Why So Many Men Have Ginger Beards

Publish Date
Friday, 4 September 2015, 2:38PM

For the last year or so, more guys than ever have been sprouting beards, and what we've noticed is that some of these beards are ginger, even if the stuff on their head isn't.

According to scientists, the explanation is really simple, and we inherit different genes for different parts of the body:

"Generally speaking, people inherit hair color not only from their parents, but also from their grandparents and earlier ancestors. So it’s entirely possible that one distant ancestor had a hair color that suddenly appears again though a certain combination of genes - and that can be quite unexpected for parents."

This means your hair, beard and...yes...hair down there...can all be different colours.

And to get even more science-y:

"More than a decade ago, researchers discovered that one gene (MC1R) on chromosome 16 plays an important part in giving people red hair. MC1R’s task is making a protein called melanocortin 1. That proteine plays an important part in converting pheolmelanine into eumelanine. When someone inherits two mutated versions of the MC1R-gene (one from each parent), less pheomelanine is converted into eumelanine. The feomelanine accumulates in the pigment cells and the person ends up with red hair and fair skin."

Yeah, so basically ginger beards are all the fault of a mutation in the MC1R gene.  Sweet.