When it comes to luck of the draw with sun exposure, I’m afraid those of us with lighter hair and skin (particularly red heads with fair complexions) drew the shortest stick. Data from a 2013 study conducted by Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has linked the genetic mutation that determines red hair with a higher skin cancer risk.
The study noted individuals with the gene mutation, MC1R-RHC (which is responsible for red colored hair) are also prone to increased melanoma risk when exposed to UV rays. Now, that doesn’t mean your free and clear to go without sunscreen or sun protection if you have darker hair and skin. Always protect yourself with sunscreen, regardless of hair color or complexion.