Did you know that red hair occurs in approximately 1-2% of the human population. It occurs more frequently (2-6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry. Red hair appears in people with 2 copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16, which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein. The term redhead has been in use since at least 1510. Cultural reactions have varied from ridicule to admiration; many common stereotypes exist regarding redheads and they are often portrayed as fiery-tempered.
Henna is type of red dye that is used for hair and temporary tattoos on the skin. It has been used since ancient times. The dye is made from the henna plant. It is an important tradition in many areas of the world, most often associated with brides in South Asia. In India, the longer the henna stays on a bride’s hand the longer it is believed that her in-laws will treat her well. In Europe, henna was popular among women connected to the aesthetic movement and the Pre-Raphaelite artists of England in the 1800s. The fashion for what they called Orientalism led young women with a bohemian inclination to begin tinting their hair with henna. The painting is Daydream by Renoir of an actress showing the fashion for henna. In the 1950s, Lucille Ball popularized the “henna rinse” as her character, Lucy Ricardo, called it on the tv show I Love Lucy.