blonde hair

Only 2% of the world’s population have blonde hair

Blonde hair is extremely rare globally. 84% of the world’s population have black or dark-brown hair, including most of Africa and Asia. Blonde hair is most common in northern European regions. https://www.holleewoodhair.com/hair-color-statistics/

Why do people have blonde hair?

People evolved to have blonde hair because, as they migrated north, the lighter the skin and hair, the more sunlight they could absorb. UVB light turns the 7-dehydrocholesterol in our skin into Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones. In the North of Europe there is less sunlight so lighter skinned/haired people had an evolutionary advantage. Less pigment meant more sunlight absorption which meant more Vitamin D.

But blonde isn’t the rarest

The rarest hair colour is red. 1 to 2 percent of the world have red (ginger) hair. Most of them live in the British Isles, but the origins of redheads may go back a hundred thousand years and the M1CR gene mutation as people migrated north for better grazing land in the Steppes of Central Asia and adapted to the climate. https://historycollection.co/unexpectedly-violent-history-red-hair/

2% have green eyes

Green eyes are very rare; only two percent of the world have green eyes. However the rarest hair and eye colour combination in the world is red hair with blue eyes, because they are both recessive genes. Mathematically there would be 0.17% of people (13 million) with this combination but it could be a lot fewer because of various genetic factors.

Most men prefer brunettes

A poll by social networking website Badoo, surveyed 2,000 men, and more than 60 percent them reported to prefer dark-haired women.

About one third of men surveyed preferred brunettes and 29 percent preferred black hair. In total, 59.7 percent said they prefer women with dark hair. When it came to women of other hair colors 29.5 percent of men preferred blondes and 8.8 percent preferred redheads, (compared to just 1% of women liking redheads).

https://www.yourtango.com/2015271623/this-is-the-sexiest-hair-eye-color-combo-says-study

Can black people have naturally blonde hair?

Yes! In Melanesia many black people have naturally blonde hair and in the Solomon Islands near Papa New Guinea 26% of the population carry the gene; however, it is absent outside of Oceania. This is due to a rare gene mutation that surprised scientists because the mutation is completely different from the one that caused blonde hair in Europeans.

“[T]he human characteristic of blond hair arose independently in equatorial Oceania. That’s quite unexpected and fascinating.”

Study researcher Eimear Kenny, a postodoctoral scholar at the Stanford University School of Medicine

https://www.livescience.com/20078-gene-mutation-blond-hair.html

Blondes have more hairs

Blonde people have more hair follicles than people with other hair colours. On average blondes have around 150,000 hair follicles on their scalp, compared to 105,000 for black and brown hair and 90,000 for redheads.

https://www.baumanmedical.com/qa/many-hairs-human-head/

However blonde hairs are also the thinnest. A general rule is that the lighter the hair, the thinner it is.

Blondes get paid more

Researchers at the University of Queensland found that not only are blonde women paid more than their peers with other hair colors, but they’re also more likely to marry a wealthier man. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-04-09/blondes-have-more-funds/2577976

Blondes are more likely to be in positions of power

48 percent of female chief executives at S&P 500 companies and 35 percent of female senators are blonde.

Research carried out by business school at Academy of Management annual meeting in Anaheim, California

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/blonde-leaders-sexism_n_57bdd4f5e4b00c67eca12176?ri18n=true

Are blondes going extinct?

No. Stories of this genre have been reported in newspapers in 1961, 1906, 1890 and 1865.

The gene for blonde hair would only “disappear” if there were some inherent evolutionary disadvantage in being blonde, which isn’t so, despite the many jokes to the contrary. Although they may become less common.

Jonathan Rees, a dermatologist at the University of Edinburgh, BBC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearing_blonde_gene

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/genetic/redhead-extinction1.htm

Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-get-vitamin-d-from-sunlight/

https://www.rd.com/beauty/hair-eye-color-combination-rare/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_color

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