|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
Brandon, Hair color is determined by melanin from your pigment cells. The more pigment granules there are, and the more tightly packed, the darker the hair. Two kinds of melanin contribute to hair color. Eumelanin colors hair brown to black, and an iron-rich pigment, pheomelanin colors it yellow- blonde to red. Whether hair is mousy, brown, brunette or black depends on the type and amount of melanin and how densely it's distributed within the hair. For example, deep-black African hair contains closely packed melanin in the cortex, a few in the cuticle. Very dark European hair, quite apart from having more melanin granules than lighter or blonde hair, has more melanin per granule. When pigment-producing cells cease to function, the result is the uncolored white or gray hair. Hope this helps - and thanks for using MadSci Network. DrJim
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