Just 1-2% of the world's population have natural red hair, which makes it a very unique trait that can become a fascinating selling feature that stands out in a crowd—or, in some cases, cause bullying for being different. If an uncommon hair color is seen as individuality rather than an oddity, we can live in a more understanding world because after all, the same DNA flows in all of us beyond borders, and here's a testimony to that.

Over the past seven years, 39-year-old Scottish photographer Kieran Dodds has been traveling the world and capturing different people with one connecting trait—ginger hair. But the project is not just about hair. As Kieran told Bored Panda, it's about "connecting us across political and cultural boundaries, using a rare golden thread."

"Look, stare and marvel, that’s the whole point. Find connections across the world. I want people to compare the portraits and delight in our variety even without an apparently homogenous group. We are made of the same stuff but we are uniquely tuned," he says.

More info: Instagram | kierandodds.com | Facebook | twitter.com | "Gingers" book

#1

Clockwise: Steven Mckay, Esther, Rebecca (Mother), Chloe, Lois And Abigail, Scotland

Clockwise: Steven Mckay, Esther, Rebecca (Mother), Chloe, Lois And Abigail, Scotland

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
4 months ago

what a gorgeous family! i absolutely love kids' names too

View more comments

Kieran Dodds told us how a 7-year-long journey of meeting gingers across the globe started.

"In 2014, Scotland voted on independence and I was considering the cliches of identity. I knew I was one of them, being pale and ginger, but very early on in the research process, I found that it is a global trait. Even Scotland, as the global capital, has 13% of people at most showing the hair color. There were two hot spots, it claimed, one in Scotland and Ireland that is confirmed by science—the Celtic Fringe. The other hot spot was in Russia that was confirmed by an anecdote."

#2

Alexander Soued, Scotland, Born In 2011

Alexander Soued, Scotland, Born In 2011

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
4 months ago

What a cutie!

View more comments
#3

Sveta Ni, Russia, Born In 1996

Sveta Ni, Russia, Born In 1996

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
4 months ago

Lovely 💗

View more comments

Kieran has made interesting discoveries during his photography project, although he mainly traveled across places that are considered hot spots of the ginger population like Scotland and the Russian city of Perm, and also Jamaica, with complex genetic inheritance.

"Our genes have traveled far across history even if we personally have not," he says. "Due to constraints on money (this was all self-funded), I focused my attention on the two hot spots, but also Jamaica. I made work over seven years in different places in the UK. In London, I met gingers from across the world, but in Scotland, I saw that you don’t need to travel far. One lad had an Indian great-grandfather and another had an Eastern European mother and Middle Eastern dad. He is Scottish, but his story expands our expectations of that narrow political term."

#4

Jordan DeLeon, Jamaica, Born In 2016

Jordan DeLeon, Jamaica, Born In 2016

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Popcorn Colonel
Community Member
4 months ago

Aww! those eyes! 😘

View more comments
#5

Nixie Connelly, Scotland

Nixie Connelly, Scotland

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Diane Patrick
Community Member
4 months ago

Sweet.

View more comments

"I traveled to the city of Perm (an apt name!) and met people who embodied the geographic location with European names and ancestry, but also Asia.

Sveta Ni, in particular, stood out as she said her father’s family line was originally from China. The oldest ginger gene mutation is traced to Central Asia with gingers in Western China, Afghanistan, and North Pakistan. I would love to go there and continue the project, but the transect I have made across 11 time zones is an attempt to capture this range. To the West outlier is Treasure Beach, on the southern coast of Jamaica. The locals shared a story of shipwrecked Scots swimming ashore and setting up home, but the local historian Dr. Bones said reality is, alas, less romantic than that. He described successive waves of invaders (Spanish conquistadors, French, English, and Scottish groups) who have left their legacy. Black River, a larger settlement nearby, had a slave market to supply labor for the sugar estates. They were joined in the 18th century by Scottish political rebels who were sent to Jamaica as indentured laborers. Over the centuries, the ebbs and flows of human life can be seen in the beautiful people here. The fishing villages here are a quiet and safe bolthole for discerning tourists. It wasn’t a hardship for me to visit."

#6

Photographer's Daughters Izzy & Ada Dodds, Scotland

Photographer's Daughters Izzy & Ada Dodds, Scotland

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
4 months ago

Awwwww 💗 They are so cute!

View more comments
#7

Jamie Hallam, Scotland, Born In 2004

Jamie Hallam, Scotland, Born In 2004

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
4 months ago

What a beautiful photo!

View More Replies...
View more comments

Kieran has put his international finds that transect eleven time zones, from the Americas through Europe, on to the Middle East and Asia, in a photography book called Gingers, which was sold out before it was released on November 20.

The photographer dedicated this book to his twin daughters, who have the last portrait in the book: "I want something for them to grow up and see they are part of something bigger, not merely an identity group but a group within the bigger family of humanity."

#8

Lucy Fleming, Scotland, Born In 2005

Lucy Fleming, Scotland, Born In 2005

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Loretta Ellis
Community Member
4 months ago

I have always loved my ginger hair ..even though I'm 61 it's still ginger with grey tips

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Marteka Nembhard, Jamaica, Born In 2005

Marteka Nembhard, Jamaica, Born In 2005

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Memphis House
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

She Got A 5 Head

View more comments

Despite the negative connotations around the word "ginger," the photographer feels like it's quite an accurate description and chose it for the title.

"Ginger is what others call red hair, a spectrum incorporating orange and yellow and brown, an iridescent gold. The Russians call it 'rege' or rusty, which is better. It’s not red, is it? Blood is red, fire engines are red, stop signs are red."

#10

Photographer Kieran Dodds, Scotland, Born In 1980

Photographer Kieran Dodds, Scotland, Born In 1980

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Mimi M
Community Member
4 months ago

That face. A latter-day Van Gogh. Sensitive, introspective and observant.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Maya Duncan-Smith, Dundee, Scotland

Maya Duncan-Smith, Dundee, Scotland

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
4 months ago

I love her hair!

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda

"The series is made to help us see the individual people in this series, that we are made of the same stuff and in the case of hair, it shows. Dividing people into smaller groups based on characteristics seems counterproductive if we continue to see them as an oddity rather than as a unique part of a global human family."

A preorder for the paperback book released on December 14th is coming very soon. So stay tuned here if you want to surprise your ginger friend or discover a variety of red-haired people around the world.

#12

Gilad Belkin, Israel, Born In 1988

Gilad Belkin, Israel, Born In 1988

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

DKS 001
Community Member
4 months ago

When Jesus dyed his hair red

View More Replies...
View more comments
#13

Pacey Young, Scotland

Pacey Young, Scotland

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow!

View more comments
#14

Randy Wong, Jamaica, Born In 1988

Randy Wong, Jamaica, Born In 1988

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Christel Nellemann
Community Member
4 months ago

Amazing. I love how many sorts of humans, we are.

View more comments
#15

Chris McCabe, Scotland

Chris McCabe, Scotland

Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures Report

Diana Bahamonde
Community Member
4 months ago

He looks awesome!

Blue
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

More like awkward

Load More Replies...
Jaana Kaurisalo
Community Member
4 months ago

He's very handsome.

Ms.M.
Community Member
4 months ago

Dude is HARDCORE!!!

Sarah Mages
Community Member
4 months ago

Sorry Chris, I'm too old to appreciate the hardware or the tats, but not your good looks!

BoredPanda is awesome
Community Member
4 months ago

Rocking the look

AnimalMetalHeadUK
Community Member
4 months ago

Me and him would definitely be friends.

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
4 months ago

Me and him would be friends if I was cool enough.

Load More Replies...
Abhainn
Community Member
4 months ago

he looks wise and kind <3

Tess
Community Member
4 months ago

What a beard

Monica Reisig-Franotovic
Community Member
4 months ago

In another century he might have fought for Scotland's independence alongside William Wallace.

nala simba
Community Member
4 months ago

Freak!

Pogy Nevis
Community Member
4 months ago

When scotland gets a rockstar

Terry Jensen
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

if he would lose the artifacts strewn about his face...tats are cool...he would be so much better looking....over kill.

Black Panther
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Ummm it's kinda cool it is just i don't think gothic or punk style is that great he is great in his own way

Pamela Blue
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

He'd look great if he wasn't poked full of holes!

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda