Despite natural redheads being incredibly rare, eye-catching, and well, just darned cool, those with a ginger tinge often get the bitter end of the deal.
Sure, we are likely to attract unwanted taunts, but health-wise, we’re at increased risk of skin cancer, some say we require more anaesthesia during surgery, and we could even be at higher risk of general disease.
But the question is: do redheads bruise more easily than those with other hair shades?
Being quite a clumsy person, I’ve come to accept that I will always always have a bruise somewhere on my body. And most of the time, I’ll have no idea how it got there.
Doctors have reported on many an occasion that their red-haired patients are more likely to bruise after a surgical procedure.
So perhaps I’m not alone, and maybe my bruise-happy body could be down to my red hair shade and ginger genes, rather than how often I bang my hip on the doorframe.
The plot thickens, however. In a study conducted by Dr. Liem, a selection of women with red, black, or brown hair, of varying ages, heights and weights, completed a questionnaire and blood coagulation tests.
Only seven out of 25 redheads said that they bruised easily, while two of 26 dark-haired women said the same.
Meanwhile, the blood coagulation tests revealed that there were no significant differences between gingers and brunettes in the way that their blood clotted, meaning that in terms of science, natural redheads’ bruises develop in the same way as anyone else’s.
So, from these results, it seems that there shouldn’t be any difference between redheads and other hair shades concerning bruising.
However, yet another magical mystery of redheads has come to light.
As we know through our ginger genetics, our melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is mutated on chromosome 16, and through its weird and wonderful ways, this gives us red hair. But one thing that might throw a spanner in the works, is that MC1R appears on endothelial cells, on the lining of the blood vessels, as well as on immune cells that are involved in the blood clotting process.
So perhaps there’s more research needed here. But until we know more about the ginger gene and how it may or may not contribute to bruising in redheads, one theory that does make sense is that natural gingers’ fair skin could play a part.
Because we’re so pale (duh), we may simply appear to be more prone to bruising, as our complexion makes it easier to see lighter bruises that might normally be harder to detect on people with darker skin tones.
We’re not sure how satisfied we are with that theory though, and can’t wait till more research has been made into natural redheads’ complicated genetics.
In the meantime, want some tips on handling your bruises?
Vitamin K: either through supplements or enriched foods, vitamin K is said to help your skin to fight off the appearance of bruises, improving the elasticity of your skin, making it less tender.
Try incorporating more spinach, broccoli, and asparagus into your diet and see if your bruises improve.
Beauty products: arnica cream applied to a bruise can help with the healing process of a bruise, or alternatively, you may wish to cover up a bruise completely. Concealer make-up with a yellow base colour will help to counteract the blueish shade of the bruise.