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Why are there so many different shades of ginger?

Why are there so many different shades of ginger?

Let’s face it, we all love Ginger Parrot for the same reason. It’s because we just can’t get enough of red hair!

The MC1R gene is fascinating in so many ways. The redhead mutation can lead to a higher pain threshold, a shorter temper and achromotrichia – not going grey!

However, while it is true that redhead’s will not go grey as they age, our hair will fade. 

This is all to do with the melanin in our hair.

The very reason we have red hair in the first place, is because of that unique MC1R gene – the melanocortin 1 receptor. 

Yes, it all goes back to that. 

Considering gingers represent less than 2% of the population, the MC1R gene plays a huge part in making you very – very rare. But with redheads, the uniqueness doesn’t stop there!

The MC1R gene also plays an important role in the pigment of your hair, creating different tones of redness. 

So, why are there so many different red shades?

Pheomelanin and eumelanin cause different hair pigments.

According to scientists, while everyone has both pheomelanin and eumelanin in their hair DNA, depending on your hair colour, you either have more pheomelanin or more eumelanin. 

Considering pheomelanin creates red and yellow tones, we know that every person with ginger or blonde hair, must have more pheomelanin than the average person. 

If you are a redhead who has a vibrant orange or strawberry blonde shade, you have more pheomelanin!

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Eumelanin however, is known for creating black and brown hair shades. 

Scientists say that people with blonde hair, are likely to have just 5 per cent (or less) of eumelanin in their hair DNA. But for redheads, its different – shock!

If you have a more auburn or oxblood tone of red hair, you have more eumelanin!

But, as we said earlier, your red hair WILL eventually change over time – no matter how much you love being a unique and fiery human or no matter what shade of red you have. 

The achromotrichia process means our red hair follicles will stop producing its gingerish pigment and instead of going grey, ginger hair fades through a glorious spectrum of faded copper to rosy-blonde colours, through to silvery-white.

There’s so many shades of red that we are yet to enjoy, so appreciate the hair that you have now while looking forward to finding out what shade of ginge is next for you!

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