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In western Europe during the Middle Ages, long, blond hair was idealized as the paragon of female beauty.

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An alternative hypothesis was presented by Canadian anthropologist Peter Frost, who claims blond hair evolved very quickly in a specific area at the end of the last ice age by means of sexual selection.

According to Frost, the appearance of blond hair and blue eyes in some northern European women made them stand out from their rivals, and more sexually appealing to men, at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.

In this way, high frequencies of light hair in northern latitudes are a result of the light skin adaptation to lower levels of solar radiation, which reduces the prevalence of rickets caused by vitamin D deficiency.

The darker pigmentation at higher latitudes in certain ethnic groups such as the Inuit is explained by a greater proportion of seafood in their diet and by the climate which they live in, because in the polar climate there is more ice or snow on the ground, and this reflects the solar radiation onto the skin, making this environment lack the conditions for the person to have blond, brown or red hair, light skin and blue, grey or green eyes.

A typical explanation found in the scientific literature for the evolution of light hair is related to the evolution of light skin, and in turn the requirement for vitamin D synthesis and northern Europe's seasonal less solar radiation.

Lighter skin is due to a low concentration in pigmentation, thus allowing more sunlight to trigger the production of vitamin D.Naturally-occurring blond hair is primarily found in populations of northern European descent and is believed to have evolved to enable more efficient synthesis of Vitamin D, due to northern Europe's lower levels of sunlight.Blond hair has also developed in other populations, although it is usually not as common, and can be found among natives of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji, among the Berbers of North Africa, and among some Asians.It gradually eclipsed the native term "fair", of same meaning, from Old English fæġer, causing "fair" later to become a general term for "light complexioned".This earlier use of "fair" survives in the proper name Fairfax, from Old English fæġer-feahs meaning "blond hair".In human culture, blond hair has long been associated with female beauty.

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