genetics explains men with red beards and dark hair

Explanation for the difference in hair and beard colors is the different types of melanin produced in the human body




Messi's red beard could be caused by lower concentration of eumelanin (which leaves hair darker)

Messi’s red beard could be caused by lower concentration of eumelanin (which leaves hair darker)

Photo: Lance!

You may have already seen photos of the Argentine star Lionel Messi showing off her dark hair and her Redhead beard at Qatar Cup🇧🇷 But what would be the explanation for the different colors? Well, science explains: the secret is in the MC1R gene🇧🇷

The MC1R gene is a structure on chromosome 16 made up of protein and DNA molecules. The main function of this gene is to produce the protein melanocortin 1, which converts the type of melanin responsible for reddish tones (pheomelanin) into that responsible for black tones (eumelanin).

According to Petra Haak-Bloem, an expert at the Dutch genetics center Erfocentrum, Vice magazine, when a person inherits two mutated versions of the MC1R gene — one from each parent — less pheomelanin is converted into eumelanin. This allows the beard to become more reddish.



Lionel Messi has nine goals in World Cups (FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Lionel Messi has nine goals in World Cups (FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Photo: Lance!

It is important to remember that beard and hair are determined differently. Hair color is genetically determined by “incomplete dominant hereditary traits”, which means that there is not just one gene dominating the color here, but several.

When only one mutation of the MC1R gene is inherited, a red beard can appear in a man with dark hair, as is the case with Messi. The difference in color is because the same gene behaves differently in different parts of the body.

“This is almost certainly due to differential MC1R expression in beard follicles versus scalp hair, resulting in the production of a different mixture of dark brown eumelanin and reddish pheomelanin,” said Nina Jablonski, professor of anthropology at Penn State University. (USA).

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