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MY HAIR IS NOT GINGER, SO WHY IS MY FACIAL HAIR?


by Fran O'Reilly December 03, 2015

You may have noticed that not every ginger bearded fellow has the ginger hair to match. In fact most red beards are owned by brown or even black haired men. It's become somewhat of a mystery as to why many men sprout red chin forests despite the hair on their heads being of an entirely different colour. Speaking as a ginger bearded bloke myself I can totally relate to such phenomenons, as the hair on my head is a shade of brown yet my beard grows as bright as the morning sun red. Not that I've ever found this to be a problem. In all honesty I'd not have it any other way even if i could! So today, I wanted to explain with a little help from the ''magic'' that is known as science why this happens to numerous men when growing out a beard, on the hope to shine a little light on the confusion surrounding such a puzzle...

Ginger Beard
So, how can it be that a male with the blackest of black hair can grow out a distinctively fiery red beard? It all comes down to genetics. The easiest way (And somewhat incorrect way) many try to make sense of this would be to assume that somewhere in your families genetics tree you have the ginger gene of which has been inherited to you. But it's not nearly as straight forward or simple as it first seems. Here comes the fancy science part...

Inside each and everyone of us we hold a gene known as MC1R. This gene is the ''ginger gene'' which can see you sprout up ginger hairs pretty much anywhere on your body. From your head, eyebrows, body and even pubic hair. But this gene appears most common in caucasian males and usually surfaces itself on facial hair growth. This meaning you might see the occasional red hair appear in your beard, where as others will flourish a full ginger fuzz despite what your hair colour may be. Genes code various different pigments of which are none dominant, so we can display more than one at a given time. These are named melanin which are in your hair. Your hair colour is dependant on two of these. Eumelanin which is the black pigment, and there's pheomelanin known as the red pigment. Adding the MC1R gene into the mixer and depending on what pigments your body surfaces in your genetic pool is the decider on whether or not you'll sprout a ginger hair or two when it comes to growing out your beard.

So, in short with a little less science confusion. We all have the genetic makeup inside of us to produce an awesome red beard. But it's what our bodies decide to do that chooses both our beard and hair colours.

My advice? If you're one of the lucky red bearded men on the planet, wear your ginger facial fluff proudly. Your genetics would be proud!

And until next time, Beard on Brothers, Beard on...




Fran O'Reilly
Fran O'Reilly

Author

I'm your daily blogger here at 'The Beard Struggle'. Have a beard related question? Get in touch!



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