Generally speaking, the color of one's body hair usually takes after the color of the hair on one's head. A brunette man will most likely grow brown hair on his legs and arms, and so on. However, for some men, their facial hair doesn't always match their head hair. Take it from Dexter star Michael C. Hall, who rocks brunette locks but sports a reddish beard.
Michael isn't alone. Other men have also experienced this strange phenomenon in which red hairs exclusively grow from their chin, despite them not being redheads. But why does this happen? For all the lads who have randomly discovered auburn strands in their beards, keep on reading. We've got some answers for you!
Should you be concerned if there are red hairs in your beard?
Fear not, my friends! If you've been noticing reddish strands on your chin, you have nothing to worry about. It simply means that someone else in your family may have had red hair.
Hair color is determined by genetics. So when a person is born, they inherit genes from both their parents as well as their grandparents, and they can even inherit genes from earlier ancestors. While one's parents may not have red hair, other members of the family may have had red hair and passed down that gene.
Red hair is caused by a mutation in the MC1R gene.
According to 23andMe, a gene called MC1R determines whether someone will have red hair or not. Everyone has the MC1R gene in their genetic code; however, red-haired people have a mutated version of this gene compared to people without red hair.
However, in some cases, a person may just inherit one mutated MC1R gene. When this happens, that person may experience red hair growth in unexpected places, like the beard.
As Petra Haak-Bloem, a specialist at Erfocentrum, a Dutch national information center for genetics and hereditary traits told Motherboard: "The genes that determine hair color are so-called ‘incomplete dominant hereditary traits.' This means that there isn’t one single gene that’s dominant over the rest, but all genes influence each other."
Therefore, even if a gene that signals brown hair is dominant in one's family, a mutated MC1R gene may still be present in your family's genetic code. Plus, even if you and your sibling inherit the same genes, genes express themselves differently for everyone, which allows for a lot of different color combinations.
Our two cents? If you're rocking a beard with a few red strands, embrace it. There's nothing at all to be concerned about. In fact, it actually makes you pretty unique.
Less than two percent of the world's population has red hair, according to World Atlas. While you may not be a full-on redhead, you're definitely part of a very rare group.