Renee Trilivas, Allure magazine
We know that going out without slathering on SPF causes sunburns, wrinkles, and skin cancer-but did you know your hair color might also be a risk factor?
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According to a new study, scientists say that the pigment responsible for dyeing hair red also plays a role in the accelerated development of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The researchers found that mice with red coloring developed malignant moles even before they were exposed to UV rays. Researchers believe it's the genetic background of redheads that makes them more susceptible to melanoma formation. When they removed the pigment, the mice lost the elevated risk of melanoma, which may mean the pigment itself is carcinogenic. What's more, fair-skinned and redheaded people produce pheomelanin, a red-yellow form of melanin that doesn't protect their skin as well as the melanin produced by those with darker skin and hair colors, making UV damage a greater possibility. The study also predicts that UV exposure also increases the already heightened cancer risk.
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