Have you ever wondered how common your hair color is? Depending on where you are in the world, you may see a lot more of one hair color than another. So, what are the rarest hair colors out there?
We’ve given you a complete breakdown of the color that is hardest to find to the most commonly occurring hair color on Earth.
Science Behind Hair Colors
According to the NIH, the amount of pigment (known as melanin) there is in the hair is what determines hair color, and which melanin type you have or in what amount is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents.
There are two types of pigments to consider when it comes to hair color: eumelanin and pheomelanin. It helps to think of these two on a scale, with light-colored pheomelanin on one end and dark-colored eumelanin on the other.
Pheomelanin produces red or orange hair, while eumelanin produces brown and black hair colors.
The more eumelanin in your hair, the darker your hair is. More pheomelanin in the hair makes it red, as does equal parts eumelanin and pheomelanin. People with blonde hair color have the least amount of eumelanin in their hair.
What Are The Rarest Hair Colors In The World?
It’s challenging to tell which are the rarest hair colors in the world, thanks to the beauty industry. It’s too easy to head to a salon or box dye your hair to try out any color that you want. There are natural colors that occur way less frequently than others, however.
Red is the rarest hair color on the planet. A mere 1% of the entire global population possesses this special hue. When you try to think of all the redheads that you know, it’s not surprising.
Some believe that Scotland has the highest number of redheads, but most likely it’s the U.S. that pulls in the biggest numbers. Overall, red hair suggests European descent. This one-of-a-kind color can range in shade from ginger and strawberry to fiery orange and auburn.
Found in roughly 2-3% of the population, blonde hair is second in terms of unique hair colors. If you see a lot of blondes in your day-to-day life or in the media, remember the dyed variety! Many women choose this color because of the way it brightens your appearance.
Shades of this typically fine hair include warm tones like caramel, sandy, or dirty blonde. Cool tones can range from light platinum to ash blonde.
At around 4%, this category is made up of older adults and the elderly, though some people start spotting gray hairs by their late 20’s. There is a common rule of thumb when it comes to gray hair: half of the population will have at least 50% of their hair gray by the age of 50.
Interestingly, gray hair is actually trendy in 2024, though not enough to tip the global scale. This aging hair type has actually been stripped of color. It ranges from silver-gray to white in hue.
Brown hair is the fourth rarest hair color and represents roughly 11-13% of the overall population. Shades of brown can include light, mousy hues or deep, earthy ones like chestnut, chocolate, or molasses.
Brown hair is the most common in the U.S. and Europe, while even darker shades of brown can be found in Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Whether your hair is deep brown or jet black, you’ve got the most common hair color, at 75-85% globally. Hair textures can be thick and coarse or straight and shiny,
In most parts of Africa, South America and Asia, finding a color besides black or dark brown hair is difficult. As the world globalizes, however, colors will suggest heritage rather than personal place of origin.
Example Hairstyles With Rare Hair Colors
Not only is having a rare hair color perfect for setting you apart from the crowd, it’s also just fun to experiment with colors that are out of the norm and not often seen on many women. To truly make your hairstyle a statement, you’ve got to try one of these rare hair colors below.
Copper Red Updo
We’re pretty sure this is the exact color actress Nicole Kidman has. Your curly hair or pin straight locks will look ultra luscious with this deep shade. It looks best on women with pale to porcelain skin tones. Try it up in this same high messy bun.
Ginger Red Natural Hair
If you’re a 90s baby, you’ve probably seen ginger red on Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls. Her straight to wavy hair wears it well, but the color is also gorgeous on natural hair.
Straight Blonde Balayage
A long straight hairstyle with blonde balayage is just the color to lighten up your locks. Women with olive and warm skin tones should definitely try out this rare hair color.
Golden Blonde Braid
Feel like an instant mermaid with golden blonde hair color. A low fishtail braid is a chic, feminine hairstyle and adorable with straight curtain bangs.
Thick Grey Curls
If you’re an older woman trying to embrace her natural grey’s, you can’t go wrong letting them show on a thick curly hairstyle. The salt and pepper color combination is gorgeous on older women.
Grey White Pixie
The front of this straight pixie may be a beautiful blonde, but the back is a more rare grey white or ashy color. You know what they say, business in the front, party in the back!
Dark Brown Space Buns
You don’t have to be a little girl to rock space buns. Dark brown is a classy color to make this traditionally childlike hairstyle more grown up.
Medium Length Chocolate Brown
Chocolate brown is one rare hair color that suits most women’s skin tones. The color is all you need for a simple yet stylish medium length hairstyle with short bangs.
Low Black Bun
Black is a rare hair color only because many women are a little cautious of trying it if they don’t have a pale skin tone or weren’t born with it. But be bold! A low bun with face framing tendrils is classy for work and formal outings.
Short Black Pixie
Is it us or does this short black pixie give you Natalie Portman vibes circa 2018? Bangs are longer than the rest of the haircut so you still get softness on an edgy cut.
Is Strawberry Blonde a Rare Hair Color?
Yes, strawberry blonde is a rare hair color. In fact, it’s estimated that under 5% of the world’s population has natural strawberry blonde hair color.
People who have strawberry blonde hair likely have a mutation in a gene called MC1R. The mutation interrupts the way melanin is produced. Since red-haired people already have less eumelanin and more pheomelanin in their hair, the MC1R gene ends up creating strawberry blonde.
What Is the Rarest Hair and Eye Color Combination?
The most recent study, done by Mark Elgar, PhD, of the University of Michigan, says red hair with blue eyes is the rarest combination. Just 0.17% of the world’s population has this duo.
To get red hair, at least one parent has to have red hair. However, only one parent having red hair gives you less of a chance of having it yourself. To get blue eyes, both of your parents have to have blue eyes.
It’s fun to see where on the globe certain hair colors are most prevalent and certain hair colors that rarely pop up at all, like red hair. Which hair color do you have and what does it reveal?