Combing human genome reveals roots of hair diversity

Study into genes linked to hair types, beard thickness and monobrows paves way for new forensic techniques, as well as more commercial beauty uses

A haul of genes that underpin the diversity of human hair has emerged from a major study into our follicular foundations.

Scientists trawled through the genomes of more than 6,000 people to find versions of genes linked to straight hair, curly hair, grey hair, no hair, thick and thin beards, and glorious, arching monobrows.

The findings provide the deepest insight yet into the roots of human hair types, and pave the way for drugs that slow or prevent certain changes, such as greying, before hairs even appear on the scalp. One gene spotted by the study, known as IRF4, is the first to be linked to grey hair.

People spend a lot of money changing their hair colour, but all of it goes on bleach or dyes, said Kaustubh Adhikari, a geneticist on the study at University College London. What this shows is that there is a genetic component to hair greying, and that raises the possibility of drugs that act on the hair internally, so it is already the colour you want when it comes out.

The size of the hair-products market suggests the idea will find many fans, but not everyone is overjoyed at the prospect. I cant help feeling a little disappointed that the wonderful breakthroughs in genetics research are likely to be commercially exploited in the interests of hair colouring (or not), said Mary Beard, the Cambridge classics professor who has become a champion for the act of going grey.

The illustrations show the seven hair features examined in the study, and the lines connect these features with the genetic regions associated with each trait. Illustration: Kaustubh Adhikari, Emiliano Bellini and Andres Ruiz-Linares

By connecting particular genes to distinctive hair shapes, shades and patterns, the new information is expected to help forensics specialists work up facial profiles of crime suspects based on DNA they leave behind. Should murder ever strike Sesame Street,for example, a variant of the PAX3 gene found at the scene could be good news for tufty-haired Ernie, but not for monobrowed Bert.

The story of human migration and evolution is written in hair DNA. In sub-Saharan Africa, genes favour tight, curly hair. But in east Asia, mutations have led to straighter, thicker hair. In Europe, other mutations brought wavy and straw-coloured hair. The changes mirror the different climates and the pressures of sexual selection.

Adhikari and his colleagues examined the DNA of 6,357 people from Latin America. The region is a genetic melting pot, with populations from European, Native American and sub-Saharan African ancestors. To find genes for different hair types, there can be few better places to look.

Having made detailed notes about the volunteers hair, including the colour and shape, and for men, the nature of their beards, eyebrows and monobrows, the scientists hunted for genes that might underpin the differences. They describe 18 in total, 10 of which appear to be new, according to a report in Nature Communications.

The gene for greying hair, IRF4, has a role in making melanin, the pigment that governs the colour of eyes, hair and skin. But the gene alone does not make hair grey, the study found.

Another gene, named PRSS53, affects the curliness of hair, while others influence balding, beard and eyebrow thickness, and the formation of a monobrow.

Adhikari said that while no single gene determines hair colour, further work in the area could help scientists understand the more complex pathway that does have an effect. If we can elucidate that pathway, the proteins or enzymes involved could become targets for drugs that control hair colour, he said.

David Balding, a senior author on the study at UCL, said: Its exciting that we are finally beginning to figure out the nuts and bolts of genetics underlying normal human variation. If that feeds into the cosmetics industry thats just a reflection of the world we live in – it already absorbs a huge fraction of the worlds resources. It will also lead to innovations in forensics: the possibility to predict features of someone who left DNA at a crime scene. I think the new knowledge is exciting and will lead to good outcomes.

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This Happy Pomeranian Getting A Haircut Is Actually The Cutest Thing Ever

Whoever thought to give a Pomeranian a buzzcut is a f*cking genius. Fluffy and feathery, they were always cute before, but with trimmed looks, they’re a whole new kind of cuddly butterball.

The Facebook pagePeace & Love posted a video of one little pompom having the time of his life at the salon. As his stylist trims his puffy coat, he blisses out, smiling with his eyes half-closed.He’s so freakishly cute, you may start biting at your screen.

Who knows when or where this puppy magic occurred, but the video is posted below for your viewing pleasure.

The cutest customer ever…. LoL

Posted by Peace & Love on Monday, February 8, 2016

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This Hairy Looking Fluff-Ball Is Surprisingly Dangerous

It looks something like a toupee that blew off on a windy day, but the caterpillar stage of Megalopyge opercularis is a very real insect. Commonly known as the puss caterpillar, due to its resemblance to a fluffy house cat, these little creatures are anything but friendly.

The reason why it’s so important to know about them is because they look quite cute and it’s quite amusing to watch them wriggle their way up a tree or across the top of a fence. This attraction can pose a hazard to curious children, because those fluffy-looking hairs are actually spikes, loaded with venom.

Reactions to the venom typically aren’t fatal, but can be quite severe. They cover anything from a localized, itching, burning rash at the site of the stings, to a full-body mess of burning, tingling, chest pains, blisters, headache, nausea, and more! The best thing you can do if you see one is to avoid it and warn others who may be nearby. If you or someone with you has come into contact, the first thing you should do is try to find some cellophane tape, which can be used to remove the venomous barbs. Then, take an antihistamine and seek medical attention right away.

Be sure to SHARE this important information with your friends and family!


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Learn How To Do This Fancy Hairstyle Yourself With Just Two Simple Braids

Finding a balance between stylish and simple might be the most complicated feat of all. Everyone is expected to have an effortless beauty, but we all know that even those who exude that kind of beautyhave some kind of routine that they go through to make themselves feel good. Think of all the makeup tutorials you’ve seen that show you how to apply a “natural look,” or how to find a style that’s not tryingtoohard.

My philosophy is that you should follow whatever routine makes you happy! If you want to look effortless, follow that path. If you want to look glamorous, be my guest! If you want to only ever wear jeans and a white T-shirt, with your hair pulled back in a ponytail, I’m sure you’ll pull it off with style and grace.

However, if you want to look glamorous without the time and effort it takes to really get dolled up, learning a few quick hairstyle tips might be the very key you’re looking for.

This hairstyle in particular looks like it took a very long time to perfect. However, it really only took a few short minutes and a bit of knowledge on how to braid. Hint: if you can do a fishtail braid, and if you can do a Dutch braid, you can do this hairstyle. Just grab some clear hair ties and a bobby pin or two and you’re on your way!


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Hidden Rainbow Dye: The Beautifully Sneaky Hairstyle With A Dash Of Color

The week before my best friend’s wedding, I did something I had been dreaming about since I was 15: I dyed my hair a vibrant, bright shade of purple. My best friend didn’t mind, of course. My mom, on the other hand, would only admit the color was pretty… but not for hair. I recently ditched it for a darker shade of brown, but I’m still glad I finally made the plunge!

Experimenting with hair colors is one of the most fun things a person can do. The options are practically limitless, depending on how much you’re willing to alter your natural look. You can try somesubtle, ethereal mermaid-inspired tresses, or go all in for some awesome neon action! As my dad usedstay, quoting the Bible of course, a woman’s hair is her crown of glory: so make your crown look as fabulous as you want! That might not be what my dad meant, but I certainly believe it.

After spotting this new trend, I’m definitely think about giving my hairdresser a call. It’s sort of a mixture of the two examples above, both subtle and dazzling at the same time. The trick is hiding the rainbow colors in between two layers of your hair to add a sneaky dash of excitement to your locks. I’ve thought about doing this with just one color, but seeing the old ROYGBIV on display on these ladies, I’m totally inspired to mix it up a little more!

Take a look below and be sure to SHARE the gorgeousnew look with your friends!


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How To Pick A Lock With Just A Hairpin

Weve all seen the movies where a lock is poked around with a hairpin and the door miraculously opens. But how realistic is this?

This tutorial video byNightHawkInLight shows how you can simply open a conventional key lock with nothing more than two hairpins. The guide uses a transparent lockin this video to demonstrate the mechanism of the lock pins and how to work around them. The video makes the task lookdeceptively, if not worryingly, easy. But remember:without the see-through lock, you’ll essentially be doing it blindfolded, insteadrelying on just your ears and sense of touch.

Check out the video below. Just dont go using your newfound powerson other peoples locks, otherwise youll probably have a hard time explaining that you’re not trying to rob the place.

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Haircuts trimmed by gender-neutral pricing – BBC News

Image caption Klara Vanova believes hairdressers should give customers the exact style they ask for

Coco Chanel once said a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.

The most immediate change she’ll notice is a minor black hole in her finances.

The cost of a simple cut and blow dry for a woman is typically around 50 in London, though admittedly cheaper elsewhere. But it’s almost always significantly less expensive if you’re a man. Why?

The price of going to a hairdresser has traditionally been higher if you’re a woman wanting an elaborate hairstyle, but as men become more choosy about their coiffure, that distinction no longer always holds true.

One barber shop in north London is joining a growing trend of charging for the style, not the gender of the head being coiffured.

Klara Vanova, originally from the Czech Republic, runs Barberette, in Hackney, which she describes as a “hairdressing hub, not a salon” and is a gender neutral barber shop.

She set up her business in 2012 “because of my experience having short hair myself”.

“I have found it absolutely terrifying to go to the hairdressers and ask them for the haircut I want. They will persuade me that the haircut will look too masculine on me, or it will not suit me or it will be too short.

“We offer barber haircuts, which are sharp, clippered haircuts, as well as long hair or texturising haircuts and we don’t put the gender on them. We put our foot down saying, well, why would you be charged more?

“So we offer the haircut the client wants, or if a woman wants very short hair, she knows she can come to us and we give her exactly that, as short as she wants or as long as she wants or as long as he wants.”

Image caption The National Hairdressers’ Federation says specialist techniques can require different pricing

Klara also says it is “unbelievable” that hairdressing remains a “very genderised profession” in an age when identity is broken down not only into men and women but into lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

“We have a strong following from the LGBTQ community because they mostly find issues, or they find challenges at a hairdresser, again because it’s so genderised. They didn’t know where to go.

“Traditionally in hairdressing, women are charged much more than men, and if they challenge it then they say, oh, women’s hair is different. So I would like to say, there is no difference between men and women haircuts or hair. It is just simply that in the hairdressing industry you will pay more if you are a woman.”

The truth is it doesn’t all boil down to how long it takes to style the hair. It’s more to do with what economists call price discrimination: people who are willing to pay a higher price will end up being charged more. And women are often happier to spend more on their personal care than men, or were in the past.

But this particular curl of the hairdressing world might be getting straightened out.

Hairdressing, barbering and beauty industry

  • Contributes 7bn to UK economy
  • Provides flexible employment for 300,000 people (part-time and self-employed)
  • 40,000 businesses in the sector – a quarter in London and the South East
  • Two-thirds of hairdressing, barbering and beauty businesses have annual turnover of less than 99,000
  • A quarter have turnover between 100,000 and 250,000
  • Hairdressing and barbering are fifth most popular independent start-ups, with salons eighth most popular
  • According to 2014 survey, average charge for a cut and blow dry was 35.59 and a cut, colour and blow dry was 89.54

Source: National Hairdressers’ Federation

A qualification was introduced by City and Guilds last year called Hairdressing and Barbering (NVQ) (6008), which it says “does not qualify [students] to be a barber, but does prepare them for working in a salon that carries out services on male and female clients”.

And the Supercuts chain of hairdressers also has one price list, which applies to both genders. So, the company says, if you are a man with long hair, you’ll pay the same price for a cut and blow dry as if you are female. Equally, a woman who wants a buzz cut pays the same as a male customer.

Jackie Lang, managing director of Regis UK which owns Supercuts, says this approach is growing in popularity among many hair and beauty salons.

“We are seeing the emergence of gender-neutral hair and beauty trends within the social landscape, so providing one generic pricing system helps us to promote fairness and equality throughout our salons,” she said.

Image caption A new qualification is teaching students to work in salons which serve men and women

The Toni&Guy hairdresser chain charges more for women to receive a cut and blow dry than men, although prices do vary between different salons.

Its general manager, Brenda Mail, said the cost of its haircuts is determined by “the length of time you are in the salon and being looked after by a technician or stylist”.

She added: “Traditionally, women would experience a longer appointment, due to the length of time it took to blow dry their hair and the techniques for cutting and colouring used.

“However, these days the difference in price for men and women is getting less all the time, as men are taking more and more time in the salon chair.”

Image caption Some salons say the length of time spent on a woman’s hair means they must pay more

A spokeswoman for the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF), the UK trade body for the hairdressing, barbering and beauty business, said some services historically associated with female clients, such as perms and colour, are now becoming more common in men’s hairdressing.

“The costs should not vary just because of their gender, so men using these more complex services can expect to pay the higher prices women typically pay to cover their stylist’s time, skills and the products used,” she said.

But the NHF says that one of the most common services for female clients is a cut, colour and blow dry, which can take two to three hours.

It says factors such as the varying costs of colouring hair, a detailed consultation process and an application involving “specialist techniques which can take years to master” means many salons separate the costs of service on their menus, whether for men, women or colour services.

“However, gender-neutral price lists do help to dispel the myth that men and women are charged different prices, and make it clear that the price reflects the amount of time taken, the skills needed and the products used, not the client’s gender,” the spokeswoman added.

As people become increasingly connected and more mobile, the BBC is exploring how identities are changing.

Catch up with programmes, downloads and clips from the season.

Where are you going? – The surprising answers to a simple question

Default World – The morals of the technical elite

Why I’m Not Just Blind – Must blind people be either inspirational or deserving pity?

Learn more about the BBC’s Identity season, find all the programmes or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCIdentity.

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Store Employee Says Zara Discriminated Against Her Natural Hair

Zara is under fire for alleged bias again. This time, an employee at a Zara store in Toronto says management discriminated against her because of her natural hair. 

Cree Ballah, who described herself as biracial, told Canada’s CBC News she was approached by two managers when she arrived at work on March 23. They asked to take her hair out of the box braids she had pulled back into an updo, she said. 

Ballah told Toronto’s City News that the two managers said they were “not trying to offend” her, but told her they were “going for a clean professional look.”

Ballah said they then tried to take matters into their own hands by attempting to “fix” the hairstyle in the middle of a crowded mall. “It was very humiliating… it was unprofessional,” she told CBC. “My hair type is also linked to my race, so to me, I felt like it was direct discrimination against my ethnicity in the sense of what comes along with it.”

Ballah did not respond to a request for comment before publication. City News reports she filed a complaint with Zara’s human resources department. A meeting two weeks later did little to resolve the issue to her satisfaction.

A Zara spokesman told The Huffington Post in part in a statement that the fashion retailer “has no formal policy regarding employees’ hairstyles; we expect all employees to ensure that they present a professional appearance that enables them to serve our valued customers.

“We have engaged directly with the employee on this matter and respect the privacy of those discussions. Zara would never, under any circumstances, ask an employee to remove his or her braids. We are proud of our diverse workforce, and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”

Unfortunately, Ballah is hardly the first person to be penalized for their natural hair. Earlier this month, Akua Agyemfra, a server at Jack Astor’s restaurant in Toronto, was sent home for wearing her hair in a bun. In 2012, Louisiana meteorologist Rhonda Lee claimed she was fired from her job for defending her natural hair on-air after it was criticized online. 

Zara has a less than perfect history when it comes to relationships with both its customers and employees. Back in 2015, the brand was accused of showing racial bias toward customers and employees, and it has, on more than one occasion, been criticized for carrying offensive products

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Rainbow Cat Undercut Is The Hottest New Hairstyle On Instagram

Like cats? Like funky hairstyles? Ever thought about combining the two? No, I don’t mean giving your cat a mohawk. I mean shaving your cat into the back of your head!

Russian Instagram user Katichka has certainly thought about it. In fact, she’s done more than think about it. She’s actually done it. Take a look at the pictures below to see the result for yourself.

“I always take my sleepy cat with me,” reads the message she posted alongside the picture. The style follows a new trend called hair tattoos, where an image or pattern is shaved into an undercut beneath the hair at the back of the head. The picture remains hidden and is only revealed when you brush your hair aside.

The skills behind the scissors is St. Petersburg-based hairdresser

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These Babies Were Hilariously Hairy When They Were Born

When you think of babies, you probably picture a little guy or gal with a nice bald head, maybe some peach fuzz. But did you know that some babies are born with full heads of hair? You need to see these ridiculously hairy babies. They’re so adorable…but their ‘dos might also make you jealous.

No product needed.

This baby has Brooklyn hipsters beat.

He may only be two months old, but his blowout is on point.

This lil’ guy is WORKIN’ it!

“Big hair, don’t care.”

I think he’s surprised his little bro has better hair than him.

She’s pretty proud of her ‘do.

She knows the camera loves her…

Okay, someone get this baby an agent…stat!

“I woke up like this.”

Hair game: strong.

“When it comes to my hair, it’s serious business.”

Lincoln loves feeling the wind in his hair.

She slays.

“No photos, please.”

His hair is super freaky.

I wish my bed head looked this good.

He’s a natural.

Look at that pompadour.

That’s one full head of hair.

She knows you’re jealous of her hair…and it’s okay.

(via Bored Panda)

I’m sure there are a lot of bald men that are jealous of these amazing heads of hair. Actually, I’m sure there are men and women with thick, beautiful locks that are envious of these cuties, too!

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