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February 26, 2006

Blonde Ambition: Cavewomen Evolved Light Hair To Attract Mates 10,000 Years Ago

Science:

THE modern gentleman may prefer blondes. But new research has found that it was cavemen who were the first to be lured by flaxen locks. According to the study, north European women evolved blonde hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to make them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males. The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.

Lighter hair colours, which started as rare mutations, became popular for breeding and numbers increased dramatically, according to the research, published under the aegis of the University of St Andrews.

“Human hair and eye colour are unusually diverse in northern and eastern Europe (and their) origin over a short span of evolutionary time indicates some kind of selection,” says the study by Peter Frost, a Canadian anthropologist. Frost adds that the high death rate among male hunters “increased the pressures of sexual selection on early European women, one possible outcome being an unusual complex of colour traits.”

Meanwhile... Blondes Dying Out In Japan: Or at least bottle-blondes:

Ten years ago, a stroll through central Tokyo could leave travelers wondering what country they were in as they watched a parade of tanned, fair-haired women walking tall in precarious platform shoes.

Now fashion has moved on and hairdressers say bleached blonde tresses are going the way of fake tans, although a dark brown tint still seems more popular than natural black.

10,000 years later, and women are still fretting about how to attract men. I likes it.


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posted by Ace at 05:45 PM

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