Black People with Naturally Blonde Hair

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By Tracey Wallace of

Hair is simply amazing. The human body and the mechanisms by which it adapts to its environment are mind boggling, and our hair color, texture, porosity and everything else plays a massive part in how well we succeed in a particular environment (or at least it did before we started living in these air conditioned covered boxes).

We all love and nourish our hair, but it’s so easy to forget just how magical these dead cells growing from out of our scalp really are.

Enter the Melanesians, a native group of people living on the Soloman Islands northeast of Australia famous for their beautiful dark skin and naturally blonde hair. Yep, that’s right. They don’t sport weaves, wigs, extensions, permanent dye, temporary dye, some weird henna reaction, or whatever else anyone uses to get the blonde look that’s so typical of the caucasian persuasion. Ten percent of these islanders actually come by it naturally.

The odd combination has got scientists wondering about how such a color combo develops over time. According to the Global Financial Newswires, many scientists have long thought that their blonde hair was a result of a diet high in fish, perhaps bleaching by the sun and salt water, or a reminder of the island’s historic relations with people of European descent.

In fact, the blonde Melanesians have blonde that is unique solely to them. According to the study in which scientists compared 43 blonde hair islanders to 42 dark hair islanders, blonde Melanesians have a variant of a native gene called TYRP1 that plays an important role in the melanin biosynthetic pathway. This variant is completely separate from what causes blonde hair in Europeans, and doesn’t even exist in the European genetic set.

What’s truly beautiful in this fascinating discovery, as so perfectly stated by the study author Sean Myles, a geneticist at Nova Scotia Agricultural College, is that “it’s a great example of convergent evolution, where the same outcome is brought about by completely different means.”

And that makes hair of all textures, types and colors absolutely unique and absolutely beautiful.

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast.

  • toot

    This conversation really bothers me. Why are we so concerned of color, hair? I like the concept of Bibita’s culture. It is knowing where you belong. So? many of us don’t know our roots but we know our ancestors originated from Africa and other countries for we are a mixture of many. Were we in control of it? No. But we are in control NOW. We should present ourselves to the world as people who have accepted self. We are a mixture of it all. Let’s love each other no matter the skin we are in. Whether you know it or not, these sort of conversations are very degrading. We should pick up and go on; get over this color barrier and look into the hearts of our people. We don’t need other races to accept us. We must accept our self and then the healing will begin and our people will flourish from it.

    • jacob

      I gotta disagree…there’s nothing wrong with paying attention to one another’s differences, because individuality itself is worth celebrating. Turning a blind eye to our differences sounds to me like an ignorant stance to take. I’m willing to argue that the vast majority of conversations arising from our differences are good natured. You have a positive message, but reducing the uniqueness of our physical attributes to just a roadblock or a barrier to acceptance is just propagating the idea that we aren’t capable of anything more than that. And I’m one to argue that, too. Lastly, and this is just my observation, but you seem to hold pessimistic views toward human nature for someone that hopes for so much of us all.

      • Madina

        Speke the truth!

  • Shannon

    I know a girl with naturally blonde hair. Nethier of her parents are white. But her parents are light skinned so is she. She is very pretty and her name is Serena. Her hair is slowly turning brown though.

  • Lawuan

    To clear up the confusion on this blog. In biology class or young people who have yet to make it there you will learn about mutation. Overtime when people have been adapted to a new area their genetic makeup is conform to that environment. Africa may be the original place of humans but due to genetic mutation most people do not carry the African trait which hints all the other ethnic groups, Caucasians, Puerto Ricans, Asians, Native Americans etc. Even or ethnic groups that do carry African traits it has been conform to their unique environment such as Latinas, Capea Verdean, African American, Filipino, Jamaican,etc.

    • bibita

      If the Black Features of Melanesians were a result of their adaptation to the Sun then Can you explain why the Indonesians, Malaysians, Thais, Filipinos, Polynesians and Micronesians don’t have the same Black Skin tone like the Melanesians??? Ms Ann if you don’t know then let me remind you that the Filipinos, Indonesians and Thais also have the same exposure to the sun just like the Melanesians for thousands of years but they still have a Mongoloid skin tone in contrast to their Melanesian Neighbours who have Black Skin tones. And by the way i don’t think that “Black” is a Race..But if you think that Black is a Race then i suppose that you are someone who is lost (No Affiliation to any Native Tribe or Native Language) and consequently tends to forge an ethnic identity based on skin colour…

      • Mike

        Oh and because YOU don’t consider black a “race” that means its not? It is a colloquial term, like “white” means Caucasian. There can be no meaningful debate with one who chooses to discard elementary definitions simply because they don’t fit in with your false paradigm.

        • bibita

          There are basically only 3 main Races in the World
          1. Negroid races (African, Hottentots, Melanesians/Papua, “Negrito”, Australian Aborigine, Dravidians, Sinhalese)
          2. Caucasian races (Aryans, Hamites, Semites)
          3. Mongolian races (northern Mongolian, Chinese and Indo-Chinese, Japanese and Korean, Tibetan, Malayan, Polynesian, Maori, Micronesian, Eskimo, American Indian),

          • jay

            Melaniseans are full australoid. southeast asians and polynesians are austroneasian a mix between australoid and mongoloid.australoids are very diverse and are NOT related to negroids.

          • Violetta

            You are incorrect there is only ONE race and that is the HUMAN race what you are describing are the the three ethnic groups. But good try…

      • nosense

        The theory being that Asians went through Europe before migrating and settling in Southern Asia and Pacific Islands. The native Australians are believed to have avoided the European detour and stayed south landing in Australia before the people that took the scenic route.

  • Ann

    They’re not black! They are Melanesians! Yes, they have similar skin tones to black people, but it makes as much sense as calling a dark skinned Indian person black! Makes no sense! Melanesians are more closely related to Asians than they are to Black Africans! They migrated from Asia to the islands….I suppose their skin tone is an adaptation to the sun…Genetically they are very few links to Africans, so you should change the title! It’s like comparing oranges and apples!

    • bibita

      I don’t know why you people are so concerned about whether Melanesians are Black or not??? Like i said before that the black identity is not an issue among Melanesians…They hardly talked about it…In Melanesia a persons identity is not determined by skin colour but by his or her relationship to a particular tribe and language. By the way there are few thing you need to know about melanesians – The term Melanesia was coined by french explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville in 1832 to distinguish the dark skinned people who inhabits the islands of the South West Pacific from the yellow skinned Mongoloid people (polynesians and Micronesians) of the North and central Pacific. The Term Melanesia is derived from the greek word -Mela (Black) and Nesi (islands) which means Black Islands….

    • Mike

      This is simply conjecture. You have no scientific basis for your opinion, it’s simply your own misguided opinion. It is a genetic fact that these people are black. Whether it fits in with your own narrow minded views of what black people are “supposed” to look like doesn’t change that. What amazes me is the how adamant whites become in regards to subjects such as this, as though you all have something to lose by it! Frankly I find it somewhat racist to believe that whites come in different varieties yet in the minds of many whites, blacks are confined to being view as ape like caricatures from the 18th century. We’ll get over yourself. Why don’t you do some real research in anthropology, and no, Wikipedia doesn’t count.

    • Mike

      By the way, Melanesian is not a race, it is a nationality. Neither is French, Italian,Greek etc. Scientifically speaking, there are only three races. All others are simply mixtures of the three.

      • YU Mad???

        3 races??? Really??? Human is a race, animal another one and??? Aliens E.T.???

        • Mike

          Yes 3 races, and no “human” isn’t one of them. The term “human race” is a bit of a misnomer in the sense that “human” isn’t a race, it is a species. Simply google ‘human race classification’ and learn for yourself instead of putting your ignorance of basic anthropology on display. All of this business about one human race is New Age psycho babble. I only wish the “one race” crowd had been this progressive during the civil rights movement or in the days of slavery. But I suppose back then it wasn’t a convenient belief to have.

          • YU Mad???

            My ignorance of anthropology whose well-minded ppl stuffed you, Right? blinded by dogma. Keep rocking on your definition of it. You kind of itinerant stupidity!!

          • Maia

            Actually, science has proven that genetically humans are a single race and there isn’t significant genetic variation between us. Also, genetically, you can be more similar to someone of a different ‘race’ than someone of the same race as you. These are facts. Considering race really doesn’t exist and is just a way to categorize humans based on appearance… when you phrase it like that the whole three races thing sounds like pseudo-science. And honestly, the terms “mongoloid” and “negroid” are considered outdated and derogatory… so like… I mean honestly I think racial classification is steeped in racism anyway. Black and white aren’t so much real things as aspects of a social structure and people threw in geographic origins to make it sound better. To be white, you need only look white to other people who also look white. It’s what color their skin is and their facial features based on a racist system. Also, would it have mattered if there were people saying humans were all one race during civil rights and slavery? They knew they were dealing with other human beings which is why they told themselves lies to get rid of their cognitive dissonance.

          • Ouida Lebert

            Everyone is to be technically correct. We are all one people, so whether it’s race or species or tribe or mixed or derivative.

    • http://n/a tausi

      I am African and we do not need ”apology” Africans. If you do not identify with Africa, that’s fine. Africa has 1.3 Billion proud people irrespective of how international mainstream medias seeks to present them. Africans do not consider Indians or other “Brown” people to belong to Africa. The surprising thing is that most Arabs are considered to be Africans, contrary to what Black people of the Diaspora think. Many were born of Black (many Africans are not even Black in colour…we are brown!) African women. Unlike AAs who dislike an African as soon as they hear their accent, Arabs do not dislike us. We are indifferent to what outsiders think because Africa is still the envy of the world. The Eden still going strong while America and Europe are concrete jungles, Asia with its scary overpopulation. Africans are not materialistic. Call them poor, but they are million times happier than most humans on this planet. We do not need anyone else to be forced to accept to be one of us…….we are strong, healthy, beautiful and we will keep on increasing in numbers. We owe no one an apology. Everyone who does not like Africa can call themselves Americans, Afropeans and Blasians and Africans will not even notice. We have UBUNTU….human. There was never a more used word like people in Africa. Keep on measuring yourselves against white standards if that makes you feel better. We Africans do not.

      • tessy

        Thank you.

      • Emmy


      • Jael

        Sorry, have known far too many Arabs who despise Black Africans and consider them nothing more than an Abd (i.e. slave) race for me to take your opinion as factual. Perhaps that’s been your experience, but right now in places like Mali, Sudan and Mauritania the Arab enslavement (and extermination) of Black Africans is rampant. And on your assertion that Africans aren’t materialistic, you must not know very many Ghanaians or Nigerians.

    • cami

      This is true!!! They are considered Asian not of African descent. Just because of the skin pigment does not mean you should claim them to something they are not

      • bibita

        Melanesians are NOT Asians or Africans…They are a race of their own…Asians settled the Asia continent and Africans settle the Africa Continent…Melanesians are the people who settled the islands of the Southwest Pacific for the past 50,000 years…However, interestingly Asians and white people often refer to the Melanesians as Black people and even the Africans who visited the Melanesian countries refer to them as black people and called the brothers….

        • Mike

          If that is a fact then you won’t mind citing your source? Tell me where I can read than they are considered Asian or a separate race unto themselves. The fact is that your “source” is your own imagination, as I am willing to wager that you cannot find any legitimate literature that claims such nonsense.

          • bibita

            This is NOT my own Imagination….I am commenting on what i know too well as a Melanesian myself….We are NOT Asian…Mind your Written record is a western concept in this place…and is NOT valid for us here in Melanesia…Written Source is VALID to you westerners…For Melanesians Oral Stories and ancestral worship passed down through generations is what is VALID…And plizzzz don’t be soooooo envyyy of Melanesians…They have done not wrong to you…

    • Ouida Cordell

      Indians are black they are a sub-race under negroid

      • jay

        lol stop wishing

    • paulo

      Black is visually denoted. Any Melanesian or Polynesian passing down the street will be identified as black. Because the skin is black. There is no race called black. It is just visual identification of skin colour.

    • Lene

      Calm down, Ann! Your rant is senseless.

    • Teri

      Black isn’t a race its a color. There is only one race the human race. They are simply a different nationality.

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  • Shannon

    Im sorry. I mean blonde hair.

  • Blessed

    The funny thing is the Aboriginal people in Australia consider themselves black, and have voiced it proudly when the Olympics where in Australia. They spoke out on the struggle and racism they experienced in Australia being black. I was very eye opening. So while some may question or struggle with what race they are, they don’t, because they proud to be black. Jesus love you!

  • Vanthropus

    Technically if you look at genetics for ‘race’, there are Khoisans, also known as Bushmen, Africans and everybody else including dark skinned Melanesians.
    Melanesians, Papauns, Solomon Islanders, Aborigines etc are dark as they are because they’ve been where they are a very long time. Longer than Indonesians or even Polynesians. They moved probably 50,000 years ago probably along with the Andaman Islanders. They are African in the sense that everybody is African from Swedish people to Amazonian people but they are dark skinned and have been treated terribly and in a racist way by European colonisers. They get the same anti-black treatment.
    African Americans are not Pacific Islanders, their genetics comes from Africa.

  • Emmy

    point is they have dark skin and naturally blonde hair….it doesnt matter if the dark skin makes them black,or the blonde hair makes them white….its jus that its something unique…something beautiful

  • Tyona

    Im black with natural blonde hair and im not mixed..

    • bibita

      Yeah…Because u are not pure blood from africa but an interracial…Otherwise, can u trace your ancestry back 30 generations to africa and prove to us that you don’t have any white blood in you…

      • Olivia

        Probably no one is 100% one race. The chances of someone being 100% black are very slim, as with any other race.

        • Roe

          Actually this concept that NO ONE is 100% needs to stop. Go to Africa and you’ll meet people with 0% of mongoloid and/or caucasoid, go to eastern Europe and you will meet people with 0% mongoloid and/or negroid, go to an Asian country like North Korea and you’ll meet people with 0% caucasoid and/or negroid (basically I’m talking about people who’ve been in their place of origin for all their generations, putting aside the whole “we are all from Africa” ideology). There are PLENTY people who AREN’T mixed.

          • bibita

            you are talking about pure Africans in Africa and pure Europeans in Europe…which may be true that they could be 100% pure in regard to their colour…But what bothers me in these posts is that some black people who have been staying in the Americas since the 17th century have been denying the Melanesians as black people…when they themselves are not pure black if traced back but interracial instead…

          • Roe

            Well I’m not one of those people so I’m not sure why you are directing this post at me.
            Sorry if I sound bitter or angry (I’m simply a bit annoyed) because I’m just over these generalisations and misconceptions.

          • Oratilwe

            Actually it was proven a few years back that they don’t look that way because of interracial factors either. It’s just nature working it’s magic

          • Trin

            Both my parents are Africans( from Africa) and because of that I am African. But down the line the colonized from Portugal came and mated with people so I am part Portuguese. Just like most people from my country so just stop. I hate when African Americans think they know everything about Africa. It awfully annoying.

          • Roe

            “I hate when African Americans think they know everything about Africa”
            Who exactly said I was AfrAm? Nothing from my previous post even insinuated that, yet you were so quick to jump and label me when you don’t even know me.

          • Oratilwe

            Hey, I agree But please don’t forget that the people discussed above aren’t african but are part of the islands on the other side of Australia.

  • Mill

    These people have black skin but they’re not black (from Africa) they’re from Asia. Don’t claim that they are something that they’re not it’s very disrespectful. All I’m saying is do your research

    • bibita

      You are the one who should be doing your research….Melanesians never say that they are from Africa….Melanesians are not from Asia either….They are from MELANESIA….OK…and they have been settling in the Region of Melanesia since the unknown past…But that is out from context… the point is that Melanenesians are unique coz without being interracial they can have blond hair

      • letonya

        Your correct in that they are a unique and a very beautiful people. They are really a key to a unique isolated and probably the purest and closes to a people of evolution untouched. Australia is down under and marsupials and very unique animals also. The kid are born with blonde hair and later in some cases change to a darker pigment. You are part of your environment and the only way you can survive is to adapt to it. Or move. Well Australia is not a easy move like other continents. SO THEY ARE UNTOUCHED AND VERY GODLY PURE GROUP AS CLOSE TO GOD’S OR A MAKERS OF A HIGHER POWER AS genitics ARE GOING TO GET. THEY ARE A KEY TO EVOLUTION UNTOUCHED AND VERY beautiful and unfortunately shone down on because of the unique and unexplained characteristics. You can sum them up. Unexplained and none needed. But a key to evolution both worlds color texture unmatched. A mix match beautifully blended. SO so hated just Because. And almost extinct TRUTH lies within their genetics. Trust me.

  • Hu

    All conversation of race by color is ignorance. If it wasn’t for the sun not one person in history would know color. The color of anything has no basis on what is worth considering, simply a treat for the eyes. Admire the spectrum of the work of the unseen and unknown and cut out the foolishness. True races are tiers of consciousness; the differences in the rulers from the ruled, not petty colors.

  • Ouida Lebert

    Everyone is trying to be technically correct. We are all one people or race or species or derivative or mixture.

  • Olivia

    Why is everyone saying that they’re not black? No, they’re not from Africa, but somewhere down the line, they were, just like the rest of us! Besides, it doesn’t really matter, anyways. There are only three major race groups, and they probably fit into black more than any other one. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • paulo

    Blacks are not just found in Africa. There are blacks originally in Asia, in Australia and in the Americas. Black/brown skinnned people are generally referred to as black.

    • bibita

      You are right…Black people are the original inhabitants of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world..that is why you can see indigenous native black population right from Africa, southern Arabia, Indian ocean, India, South east Asia (Negrito), Australia (aborigines) and Melanesia..Even i read in a recent article that Black people are the first to settle the American Continent before the arival of native americans….

  • Pete

    Ive lived in the Fiji islands or Fiji which is a Melanesian country and they can pass for an African American in the USA because of their skin colour and hair type but Fijians have facial features that are different from African Americans and even from other Melanesians like Solomon islands or Papuans and its easier to recognise that a person is Fijian because of it but you can only tell if your familiar with Fijian people and how they look for a better example anyone should feel free to search up Fijian rugby players and NBA players since its an easy way to have the men orderly for comparison and look closely at the differences the Fijians and African Americans look from each other then you can see why melanesian are uniquely there own people


    Bibita your statement is incorrect.

    • bibita

      Is that all you got MR. Edward…If you know the truth then you can say it…WE WOULD WANT TO KNOW YOUR VIEW REGARDING THIS ARTICLE…

  • m rogers

    That girl is an Aborigine of Australia

    • Roe

      No she’s not, she looks like she’s from the Solomon Islands.

  • Sophia grace

    “Enter the Melanesians, a native group of people living on the Soloman Islands”
    I do not agree with this statement as Melanesians are not limited to the Solomon Islands. Papua New Guineans, vanuatuans, and Fijians are ALSO Melanesians. Being Papua New Guinean, I know that dark skinned people with blonde hair are also natives of Papua New Guinea, take the New Ireland province and its inhabitants as an example.

    • ambaiVivi

      LOoool relax, Im also from papua new guinea also, it’s okay if not ALL melanesians are mentionned here….. this isnt the ONLY article out here about melanesians having blonde hair….stap isi tsol

  • Noonk Ten

    I want to know why the color “black” is continuously used instead of the correct term “ethnicity? When did the color black start to determine one’s ethnicity or place of origin. All of you sound ignorant. I read a comment were somebody mentioned the term purebreds…what in the world. Are you breading dogs?? As far as I am concerned people have a little bit of all ethnicities mixed within them. It is the year 2015. Back in the days of Adam and Eve yeah I can see that, but now…yeah good luck with that.