Today is National Redhead Day. I’ll bet you didn’t know we redheads have our own holiday, but we do. And it’s an important day.
Because countless redheads throughout history fought so that we, as a nation, could observe this holiday in freedom. Our ginger ancestors died protecting precious rights that many of us redheads enjoy today.
Such as the right to wear orange or burgundy; the right to be cast as the little orphan Annie in the school musical production of “Annie”; and the right to get free beer on Saint Patrick’s Day.
You probably know a redhead in your life. And speaking as a genetic minority, we ruddy complected persons could use your support right now.
Because redheads are disappearing.
That’s right. Modern research shows that the number of those carrying the recessive gene causing red hair are declining.
The percentage of redheads has dropped steeply within the last few years. At one time, the earth’s population of redheads was about 19 percent. Today it’s down to 2 percent. That’s barely enough to form a jayvee basketball team.
We are diminishing in huge numbers each year. And each time we die, we take our genetics with us.
If this trend continues, by the year 2100 there will be approximately 3 redheads left including Willie Nelson.
I am a longtime redhead. My hair turned strawberry in my teens, but I was born with hair the color of Ronald McDonald.
I was also a jaundice baby, which means my skin was the color of sickly urine. My mother said I was also born with a pointy head. “You looked like a No. 2 pencil,” my mother recalls.
My mop of hair, however, was the main attraction in the delivery room. The first words of the nurse who delivered me were, “You know what they say about redheads and preachers…”
Unfortunately, nobody ever learned what they say about redheads and preachers because the nurse dropped me at that exact moment because she started laughing.
Although to be fair, it was all my fault. I was the one who came out looking like a tiny Carol Burnett.
Growing up redhead was difficult. Discrimination starts early for gingers. If you’re a ginger, you were likely freckled and it looked like your mother had rolled you around in paprika.
You were always being shown impartiality by your friends during games of makebelieve. “No!” the other kids would shout, “you CAN’T play Superman, you have RED HAIR!” “No, way! You can’t be the Lone Ranger, you’re a GINGER!”
So a redhead’s playtime roles were mostly restricted to playing Archie, Little Orphan Annie, Opie Taylor, Danny Partridge, or Judy Jetson.
But behold. I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all redheads. For on this day, right here in America, scientists are discovering new, incredible facts about redheads which they did not know before.
Recent studies at McGill University investigated whether redheads experience pain differently. Results suggested that redheads are less susceptible to pain.
The same study found that redheads could tolerate more electric shocks in sensitive regions of their body than persons with different colored hair.
Which is exactly the kind of academic test you’d expect to be conducted by brunette researchers. I can just imagine the scientists in their labcoats, choking back laughter as they approach a random redhead on the street: “Excuse me sir, would you mind being part of an experiment?”
“What kind of experiment?”
“We are going to deliver painful electrical shocks to sensitive regions of your body.”
“Because you are a redhead.”
Science has also discovered that redheads, when exposed to the sun, generate their own vitamin D faster than people with other hair colors.
I, for one, am not remotely surprised by this. As a redhead, I do not need nearly the amount of time in the sun as others.
When I was a young man, for example, I would often go to the beach with my friends, where they’d all want to frolick in the sun for hours, throwing frisbees and drinking Ovaltine. Whereas if I spend over .003 minutes in open sunlight, I resemble a boiled soft-shell lobster.
Something else researchers have discovered is that redheads are more popular on TV. One report found that 30 percent of televised commercials during primetime feature a redhead. At one point, CBS was showcasing a ginger every 106 seconds.
But somewhere in my life I finally realized that being a redhead wasn’t a curse. It was a gift.
If you are a ginger child, I want you to know that being born a redhead makes you part of a worldwide fraternity. We are a special group of persons who have something truly unique to offer this world. Something incredibly exceptional and uncommon. Wilma Flintstone is only one example.
So happy National Redhead Day to all my brothers and sisters. We will take our free beers now, please.
Pete Dausman - November 6, 2022 3:52 am
I am a redhead, and just saw this come out. Being redhead is indeed a gift!
Audrey - November 6, 2022 3:52 am
I love being a redhead and my eyes are always peeled for other gingers out there. Red hair is actually a fairly strong trait in my family. I think we gingers are going to be around for awhile!
Denise Walker - November 6, 2022 3:57 am
so…………………? are you and Jamie going to produce some gingers? Can you imagine how cute/beautiful/extraordinary they would be? Wowzer!
vic brown - November 6, 2022 4:00 am
It is truly a gift that few in the world appreciate, but we push on.
Mamacita - November 6, 2022 4:38 am
Mom always wanted a red-headed child. My sister and I did not oblige, but between us we gave her 3 red young’ns. She helped raise the Ginger Grand, and then when she got to heaven she made arrangements to send two Ginger Greatgrands. Cool article from a very handsome, clever Ginger, Sean…will pass this along to our three. They promise to sweeten the gene pool.
Gaye P Baker - November 6, 2022 5:08 am
Because red headed folks usually have skin that is naturally a ghostly white color the blush factor is significant! I am a 71 year old red head and I STILL remember involuntarily turning an alarming shade of red when I was called on at school.It was as if I had gotten an instant third degree sunburn. Eventually I outgrew the blushing but for years my face looked like I’d been way to close to the campfire when I was singled out for any reason. Not to mention that I believe red heads have more sweat glands on their face other brunettes or blonds. My face resembled Niagara Falls anytime the temperature was above 70 degrees. Would not trade any of that for any reason – that’s the reason red heads can handle more pain.
Darcy Schmidt - November 6, 2022 5:19 am
Alright, this is awesome! Thanks fellow red head. We’re gonna be thankful for our hair! Oh yeah!!!!!!
Melanie Johnston Levy - November 6, 2022 7:22 am
My daddy was a redhead…born in 1927… kids were not so kind back then…I’ll spare you the ridicule he endured but my hunch is you probably heard it as well…not that I expect you to respond…you’re getting pretty popular!
Janet Hicks - November 6, 2022 10:07 am
I love redheads! When I began coloring my hair in my late forties to hide the dastardly grays which my son so kindly pointed out, my hairdresser said, “You should have been a redhead! Let’s try it!” So we did, and in my late 70’s I am still a redhead. Interestingly enough my mother was one of 6 girls, 4 were brunettes, but the oldest and the youngest were gingers. So you see, the genes were there for red hair, so I claim it still, even though it comes from a bottle. And most people think it’s the real thing. Love my red hair!.
Anne Arthur - November 6, 2022 11:22 am
Happy Red Head Day, Sean and friends. It’s an honor to know you.
Mary Lynn Smith - November 6, 2022 11:17 am
One more bit of redhead trivia: Redheads require more anesthesia than other hair colors, according to WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/women/news/20021015/redheads-need-more-anesthesia
Karri Misky - November 6, 2022 11:37 am
I know the science says that redheads are depleting, but not in my world (Nashville, TN). I see redheads all the time. In fact, I’m a redhead as is many of my cousins and 3 aunts. Every time I see a ginger child I tell them that I love their hair.
Sandy - November 6, 2022 11:56 am
We have a son that is a redhead, always knew he was a special breed!
Priscilla Rodgers - November 6, 2022 12:18 pm
Happy redhead day! Hope it’s a great day.
Debbie g - November 6, 2022 12:25 pm
Even rarer is a left handed redhead
Any one out there 🙂
Thanks Sean for sharing
You are awesome
Love to all. Especially reds today
Happy happy happy day
Colleen - November 6, 2022 1:32 pm
My brother has red hair & is left handed! I have red hair and when I’m was in school my sweet teacher said it looked like copper! She was the one that helped me realize it actually pretty 😄💛 bless her heart!
Marilyn - November 7, 2022 3:05 am
I am a 68 year old left handed redhead although I do admit some white is showing up. Colleen commented about her hair looking like copper. Same here bright as a new copper penny as a child!
Cheryl Newsome - November 6, 2022 12:31 pm
As a cartoon watching child of the 60s, I would like to venture and say–I think Jane was the redhead of the family. For some weird reason, daughter Judy had white hair. 🙂
April Clark - November 6, 2022 12:47 pm
Sissy Lingle - November 6, 2022 12:48 pm
I am another redhead friend and ardent fan of yours. I grew up on the GA coast so my hair was mostly strawberry blond from the sun, but a mean neighborhood girl still call me “Carrots”. When I went off to college and was away from the beach for months I was accused of dyeing my hair, because it was auburn! Now I am 83 and it is light blond, and not from the sun. Years ago someone told me they loved the way I had put the high lights in my hair, I told them that God did it. I love to tell young redheads that I meet that they won’t have to worry about getting grey hair. “Old redhead’s don’t get grey, they just fade away”, LOL! I still wish you and Jamie would take another trip in McIntosh County and stop by our home for a good shrimp dinner. You were just one mile away when you stopped at “The Smallest Church”. Keep on writing, we are looking forward to reading the new book.
Diana - November 6, 2022 12:54 pm
I love red hair so much that I colored my brunette hair shades of red my entire adult life. That is up until a year ago when I decided to let my natural salt and pepper grow out.
Renee - November 6, 2022 1:22 pm
My hair, in my youth, was dark ginger. My maternal grandmother was a carrot top and my paternal grandmother was auburn, making me a mixed breed. I could never appreciate being red haired until I was no longer ridiculed for it, “rather be dead than red on the head”. I was the ONLY ginger in my school (small town). I also tolerate much less time in the sun, but tried extra hard to get a ” tan” so I wouldn’t be ridiculed for “pasty legs” all summer. Second degree burns do not remotely resemble a tan. If my zillions of freckles had just run together, maybe. By junior year I had accepted my fate, red hair, blue eyes equals joke. But in college things changed. I began getting lots of lovely compliments on my ” beautiful” hair and some were even envious. Now at 70, my red hair has faded to a pale strawberry blonde, my shade of “gray”. My hairdresser is a color specialist and has had to argue with other clients that she could never duplicate for them what genetics did for me. I very much miss my vibrant red hair that used to be and my wardrobe still holds nothing orange, magenta, fuschia, burgundy, bright pink or yellow, even though I’ve earned the right, my freckles may object. Happy Red Hair Day! P.S. Love your work!
Emmagene Day - November 6, 2022 1:38 pm
My only son (41) is a brown eyed red head. He’s in the Air Force so he keeps it in a crewcut, but you can still see the color! Love redheads!
James - November 6, 2022 2:03 pm
I’m a redhead. Swore I’d never marry a redhead. Met a redhead who also swore the same thing (that she’d never marry a redhead). Wait for it… we married and have two beautiful redheaded daughters.
Patricia Gibson - November 6, 2022 2:15 pm
Gigi - November 6, 2022 2:28 pm
Happy National Red Head Day Sean ! My parents gifted me with Chestnut hair, a red brown, but when sunlight hit it, it looked red and people referred to me as a redhead. I have blue gray or green gray eyes, depending on what color I’m wearing. My grandmother was a ginger & I was thrilled to find that I have ancestors from Scotland. I’ve always loved red hair and think that red headed women are the most striking, Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, Jeanne Crain, Maureen O’Hara, Debra Messing, Naomi Judd, & Reba McIntyre, to name a few. (Ann Margaret was an idol of mine in my teens). Now that I’m a grandmother I color my hair, a shade of red, of course !
Nita - November 6, 2022 2:32 pm
I always wanted red hair. Now it’s all gray.
Sean of the South: Redhead Day | The Trussville Tribune - November 6, 2022 2:37 pm
[…] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]
Cheryl Richard’s Mann - November 6, 2022 3:23 pm
Thank you for your ginger history. I grew up in elementary school in a rural community and one of two redheads in my entire school. Red and wildly curly! Turned strawberry blonde as a teen and grew it out by college. Now in my early 60’s, it’s turning white with a hint of ginger underneath. I get more compliments on my Covid produced long hair than ever before in my life. My difficulty seems to be at the dentist, as it takes twice as much Novocain to numb my nerves.
Happy Ginger Day!
Linda Moon - November 6, 2022 3:55 pm
Happy Redhead day to all the reds from My Guy’s side of the family. I’ll drink to that…any excuse for Beer, free or otherwise!
Sheila Gustafson - November 6, 2022 4:59 pm
Redhead here. Married a redhead, gave birth to 2 redheads (our only children). Children married spouses NOT redheads but have now produced 7 grandchildren, 5 of which are redheads. So we are partial to redheads and to high-test sunscreen which we now buy in big jugs at Costco.
Dee Thompson - November 6, 2022 5:08 pm
My hair is auburn, which I didn’t know until I was grown and saw good quality photos of myself standing in the sun, hair blazing red. Both grandmothers had auburn hair. My great-grandfather James Henderson was a carrot head. I have send cousins who were carrot heads as children. I think it’s beautiful and we are beautiful. Long live redheads!
Christie - November 6, 2022 7:39 pm
You would like the Sherlock Holmes short story “The Red-Headed League” if you have not already read it!
virginia westlake - November 6, 2022 8:14 pm
I had auburn hair, but it’s turned white. Am I still a redhead?
No freckles, though. Mother and brother had red hair, too. I’m glad we have our own day!
David - November 6, 2022 8:31 pm
I was always told I was strawberry blonde. I guess they didn’t want to label me a redhead.
Carol Parriott - November 6, 2022 10:23 pm
Of five kids, I am one of three with red hair. I was teased so much, I hated being a red head. In my late 20’s, my great aunt heard me complaining, sat me down and told me how special I was. Hearing her story changed me forever. Instead of complaining about being a red head, I opened my eyes to see how unique I was. I could be in a room with 500 hundred people and be the only red head. I learned to accept compliments. As I have gotten older my red hair has turned white. I miss my red hair. BTW, I was waited on by a red headed staff person at a local bookstore in Mt Juliet just this past week.
Susan Staton - November 6, 2022 10:46 pm
Sean, I have a lifelong weakness for redheads, and it is definitely one of the reasons I am married to one. On our first date he wore a yellow sweater and with that gorgeous auburn hair, I was a goner. Happy redhead day!
pattontriune - November 7, 2022 12:11 am
My wife was a redhead complete with temper which improved through 50 years of marriage. But her pain tolerance seemed to be much lower than mine. At the end of the month she will have been gone 12 years. But, praise God she is pain free!
Barbara L - November 7, 2022 1:31 am
Sean, I hope you enjoy your day. I’m waiting for August 13, 2023 to celebrate left-handers day. We are a minority of 10% in the world. Seven of our presidents were left-handed so we’re in good company.
Judith - November 7, 2022 2:45 am
That’s hilarious. I birthed 3 redheads and 2 of them birthed to date 1 each… so we seem to have the gene’s to keep this trend going. BTW, my daughter, the old ladies at her gramma’s beauty shop clamored to have her red hair color. She admitted when she became an adult that her hair was true vanity for her because so many afford her color. That deep auburn red… she had one of those offspring as well. I’ve got 9 granddaughters so they are keeping the colors interesting. I have a carrot top grand but her daddy, my son, has the deeper red.
Cindy Anderson - November 7, 2022 4:07 am
Love this! One of my dearest friends – met 46 years ago – is a redhead! She’s beautiful inside and out!
gwenthinks - November 7, 2022 1:02 pm
My redheaded daughter would agree whole-heartedly with you!
Georgeanna Presnell - November 7, 2022 4:18 pm
And redheads bleed more. It has been said that is not true. I worked in an operating room for years and it is true! Is that true of you?
Karen - November 7, 2022 5:11 pm
davidpbfeder - November 7, 2022 8:45 pm
I just read an article a few days ago that said all that talk about redheads disappearing is not true after all. Good! The Good L0rd created redheads to test the emotional strength of us mortals !
Debbe Sharpe Dedman - November 7, 2022 11:19 pm
Oh my, I am laughing out loud. As a girl who grew up being called Carrot Top by adults and teased by several boy peers by “ I’d rather be dead than red on the head”. As I got older I was accused of coloring my hair to get my shade. I’m glad to know, finally, that we are unique and on the edge of extinction. Maybe someone will set us up in DC as an endangered species. Thanks for the laughs.
Mary Lee - November 8, 2022 2:04 am
Love, love, love this..especially the reference to Willie Nelson…hahahaha. I have so many redheads in my family that I have to share this with…thank you.
Susie - November 9, 2022 5:40 am
I spent my youth coveting the beautiful red hair of my pretty, older cousin and my Chrissy doll. As a teenager, I discovered Clairol was happy to provide me with red hair!