This ones for you fiery beauties!
This week, I was stunned, through research, to find that redheads are not just beautifully unique but also more genetically unique than us brunettes and blonds. How so? Well, to start, red hair actually retains its natural pigment a lot longer than other shades. In other words, redheads don't go grey as fast as other hair colors. Instead, red hair simply fades with age through a glorious spectrum of faded copper to rosy-blonde colors, then to silvery-white.
And if thats not enough to brag about, redheads generate their own Vitamin D. This makes me especially jealous since I have been Vitamin D deficient my whole life. My body has a hard time absorbing Vitamin D from the sun, it's in my genetics. Similarly, redheads can't absorb sufficient Vitamin D either because of low concentrations of eumelanin in their body. Even though this may sound like bad news, lower melanin-concentration means that gingers can cleverly produce their own Vitamin D within their body. In this case, very few redheads are vitamin D deficient throughout their lives, even if they are not frequently exposed to sunlight, or do not take Vitamin D supplements.
However, there is a downside, since redheads tend to have paler skin, they tend to burn more easily when exposed to UV rays, causing more sun damage and aging. It has also been studied that the gene responsible for red hair also leaves a person up to 100 times more susceptible to skin cancer.
Today, U.S. researchers have found that a particular gene mutation that colors hair red leaves DNA in skin cells more prone to sun damage and aging. Laboratory and mouse experiments showed that the MC1R-RHC, the red hair gene, variant both lowered a cell's guard against harmful UV rays, and stimulated cancer-causing biological signals. Previous research had shown that the MC1R gene plays a key role in protecting melanocytes from UV-induced DNA damage. Under normal circumstances MC1R binds to and protects another genes well known for its ability to suppress tumors, PTEN. This is the gene mostly found in people with darker skin and hair color. However, research demonstrates that the red hair version of MC1R no longer acts as a PTEN guardian.
Study leader Dr Wenyi Wei, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, said: 'Together, our findings provide a possible molecular mechanism as to why red-haired individuals harboring MC1R mutations are much more susceptible to UV-induced skin damage than individuals with darker skin, resulting in a 10 to 100-fold higher frequency of melanoma.'
So how can you, or other redheads in your life, treat the root cause of aging and reduce the chances of skin cancer? Well, its simply about making lifestyle changes. Begin by taking a closer look at your sun habits. For example, how much time you are spending in the car, where your hands are fully exposed; or how much time you spend at the park with your arms or legs exposed to sunlight with no protection. I will completely agree that having to apply and reapply sunscreen every 20 min can be a big hassle. Investing in UV protective clothing is the best option, and a great lifestyle choice, especially for you redheads. By wearing protective clothing throughout your day, you can help reverse signs of aging and even prevent skin cancer.
Sundriven®, based in Los Angeles California, produces eco-friendly, sustainable, fashion-forward, age-defying UV wear for women, designed to beautify skin and promote skin cancer awareness. Our fabric is SPF/UPF 50+ rated, blocking 99% of UVA/UVB rays. Dermatologist-tested and recommend by the Skin Cancer Foundation™.
We want more of that beauty and fierceness in this world so please stay safe and stylish, redheads!
Authors: Nazanin Yashar
Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2400046/Red-heads-100-times-susceptible-worst-form-skin-cancer-warn-scientists.html http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/emmakelly/redhead-facts_b_4781153.html