By: Rosemary O. Fernandez 

Around this time last year, I got the best news of my life: My husband and I were expecting a baby! We kept it to ourselves for a while, but soon told our family and friends. As I inevitably expanded, I was asked the inevitable question: Will the little one have red hair too?

This was a perfectly reasonable question as I was born with screaming red hair –the kind of shade that has prompted numerous strangers to tell me I have the map of Ireland written on my face despite the fact that I’m mostly Italian. I inherited these locks from my (Italian) mother, and my husband’s mother and grandfather are also gingers. Needless to say, the odds were in the little guy’s favor.

Thirty-eight weeks slugged by, and I’d estimate that I heard the question about three times a week. Coworkers joked about it. Family members hoped for it. Random people at the grocery store thought it would be terrific. Naturally all my husband and I prayed for was a healthy child. Whether he popped out with red, blonde, brown, or green hair, we’d cuddle and dote on him just the same. But I’d be lying if I said I never crossed my fingers and daydreamed about strolling down the street with a fiery-headed toddler in tow.

Here are some facts to see if  you will have a redhead baby:

1. In order for a baby to have red hair, both parents have to carry the gene, since it’s a recessive trait. So if you’re a ginger and you marry a ginger, odds are, your kids will be gingers, too. If only one parent has the locks but the other is a carrier, the baby’s chances are 50/50. If neither of you are red but you both are carriers, you have a one in four chance of a fiery-haired child. And, sorry to say, if only one parent is not a carrier (even though the other is), you’ve got no shot. [Source]

2. Even though you might not be a redhead yourself, studies estimate that 25 percent of Caucasian Americans carry the ginger gene, so if you fall into this category you might end up with a redheaded baby when you’re least expecting it. [Source]

READ: 10 Things To Know If You’re a Redhead Baby 

My reasons weren’t purely aesthetic, because for me, my hair color is a huge part of my personality. I’m confident. I’m intelligent. I’m friendly. I’m funny (though my husband says it’s usually when I don’t mean to be). Growing up, my hair helped me cultivate these qualities. I’m used to strangers addressing me simply because they want to pay me a compliment about my hair; therefore I have no problem doing the same to someone else when I like their outfit or a speech they presented. On the first day of school when teachers called my name, they also told me they liked my hair; hence I became comfortable in a classroom from an early age, absorbed more information, and was never too timid to raise my hand when I knew the answer. I’m often the only redheaded in my group of friends, so I developed a good sense of direction; since I’m the most easily spotted in a crowd, my pals often followed me when we were out.

Here are some other fun facts about redheads in general:

  1. Enjoy those baby blues while they last. The world’s rarest hair and eye color combo is red hair and blue eyes. [Source]  number 4 on list ]
  2. Redheads are more likely to be left-handed. [Source]
  3. Redheaded babies are the cutest babies. Ok, this one’s just my opinion.

READ: Facts About Redheads That May Surprise You

I want all this and more for my child. More than I want to dress him in t-shirts that have fun redheaded slogans, I want him to be confident. I want him to know he’s smart. I want him to not be afraid to be kind. Though hair color doesn’t determine these qualities, I know from experience that it helps.

Sixteen weeks after birth, what’s the verdict? The jury’s still out. The baby was born with dark hair. Those strands have now mostly fallen out, and it looks like some red is replacing it. Only time will tell.

But I still have my fingers crossed.

Rock it like a Redhead! 

Photo Credit: Joanna McVey

  • Pam

    I have a redheaded, blue-eyed, left-handed daughter, though neither of us are redheads, and I have to go back 3 generations to find one! Daughter no.2 came out a strawberry redhead but has since gone blonde, and no.3 is mousy brown! I love that they all have different coloured hair!

  • Elynn

    Both myself and my S/O have red hair and our son was born with red hair and blue eyes! The odds were ever in our favor! 🙂

  • Heidi

    i was born with jet black hair to 2 non ginger parents, but invisible eyebrows and eyelashes. Within 6 months(as the story is told) I was a ginger. My dad was the son of a ginger haired beauty. On my mom’s side I have 2 second cousin’s once removed, both gingers.

  • Linda

    ahw… 3 Kids later….. All blonde… I was borne very red, Brown Eyes, my husband blonde (almost white) blue eyes. I was hoping for a red baby, My two Girls are blonde with very blue Eyes, my son te same blonde hair bud very Green/Grey Eyes….

  • Kathy

    I am a redhead, and my ex has brown hair. Our daughter has red hair and hazel eyes.
    My son on the other hand! My significant other is black – he is from Kenya. Our son has brown hair. When he was born he had what I call ‘white people hair’ as far as the strands/texture. His hair was brown with lots of red hliights. That fell out, and it grew back in brown, with the kinkier texture like his dad. When his hair gets longer, he has about 4 random strands of red hair in there. 2 on either side of his head. I never figured I would see that on him! The first time I saw it, I tried to pull the hairs thinking it was a stray strand of mine. He wasn’t happy lol!

  • Stephanie

    my only son is a redhead with blue eyes. Me and my husband both have brown hair. paternal grandfather was a strawberry blond.

  • susan

    I am a strawberry red head now, but very ginger when I was young. My son has my blue eyes and red hair. My daughter, red hair and dad’s hazel eyes.

  • Michele

    I have two boys n one girl…ALL redheads!
    Boys with blue eyes n daughter with hazel.
    Most beauties I’ve seen.
    Now I have two granddaughters with red hair and a who might have a tint.
    Live them all!

  • Tricia

    my 19 month old has red hair and blue eyes. My nine week old, to which everyone said would be a redhead also came out with a dusty red which has darken. But so far both are red heads with blue eyes. I have red hair and green eyes and my hubby has brown hair and a red beard with blue eyes.

  • maureen

    My mom had dark brown hair my dad was blonde. I am a redhead with blue eyes and my brother is blonde with red beard. My sons the oldest had dark brown har and blue eyes and a red brown blonde beard. My youngest has blonde hair with a red cast and blue eyes. He has a light red beard.

  • I have four kids. Two are red heads and other two take after my Mexican genes from my moms side and are brunettes. Neither my husband or I are redheads. My two redheads started out with dark hair.

  • My husband has brown hair and blue eyes- but definetly carries the red head gene- I am a red head with blue eyes. We have 3 kids- all 3 have red hair and blue eyes. They’re all right handed. 😉

  • Kim

    I am Italian and I have red hair and green eyes. My husband is Italian blonde hair blue eyes. Our parents are all dark hair and olive skin. We have 7 children 5 red heads blue eyes and two blondes blue eyes, their hair is dirty blonde as they get older. My red head son is a lefty all four girls are right handed.

  • Sarah

    if my husband has red hair in his beard, does that mean he is a carrier of red hair gene?

    • Amy

      I would think so. My ex had dark brown hair with a few red hairs in his whiskers. I have auburn hair. Our children are a ginger boy, ginger girl and blonde boy. My boys have green eyes like my father. My girl has brown eyes like her father.

  • I’ve got two ginger babes and LOVIN’ it! I’ve been red/strawberry blond all my life and my hubbs has a red beard…so We just kept our fingers crossed when it came to hair color. AND IT WORKED!

  • Linda

    When young my hair was the color of a new penny and I had dark blue eyes. Dad was a ginger with blue eyes and mom dark brown hair with brown eyes. Oldest daughter is a golden strawberry with blue eyes and younger daughter blonde until age 30 also blue eyes. Their dad is 100 % Norwegian blonde/blue. The dominant brown eyes of mom have not shown up for three generations.

  • Verena

    First i have to say sorry for my bad english, i’m from germany. My three year old daughter is a ginger with grey eyes and the hole rest of us are hazel. On family photos it looks a bit like we have stolen her. I always wanted a redhead girl so i’m more than happy.

  • Anita

    another thing i found out recently – the ginger often comes out in the 3rd generation.

  • Jeniffer

    I am Black and my Fiancé is white, and we just gave birth to a ginger on Mother’s Day!!! I am soo in love with her red hair, as is everyone that we meet. Now you can only imagine the looks I get when it is just her and I out and about, because she is EXTREMELY fair skinned, lol.

    • KT

      I am African American and my husband is Caucasian with red in his beard. We just gave birth to a ginger baby

  • Alexandra

    Me and my husband are trying to have a baby. I was lucky to be born with red hair and light green eye. I’m husband was born with brown hair and blue eyes. So what I’m asking is can we still have a red hair baby even though is had brown hair and I’m the only Carrier of the gene .?

  • Oh, my daughter has black hair, she’s very beautiful…I and my wife very love her
    Whatever, the baby on this post very cute, like her..!

  • Sandy

    I am a redhead with blue eyes, my husband is a redhead with blue eyes… it’s the reason I picked him out on an online dating service. I KNEW from childhood that I was meant to have redheaded babies. Right before I met my husband I had gotten out of a 3 year relationship and my aunt was passing away. Before she died she saw how troubled I was and said it would be ok… I was going to meet the man I was going to marry and I would be okay- she said he was tall, with red hair and piercing blue eyes- sure enough 6 months later I met Doug… we now have 2 ginger blue eyed girls and another little ginger on the way in april! I love my red hair and I am teaching my girls to love theirs too!

  • I don’t think Huff Post is a reliable source. Part of being a redhead is due to lack of pigment and that includes eyes which causes most of us to have blue eyes. Brown are actually the rarest. Source—-http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask220

  • I and my fiance both have red hair my mother n his mother are both redheads also our first son who is now 2 is a red hair blue eyed baby boy and we are currently expecting our second baby boy in march and hell be a redhaired Lil boy also . the odds are definitely in our favor but I love it everywhere we go people always stop and compliment my son

  • I was born with red hair to parents that one(my Dad) was a red head. I was the only one of six children, The others all had red hi-lights in their hair. I have three children and no red hair, but some hi-lights and my sons beard is red just like my brothers. They love to tees me about my gingerness. I just tell them they will all have lots of gingers for me to love.

  • Brandi

    I’m a read head with bleu grey eys, my husband is half Chinese. My son was also born with dark hair and now he is 7 months old and his hair is starting to show signs of turning red! My daughter had blonde hair and blue eyes and in the right light her hair has red tints! Love this website and continue to read your posts!!

  • Mollyann

    My parents are both brunette….unbelievably 4 of the 7 their kids were redheads. All had different textures and color of red. The redhead gene was present in both of my grandparents. My husband was a redhead as a child. His hair became more chestnut as an adult. We had 3 children in 4 years, all are redheads. You can not imagine the attention we received when we out shopping or at the park. People thought they were triplets. They enjoyed all the attention. My hair is auburn-copper colored with green eyes. My kids each have a different red color and texture. None are left-handed. One is blue eyed with bright strawberry blond girl, hazel eyed boy with curly auburn hair and the youngest had dark red, thick and straight hair. They are now in their 20’s and we still get stares when we are out together. I really wanted a red head child and was so surprised all 3 were red!

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  • Cecily Allen

    Both my husband and I have brown hair but my husband has a red beard. My daughter is a red head with blue eyes!

  • I think its all about luck and who has stronger genetics !

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  • Anonymous

    i and my sister have red hair, our parents (m) red (f) black, our grandparents both black and our aunt (mothers sister)red her husband brown their daughters blonde.

  • Ciara

    This is not correct me I am a redhead and it runs in my family my husband is Mexican and nobody in his family is red headed but we still had a red headed baby so it is possible for a couple where only one person carries the gene can have a red headed baby!

  • Miffy

    My mum has dark brown hair that gets reddish highlights when she goes out in the sun. My dad had dark ginger hair that turned a mousy brown by the time he was an adult. My parents REALLY wanted a ginger child but they got two boys, blonde and brunette. After a few years, I was born, with black hair. But when I was 5 months old it fell, and grew back GINGER. I still have a nice auburn color but it’s gotten a bit like a darker orange.

  • Lily

    For my child to be healthy is all I hope. But a small part of me really hopes she won’t inherit my red hair. It’s not a good life being a redhead in the UK. All my redheaded friends agree with me on this.

    Much better she be a brunette.

  • I am a firm redhead, with blue eyes. Both of my parents had dark brow hair, ?? why I am a ginger. My younger sister has brown hair and my youngest sister was a dishwasher blonde, (we all had the same parents). My, now ex, has black hair, his father was a ginger. We had 3 blondes, 2 redheads, and then another blonde. The ginger’s had red hair at birth, one has blue eyes, the other hazel. The 4 blonde’s were born with jet black hair that fell out around 6 weeks of age and grew in white blond. Their hair darkened to a dishwasher blond, in their teens.I have 14 grandchildren, but only one redhead!

  • I would kraven My wife in an instant without hessetation if she gave birth to a gingner! I cantstand their light skin so sensetive to sunlight and their awfull red/orange hair! Makes me sick to My stomach just thinking about it

    • Anonymous

      twit

  • Tyrae

    I have red hair, blue eyes but hubby has brown hair, blue eyes. All 3 of our girls were born with red hair and blue eyes (our eldest eyes have gone green since birth). They say we are becoming extinct but they should come see our family!

  • Paige

    I have a friend, neither her or her husband have red hair and they’ve traced it back in their family and can’t find anyone with it… however all THREE of their kids have red hair, lol. They totally hit the jackpot with both having the recessive gene AND all their kids having red hair. If only we all could be so lucky!

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