Can Black People Have Red Hair? Is This Common For Black People To Be Redhead?

When you think of red hair, you probably picture people with white skin. So, what about people with dark skin?

Can black people have red hair? By the end of this post, you will figure out whether black individuals can have red hair and other interesting points about redheads that you may not know. Let’s get started right away!

Can Black People Have Red Hair?

Many people believe that black individuals only have dark hair, but this is not true.

Black people can have red hair.

By far, the most prominent natural hair color is red. Similarly, meeting a black person with red hair is rare, which is perhaps why people are interested in this topic.

Redheads are known as a rare breed, contributing to just about 1% to 2% of the world population. What is more, black redheads are even considerably more uncommon, making for only a fraction of the 1 to 2 percent.

In all, black people can have other eye colors like brown or hazel, and the same goes for hair color. They might acquire red hair for various causes, which we will go for more details in the following parts.

Black people may have red hair.
Black people may have red hair.

What Is The Cause Of Red Hair In Black People?

There are several reasons causing black people are born with red hair:


First, you should be aware that there are many types of albinism causing black people to have red hair, not just those with light-colored eyes and white hair on their heads, eyelashes, and eyebrows.

Albinism is a hereditary disorder that is characterized by a reduction in melanin, a colored chemical element used to color your hair or maybe your clothes!


melanocytes are melanin-producing skin cells, and the quantity and kind of melanin produced by your body influence how light or dark your skin is. 

This reduction in melanin will lighten skin and hair, making it challenging to create dark melanin. As a result, individuals with albinism frequently have lighter hair, skin, and eyes.

Rufous albinism is one genetic variation that causes red hair in black people, which is also referred to as OCA3 albinism. This syndrome is distinguished by red-bronze complexion, ginger-red hair, and brown or blue eyes.

Red hair is caused by a mutation in the TYRP1 gene in people with rufous albinism. Also, the protein encoded by this gene is thought to be crucial for gathering all of the enzymes needed to produce brown melanin.

Nevertheless, melanin production is not completely stopped. Black people may still make red pigments, so they have some pigmentation and red hair.


Like albinism, red hair is caused by a mutation in the MCR1 gene, which is found in everyone.

The MC1R gene regulates the equilibrium of two types of melanin in the body: pheomelanin (the red kind) and eumelanin (the brown kind). 

Once the MC1R is inactive, your body will create more pheomelanin, which is accountable for reddish hair tones and skin, rather than eumelanin, which is associated with black and brown skin and hair tones.

On the contrary, in individuals with activated MC1R, eumelanin may balance with pheomelanin. However, the gene variation prohibits this in redheads.

As a result, the mutant MCR1 gene causes an excess of pheomelanin to be generated, leading to the physical characteristics linked with redheads (freckles, lighter skin tones, etc.)

To conceive a redhead child, both their father and mother must carry the mutated MCR1 gene.

Mixed ancestry

Indeed, there are not many pure black folks. Almost each black person is mixed with another race. Red hair is more common in black persons of Southern or Northern European heritage.

There are three main reasons causing black people to be redheads.
There are three main reasons causing black people to be redheads.

What Are Some Distinctive Features Of Black People With Red Hair?

Hardly go gray

Non-redheads’ hair turns silver or gray once they age because they lose the hair color pigment. However, that is not the case with black redheads.

Rather than moving from red to gray, their hair first gets blonde, then pale copper, white, skipping the gray-hair phase altogether. Furthermore, since red hair retains its natural color for considerably longer than some other shades, you will not need to worry about growing gray. 

As a result, the color fades over time to a stunning range of rosy-blonde, fading copper, and silvery-white.

Lack of hair density

Black redheads, and redheads in general, have fewer hair strands than people who do not have red hair, who get an average of 150,000 strands on their heads.

Redheads, on the other hand, possess fewer than 100,000 strands. While some may regard this as a drawback, red hair is typically thicker than other hair colors, and this thickness accounts for its lower density.

Make vitamin D

This interesting characteristic is caused by dark redheads’ failure to create sufficient vitamin D due to low eumelanin levels in their bodies. For this reason, they might be able to produce it on their own.

Importantly, vitamin D is required for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. Furthermore, numerous experts believe that strengthening immunity may help avoid autoimmune illnesses and cancer.

Loved by bee

Interestingly, bees enjoy redheads, which scientists attribute to their hair being colorful and flower-like.

Nevertheless, it is critical to understand that not all of these facts are true for all redheads. 

Be left-handed

Owing to recessive features, those with the red hair gene seem to be more probably to be left-handed.

10 to 15% of redheads in the Western hemisphere use their left hand dominantly.

More pain sensitivity

Redheads are more susceptible to specific types of pain and can necessitate higher doses of pain relievers. Nonetheless, since MC1R function is decreased in melanocytes rather than other types of cells, the pain threshold may be increased overall.

Furthermore, those with red hair react more successfully to opioid pain medicines, necessitating lesser doses.

More temperature sensitivity

Black redheads can perceive temperature changes more promptly and with more sensitivity than individuals with darker hair. Scientists claim this is because the red hair gene has altered their senses.

Are There Any Negative Effects Of Black People Having Red Hair?

Mental health problems

As previously mentioned, red is by far the most distinguishing natural hair color. Being unique has numerous benefits, yet some people may view it negatively. That is why some black redheads are lonely.

Regrettably, owing to the scarcity of a distinguishing trait generated by unusual human genetics, finding people who are similar to them may be difficult. As a result of these concerns, many black redheads suffer from mental health problems.

As a result, you had better try to be empathetic to black redheads as well as other people that stand out.

There is a high chance of a black redhead getting mental health issues.
There is a high chance of a black redhead getting mental health issues.

Burn easily

Believe it or not, redheads and sunburns do not get along well with each other. 

If people with red hair go outside in the sun, the sun instantly starts to burn them, unlike those that may stay out in the sun for far more extended periods without becoming burned.

Higher possibilities of cancer risk 

Black people with red hair are more likely to develop cancer, and not merely any cancer, but the most lethal skin cancer, which is melanoma. 

Sadly, the mutant MCR1 gene in black redheads does not correctly attach to the PTEN gene.

As a result, redheads do not have as much protective layer against this form of cancer as dark-haired people. Therefore, it is usually advised that black redheads use extreme caution while out in the sun, including wearing hats, scarfs, sunscreen, and others.

Awful birthmarks

Redheads are more likely than non-redheads to have prominent birthmarks.

Birthmarks can be so enormous that they cover more than half of their body. Though uncommon, those with red hair are disproportionately impacted.

Challenging to color the hair

Because its pigment is far more persistent, natural red hair seems to be more challenging to dye than any other hue.

If redheads sought to modify their appearance, they might indeed perceive a significant difference if they bleached the hair beforehand. If it is not done, the color may not remain.

Poor vision

Redheads, particularly albinos, have weak eyesight, with either long- or short-sightedness and low vision.

The reason behind this fact is due to their cornea, which is the clear layer in front of their eye, is not precisely curved or the lens is an odd shape, resulting in impaired vision.

Also, black redheads are extremely light-sensitive and seem to squint, a disorder in which the eyes point in opposite directions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How typical are people having red hair and blue eyes?

In fact, more than 90% of people around the world have dark or black hair, which is followed by blonde hair.

Red hair, on the other hand, is perhaps the least common, making for only 1 to 2% of the world population. Furthermore, blue eyes are unique, and they can be becoming more prevalent.

The genes that you inherit from your parents affect the color of your eyes and hair. If an individual has both blue eyes and red hair, one or both of their parents most likely do as well; however, this is not always the case.

To get these less-common features, you must receive two sets of specific genes for both your eye and hair color. However, it is pretty unlikely, particularly when neither of their parents has blue eyes or red hair. 

Despite that, the genetic stars coincide every now and again, and a person is born with an unusual combination of blue eyes and red hair.

Is it possible for people to have both red hair and green eyes?

It’s possible. Having green eyes and red hair is an uncommon but not impossible combination. 

The likelihood that you or your kid has it is determined by whether your close family members have green eyes or red hair, although that may pass down generations.

In other words, it all comes down to the genes, whether you have green eyes or red hair (or both). A mix of markers determines the genetic make-up passed down from your parents.

Both features, like blue eyes and O blood type, are the product of recessive genes.

Is it possible for black people to have blue eyes?

African-Americans possessing blue eyes are not extraordinary, but they are uncommon. This can happen in a variety of ways. Some of the possible causes of blue eyes in African-Americans include:

Albinism of the eyes

Albinism happens when the body fails to produce melanin, the pigment responsible for the dark color of your hair, skin, and eyes. Only the eyes are afflicted in some cases of albinism.

Being a woman is one of the reasons. Ocular albinism, like colorblindness and hemophilia, is predominantly found in men.

Syndrome of Waardenburg

It is an uncommon hereditary disorder that causes different-colored eyes, hearing loss, and a white patch of hair appearing on the forehead.

There is a strong possibility you would experience one of these symptoms if you had Waardenburg Syndrome.

Ancestry from Europe

In general, to get blue eyes, you must have Caucasian relatives on both sides of the family.

New gen mutations

What would happen if you have no white ancestors in the family tree? Another possibility is that a critical eye color gene in you was altered or modified, resulting in blue eyes.

These kinds of mutations are extremely rare, but they are the source of the great diversity of people you can see you. 

There are several reasons why black people have blue eyes.
There are several reasons why black people have blue eyes.

If you want to get a scientific explanation about the reason behind black redheads, you can watch this video:

Final Thoughts

Let’s sum up again! The answer is yes to the title question,

Can black people have red hair?” Also, there are several reasons leading to this unique feature of African people, such as albinism, genes, and mixed ancestry.


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