Understanding our hair. (It’s basic!) – PART I

Our tolerance to sun exposure is determined by the color of our skin and hair. But what defines hair color? Melanin!

Melanin is a pigment that is present in different quantities in certain hair types- with low amounts in blonde hair, medium-high amounts in brown hair and the highest amount in black hair.

There are two different kinds of melanin:
Eumelanin:
brown or black pigments that contain sulfur, found in brown or black hair. They are the most common among human beings.

Pheomelanin: yellow or reddish pigments, with a higher amount of sulfur, which are found in blonde and red hair.
The amount of melanin is specific to each individual, which gives rise to a great variety of shades in hair coloring.
Those with fair skin and blond hair, or light pigments, must be more careful to protect against the ultraviolet sun rays, UVA and UVB. Sun damage to hair is as serious as damage to skin.

Red Hair, Melanin and Sun Red hair has the ability to synthesize more vitamin D, which increases the production of melanin and creates an increased protection against the Sun. Redheads have less hair but it is much
thicker.

Can we increase melanin and thus increase our hair protection against the Sun? Vitamin D is very important when it comes to protecting our skin from the Sun’s rays. Oily fish such as salmon contain a very high percentage of this vitamin and, therefore, they help us both to produce melanin and to protect the hair.