Body Hair

If hair color is determined by genetics, can someone please explain to me how a person can have several different colors of body hair?

Let’s say a person named TracyT. is a natural redhead. The hair on her head is auburn. Her armpit hair is dull brown, pubes bozo orange, and leg/arm hair blondish.

How is this possible?

Well, hair structure tends to be different in different regions. I think it’s all an optical illusion. I’ve bright red hair on my head, brownish armpit hair, dark red leg hair and nearly invisible arm hair.

It’s genetics and an optical illusion brought on by the structure of the individual strands, plus the density of the hairs. My arm hair’s of very short, thin strands and not very dense - thus, they’re pretty hard to see and look blondish in the right light. Head hair is thicker and longer than body hair - easy to see, and it does go darker the farther one goes inwards to the head. If I cut my hair short, it’s quite close to black. I don’t think it’s pigment or genetics to a certain degree - just an illusion. Maybe a little sun-bleaching and shampoo exposure in there for variety, but other than that…

It could also be that you’re a victim of over-simplification. Many times I hear people explain genetics by saying that if one parent passes the gene for brown hair and one passes the gene for blond hair, you’ll get brown hair because the brown gene is dominant over the blond gene. This is simply an over-simplification for purposes of illustration. The fact of the matter is probably much closer to being that one gene controls color for top-of-head hair, one controls how fine/coarse that hair will be, one controls how thick/sparse, and all of these determine what color the hair looks like. Further, hair color is not often one solid color throughout; it’s a mixture of various shades of color and texture. That’s why cheap wigs are so easy to spot.

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Anyway, so on top of that batch of genes for top-of-head hair, you’ve got genes for facial hair, chest hair, shoulder hair, back hair, forearm hair, crotch hair, ass hair, thigh hair, calf hair, and foot hair.

Genes is complicated.
Grammar are simple. :slight_smile:

Hell, look at pussycats. One of ours is partly white and partly tabby (where each hair has light and dark bands alternating along its length. And there are callicoes (sp?), which are always female, and have multiple patches of white and black and colored fur. Or orange and white cats like Morris in the cat food commercials, which are usually male. All this is genetic.

Not exactly; remember the cloned cat, cc? His/her fur coloration is not quite the same as the original; apparently, in cats, coloration is determined at least in part by conditions in utero.