If you ever teased that school friend for their flaming locks, it might be time to eat your words. According to a doctor, those born with naturally ginger locks might just be the closest answer we have to a living, walking super hero. In a recent video posted to social media, Dr Karan Raj explained that those with ginger hair actually have four hidden super powers that include being able to detect temperature changes, a greater sense of smell, making more vitamin D and having a higher pain threshold. “You’re way better at detecting temperature changes. Researchers think the MC1R gene – the red hair causing gene – over activates the temperature detecting gene. If a finger person says they feel cold, winter’s coming,” Dr Raj says.
“Redheads smell better. You all have this thin acidic film on the surface of our skin the acid mantle combination of lipids from oil glands and amino acids from sweat. This mantle is more acidic in redheads causing perfumes to evaporate more quickly giving a unique scent,” he adds.
“Redheads make more vitamin D. When a redhead goes outside they can produce more vitamin D in a shorter amount of time than any other hair colour. Some redheads but not all have a higher pain threshold. It might be due to the fact that the ginger gene also has a role to play in pain processing,” Dr Raj explains.
While a higher pain threshold might be something worth celebrating, it’s actually something Dr Raj deems important for those with ginger hair to understand as he advises anyone with naturally ginger hair to tell their doctor if they’re having surgery as they might need to administer more anaesthetic. “If you’re naturally ginger you need to tell your doctors before surgery because you might need more anaesthetic or more pain relief,” he says.
According to Dr Raj, the reason for higher pain threshold for those with ginger hair isn’t particularly well known with limited research into the topic. Regardless, the doctor suggests that while there might be a link between red hair and pain sensitivity, some might even have a greater pain sensitivity, something that’s important to note when having surgery.
Many were quick to comment on the video and voice their support for such findings. One commented, “I fit contraceptive implants and have learned that red heads need more lidocaine, they get extra half a ml.” Another added, “They always need more anaesthesia for dental surgery! At least that’s what 23 years of practice taught me.”
Another confirmed: “This is all true. Any slight change in temp and my body freaks out. Pain threshold thing is very true.”