Hair color is determined by the amount and type of the melanin pigment in our hair. People with dark hair produce more of the dark eumelanin pigment, while people with red hair make more of the red/yellow pheomelanin pigment. For example, those who produce moderate amounts of eumelanin will have brown hair, while someone who had blond hair makes very little eumelanin.
Discover the genetic basis of red hair and the likelihood of passing on a “red hair” variant to your child with this DNA test.
Genetic variation in the MC1R gene is the best studied today accounting for about 73% of the heritability of red hair. This gene gives instructions to make the melanocortin 1 receptor, which functions in the pathway that makes melanin in melanocytes.
MC1R variants can affect the activation of another protein known as adenylate cyclase, resulting in a switch from eumelanin to pheomelanin production. This is why people with specific MC1R variants are more likely to have red hair. The three MC1R variants examined in this test account for about 60% of the heritability of red hair. However, some people who inherit these variants will not have red hair because other genetic factors (such as the ASIP gene) can also affect the production of melanin.
Fun Facts About Red Hair
- Less than 2% of the world’s population have red hair, making it the rarest hair color
- Red hair is associated with being mysterious, romantic, passionate, alluring, and fiery
- Red hair does not turn gray. It turns into a silvery white shade as the pigment is lost
- Red heads have less hair on their scalps compared to those with other hair colors
How It Works
Step 1: Sign up for a free DNA Access account.
Step 2: Upload your DNA markers to DNA Access.
Step 3: Log in to your account to access your results when they are ready.