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Will Ginger Hair Soon Be A Thing Of The Past?

Mel Ramsay

| Last updated 

Will Ginger Hair Soon Be A Thing Of The Past?

When I heard someone mention that gingers were dying out, I was more than gutted. What can I say? I'm a ginger fan. I love Ed Sheeran for his looks more than his music, even though most people think both are terrible. I'm also a huge fan of guitar-slapping, ginger-dreadlocked singer Newton Faulkner. Sorry.

So I decided to do some research into the subject; to try and find out if, at some point in the future, ginger hair will be a thing of the past.

The world needs gingers.


The ginger extinction theory appears to originate from a story that did the rounds in 2014. Scientists warned that climate change could ultimately eliminate the ginger gene. Theoretically, as the planet warms, humans will absorb more vitamin D. The more vitamin D a human can absorb, the less likely it is that the ginger gene will live on.

At the time, Dr Alistair Moffat, managing director of Galashiels-based ScotlandsDNA, told the Independent: "We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England is adaption to the climate.

"I think the reason for light skin and red hair is that we do not get enough sun and we have to get all the Vitamin D we can.


"If the climate is changing and it is to become more cloudy or less cloudy then this will affect the gene.

"If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, then yes, there would be fewer people carrying the gene."

Put simply, the fair skin and red hair of the ginger makes it easier for their body to absorb vitamin D in sun-starved areas.

However, very soon afterwards, people dismissed the claims as absolute rubbish.


According to the Guardian, it's crap for several reasons. The first point they make is that Dr Alistar Moffat, the source mentioned previously, works for a company that sells genetic ancestry testing. Damn, that's awkward. Could it have all been a publicity stunt?!

The article also states that scientists are still debating why genes that affect hair, skin or eye colour spread due to lack of sunlight. It could be down to mate preference, or simple chance.

The ginger gene can apparently only vanish if all gingers, and people carrying the ginger gene, stop having sex. One to two per cent of the world's population is blessed with the beauty that is strawberry blonde. In Scotland, that figure is around the 13 per cent mark.

A study, conducted last year, also revealed that up to 40 per cent of the Scottish population is thought to carry the gene for both red hair and fair skin. Which means all of these people would have to suddenly go off sex for this to happen.


Praise the lord. Gingers are safe.

Words by Mel Ramsay

Topics: Ginger hair

Mel Ramsay
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