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Blonde Hair Is Most Pronounced in Northern European Populations

Blonde hair is normally associated with a femme fatale, Rebel without a Cause and one notices it everywhere and women are often found in salons begging for more bleach. Certainly women with blonde hair have more fun. Blonde hair is characterized by low levels of dark pigment eumelanin as well as high levels of pale pigment phemelanin and is believed to be found in various hues of blonde in less than two per cent of the total population of the world.

Different Factors

The blonde hue visible is dependent on various factors though there is always some yellowish color that ranges from very pale blonde to reddish “strawberry” blonde and even golden brownish blonde. True blondes will have very thin strands of hair accompanied by red hair strands that are the thickest. Though blonde hair is believed to occur naturally in humans of all ethnicities, in some European populations, it is more frequent that it even lasts during adulthood and often leads to the misconception that blondness is a European trait.

According to recent genetic information, probably humans with blonde hair were distinctly more numerous in Europe about ten to eleven thousand years ago during the last Ice Age. Before this they had dark brown hair as well as dark eyes that is also predominant in the rest of the world.

There is considerable doubt as to why certain populations in Europe came to have such high incidences of blonde hair in the relatively near past because normal evolutionary processes would have taken them 850,000 years to achieve such a change.

It is common in infants as well as children and the term “baby blonde” refers to very light colored hair. Blonde hair may turn darker with age as is seen in some children born with blonde hair having their hair turn light brown or even black during their teenage years. People from Northern Europe are stereotyped as blondes; more so in the Netherlands, north Germany, Nordic countries, the Baltic States as well as in Russia. Blonde hair also occurs in other parts but in lesser instances.

There is also much north European fairy lore; fairies value associated with blonde hair and blonde babies were more likely to be stolen and replaced with changeling. Also, blonde hair was ascribed to heroes as well as heroines of European fairy tales and several notable instances are Madame d’Aulonoy’s La Belle aux cheveux d’ and The Beauty with Golden Hair.

Modern culture has seen bleaching of hair being common amongst many women. Bleached blonde hair can be differentiated from natural hair through exposure to ultraviolet light in which bleached hair glows, while natural hair does not.


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