Little-Known Facts About Redheads

As a natural redhead myself, I’m intrigued by the subtle genetic differences that make me (and all redheads) different from 98% of the population. But beyond the fair skin and tendency to freckle, there are a few other interesting skin-related differences that set us apart.

I recently stumbled upon this 2005 study about whether or not redheads are more sensitive to pain. Researchers decided to take a closer look after seeing a consistent connection between having red hair and needing higher doses of lidocaine for pain relief. Indeed, the study did find that redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain (both the cold and heat varieties), and are more resistant to lidocaine. This study alone established that the genetic mutation that leads to red hair also plays a role in pain sensitivity.

Those of us with red hair also have less eumelanin, the pigment responsible for dark skin and hair. With less of this type of pigment, redheads are more likely to burn with even a little unprotected sun exposure. This fact makes those with red hair more prone to skin cancer as well. Furthermore, eumelanin also has a natural antioxidant effect, so with less of this pigment, our skin is less able to defend itself against the damage that leads to skin cancer. And as if that weren’t enough, the pheomelanin that makes our hair red has been found to generate free radicals when exposed to UV light, which leads to even more cancer-causing skin damage.

So what’s a redhead to do? Obviously the best line of defense against skin damage is to wear sunscreen 365 days a year, and treat your skin to antioxidants, both topically and internally. Then get a UV protectant spray to help preserve the healthy, beautiful red tresses that most women have to go to the salon to get!



Once you know your Baumann Skin Type®, you can shop by your skin type and choose from hundreds of brands at


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