2 Hair Color
Hair color is the pigmentation of hair follicles due to two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Generally, if more eumelanin is present, the color of the hair is darker; if less eumelanin is present, the hair is lighter. The darker a person’s natural hair color is, the more individual hair follicles they have on their scalp. Levels of melanin can vary over time causing a person’s hair color to change, and it is possible to have hair follicles of more than one color on the same person. Particular hair colors are associated with ethnic groups. Gray or white hair is associated with age.
2 Hair Color
Two types of pigment give hair its color: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Pheomelanin colors hair orange and red. All humans have some pheomelanin in their hair. Eumelanin, which has two subtypes of black or brown, determines the darkness of the hair color. A low concentration of brown eumelanin results in blond hair, whereas a higher concentration of brown eumelanin results in brown hair. High amounts of black eumelanin result in black hair, while low concentrations result in gray hair.
2 Hair Color
Blond hair can have almost any proportion of pheomelanin and eumelanin, but has only small amounts of both. More pheomelanin creates a more golden or strawberry blond color, and more eumelanin creates an ash or sandy blond color. Many children born with blond hair develop darker hair as they age, with the majority of natural blonds developing a hair color of a dark blond hue by the time they reach middle age. Pregnancy hormones hasten this process. Natural light blond hair is rare in adulthood, with claims of the world’s population ranging from 2% naturally blond to 16 percent. Blond hair is most commonly found in Northern and Western Europeans and their descendants but can be found spread around most of Europe. Studies in 2012 showed that naturally blond hair of Melanesians is caused by a recessive mutation in tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1). In the Solomon Islands, 26% of the population carry the gene; however, it is absent outside of Oceania.
2 Hair Color
Permanent hair color gives the most flexibility because it can make hair lighter or darker as well as changing tone and color, but there are negatives. Constant (monthly or six-weekly) maintenance is essential to match new hair growing in to the rest of the hair, and remedy fading. A one-color permanent dye creates a flat, uniform color across the whole head, which can look unnatural and harsh, especially in a fair shade. To combat this, the modern trend is to use multiple colors—usually one color as a base with added highlights or lowlights in other shades.
2 Hair Color
Semi-permanent color washes out over a period of time—typically four to six weeks, so root regrowth is less noticeable. The final color of each strand is affected by its original color and porosity, so there will be subtle variations in color across the head—more natural and less harsh than a permanent dye. However, this means that gray and white hair will not dye to the same color as the rest of the head (in fact, some white hair will not absorb the color at all). A few gray and white hairs will blend in sufficiently not to be noticeable, but as they become more widespread, there will come a point where a semi-permanent alone will not be enough. The move to 100% permanent color can be delayed by using a semi-permanent as a base color, with permanent highlights.
2 Hair Color
Thinking about making a change? Browse hair color ideas in top shades like deep brown, vibrant blonde, red, and ombré. Check out celebrity inspiration for the best hair colors to update your look, from gorgeous highlights to wild hair colors. Find expert-approved at-home color kits and tips for dyeing your own hair. Plus: Browse hundreds of star hair makeovers featuring fresh new styles. share
2 Hair Color
Thinking about making a change? Browse hair color ideas in top shades like deep brown, vibrant blonde, red, and ombré. Check out celebrity inspiration for the best hair colors to update your look, from gorgeous highlights to wild hair colors. Find expert-approved at-home color kits and tips for dyeing your own hair. Plus: Browse hundreds of star hair makeovers featuring fresh new styles.
2 Hair Color
Permanent hair color means that the hair’s structure has been chemically altered until it is eventually cut away. This does not mean that the synthetic color will remain permanently. During the process, the natural color is removed, one or more shades, and synthetic color has been put in its place. All pigments wash out of the cuticle. Natural color stays in much longer and artificial will fade the fastest (depending on the color molecules and the form of the dye pigments).
One phenotype (brown/blonde) has a dominant brown allele and a recessive blond allele. A person with a brown allele will have brown hair; a person with no brown alleles will be blond. This explains why two brown-haired parents can produce a blond-haired child. However, this can only be possible if both parent are heterozygous in hair color- meaning that both of them have one dominant brown hair allele and one recessive allele for blond hair, but as dominant traits mask recessive ones the parents both have brown hair. The possibility of which trait may appear in an offspring can be determined with a Punnett square.
Chestnut hair is a hair color which is a reddish shade of brown hair. In contrast to auburn hair, the reddish shade of chestnut is darker. Chestnut hair is common among the native peoples of Northern, Central, Western, and Eastern Europe.
Red hair ranges from light strawberry blond shades to titian, copper and less commonly “true” red. It is caused by a variation in the Mc1r gene and is recessive. Red hair has the highest amounts of pheomelanin, around 67%, and usually low levels of eumelanin. At 1–2% of the population, it is the least common hair color in the world. It is most prominently found in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads; 13 percent of the population has red hair and approximately 40 percent carries the recessive redhead gene.
Black hair is the darkest hair color. It has large amounts of eumelanin and is less dense than other hair colors. It can range from brown-black, blue-black, red-black, or jet-black.
Gray or white hair—sometimes colloquially called “salt and pepper” when it is ‘peppered’ throughout dark hair—is not caused by a true gray or white pigment, but is due to a lack of pigmentation and melanin. The clear hairs appear as gray or white because of the way light is reflected from the hairs. Gray hair color typically occurs naturally as people age (see Aging or achromotrichia below). For some people this can happen at a very young age, even as young as 10.
The two-gene model does not account for all possible shades of brown, blond, or red (for example, platinum blond versus dark blond/light brown), nor does it explain why hair color sometimes darkens as a person ages. Several gene pairs control the light versus dark hair color in a cumulative effect. A person’s genotype for a multifactorial trait can interact with the environment to produce varying phenotypes (see quantitative trait locus).
Anecdotes report that stress, both chronic and acute, may induce achromotrichia earlier in individuals than it otherwise would have. Proponents point to survivors of disasters, such as Titanic survivor Harold Bride, or high-level politicians such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, Indian cricket captain Ms dhoni to support this view. There is some evidence for chronic stress causing premature achromotrichia, but no definite link has been established. It is known that the stress hormone cortisol accumulates in human hair over time, but whether this has any effect on hair color has not yet been resolved.
When I first learned about the (serious, life-threatening) toxins in hair color, especially brown shades—PPD and resourcinol to name two of the worst—the top colorists and scientists I talked to knew of very few healthy alternatives beyond …not coloring you hair. If I wanted to go blonde the outlook was sunnier (bleach, while not non-toxic, is nowhere near the trouble, of, say, PPD). Me + blonde is one of the more lurid combinations I can think of, unfortunately.
There are no special diets, nutritional supplements, vitamins, nor proteins that have been proven to slow, stop, or in any way affect the graying process, although many have been marketed over the years. However, French scientists treating leukemia patients with a new cancer drug noted an unexpected side effect: some of the patients’ hair color was restored to their pre-gray color.
Pheomelanin is more chemically stable than black eumelanin, but less chemically stable than brown eumelanin, so it breaks down more slowly when oxidized. This is why bleach gives darker hair a reddish tinge during the artificial coloring process. As the pheomelanin continues to break down, the hair will gradually become red, then orange, then yellow, and finally white.
Blond (or blonde for women) hair ranges from nearly white (platinum blond, tow-haired) to a dark golden blonde. Strawberry blond, a mixture of blond and red hair, is a much rarer type containing the most pheomelanin.