Dark hair but ginger-bearded? Genetics experts answer the science behind the auburn hues

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 17 June 2019, 11:36 AM
Genetics experts explain why men with dark hair ginger beard (Photo: Twitter)
Genetics experts explain why men with dark hair ginger beard (Photo: Twitter)

Lumbersexual looks are in which means beards and then beards. Just like a makeup contour that can do wonders to a person’s visage, beards are the ingrown hair naturally gifted to men to look umm.. sexier? With the beard fuzz that have eclipsed a part of the daily man’s look, it is also time to talk about why men even dark hair has ginger beards.

With or without a single redhead in the family, men’s beard for most part, when standing in front of the mirror emanates hues of auburn, gingerish glinting in the light. Now why is that so, because in the books of genealogy, in order to have red hair, a person needs two copies of the same gene, one from their mum and one from their dad.

However, for a ginger beard, a person needs just one copy of that gene, which means that if either of their parents has it - even if they don't have red hair - then they will end up with a hint of auburn in their facial hair. This theory is best broken down to us by Petra Haak-Bloem, from Erfocentrum, the Dutch national information centre for genetics and hereditary traits, telling Motherboard in 2015, "Generally speaking, people inherit hair colour not only from their parents, but also from their grandparents and earlier ancestors.

"The genes that determine hair colour are so-called 'incomplete dominant hereditary traits'.

"This means that there isn't one single gene that's dominant over the rest, but all genes influence each other.

"So it's entirely possible that one distant ancestor had a hair colour that suddenly appears again though a certain combination of genes - and that can be quite unexpected for parents’’ he added.

Hair colour is determined by two different pigments – eumelanin, a melanin that gives you the black hair colour and heomelanin which gives you the red. Those with darker hair have the black pigment, while blondes have less black pigment and redheads only have red pigments.

And scientists have found that when a non-red head has a ginger beard, it's because they have a mutated version of the MC1R gene.

Ms Haak-Bloem explained, "MC1R's task is making a protein called melanocortin 1. That protein plays an important part in converting pheolmelanin (the red pigment) into eumelanin (black pigment).

"When someone inherits two mutated versions of the MC1R-gene (one from each parent), less pheomelanin is converted into eumelanine.

"The pheomelanine accumulates in the pigment cells and the person ends up with red hair and fair skin’’ he added.

And there goes the explanation for you having a ginger beard.  

First Published: Monday, June 17, 2019 11:34 AM
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