resilient when it comes to snacking on spicy foods. These reactions are generally thought to be caused by the same aforementioned mutation, the melancortin-1 receptor, or the “redhead gene.”
I know what you’re thinking—these people are starting to sound like X-Men, right? Well, get ready to be even more impressed…
Because of their naturally fair complexions, gingers actually do not require as much sunlight as those who have darker skin or brown and blonde hair colors.
In an interview with the BBC, Jonathan Rees, a professor of dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, explains that “the probable reason for that is that we make vitamin D in our skin. We rely on sunshine to make vitamin D and if you have very dark skin, it’s harder to make that vitamin D.”
In other words, over time redheads’ bodies have adapted in order to receive their own specific nutritional needs. Amazing stuff!
Unfortunately, not all ginger-haired features are cool—there is one in particular that is just plain scary!
In a recent study published by Nature, scientists reveal that they have found carriers of the melancortin-1 receptor to be more likely to develop melanoma in their lifetime.
In fact, the “redhead gene” causes the burden of holding a cancer risk that “ages” the patient by 21 years. So, a 41-year-old redhead is at the same danger of acquiring skin cancer as a 62-year-old non-redheaded peer. Dermatologists are now widely educating these patients on sunscreen usage and increased preventative visits.
If you think that the crazy differences stop there, then you’re wrong! To learn even more amazing facts about our special ginger brothers and sisters, be sure to watch Daily Quantum’s video below. There is certainly more to redheads than what the meets the eye!