Curly Hair Gene Identified


Australian scientists have pinpointed the gene that hugely influences whether your hair is curly or straight. In the study, researchers looked at genetic variations in Europeans.

Curly Hair

45 percent of European people have straight hair, 40 percent have wavy and 15 percent have curly hair. Previous studies showed that the heritability of curly hair stands at 90 percent. Now Australian scientists discovered the trichohyalin gene which is strongly to “blame” for the curliness of hair. Trichohyalin has been known for over 20 years. It was found to play a major role in the development of the hair follicle.

Lead author, Dr Nick Martin, says that the variation in this gene is what determines whether you have curly hair. Further research is needed to figure out what version of the gene actually creates curls. There has been extensive research on hair morphology in Asia. Japanese scientists identified the genes for thick, straight hair that is natural in Eastern Asia populations. The differences in the EDAR and FGFR2 genes, found by Asian scientists, are believed to have appeared due to the divergence of Eastern Asia populations from Europeans. On the other hand, little is known about the genetic variations for both straight and curly hair. In this study, Australian scientists have analyzed the data from a study of 5,000 European twins over a 30 year period and then compared the twins’ type of hair with their genes.

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