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early adulthood
hair texture
hair follicles
melanocytes
hair follicle
red hair
Facts About Hair
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Hair is interesting to think about in terms of how it genetically varies from person to person. It is fascinating that kids in a family can have different hair characteristics, such as color, thickness, and straightness, and all of them having the same parents. Why do some people lose their hair and go bald, while others pass away with a full set of hair? The characteristics of one’s hair are due to the genes that are given to them by their parents. However, having a certain type of hair doesn’t guarantee that the offspring will have the same type of hair.

Hair can vary in color between blonde, brown black, and red. Hair color is controlled by more than 1 gene. The color of the hair is determined by the amount of melanin that is being produced. This is controlled by genetic signals that cause the melanosomes in the melanocytes, which is the cell in hair follicles, to produce the melanin. There are two types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin. The more eumelanin that is produced controls the shade of black and brown, and pheomelanin controls the shade of red and yellow. Melanin is only being produced in the hair growth stage called the anagen stage.

Hair texture and thickness is determined by the combination of genes that one receives from each parent. This will determine the shape and size of the hair follicle. The bigger the follicle the thicker the hair will be. To determine texture the follicle will either be round or oval. The more oval the follicle is the curlier the hair will be.

So what determines baldness? Baldness was believed to have been genetically passed down by the mother’s side of the family. It turns out that baldness can inherited in a variety of combinations from both parents. So if a mother has a full set of hair and a father started to lose his hair at a young age, then you the offspring can have either a full set of hair or start going bald in the early adulthood or anywhere in between. However, just because your parents started losing their hair doesn’t mean you will also experience baldness. Hair loss is not always genetic. Permanent hair loss can also be attributed to sex hormones. Hormone imbalances, pregnancy or menopause, can also cause hair loss. Some medical conditions can also result in hair loss. Some of these include, thyroid problems, alopecia areata, scalp infections, and skin disorders such as lichen planus. Stress can also cause thinning to occur, so find ways to stay healthy and have all your hair for as long as genetically possible.


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