Why do some men grow ginger beards when they don’t have red hair?

Question from Karl Jones 

The reason why hair colour can vary in different parts of the body is because of the variety of ways genes can express themselves. Many genes are responsible for determining hair colour, but one, in particular, plays a crucial role in giving people red hair: the MC1R gene. We all have it, but when someone inherits a mutated version from each parent they will have red hair and fair skin. Inherit just one mutated MC1R gene, however, and red hair can appear in random places, like beards.


Answered by Jodie Tyler for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 120 

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