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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

Hair Color

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Disease relevance of Hair Color

  • The cross-sectional determinants of BMD included age, blond hair color, current body weight, thiazide diuretic use, historical physical activity, and quadriceps strength [1].
  • We determined the frequency of the val92met, asp294his, and asp84glu MC1R alleles in 190 Caucasian controls and 306 melanoma cases and studied their association with skin type and hair color [2].
  • Significant risk factors identified using chi2 analyses were: farming, family history of skin cancer, light eye color, blond or red hair color, skin types I or II, obvious freckles in childhood, history of severe sunburn, and the use of the herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid [3].

High impact information on Hair Color

  • Interactions between Gq and Kit receptor tyrosine kinase signaling can mediate coordinate or independent control of skin and hair color [4].
  • Red (RR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.1-3.7) and light brown (RR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.2-2.4) hair colors were associated with an increased risk of SCC, compared with dark brown hair [5].
  • There was a strong relationship between MC1R variants and hair color and skin type [6].
  • In yellow mice, the darkening of hair follicles by 2.0 mmol/kg of N-acetyl-4-S-CAP was completely abolished by the combined administration of N-acetyl-cysteine, with the resulting hair color the same as in controls, whereas combined administration with buthionine sulfoximine caused some whitening of yellow hair follicles [7].
  • We found that the Al concentration in the hair of control subjects was not related to sex or hair color and that there was a highly significant (P less than 0.001) difference between values for control subjects and hemodialyzed patients: 126 (SD 58) nmol/g, n = 49, vs 226 (SD 104) nmol/g, n = 39, respectively [8].

Biological context of Hair Color

  • Concerning the obvious association in the general population between eye color and hair color which could imitate linkage if it were reflected within sibships, we did not recognize any such intrafamilial association; in the pooled informative sibships GEY and BRHC were independently distributed (as were LU-SE and GEY) [9].
  • Analysis of the TYRP1 gene in 100 Caucasian individuals of varying hair color has found no amino acid sequence variation nor revealed any hemizygous mutant allele in the hypopigmented phenotype of two 9p- syndrome patients [10].

Associations of Hair Color with chemical compounds

  • The first experiment evaluated the effects of feeding various levels of Se, two Se sources, and hair color on selenosis responses in growing-finishing pigs [11].
  • The incorporation of drugs into hair: relationship of hair color and melanin concentration to phencyclidine incorporation [12].
  • The effect of hair color on the incorporation of methadone into hair in the rat [13].
  • Amphetamine and N-acetylamphetamine incorporation into hair: an investigation of the potential role of drug basicity in hair color bias [14].
  • The comparison of dosage and hair color in two cases with thioridazine and penfluridol suggests that other interindividual factors may have an influence on drug concentration in hair [15].

Gene context of Hair Color

  • There was also a relation between MC1R status and hair color, most prominently for the b* axis (p<0.001), but also for the a* and L* scales (L*a*b*, CIE) [16].
  • Formation of 5SCD correlated with the TH activity over the full range of hair colors and enzyme activity, while 2SCD appeared to be formed nonenzymatically [17].
  • We conclude that tyrosinase activity can be quantitated in human hair bulbs by this method, and that TH and DO are coordinate functions of tyrosinase over a broad range of hair color and enzyme activity [17].
  • There was no association between MC1R alleles and hair color [2].
  • However, individuals with the dysplastic nevus syndrome appeared to have a more sun-sensitive skin type and a reddish or blond hair color more often than control subjects [18].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Hair Color


  1. Determinants of bone mineral density in older men. Glynn, N.W., Meilahn, E.N., Charron, M., Anderson, S.J., Kuller, L.H., Cauley, J.A. J. Bone Miner. Res. (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Susceptibility to melanoma: influence of skin type and polymorphism in the melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor gene. Ichii-Jones, F., Lear, J.T., Heagerty, A.H., Smith, A.G., Hutchinson, P.E., Osborne, J., Bowers, B., Jones, P.W., Davies, E., Ollier, W.E., Thomson, W., Yengi, L., Bath, J., Fryer, A.A., Strange, R.C. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. Risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in Saskatchewan, Canada. Hogan, D.J., Lane, P.R., Gran, L., Wong, D. J. Dermatol. Sci. (1990) [Pubmed]
  4. Effects of G-protein mutations on skin color. Van Raamsdonk, C.D., Fitch, K.R., Fuchs, H., de Angelis, M.H., Barsh, G.S. Nat. Genet. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. A prospective study of incident squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in the nurses' health study. Grodstein, F., Speizer, F.E., Hunter, D.J. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1995) [Pubmed]
  6. Melanocortin-1 receptor polymorphisms and risk of melanoma: is the association explained solely by pigmentation phenotype? Palmer, J.S., Duffy, D.L., Box, N.F., Aitken, J.F., O'Gorman, L.E., Green, A.C., Hayward, N.K., Martin, N.G., Sturm, R.A. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (2000) [Pubmed]
  7. Glutathione plays a key role in the depigmenting and melanocytotoxic action of N-acetyl-4-S-cysteaminylphenol in black and yellow hair follicles. Alena, F., Dixon, W., Thomas, P., Jimbow, K. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  8. Analytical problems encountered in determining aluminum status from hair in controls and hemodialyzed patients. Chappuis, P., Duhaux, L., Paolaggi, F., de Vernejoul, M.C., Rousselet, F. Clin. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
  9. Major genes of eye color and hair color linked to LU and SE. Eiberg, H., Mohr, J. Clin. Genet. (1987) [Pubmed]
  10. Complete sequence and polymorphism study of the human TYRP1 gene encoding tyrosinase-related protein 1. Box, N.F., Wyeth, J.R., Mayne, C.J., O'Gorman, L.E., Martin, N.G., Sturm, R.A. Mamm. Genome (1998) [Pubmed]
  11. Effect of dietary selenium source, level, and pig hair color on various selenium indices. Kim, Y.Y., Mahan, D.C. J. Anim. Sci. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. The incorporation of drugs into hair: relationship of hair color and melanin concentration to phencyclidine incorporation. Slawson, M.H., Wilkins, D.G., Rollins, D.E. Journal of analytical toxicology. (1998) [Pubmed]
  13. The effect of hair color on the incorporation of methadone into hair in the rat. Green, S.J., Wilson, J.F. Journal of analytical toxicology. (1996) [Pubmed]
  14. Amphetamine and N-acetylamphetamine incorporation into hair: an investigation of the potential role of drug basicity in hair color bias. Borges, C.R., Wilkins, D.G., Rollins, D.E. Journal of analytical toxicology. (2001) [Pubmed]
  15. LC-MS-MS analysis of the neuroleptics clozapine, flupentixol, haloperidol, penfluridol, thioridazine, and zuclopenthixol in hair obtained from psychiatric patients. Weinmann, W., Müller, C., Vogt, S., Frei, A. Journal of analytical toxicology. (2002) [Pubmed]
  16. Quantitative measures of the effect of the melanocortin 1 receptor on human pigmentary status. Naysmith, L., Waterston, K., Ha, T., Flanagan, N., Bisset, Y., Ray, A., Wakamatsu, K., Ito, S., Rees, J.L. J. Invest. Dermatol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  17. Dopa oxidase activity in human hair bulbs measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Townsend, D.W., Olds, D.P., King, R.A. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  18. Prevalence of primary acquired melanosis and nevi of the conjunctiva and uvea in the dysplastic nevus syndrome. A case-control study. Seregard, S., af Trampe, E., Månsson-Brahme, E., Kock, E., Bergenmar, M., Ringborg, U. Ophthalmology (1995) [Pubmed]
  19. Changes in hair color. Cline, D.J. Dermatologic clinics. (1988) [Pubmed]
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