Hair Down There: Why the Carpets Don't Always Match the Drapes

If you've ever wondered why the carpets don't quite match the drapes—we're talking body hair, people—here's why.

Carpet_Rug matching header

Your hair—it’s blonde, but your eyebrows are red. Your facial hair is brown, and down there? Well, it’s all three colors.

That, on face value, makes no sense. Shouldn’t it be one color fits all? Well, actually, no. And here’s why.

Pigment: Hair grows blonde, red, brown or black because of two things—the amount of melanin, or pigment, in each strand and the type of melanin you’re working with. Eumelanin is responsible for black/brown hair, and the lighter pigment phaeomelanin is responsible for red hair. Blondes, well, they don’t have much of either.

Your DNA: While the amount and type of melanin you have determines why your hair is more Opie than Fabio, you have that amount and type because of your genes. But unlike the Highlander, there can be more than one—type of gene affecting your coloring, that is. Actually, it’s more like a gang of genes that all influence each other. This is one reason why hair color can be expressed differently in different parts of your body, and even from follicle to follicle.

Mutation: While you may not be getting a call from Professor X anytime soon, a lot of genetic traits are actually the result of mutations. Those with red hair can blame a mutation of the MC1R gene, which is a key factor to your gingerness. Two mutated genes equals Yukon Cornelius; but one mutated MC1R gene means that you could see red hair sneak its way into unexpected places, even if you aren’t actually a redhead.

And whatever you do, don’t ever try to dye your own carpets to match the drapes—let this serve as a gentle reminder.