Changing your hair color is a fun way to switch up your look and get a new identity, but your natural color can say volumes about your health. They say that blondes have more fun and there are even rumors that redheads are more anxious, but your hair color doesn’t necessarily say anything about your personality traits or characteristics. However, if you are still rocking your natural strands (or remember what they were) you might be able to glean some helpful health tips from your hue.
Of course, we come in all different hair and skin combinations these days, so blondes and redheads might not necessarily have fair skin, and brunettes might not always have thick strands. Take these tips with a grain of salt, but it’s neat to learn that your hair color can make a difference in your health!
Not another dumb blonde
No, having blonde hair does not mean you are less intelligent than others, despite those jokes made in poor taste. However, it can mean that your eyes, skin and hair are more susceptible to damage from UV rays.
Women are more susceptible to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye condition that can cause blindness, than men in the first place. If you are naturally fair-haired, you might have an even greater risk. Blonde women have less melanin – the stuff that makes hair, eyes and skin dark and provides some protection from UV rays. Because your eyes and skin are more likely to be light, you might have a greater risk of AMD, eye cancer and melanoma. Cover up your eyes, skin and scalp in particular, since blonde hair might not protect the skin up there as well as its darker counterparts.
Getting down with brown
If you’re a brunette, you might be more likely to suffer from hair loss. Of the 30 million American women who suffer from hair loss, about half are brunettes. Now, this might be because there are more brunette women in America, but it also might be because brown-haired women have fewer strands to begin with. Because brown hair tends to be thicker and coarser per strand, missing patches of brown hair are more noticeable than missing patches of blonde. Be proactive about your hair loss by using a shampoo and conditioner set specially formulated for thinning tresses.
Brown hair may also contribute to an unsavory habit – smoking. All women have the same risk of taking up smoking, but women with brown hair may have a harder time quitting. That’s because you have more melanin – the same stuff that makes blondes susceptible to sun damage. Melanin binds tightly to nicotine, so it stays in your system longer and your liver takes longer to metabolize it. That means you’re more likely to become dependent on cigs, making it harder to quit.
Ginger pride may be painful
If you were blessed with a glamorous head of red, you might be more susceptible to pain, Parkinson’s disease and sunburns. Studies have shown that redheads need 20 percent more anesthesia to be knocked out before a medical procedure.
The same DNA mutation that makes your strands fiery (it reduces the production of one pigment and increases another) is also involved in hormones that stimulate pain receptors in the brain and make you more resistant to local and general anesthesia. Since this mutation affects the pigment, melanin, it also means your skin might be more susceptible to UV damage – making it easier for you to get burned instead of tanned.
This mutation is also might influence another type of gene that can be associated with Parkinson’s disease. Studies have found that redheads have an almost 90 percent greater chance of developing the disease than others. Research has also shown that folic acid might delay the illness’s progression, so you might want to stock up!