How Rare is Red
Pheomelanin is the pigment responsible for putting the red in hair and the relationship between occurrences and melanocortin-1 receptor were first unearthed in 1995. Jonathan Rees first identified the connection of the MC1R, located on the 16th of the 23 human chromosome pairs. Rees estimates that the first redheads appeared on earth approximately 50,000 years ago well after man started working with tools and fire.
The gene is cited for controlling the type of melanin being produced by redheads, and fair skin is another side effect of the naturally occurring mutation. Red hair can range in shades from burgundy, burnt orange and to bright copper and it is estimated that one to two percent of the entire human population has natural red hair (National Geographic).
Some biologists believe the mutation happened due by simple human evolution. All human life can be traced back to Africa courtesy of DNA. Scientists who have closely monitored the evolution of lice have discovered that humans first started to wear clothing 170,00 years ago (ScienceDaily.com). Once humans were able to dress themselves, they were able to migrate around the world courtesy of the warmth created by the primitive garb. Humans settled in all different regions, including areas featuring cold, dark climates. The fair skin coloring associated with red hair may have been and evolutionary adaptation as that shade of epidermis allowed humans to absorb more light, which warmed upped bodies and encouraged higher levels of vitamin D production.
Scotland is thought to be the hub of red haired folks that comprise more than 11 percent of the local population. While the hair color is primarily associated with Caucasians, the mutation can happen regardless of skin color. Both Malcolm X (nicknamed Detroit Red) and Redd Foxx (AKA Chicago Red) also had copper colored locks (Washington Post).
Dental Care Important Regardless of Hair Color
Because of their lower pain threshold, redheads may have a good reason for avoiding the dentist, however that can ultimately lead to more dental problems and pain because the demographic may try to avoid the dentist at all costs. That in turn will prevent individuals from getting valuable preventative dentistry.
Preventative dentistry is the simple act of daily brushing, flossing and getting regular dental exams and check ups. Regardless of hair color, seeking out professional dental care prior to any problem developing is the best way to ensure oral health and minimize the risk of pain associated with many dental treatments.
Redheads, blonds, brunettes, Manic Panic fans and even those shaved bald are all advised to seek professional dental care as a way to ensure their general well being. 1-800-DENTIST will make it easy for those in need to find a dentist as we do all the background research in relation to education, location, hours of operation and dental specialties so you won't have to.