Red hair occurs naturally in 1–2% of the human population. It occurs more frequently (2–6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations. Red hair appears most commonly in people with two copies of a recessive allele on chromosome 16 which produces an altered version of the MC1R protein.

Red hair varies from a deep burgundy through burnt orange to bright copper. It is characterized by high levels of the reddish pigment pheomelanin and relatively low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The term redhead has been in use since at least 1510. It is associated with fair skin colour, lighter eye colours (gray, blue, green, and hazel), freckles, and sensitivity to ultraviolet light.

Cultural reactions have varied from ridicule to admiration; many common stereotypes exist regarding redheads and they are often portrayed as fiery-tempered.

Red hair of pathological origin

Most red hair is caused by the MC1R gene and is non-pathological. However, in rare cases red hair can be associated with disease or genetic disorder:

  • • • In cases of severe malnutrition, normally dark human hair may turn red or blonde. The condition, part of a syndrome known as kwashiorkor, is a sign of critical starvation caused chiefly by protein deficiency, and is common during periods of famine.
  • • • One variety of albinism (Type 3, aka rufous albinism), sometimes seen in Africans and inhabitants of New Guinea, results in red hair and red-coloured skin.
  • • • Red hair is found on people lacking pro-opiomelanocortin.

Different Shades of Red

Auburn – Auburn hair ranges along a spectrum of light to dark red-brown shades.  It is best described as brown hair with red tones


Chestnut – Chestnut hair is a hair colour which is a reddish shade of brown hair. In contrast to auburn hair, the reddish shade of chestnut is darker



  • • Most Read Heads have lighter skin and light eyes.  It is for this reason they prefer going lighter.  Blondes are often the most popular choice, however auburn is often a good choice also.  The hair colour choice will depend on eye colour also.  Blue eyes often prefer the blondes while green and hazel eyes choose the richer colours.  It is highly recommended that Red Heads do not go darker colours.

What Products should i use to ensure a better shine and longer lasting colour:

Label. M:  Colour Stay Shampoo (R280) and Conditioner (R280) is available.  It contains Heliogenol derived from Sunflower Seed Oil, a highly effective stabiliser to prevent colour fade.

Label. M:  Treatment Shampoo is a daily cleanser for coloured and chemically treated hair.  Loaded with Vitamins B5, H and E to rebuild strength and moisture from within.

Joico:  K-PAK Colour therapy Shampoo (R250) and Conditioner (R250) is best to lock in colour

KMS:  Colour Vitality Shampoo (R250) and Conditioner (R250) is good for colour save