Rare, fiery, feisty and gorgeous! What are the best things about being a redhead? IrishCentral was at this year's Redhead Convention, in Crosshaven, County Cork to meet these glorious gingers from across the globe.
Our reporter was at the festival to ask the gorgeous gathered gingers what they loved about being redheads. Their responses we great! Here are a few ideas that we’ve had in the past about what makes being a redhead enviable.
- The late, great Maureen O’Hara...do we need to say more?
Being a redhead means you’re joining a long line of amazing fiery-haired beauties and heroes including Celtic Queen Boudicca, Winston Churchill and even Mary Magdalene for Pete’s sake.
- A rare and beauteous thing
Red hair the rarest of hair colors and accounts for only 0.6% of the global population. Ireland has the second highest proportion of redheads at 10%, but up to 40% are believed to be carriers of the ginger gene. Fewer than 2% of Americans have red hair.
- You absorb vitamin D like a sponge
Bear with us...Research has shown that Ireland and Scotland have more redheads per capita due to their cloudy, grey weather. Basically our fair hair and freckles allow us to absorb more sunshine.
So, no SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) and strong bones for you! How efficient.
- No grey hair
Redheads rarely turn grey, or at least take longer to get around to it. In fact most redheads skip grey completely going from red, to blonde to white.
- Flaming good luck
Redheads bring honor and luck. In Poland, if you pass three red-heads you’ll win the lottery. Ancient Greeks dyed their hair red to show courage, and in Denmark, it’s an honor to have a red-haired child.
Of course, there’s also a belief in some countries that to rub a redhead’s head is good luck, but we’ll ignore that.
- Bruce Springsteen sings about to you
Irish American New Jersey hero “The Boss” wrote “Red Headed Woman.”
He said, “It takes a redheaded woman to get a dirty job done.”
- More loving
It’s official! Red-heads have more sex. If you don’t believe us here’s what German researcher Professor Dr Werner Habermehl has to say: “The sex lives of women with red hair were clearly more active than those with other hair color, with more partners and having sex more often than the average.”
- Feel less pain than most
We swear we’re not making this up. Studies found that redheads were less susceptible to skin pain and can better handle hot and spicy foods.
So all in all, and as if we didn’t know, don’t mess with redheads. Being a redhead is cool!
Thousands of redheads traveled to Cork for a sunny weekend this August to celebrate their rare genes. Gingers young and old traveled from as far afield as Australia and Canada to celebrate their red-headedness with other redheads.
This unique annual festival started as a friendly joke between redhead siblings Joleen and Denis Cronin and has been steadily growing in popularity year-on-year. This year Andy O'Neill from Kilkenny and Emma Ni Chearuil from Galway were crowned the new King and Queen of Gingerdom at the 7th Annual Redhead Convention. Debbie Murphy from Atlanta won Best Redhead Granny. Jean Remley of California won the Longest Red Hair Award and Thomas Gronemeir from Frankfurt, Germany won the Best Ex-Redhead Award.
A number of other ‘Best Ginger Awards” were presented at the festival including accolades such as “The most freckles per square inch” and “The world’s greatest ginger beard.” The full list of winners is below.
Among the highlights of the festival were the redhead-only parade through the town, the group photograph featuring hundreds of redheads, and the ginger jig, where redheads joined together in traditional Irish ‘céilí dance, setting a world red-cord of jig-happy gingers in the village square.
Next year's Irish Redhead Convention will take place in Crosshaven, Co. Cork from 18 - 20 August 2017. For more information visit redheadconvention.ie.