You Probably Need a Haircut is reader-supported. If you buy a product we link to, we may earn a commission.
Skip to Content

Can Black People Have Red Hair? | Absolutely!

Can Black People Have Red Hair? | Absolutely!

Whether it’s natural or a result of a trip to the hair salon, red is a vibrant, beautiful hair color. But can Black people have red hair, or is this color more of a Caucasian feature? Read on to learn more, including fun statistics about read heads along with trending styling tips.

Can Black People Have Red Hair?

Black woman with red hair in a coffee shop talking on a cell phone

William Perugini/Shutterstock

Yes, Black people can have naturally red hair! Most African-American people with red hair also have some European ancestry. However, if you are Black without any other known heritage, albinism can be another reason for red hair.

So, why is it so rare for Black people to have red hair? The answer to that lies in one key factor: melanin. Red hair typically occurs in people with less eumelanin.

This is a type of melanin in people with brown skin and dark hair. So because Black people tend to have more eumelanin, naturally red hair is uncommon in this population.

While most are not born with it, there are many Black people in the world with red hair. It’s not uncommon to use hair dyes to get this vibrant hair color. After all, red hair can look beautiful on people of all skin tones. 

If you’re a Black person with red hair, there are a few things you may want to know. For instance: 

  • What are the best hairstyles for red hair on Black people? 
  • Are there any health risks associated with natural red hair? 
  • In which ethnicity is red hair the most common? 

As you read on, we’ll provide the answers to all of these questions and more!

Read Next: What Is the Most Common Hair Color?

Facts About African-Americans With Red Hair 

Want to learn a little more about red hair and how it occurs in Black people? These facts may surprise you! 

People With Red Hair Have a Higher Risk of Skin Cancer  

Many people with red hair have genes that can increase their risk of skin cancer. Because they have less melanin in their skin, they’re also at a higher risk of sunburns, which can heighten your risk of skin cancer as well. 

Regardless of your race or ethnicity, it’s important to keep yourself safe from skin cancer. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Visit a dermatologist every year. 
  • Always wear sunscreen when you plan to be outside for a long time. 
  • Check your skin regularly for any abnormalities. 
  • Avoid using tanning beds. 

Redheads Are More Likely to be Lefties 

Around one-tenth of the population is left-handed. And if you’re a natural redhead, your chances of being left-handed are slightly higher. 

There hasn’t been much research on why this is the case. However, a common theory is that both red hair and left-handedness are recessive traits, which tend to come in pairs. 

Red Hair Is Thicker Than Other Hair Colors 

People with natural red hair tend to have fewer hairs on their scalp. However, the strands of hair themselves are thicker than any other hair color. 

Black people tend to have very thick hair, too, regardless of its color. So if you’re a Black person with red hair, you probably have some very thick hair! 

Here are some tips for taking care of thick hair: 

  • Wash your hair every three days. Washing thick hair too often could cause it to dry out. 
  • Use hydrating shampoos and conditioners. 
  • Allow your hair to air dry, since too much blow-drying can damage thick hair. 

Ways to Style Red Hair on Black People

Woman in an urban setting on a phone for a piece on can black people have red hair

javi_indy/Shutterstock

When it comes to hair care, both red hair and African hair have particular needs. So when you fall into both categories, styling it can be a challenge. Here are a few beautiful styling options for Black people with red hair! 

Box Braids 

Box braids are one of the most popular hairstyles for African people. It’s a fashionable way to protect your hair. Best of all, it makes a great look for Black people with red hair. 

These braids are very low-maintenance. So if you want to save yourself the hassle of styling your hair every day, box braids may be the way to go. 

Hi-Top Fade 

The hi-top fade is a hairstyle that became very popular in the late 80s and early 90s. It has short hair on the sides and long hair on the top, giving it a similar look to the flat top. 

This can be a great masculine hairstyle for Black people with red hair! Because it’s so short, it’s pretty easy to maintain, too. 

Space Buns 

If you’re looking for a truly hip hairstyle for red hair, look no further than the space buns. This style is super adorable and will bring out the beauty of your red hair. 

This hairstyle consists of two round buns on each side of the head. Pulling off this hairstyle may require a lot of pins, hair gel, and patience. But once you nail it, you’ll have a super unique look. 

French Braids 

One thing that’s great about French braids is that they can cooperate with any hair texture. So if you’re a Black person who wants to style your red hair, you may want to consider giving these braids a try! 

French braids can be a bit of a challenge to master. However, they’re a beautiful style for both casual and formal occasions. And best of all, they look stunning on people with red hair! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Black person with red hair and eye makeup

korabkova/Shutterstock

There’s a lot to learn about red hair and how common it is in Black people. While we can only fit so much information on one page, we have managed to cover some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this topic. 

Keep reading to learn a little more about this uncommon hair color! 

What African Country Has the Most Red Hair? 

The African countries with the highest population of natural redheads are Morocco and Algeria. So if you are an African person with ancestry from these countries, you’re more likely to have natural red hair than those from other parts of the continent. 

Do Redheads Go Gray? 

When natural redheads get older, their hair usually does not turn gray; instead, it turns white! Most Black people’s hair will turn gray as they age, so this is one way that natural Black redheads stand out. 

What Ethnicity Most Commonly Has Red Hair? 

At least 10% of Irish people have naturally red hair, making them the ethnicity with the most redheads overall. 

This hair color is fairly common in surrounding countries as well. For instance, many consider Edinburgh, Scotland to be the “redhead capital of the world.” 

Can Black People Have Blonde Hair? 

While uncommon, natural blonde hair can occur in Black people. This trait is fairly common in Black people from the Melanesian islands in the Pacific Ocean! Black people who have albinism or are mixed race can have naturally blonde hair as well. 

Are Black Redheads Rare? 

If you’re a redhead, you have a pretty rare hair color. Roughly 2% of the population is born with red hair. And because red hair is a result of low melanin, it’s even rarer in Black people. 

So, Can Black People Have Red Hair? 

Rare as it might be, Black people can have red hair! You can see this hair color in Black people who are mixed race or have albinism. Whether you’re born with this hair color or plan to dye it, red is a beautiful color for people of all races.