I have strawberry blonde hair. Are the genetic characteristics of a redhead and a strawberry blonde the same?

Answer

The same gene is responsible for strawberry blonde hair and for red hair. The MC1R genetic mutations allow for the expression of pheomelanin, which causes the red color. Different alleles and other hair color genes will determine how dark this red color appears, so some people will appear to have strawberry blonde hair, some will have red-orange hair, and others may be auburn. There are over 30 variants on the MC1R gene known to result in red hair, and differing combinations of these alleles will result in different levels of expression.

Updated on March 23, 2018

Original Article:

Redheads: The Genetics of Hair Color
By Leah Lefler
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