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Is it possible for a person to be black with blonde hair or chinese with red hair, for example?

(74 Posts)
MadreInglese Thu 11-Sep-08 13:10:10

Please help me answer this question for my DD.

(talking natural hair colour of course, not dyed! smile)

I have never seen a non-white person with naturally fair coloured hair (but of course that doesn't mean there aren't any) is it a possibility? If not, can anyone maybe enlighten me as to why it's not possible/rare, is it to do with dominant/recessive genes?

I hope my terminology hasn't offended, but I couldn't answer for her and as MN is such a wealth of different cultures I hope someone can help.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Thu 11-Sep-08 13:11:55

I know a few mixed-race kids who have blonde hair - it's curly and loose afro rather than European texture, but very fair. It looks beautiful.

WelliesAndPyjamas Thu 11-Sep-08 13:16:42

I've met black people with natural fair hair. I'd say it is rare, though.

MadreInglese Thu 11-Sep-08 13:19:47

So could that mean it's a genetic thing if it's rare, like blonde/red is recessive and brown/black is dominant <ponders>

Any sciency mners around who could advise?

MadreInglese Thu 11-Sep-08 13:49:09

bump for any other ideas

Songbird Thu 11-Sep-08 13:50:11

mmn, no idea, but interesting...

vonsudenfed Thu 11-Sep-08 13:54:00

Yes, I was at school with a mixed race girl who had the most wonderful corn-gold hair, but as FandT says above, it was still afro in its curliness. She used to wear it in cornrows, and it looked amazing.

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Thu 11-Sep-08 13:56:23

I went to school with a chinese boy who had dark hair but with a clump of blonde hair at the back. Not sure that's what you're asking though?

Olihan Thu 11-Sep-08 13:57:07

There was an Asian man who worked at our local Indian takeaway who was obviously indian but had ginger hair and freckles. But I have no idea how or why.

Did you see Ainsley Harriot's 'Who do you think you are?' last night. He discovered tht both of his great, great (I think) grandfathers were white so I guess that's probably true of quite a few black people whose ancestors were involved in some way with the slave trade. So the blond hair could be a throwback or rogue gene to a distant white relative.

SmugColditz Thu 11-Sep-08 14:01:18

Oh god, I was at school with a mixed race girl who had golden blonde hair and BRIGHT turquoise eyes. Her hair was tight tight blonde ringlets, and her skin was the colour of light mahogany..... I was seethingly jealous, me with my flushed and pale face, tarmac coloured eyes and muddy brown hair.

sfxmum Thu 11-Sep-08 14:09:31

I think there are albinos in every race but that is different, otherwise I don't really know

FranSanDisco Thu 11-Sep-08 14:19:48

There is a mixed race girl in ds's class whose mum is oriental (black hair) and dad is white (brown hair). This girl has auburn hair and freckles and is called Amber smile.

TinkerBellesMum Thu 11-Sep-08 14:27:28

Sadam Hussain's wife was naturally blonde. It is possible and why blondes are highly valued in Asian cultures.

People from the Carribean aren't black in the same way Africans are, they are mixed race from the time of slavery, so probably more likely to have recessive genes that would give them unusual colouring.

sweetgrapes Thu 11-Sep-08 15:03:20

Don't know if it's the same thing, but I once worked with a black guy who had the most brilliant blue eyes I have ever seen.

I am mixed race and I have a clump of auburn hair in otherwise black hair. My ds looks totally Indian but has a few of them.

Interesting. Look at this. Basically as you have 2 sets of all genes - one from mum and one from dad, you could be carrying around something that will only crop up when it meets a matching gene.

E.g The blue eyes thing - you could have black eyes - but if one parent has blue, then you could still be passing on the blue eyes gene and when generations down somebody has a baby with someone who is also passing on blue eyes but has black eyes - lo and behold - 2 black eyed parents have a blue eyed baby!! (What if the dh's bf has blue eyes!! I can see an AIBU thread on this one...)

RonAndHarry Thu 11-Sep-08 15:07:27

that sounds stunning colditz

MrsTittleMouse Thu 11-Sep-08 15:11:09

I can remember a news article from a few years ago about Japanese high school students who had to have a special note for school saying that they had chestnut-coloured hair naturally. I think it was trendy for teenagers to colour their hair, but frowned upon by the school. So obviously not all Asian people have black hair.

MadreInglese Thu 11-Sep-08 15:23:12

So say red is recessive and brown is dominant (I'm guessing)

So a brunette mum and dad both have 1 red & 1 brown gene each

If their baby has either 2 brown genes or 1 brown & 1 red gene it will be brunette, but if the baby inherits 2 red genes it will have red hair

Would that be right? How does that make it rarer with non-white genes?

Interesting what TBsmum says about Carribean & African heritage differences.

MrsThierryHenry Thu 11-Sep-08 15:26:02

People with albinim have fair hair; therefore a 'black' albino would have blonde hair.

They're not dark-skinned, but still black, IMHO. Has that complicated things?!

Kewcumber Thu 11-Sep-08 15:26:20

not that uncommon to see red haired kazakhs (who are racially close to mongolian)

MrsThierryHenry Thu 11-Sep-08 15:28:29

On that score, Kew, I've seen red-haired black people, though in their cases it was caused by a nutritional deficiency.

MrsThierryHenry Thu 11-Sep-08 15:28:54

Hum. Make that 'albinism'.

sweetgrapes Thu 11-Sep-08 16:29:32

"If their baby has either 2 brown genes or 1 brown & 1 red gene it will be brunette, but if the baby inherits 2 red genes it will have red hair"

Sounds about right for me.

There are 2 situations -
An afro black person and blonde white woman have a baby and the baby has black afro hair. If subsequently all the partners in the next few generations are white blondes then, once the afro black hair has gone, it will not come back. The only way it goes is when the gene is not passed on.

However, if all subsequnt partners are black and all babies have black afro hair, the blonde hair may well still be passed on as the recessive gene. Hence, the 'surprise' element.

And hence, it crops up more in non whte people as generally the darker hair/skin/eyes colouring is the more dominant one and the lighter colours are recessive and can remain hidden for generations.

lynniep Thu 11-Sep-08 16:41:56

When I lived in Oz I was on the train, and I saw the back of a bloke I thought was my husband, (same build, same hair - sort of straight and thick , sandy with white and ginger bits) so obviously I went up and went 'BOO'
Ahem, Not him blush
Was a chinese bloke who also had blue eyes, but completely different skin tone and absolute Chinese features (he could have been mixed race - he looked fully asian though)He did look mighty shocked at being attacked by some strange woman, as you would.

But yes, to chinese with red hair question!

I'm mixed race (Thai/White British)with straight dark brown hair and hazel eyes and hubby as I said is fair with light blue eyes and pink toned skin.

My beautiful little DS has just turned 18mo, and has golden wavy hair (a mixture of white blond, yellow and red) although he was born a redhead until that fell out. He has bright blue eyes although he's starting to get large brown flecks. He has lovely yellow toned skin and long dark brown eyelashes. Lucky kid. He's a stunner. But then I would say that, I'm his mum grin

frogs Thu 11-Sep-08 16:47:22

In the poorer parts of Africa you do see kids with ginger hair. It's a sign of protein deficiency, called 'kwashiorkor'. V. distinctive.

Albinism is a recessive condition which acts on melanin production. I think it occurs across all races, but obviuosly is more striking in the context of a dark-skinned population.

Wrt naturally blond hair, I think there would need to be some kind of a racial mix in the child's heritage, even if both parents were apparently non-mixed black.

It's an over-simplification to say that genes for dark hair/skin are dominant, though very broadly that is the case.

TinkerBellesMum Thu 11-Sep-08 19:07:26

true frogs, you never know what is in your family tree. My partner is 1/4 Russian so they took the Sickle Cell/Thalassemia testing seriously when I was pregnant. His family were Royalists and he said he couldn't see that his family would be mixed so I pointed out that you can't speak for your family going back more generations than you know.

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