The Irish population is made of a significant amount of redheads (10%), but Scottish people actually contain more (13%). Just a fun fact.
Anyways, red hair is caused by a presence of a high level of pigment called pheomelanin. Eumelanin is the pigment that causes dark hair. Just the right combination of a high level of pheomelanin and a low level of eumelanin will cause a person to have red hair. This combination is actually determined by genes, specifically the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), a recessive gene that just happens to be prevalent among Irish and Scottish people.
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