Red hair is one of the most alluring and fascinating features of human biology – this is the reason for a million dyeing and polishing jobs. Red hair is a genetic trait that has always been shrouded in mystery and intrigue.
Although it’s often associated with a fiery personality or Celtic heritage, many people wonder if it’s possible for someone to have naturally red hair.
Can someone be born with red hair?
Yes, about 1-2% of the world’s population has naturally red hair.
But how does it happen, and what causes this unique hair color?
In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind red hair and explore what makes it such a fascinating feature.
Do you have naturally red hair?
Yes, some people can be born with naturally red hair.
Red hair is a genetic trait caused by one or multiple mutations of MC1R garden. When both parents carry this gene, there is a chance that their child will inherit red hair. It is estimated that only 1-2% of the world’s population has natural red hair, making it a relatively rare trait.
DNA determines the color of human hair based on two pigments: Omelanin and pheomelanin. Omelanin is the pigment that causes brown and black hair color, and pheomelanin is the pigment that causes yellow and red color.
In short, when someone has a high level of pheomelanin, their hair will take on a red hue. However, most people have little phaumelanin and much more omelanin. This makes their hair a dark color rather than red or blonde.
Some people carry a genetic mutation that turns everything upside down. Those with the mutation in question produce very little omelanin and a high amount of phaumelanin.
It brings vibrancy, Crimson red hair – but can also produce hair that is more rust colored depending on gene expression.
What makes hair naturally red?
While geneticists have determined why hair appears red, it is less clear why red hair happens.
For most of the history of hair science, The researchers believed that the only factor that separates Redheads From the rest of the world was the MC1R gene.
For decades, scientists believed that this gene was the sole factor that caused the body to produce very little or no omelanin and a high amount of pheomelanin.
In a way, this theory is intuitive. Red hair is a recessive trait, which means a child can only exhibit the trait if they get the right gene.
However, if a child receives a dominant gene from one parent, such as A garden for brown or black hairSo it overrides the recessive gene and produces the trait associated with the dominant gene.
since MC1R is a recessive gene And the pheomelanin genes are dominant, clearly MC1R was the only gene for red hair.
Recent research discovered that the genetics of red hair are more complex. while all redheads have two MC1R genes, not all people with two MC1R genes are redheads! Scientists have determined that eight other genes help determine red hair.
Many of these genes act indirectly. In other words, they do not produce red hair per se, but determine whether the MC1R gene is activated.
While scientists aren’t exactly sure about the contributing factors behind hair color, it’s clearly a matter of genetics and hormones.
Is red hair recessive to blonde?
Red hair is a recessive trait, while Blonde hair is dominant. If a person inherits one gene for red hair and one gene for blond hair, the gene for blond hair will be expressed. However, if both parents carry the recessive gene for red hair, their child may inherit red hair.
So even though it’s less common than blonde hair, naturally red hair is definitely possible!
Below, you will find frequently asked questions about red hair.
Yes, a black person – or a person of any ethnicity – can have natural red hair. This crimson color may be due to the MC1R gene or conditions such as albinism.
Recessive genetic traits are not inherently rare, but red hair happens to be quite rare. Only around one to two percent of the world’s population sports red colored follicles.
All human hair loses its pigmentation over time, but red hair is a special case. Instead of fading to a grayish color, which happens when the body slows down its eumelanin production, redheads simply produce red hair in duller and duller colors. Eventually, this hair turns white.
So, can anyone be born with red hair?
In short, yes. People can be born with red hair naturally.
Although most of the red haired people we see got that red through dyeing, many people are born with red hair. They acquire their crimson locks by inheriting the genes associated with red hair, which include the MC1R gene and a handful of others.