Asked by: Ricky Gellatly, Oxford
Beard hair is quite different to head hair; it is coarser, curlier and doesn’t fall out as we get older. Comparatively little work has been done on the genetics of human hair colour, but it is believed that in order to have a ginger beard you must be a carrier for the recessive gene on chromosome 4. With two copies of this gene you will have ginger hair all over, but with just one, the hair on your head will be brown or auburn and your beard will be ginger.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.