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What color hair do albino humans have?

Albinism is a rare genetic condition that affects the production of melanin in the body. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color. People with albinism have little to no melanin production, which results in very pale skin and hair, and light-colored eyes.

What Causes Albinism?

Albinism is caused by mutations in genes that are involved in the production, processing, or distribution of melanin. There are different types of albinism, depending on which gene is affected:

  • Oculocutaneous albinism type 1 (OCA1) – caused by mutations in the tyrosinase (TYR) gene
  • Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) – caused by mutations in the OCA2 gene
  • Oculocutaneous albinism type 3 (OCA3) – caused by mutations in the tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1) gene
  • Oculocutaneous albinism type 4 (OCA4) – caused by mutations in the solute carrier family 45, member 2 (SLC45A2) gene

These genetic mutations are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. This means a person needs to inherit one copy of the mutated gene from each parent to have albinism. Parents who only carry one copy of the mutated gene are carriers, but usually do not have albinism themselves.

Hair Color in Albinism

The most common hair color in people with albinism is white or very light blonde. However, the exact hair color can vary depending on the type of albinism and genetic factors:

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1 (OCA1)

People with OCA1 usually have white or very pale yellow/blonde hair. The hair color may darken slightly with age, but generally remains very light.

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 2 (OCA2)

Hair color in OCA2 can range from white to light blonde. Some people may have yellow, strawberry blonde, or even light brown hair.

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 3 (OCA3)

OCA3 is associated with the most variation in hair color. White, blonde, and red hair are most common. Strawberry blonde, auburn, and light brown shades can also occur.

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 4 (OCA4)

People with OCA4 typically have hair that is white or very pale blonde in color.

Other Factors Affecting Hair Color

In addition to the specific type of albinism, other genetic and environmental factors can influence hair color in people with albinism:

  • Gender – Hair may be lighter in females than males.
  • Age – Hair color can darken slightly with age.
  • Sun exposure – Sunlight can lighten hair over time.
  • Diet – Nutrition status affects melanin production.
  • Ethnic background – MC1R gene variants affect pheomelanin production.

Common Hair Color Descriptions

Here are some common ways to describe the various hair colors seen in people with albinism:

Hair Color Description
White Pure white, like fresh snow.
Platinum blonde Very pale, silvery white-blonde.
Ivory Creamy off-white color.
Pale yellow Washed out, pale lemon yellow.
Strawberry blonde Very light reddish-blonde.
Light auburn Soft reddish-brown.

Hair Texture and Growth

In addition to color, hair texture and growth patterns can also be affected in people with albinism:

  • Hair is usually straight and fine in texture.
  • Sparse hair growth or patches of baldness may occur.
  • The frontal hairline may recede.
  • Eyebrows and eyelashes are often pale and sparse.

These changes occur because melanin also plays a role in hair production and texture. Lack of pigment impacts the structural integrity and growth of hair strands.

Eye Color in Albinism

In addition to pale skin and hair, people with albinism have characteristic eye colors and vision features. These include:

  • Light blue, gray, or hazel irises
  • Pink or red pupils from visualization of retinal blood vessels
  • Nystagmus – involuntary eye movements
  • Photophobia – sensitivity to light
  • Decreased visual acuity

These eye abnormalities occur because melanin helps protect the eyes and improve vision. Lack of melanin disrupts the normal development and function of the eyes.

Social and Cultural Aspects

Throughout history and across cultures, people with albinism have faced social challenges and stigma due to their striking appearance. Some key points:

  • People with albinism stand out due to their very fair skin and hair.
  • Myths, superstitions, and discrimination affect many albinos worldwide.
  • Education and advocacy can help reduce stigma and promote inclusion.
  • Many countries now celebrate International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13th.

While people with albinism must take extra health precautions, most can live full lives and enjoy success in their families, careers, and communities.


In summary, the most common hair colors seen in people with albinism are white, pale blonde, and light red shades. However, the exact hair color can vary depending on the specific type of albinism and other genetic factors. Proper education and support for both affected individuals and society as a whole can help promote understanding and acceptance.