Where Does Red Hair Come From?

From a discussion in the comments threads:

mott69: Everyone in this discussion should agree that all blonde or red hair and blue eyes originates from Norse/Viking blood in the past. So, a lot of Russians, Slavs, Baltics and others have at least some Nordic blood, but not enough to change their racial sub-category. Wade in MO: I don’t agree. Do you have any proof? How do you know that it didn’t evolve in non-Nordic regions like Finland and North western Russia? Do blonde aborigines have viking blood? Also, how do you know that blonde hair developed after the region became Germanic? Are you saying that the pre-indo European population was not blonde? Also, non northern Europeans have been know tho have red hair. I remember reading an ancient Greek account of the Scythians that said that they typically had red hair.

Actually, red hair comes from Finland 9,000 years ago. From there it spread out to Scandinavia and apparently much of the rest of the world, including Pashtuns, etc.

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45 thoughts on “Where Does Red Hair Come From?”

      1. I always assumed Ashkenazis had a lot of Slavic blood but I read a DNA test claiming most of their European Ancestry came from Italy and France rather than Eastern Europe especially Norther Italy in the latter Roman Years.

        1. That’s interesting… My g-grandmothers family & ancestors were Jews living in Hungary with a German last name but had red/ auburn hair….

  1. Could you point me toward a more current source?
    A lot of mine went down the shower drain the last 20 years.

    1. You’d think so, but newer research suggests otherwise. The mutation which may have caused red hair in Neanderthals isn’t found in modern humans. Researchers have found two different genetic mutations in the MC1R gene that can cause red hair.

  2. Rob, if red hair in jews comes from Slavs, why is red hair most prevalent among the westernmost Europeans, Scots and Irish?

      1. are there any maps that show the prevelence of red hair. I think you should do a post on Hazel eyes. I have hazel eyes and am mostly northern European but read somewhere that it came from the Romans. have you heard that theory?

    1. There aren’t really that many light haired Ashkenazim. Most are dark haired. They (in coloring and features) tend to resemble the lighter skinned middle eastern types from the Levant/Eastern Med. area.; Lebanon, Syria, parts of Turkey Palestine, Armenia, to a lesser extent Greeks and S. Italians (These peoples also have among themselves a non-trivial minority of lighter haired types.) Ashkenazim are mostly E. Mediterranean; Levantine (probably a little over half) ancestry mixed with a significant minority- to about half central Italian+other S. European(including Greek?), and small amounts of Central and E. European(8% on average according to the latest Shai Carmi admixture study, though I’ve seen 23 and me results for Eastern Ashkenazim showing less than 3% E. European.). I think (esp.) Italian(Italkic), and Sephardic Jews are closest to Ashkenazim genetically(Moroccan and Syrian Jews are also still pretty close to Euro. Jews.), but lack the small C. and E. Euro. Element (Sephardim have a small Iberian contribution).

      1. edit: “Italian(Italkic), French (Tsarfatic) and Sephardic Jews are the closest people to Ashkenazim genetically…”

  3. How close are Slavs to Scandinavians genetically? I know there is quite a bit of R1a, especially in Iceland and Norway. What’s say, the distance from Scandinavians to Slavs relative to Germans and English to Scandinavians?

  4. yeah that does seem true from what I’ve read. apparently there’s more genetic diversity within China than there is in all of Europe.

  5. Red hair goes back 20000 to 40000 years and it did not originate in scandanavians. Its been found in 5000 year ols mummies in china and even earlier than that in india. But the mummies in both cases were of european looks. Jewish folklore is abundant with red haired people. King David the most famous but how much truth there is in the texts is debatable.

  6. why is there so much red hair in Ireland/scotland? i have red hair does that mean i am scandanavian? ( and i do no i have a 100% Ukrainian grand mother, that is Slavic right?)

  7. I have a hard time reasoning that red hair was borne in Scandinavia. It should stand to reason that the Nordic countries would have the highest frequency of red hair- alas, the British Isles have that distinction. I understand that populations may change- but that would require a very sudden(or relatively so) transfer of genes…and no, don’t look to the vikings. While they did some pillaging and what have you, much of their breeding with locals was restricted to their nobles. People have a tendancy to deduce that they must be descent from every group of people who’ve interacted with their ancestral lands in neat and even degrees. The majority populations remain only minimally changed over time.

      1. source? reference? I googled, I don’t see anything on this.
        perhaps it was an introgression from Sasquatch /sarcasm>

    1. The Vikings brought red hair to the british isles. My red hair comes from my grandmother whos’ great grand father and mother came from Prussia. the red hair blue eye light skin gene could only develop in a country with little sun. and its dominate genewise. so any Viking genes that contained red hair ( and they all did ) was past on all over Europe. anywhere there was a waterway it was controlled by Vikings. the Vikings controlled the commerce and traveled thru out Europe and past their large red haired genes everywhere.

  8. Other than Kashubs, what slavics have red hair? Speaking of Kashubs, I would like to know any info you know about them. Kasubia is located in Poland but they have different language. And of coarse the whole blonde and blue eyed thing.

  9. Maybe red hair came from the giants the children of the fallen angels Bene ha Elohim. They existed all over the world and the megalithic buildings are proof.

  10. Normandy is named Norse Man Land. Russia means Rus…or Red land as well…also settled by a Viking originally so I’m leaning towards the Vikings myself.

  11. Thor, who may or may not have existed, was described as having red hair.
    The mummy of Ramses is reported to have red hair. It’s probable that there are a number of gene combinations that express as red hair.
    Endangered? Redd Foxx.

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