MadSci Network: Genetics

Subject: Can I have a redheaded child?

Date: Thu Aug 31 03:26:16 2000
Posted by Jennifer
Grade level: grad (non-science) School: None
City: Rye State/Province: NY Country: USA
Area of science: Genetics
ID: 967706776.Ge

I have blonde hair (not platinum, not dirty blonde, just blonde).  My 
husband has flaming red hair.  He has blonde, brown and red hair on his 
side of the family.  I have only blonde and brown on my side of the 

I've read that the prevalence of blondes on both sides makes the red more 
likely to appear in our children.  But I've also read that I have to have 
a recessive gene for red hair in order for our children to exhibit the 
trait.  I also read that the genetics of red hair are more complex than 
simple dominant/ recessive.  

I don't think I have a recessive trait for red hair.  Both of my parents 
are from small farming villages in Poland, in areas that were once part of 
the Austro-Hungarian empire.  From what I understand, my descendants on 
both sides were farmers in a very limited geographic area for a long, long 
time (so no possibility of Irish/ Scottish genes!).  My great-
grandparents, grandparents, parents, my 11 aunts and uncles, and 25 
cousins are all either brunette or blonde, without even a tint of red.

If I have no gene for red hair, is there any chance that our children will 
have red hair, or perhaps strawberry blonde or auburn?  Thanks!  


Re: Can I have a redheaded child?

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