Prince Harry (drool), Damian Lewis (double-drool), Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman... Fabulous, natural redheads and don't they just know it! Which seems grossly unfair to the rest of us!
Researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam analysed a database containing images of 2,693 makeup-free faces. Their frontal and profile photos were scrutinised using3DMDanalysis software. Results were based on 25 criteria including freckles, wrinkles, their complexion and shape of their face. They ran the results through a scientific algorithm to estimate the age of each subject. They followed this by studying the DNA of participants who appeared younger than their actual age. And the results were pretty definitive: Dr. Manfred Kayser, who was part of the team, explained that "for the first time, we found evidence to support the theory that genetics make some people look either older or younger than their actual age".
Apparently it all boils down to the MC1R gene, which controls melanin production, defines skin pigmentation and protects us from the sun. This gene appears in different forms and variations and is commonly referred to as the 'ginger gene' that gives some people red hair, freckles and a porcelain complexion. But there's something in it for us all. A better understanding of molecular biology and the reasons why we appear younger or older could be highly beneficial when it comes to creating anti-ageing therapies. It goes to show that how old we look doesn't just depend on lifestyle factors (diet, sun exposure, smoking, stress), but also our genetic makeup.
So it's safe to say that people with red hair will look around two years younger than blondes or brunettes of the same age. The proof is well and truly in the pudding! P.S. Dyeing our hair won't change a thing...
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