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In both of these cases, scientists believe the redheads reflect some degree of European ancestry (though not recent ancestry).

However, in the Solomon Islands, about 5 to 10% of the population, who generally have dark skin, also have blond or reddish hair.

While scientists initially suspected some long-forgotten European ancestors were responsible for the genes that produced the light hair, studies showed a completely different gene, TYRP1, which is not linked to European ancestry, was the cause. The truth depends on your definition of “thick” or “thin” hair.

There are also some diseases or genetic disorders that can result in red hair, including one variety of albinism, a syndrome caused by malnutrition, and the absence of a certain precursor polypeptide. On average, a strand of red hair is larger in diameter than strands of other hair colors, red hairs are on average the “thickest.” However, on average, redheads have the fewest number of hair follicles on their scalps—90,000–vs.

So, while many redheads have European ancestry, not all do, and there are redheads of color whose appearances challenge conventional ginger stereotypes. brunettes, who average 140,000 follicles and blonds who clock in with 100,000, on average.

Red pigment is the hardest hair color to remove through bleaching, which is why brunettes (whose hair contains some red pigment) trying to go blond may end up with a brassy shade of copper.

Gingers, redheads, carrot tops–there are a lot nicknames for those with red hair, especially considering that red is the rarest human hair color.

However, while gingers may be (relatively) few in number, their fiery locks attract outsized attention.

According to an expert at a Dutch genetics organization, the MC1R gene, which produces red hair when two copies are present (one from each parent), can produce patches of red hair elsewhere (including in facial hair), when just one copy is present.

Basically, any guy with a redheaded ancestor has a chance of carrying this gene, and thus, of being able to grow a gingerbeard.