Did you inherit the genes for your hair from your mother or father? (2023)

Did you inherit the genes for your hair from your mother or father? (1)

Your genetics are the blueprint for your body. You determine how your body looks and functions from the start (then your lifestyle can take over). If you remember your high school biology class, you may already know that you inherited 23 gene-carrying chromosomes from your mother and another 23 from your father. These chromosomes make up your genotype. How you express yourself, what you see in the mirror is your phenotype.

While it may seem easy to determine what you inherited from each of your parents (blue eyes, curly hair, slim body...), it's often a lot more complicated than it seems. Not only do the genes you inherit don't always have the same effect on your phenotype (blue eyes versus brown eyes), but who you inherit them from can change the end result (thick hair versus bald). This is called "imprinting" and can make a difference in how certain genes affect you.

So how can you tell which of your parents gave you which gene?And is it relevant?
Well, we'll talk about that in a moment, but first let's take a look at the different "hair genes" and what they really mean to you.

how genetics works

Geneticists estimate that its 46 chromosomes are made up of between 60,000 and 100,000 genes. With every possible combination of genes, you are one of 64 billion different children your parents could have given birth to. That's why their hairline, height, or eye color can be drastically different from their siblings.You were "drafted" as you are. You are unique.

Now let's dive in and take a look at its features.

Each of your genes is made of DNA and contains instructions for a specific trait. While some genes have enough instructions to completely control a trait (that's how Gregor Mendel discovered inheritance), most of them interact (work together) to determine the traits of your phenotype. Your parents contributed to each of your traits, but they may have passed on different versions of the same gene (alleles). If they give you the same alleles, the trait is homozygous, but if the alleles are different, the trait is said to be heterozygous. Usually a homozygous trait appears in their phenotype. Heterozygous traits can be much more complicated. Sometimes one allele is dominant and expressed over the recessive gene. Sometimes genes and their alleles are additive (the sum of the alleles is responsible for your phenotype, such as your hair color).

(Video) Mom vs. Dad: What Did You Inherit?

However, dominance does not mean that one allele completely abolishes the other; both are active. So your mother could have passed the gene for blue eyes to you, even though she has brown eyes (brown is dominant, she wears blue without expressing it).

Genetics of your hair structure

Hair structure is determined by several genes and alleles that differ in the world's populations. For example, straight hair in Asian countries is caused by two genes and their respective alleles, but these genes are different from Europeans with straight hair. Also, the alleles for curly hair are not the same in Africa and Europe. It is likely that many additional genes in different populations contribute to hair structure and thickness.

Your parents provided you with one allele per gene at the time you conceived (those alleles were then paired to form your hair texture genes). It is the interaction between these alleles, not a specific gene, that determines the character of your hair.

Hair type is an interesting case of something called incomplete dominance (one allele is not completely dominant over the other). It's also a continuous feature, meaning the hair can be straight, curly, or any other medium. This means that if you have one allele from each version of the gene, you will get some level of wavy hair (a mix of the two genes).

Let's look at a Caucasian couple with curly hair and another with straight hair. What hair structure could your offspring have? It should be pretty wavy from what we've seen before, but it's not that simple.

You already know that there are two versions of the Caucasian curly hair type gene (C) is smooth (S). If you have two curly alleles(CC), you will have curly hair. If you have a curly allele and a straight allele(Cs), your hair becomes wavy. Finally two even alleles (ss)This will give you straight hair. A person with wavy hair can contributeCthe oneSGen. When mated with a straight-haired individual (ss), then the children would be entitled to (ss) or wavy hair (cs).

Genetics of your hair color

Just like your hair structure, many genes work together to determine your hair color. You control the amount of pigment (melanin), its type (eumelanin for blonde to black or phenomelanin for red), its production, and its distribution (how dense the melanin granules = how deep the color is). The more eumelanin a person has and the denser it is, the darker the hair becomes.

(Video) How To Find Out If You Have Genetic Hair Loss? | Mother Side OR Father Side?

Hair colorType and amount of melanin
NegroLarge amount of eumelanin, very dense.
BraunModerate amount of eumelanin, somewhat dense
RubioVery little eumelanin, just under
RotMainly phaeomelanin with some eumelanin

Now how is this transmitted?

Eumelanin genes are neither recessive nor dominant, but "off" or "on" (note: they all work together). The more "on" genes you get, the darker your hair color will be.

For example, let's say "E" is an "on" gene and "e" is an "off" gene, and there are four genes that code for your hair color (eight alleles total). In our example, both parents have EEEEeeee (light brown/dark blonde). They gave you four eumelanin alleles each (your mother gave you EEEe, your father gave you EEEE), so you end up with EEEEEEe. As a result, her hair is dark brown, much darker than her parents'. On the other hand, your brother could have received Eeee from his mother and EEee from his father, ending in EEEeeee, which is a shade lighter than his parents and much lighter than yours.

Naturally blonde hair (eeeeeeee in the example above) is rare and found almost exclusively in Europe and Oceania, through recessive inheritance (both parents pass on the gene for blonde hair).

Did you inherit the genes for your hair from your mother or father? (2)

Pheomelanin (red dye) is another gene that only European offspring carry. It's now thought to dominate over blonde, and you'll likely pass it on to your kids (that's how two brunettes can give birth to a redhead). In other words, you can be a redhead without even knowing it. Eumelanin is more highly expressed in your hair than phenomelanin, and your hair may have a reddish hue masked by a stronger brown or black pigment.

Your genes also determine how your hair color changes over time, when you see gray hair and when it turns white. Researchers linked the gray hair trait to a specific variation in the blonde gene that is unique to Europeans, who are known to be more prone to premature graying than people of other ethnicities. Indeed, this variation may have been selected for tens of thousands of years in human evolution. While our ancestors in different climates were likely pressured to have hair of a certain density and shape (curly or straight), there may have been sexual selection for genes associated with blonde: to stand out from the crowd.

(Video) Is Your MOTHER to Blame? Hair Loss & Genetics

baldness and hair loss

Nearly two out of three men go bald by the age of 60. Like her, you've noticed that your receding hairline is getting deeper, your forehead is getting higher, the hair on the back of your head is thinning. . You are on the unfortunate path to baldness.

While not all hair loss is genetic, a certain type is passed from parent to child:androgenetic alopecia, better known as male/female pattern baldness.

Hair loss in women affects women differently and rarely leads to complete baldness. It is usually a general thinning of the hair on the top and sides of the scalp. General hair loss in men does not usually occur in women with androgenetic alopecia.

Hair loss in men can begin in the late teens and early 20s and typically extends from the temples to eventually causing partial or complete baldness on the top and sides of the scalp. Although the entire process from hair growth to complete baldness takes 15 to 25 years, some men generally go bald in five years or less.

There are many myths and misinformation about the genetic causes of male pattern baldness (MPB). One of the most consistent is that you inherit it from your mother. While there's some truth to that, it's not the whole story.

If you are a male, you inherited the X chromosome from your mother, who may have the variation of this gene that promotes hair loss. There is a 50% chance that he inherited it from his father. So if your maternal grandfather is bald, chances are you will be bald too. (Same goes for his maternal grandmother, but it's harder to casually judge since female baldness isn't as obvious.) 35 years old, most likely after his uncle's passage through MPB.

Did you inherit the genes for your hair from your mother or father? (3)

(Video) Are YOU Destined to Go BALD? Baldness Genes REVEALED

However, the MPB gene is actually passed on from both sides of the family. It can also skip generations and affect siblings (male or female) completely randomly. That means your big brother can have George Clooney hair while you have the Vin Diesel look, or vice versa. BUT, if most men are bald on both the maternal and paternal side, then surely you, your sons and brothers have inherited the gene.

Regardless, remember that everyone naturally sheds hair every day. Just because your comb looks a bit chunky at times doesn't necessarily mean you're going bald. If your hair is falling out by hand, you could also be suffering from an extreme stress reaction or some form of horrible illness. Instead of going to the hairdresser, go to your doctor's office for a full examination.

So who gave you the characteristics of your hair (color, texture, ...)?

As you may have noticed, the question is complex to answer. Many genes are involved in the characteristics of your hair, and these characteristics can evolve over time. However, you may find your answer.through a DNA test. You don't need a prescription to get it, just a home test ordered online. However, make sure you find a good company so your results are as accurate as possible.

While at-home DNA testing still has some limitations, at CRI Genetics we strive to help you fully understand your lineage and genome. So that you are prepared for everything that comes your way. We pride ourselves on testing your DNA multiple times against 527,414 genetic markers to give you the best possible results. And let's not stop with the risks to texture, color, or hair loss. We will also tell you about your ancestors, your lineage, your sensitivity to caffeine and many other characteristics.

Learn more

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_color
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22556244
  3. https://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/4704.aspx
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/01/health/gray-hair-gene
  5. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/haircolor
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057002/
  7. http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask39
  8. http://www.indiana.edu/~oso/lessons/Genetics/RealColors.html
  9. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Genetics-of-Hair-Color.aspx
  10. https://dna.frieger.com/calc-quick.php
  11. https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/genetics/genetics-and-your-baby
  12. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/06/genetics-blond-hair
  13. https://www.livestrong.com/article/76290-hair-color-determinado
  14. https://www.webmd.com/women/features/moms-genes-your-health#1
  15. http://education.seattlepi.com/side-family-inherit-hair-traits-from-4906.html
  16. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/hairtexture
  17. http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask45
  18. https://gizmodo.com/5990583/what-really-causes-gladness-hint-its-not-your-grandpa
  19. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/observable
  20. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050520172151.htm
  21. https://www.bosley.com/blog/do-você-inherit-hair-loss-from-your-father-or-your-mothers-side
  22. https://www.hairsciencescenter.com/baldness-gene-come-mother-father
  23. https://www.vox.com/2014/7/30/5948661/male-pattern-baldness-genetics-heritability
  24. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/mens-health/articles/2011/02/22/what-causes-hair-loss-9-myths-about-baldness
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308812
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26508577
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15902657
  28. https://www.medicaldaily.com/going-bald-isnt-your-mothers-fault-maternal-genetics-are-not-blame-333668
  29. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001173.htm
  30. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel
  31. https://history.nih.gov/exhibits/nirenberg/HS1_mendel.htm
  32. http://www.dnaftb.org/1/bio.html
  33. https://www.crigenetics.com
(Video) Inheritance Explained || How do we inherit features from our parents?


1. The genes you don't get from your parents (but can't live without) - Devin Shuman
2. The Science of Healthy Hair, Hair Loss and How to Regrow Hair | Huberman Lab Podcast
(Andrew Huberman)
3. 6 Traits That You Inherit From Your Mother & Father
(Stirred Up)
4. What do babies inherit from their mother?
(Ask About HEALTH)
5. 6 Brothers' Hair Loss Compared - Does The Hair Loss Gene ACTUALLY Come From Your Mom's Dad?
(More Plates More Dates)
6. Dad vs Mom:What did you inherit
(E.S.B.A TV)


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