THROUGH THICK & THIN…
Maybe you’ve been known to snap a brush handle or two when pulling it through your hair. Or maybe your hair just doesn’t thicken no matter what you try. But did you know that individual hair strands come in different sizes, and some people have thicker strands than others? Through thick and thin, your genes influence hundreds of your traits and hair thickness is one of them.
Genetic factors appear to play a major role in determining hair texture—straight, wavy, or curly—and the thickness of individual strands of hair. I’ve researched and read many articles about hair health. Studies suggest that different genes influence hair texture and thickness in people of different ethnic backgrounds.
The story of human migration is written in hair DNA. In sub-Saharan Africa, genes favor tight, curly hair. But in east Asia, mutations have led to straighter, thicker hair. In Europe, other mutations brought wavy and straw-colored hair, but the genes are different from the ones for straight-haired Europeans.
Each parent provides an allele ( ex: allele is the gene that determines hair color) for every one of these genes. It is the interaction among them, and not any single gene, that determines the character of your hair. Texture is determined by multiple genes and alleles, and both differ among world populations.
STRESS, HORMONES & CHEMICALS? OH MY!
Click Here to read how I keep my hair healthy But there are actually several genes that have been found to cause hair loss, as well as other non-genetic factors like stress. Factors other than genetics can also influence hair texture and thickness. Hormones, certain medications, and chemicals (such as hair relaxers) can alter the characteristics of a person’s hair. Hair texture and thickness can also change with age.
As you may have realized by now, the question is complex to answer. Many genes are involved in your hair characteristics, and these characteristics can evolve over time. Many hair traits‘ are more complex than simple. Several genes contribute to the final description of your actual physical characteristics.
However, you could find your answer through a DNA test. Which is what I did. However, I didn’t have the hair test done. I simply wanted to relate ethnicity & background. Make sure to find a good company though, so your results are as accurate as can be.
Why I did a DNA test…
As a child, I was often questioned about my olive skin & my dark, coarse & crazy thick hair. “Where did you get your dark skin from?” “Who did she get this thick & dry hair from?” Both of which I had ideas from stories about my family history. But how was my hair texture so different from both of my parents, as well as my siblings?
Since the beginning of this year, 2019, I have put in extra time, research & love for my hair. As I began putting more time and care into myself. I began to realize & appreciate how unique I am. I became so intrigued with our ancestry. So I researched many Genetics Tests and found one.
With my Maiden Name, BIRDSONG & my Mothers Maiden Name, MCANALLY there was so much interesting History learned. To my SURPRISE the genes I was told I most likely carried were quite accurate! I also found out some other parts of my ancestry DNA that piqued my interest! You could call me an overwhelming mix of ethnicity.
My results put me at :
- 24% German/Finnish
- 22% Welsh/Celtic
- 21.3% French
- 11% Toscani Italian
- 11% Iberian Spanish
- 2.3% Peruvian
- 1.2% Colombian
- 1% Toluca Mexican
- 0.9% Puerto Rican
- 1.3% Gujarati Indian/India
- 0.9 Punjabi/India
- 0.9% Sri Lanken Tamil
- 0.4% Bengali/China
- 0.4% Japanese
- 0.4% Chinese Dai
- 0.2% Vietnamese
- 0.1% North Han Chinese
- 0.1% South Han Chinese
- 0.4% Esan in Nigeria
- 0.1% Gambian
- 0.1% African Caribbean
Seeing that my highest percentage was German/Finnish I decided to do more research. There were links on ancestry.com that connected me & my Grandfather (PaPa George Birdsong) to my 8th Great Grandfather, Heinrich Wilhelm Birdsong VOGELSANG , that was from Bad Doberan, Germany. They moved to Virginia, in 1680 & decided to omit “Vogelsang” to “Birdsong” (which is the meaning of Vogelsang) to a more “American” name. I never found how it linked to Finland but maybe I will one day.
Below is a picture of my 5th great grandfather, Jesse Birdsong & his family in Kentucky. Jesse Birdsongs Father, Major John Ross Birdsong (my 6th Great Grandfather), was a member of the Committee of Safety, House of Commons, and of the Provincial Congress; served as a Major for the North Carolina Troops (and was also a Prisoner) in the Revolutionary War & was in the Rolls of Honor in the Lineage Books of the National Society of the DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Time frame Estimate: 1732-1744.
Second highest was the Celtic/Welsh. My 8th Great Grandfather, Charles McAnally, was born in 1685 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. There was an article that was recorded for the meaning of his leaving Scotland not by his will, but was kidnapped: “At 8 years of age, Charles was playing with some neighbor boys on the banks of the above mentioned river, when they discovered a
large earthen pot filled with money. The father of the boy sent him to his father’s who lived at some distance to tell him to come and assist in the division of the money.
On his way, he was overtaken by a man on horseback who inquired of him where he was going and upon being informed, proposed that he should ride behind him.
Accordingly he mounted, but instead of alighting at his father’s he was put on board a vessel just ready to sail for America and was soon after landed near
Philadelphia. Here he remained until he came of the man’s estate when he married a woman by the name of Houston and settled on the Susquehannah River near the
mouth of the Sweet Arrow Creek in Lancaster County, Penn. He was never able to assign any probable cause for his being kidnapped except that the individual near
whose house the treasure was found might possess himself of it entire. ”
Click Here for McAnally plantation. Charles McAnallys grandson, John McAnally, was recorded as Sergeant in the Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 in Virginia. Charles McAnallys Father soon came to the States from Scotland, named Rev. David McAnally (9th Great Grandfather). His & his childrens names are in the North America Family Histories Daughters of the American Revolution.