Human Body

Skin, Hair, and Nails

How is hair color determined?

Genes determine hair color by directing the type and amount of pigment that epidermal melanocytes produce. If these cells produce an abundance of melanin, the hair is dark. If an intermediate quantity of pigment is produced, the hair is blond. If no pigment is produced, the hair appears white. A mixture of pigmented and unpigmented hair is usually gray. Another pigment, trichosiderin, is found only in red hair.


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