You have probably already noticed it, and all the more so in recent years since the beard has returned to fashion for men. Some men have a beard displaying orange highlights although they are not red. It is not uncommon, in fact, to see dark-haired people with red beards. But what can explain such a contrast between the hair and the body hair of these men? We finally have the answer!
Some researchers have looked into the matter. They conducted studies to finally learn that it is a story of genetic. Indeed, it is the MC1R gene, located on chromosome 16, which determines both the color of the skin, but also of the hair and the beard. In “real” redheads, we find a double MC1R gene… and in others, it is possible to find a (single) MC1R gene. In this case, the man may be dark, but sport a red beard.
The scientific reason why dark-haired people have red beards
“MC1R produces a protein called melanocortin 1. This protein converts pheomelanin into eumelanin. When someone inherits two mutated versions of the MC1R gene (one from each parent), less pheomelanin is converted to eumelanin. Pheomelanin then accumulates in the cells of the pigmentation and the person concerned then finds himself with Red hairs and fair skin” said Petra Haak-Bloem of Erfocentrum (the Dutch national information center for genetic and hereditary traits) in an interview with Vice.
Genes would not be the only responsible for red beards. L’environment and lifestyle are other factors to consider. As its rays can influence the color of our hair, the sun has the power to accentuate the red reflections of a beard. Finally, cigarette smoke or pollution can also play a role in the coloring of facial hair.
How do I take care of my red beard?
The lighter the hair, the duller it can appear. To avoid this, consider to take care of your beard. Pamper her as much as you could take care of your hair. Twice a week, remember to clean it with a shampoo specially formulated for the beard. Don’t forget to detangle it and style it with a beard brush.
Finally, morning and evening, you can use a vegetable oil to moisturize the hairs, and make them both soft and shiny. Argan oil to fortify, coconut oil to deeply nourish, almond oil to soften, castor oil to boost growth or olive oil to shine… you can find a huge choice in organic shop notably.