View Full Version : eye and hair color

10-19-2011, 10:52 AM
interesting site about how Eye and Skin color determine how much melanin is in your body and how susceptible you are to sun burn


Human beings come in a glorious spectrum of different colors: light, dark, plain or freckly skin; black, brunette, blond, auburn, and white hair; and eyes that are blue, hazel, green, amber and brown, to name just a few. Itís amazing to realize that most of this color is attributed to a single class of pigments: the melanins.
What are melanins?

Melanins compose a class of compounds that serve predominantly as a pigment. These pigments are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. There are at least three types of naturally occurring melanins: eumelanin, pheomelanin and neuromelanin. Both the chemical composition and the physical properties differ for the various types of melanin, suggesting that their chemical and biological responses may behave differently when exposed to light.

Although melanins are ubiquitous in humankind, our understanding of their chemistry is surprisingly limited. Melanin pigments have a complex natural structure that has defied detailed analysis. Once separated from living tissue, they form an amorphous mass and lose their inherent structure, making them very difficult to analyze.
What are the properties of melanins?

Melanins seem to be heterogeneous, with some small regions of order at the nanometer scale. The optical properties we can see depend on the ability of monomers and oligomers (made up of small numbers of monomers) that make up melanin to absorb light, and the ability of melanin particles to reflect and scatter incident light for different wavelengths. Melanins seem to have some semiconductor properties, and none of the proposed band models adequately account for this.

Molon Labe
10-19-2011, 11:01 AM
I've got solid black hair (as black as a white guy can get)..cept for some gray now that I'm getting older and dark green eyes. I used to tan very easily when I was a teen, but now I tend to burn more easily. Probably from working indoors more.

Think that makes me type 3.

How about anyone else?

10-19-2011, 11:03 AM
I'm a 3 as well...my eyes are so dark brown they are almost black and my hair is dark brown. I normally don't burn much, but after I get that first one, i'm usually good for the rest of the summer.

10-19-2011, 11:18 AM
My heritage is northeastern Germanic on Mom's side, and southern French/Spanish Basque on Dad's side. Blue-grey eyes, and hair mostly gone (used to be dark blondish). I spend a lot of time outdoors now that I'm retired so I usually have a decent tan, but seldom burn. I guess I'm probably a 4.

10-19-2011, 02:58 PM
I couldn't get to the rating system, but I was a natural redhead, am now more of a strawberry blonde. I have greenish blue eyes. If I didn't use sunblocker, I would burn, then peel, then burn again the next time I went out in the sun.

Everyone else in my immediate family is darker, though, and they tan well. My grandma's people were the fairhaired and the redheads of the family. My second cousins through her family look like me and have the same skin tone.

10-19-2011, 03:08 PM
Using organic sunblocker in my younger days.