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 full breakdown of the hardest-to-find color for the most common hair color on the planet.
The science behind hair colors
According to the NIH, the amount of pigment (called melanin) in the hair determines hair color, and what type of melanin you have or how much is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents.
There are two types of pigments to consider when it comes to hair color: omelanin and pheomelanin. It helps to think of these two on a scale, with light-colored pheomelanin on one side and dark-colored eomelanin on the other.
Pheomelanin produces red or orange hair, while eumelanin produces brown and black hair colors.
The more omelanin in your hair, the darker your hair. More pomelanin in the hair makes it red, as do equal parts of omelanin and pomelanin. People with blond hair color have the lowest amount of eomelanin in their hair.
What are the rarest hair colors in the world?
It’s challenging to know what the world’s rarest hair colors are, thanks to the beauty industry. It’s too easy to go to the salon or Box colors for your hair to try any color that you want. However, there are natural colors that appear less frequently than others.
Red is the rarest hair color on earth. Only 1% of the world’s population has this special shade. When you try to think of all the redheads you know, it’s not surprising.
Some believe that Scotland has the highest number of redheads, but it is likely that the United States attracts the largest numbers. Overall, red hair suggests European ancestry. This unique color can range in hue from ginger and strawberry to fiery orange and auburn.
Found in about 2-3% of the population, blonde hair is second in terms of unique hair colors. If you see a lot of blondes in your everyday life or in the media, remember the dyed variety! Many women choose this color because of the way it brightens up your look.
Shades of this fine hair include warm shades like caramel, sandy or dirty blonde. Cool shades can range from light platinum to ash blonde.
At around 4%, this category consists of adults and the elderly, although some people start to notice gray hairs in their late 20s. There is a common rule of thumb when it comes to gray hair: half of the population has at least 50% of their hair gray by the age of 50.
Interestingly, gray hair is actually trendy in 2023, though not enough to tip the global scale. This aging hair type has actually been stripped of color. This shade ranges from silver-gray to white.
Brown hair is the fourth rarest hair color and represents approximately 11-13% of the total population. Shades of brown can include light, mousy tones or deep, earthy tones such as chestnut, chocolate or molasses.
Brown hair is most common in the US and Europe, while darker shades of brown can be found in Africa, Asia and Australia.
Whether your hair is deep brown or jet black, you have the most common hair color, at 75-85% worldwide. Hair textures can be thick and coarse or straight and shiny,
In most parts of Africa, South America and Asia, it is difficult to find any color other than black or dark brown hair. However, as the world evolves, colors will suggest heritage rather than personal place of origin.
Sample hairstyles with rare hair colors
Not only is a rare hair color perfect for setting you apart from the crowd, it’s also just plain fun to experiment with colors that are out of the norm and not often seen on many women. To really make your hairstyle a statement, you must try one of these rare hair colors below.
copper red efado
We’re pretty sure this is the exact color that actress Nicole Kidman has. Your curly hair or straight locks with pins will look super delightful with this deep shade. It looks best on women with pale to porcelain skin tones. Try it in that high messy bun.
Ginger red natural hair
If you’re a ’90s baby, you’ve probably seen Red Ginger on Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls. Her straight to wavy hair wears it well, but the color is also amazing on natural hair.
Straight Blonde Balayage
A long straight hairstyle with blonde highlights is just the color to brighten up your locks. Women with olive and warm skin tones should definitely try this rare hair color.
Golden blonde braid
Feel like a mermaid instantly with golden blonde hair color. A low fishtail braid is a chic, feminine and charming hairstyle with straight curtain bangs.
Thick gray curls
If you’re an older woman trying to embrace her natural grays, you can’t go wrong letting them show off on a thick curly hairstyle. The combination of salt and pepper colors is amazing on older women.
Gray and white pixie
The front of this straight pixie may be a beautiful blonde, but the back is a rarer gray or grayish white. You know what they say, business in the front, party in the back!
Dark brown surface buns
You don’t have to be a little girl to rock space buns. Dark brown is a classy color to make this traditional girlish 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.
Black low bun
Black is a rare hair color only because many women are a little wary 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 is this short black pixie giving you Natalie Portman vibes circa 2018? The bangs are longer than the rest of the haircut so you still get softness in an edgy cut.
Is strawberry blonde a rare hair color?
Yes, strawberry blonde is a rare hair color. In fact, it is estimated that less than 5% of the world’s population has a natural strawberry blonde hair color.
People who have strawberry blonde hair probably have a mutation in a gene called MC1R. The mutation interrupts the way melanin is produced. Since red-haired people already have less omelanin and more paumelanin in their hair, the MC1R gene ends up creating strawberry blonde.
What is the rarest hair and eye color combination?
The latest research, done by Mark Elgar, PhD from the University of Michigan, says that red hair with blue eyes is the rarest combination. Only 0.17% of the world’s population has this pair.
To have red hair, at least one parent must have red hair. However, only one parent having red hair makes you less likely to get it yourself. To have blue eyes, both of your parents have to have blue eyes.
It’s fun to see where around the globe certain hair colors are the most common and certain hair colors that rarely appear at all, like red hair. What hair color do you have and what does it reveal?