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Things You May Not Know About Hair

Learning the facts about hair is essential because human hair is very diverse, with different colors, textures, and lengths, and undergoes many alterations and transitions throughout life. Hair performs essential purposes such as protection from dust and radiation, regulating the body temperature and detecting sensations.

Interestingly, according to research findings, 95% of the human body is covered by hair. Most parts of the body are covered with hair except the palms of the hand, soles of feet, eyelids, lips and mucous membranes (Hordinsky et al., 2022). Hair grows from the hair follicles, a tiny depression where hair protrudes and has also been understood to be the second fastest growing tissue in the human body. Hair is also one of the strongest tissues in the body. The strength of hair is attributed to the tough keratin protein that makes up the hair. Surprisingly, our hair contains vital information about our bodies. Any substance that has ever existed in the bloodstream, such as drugs, minerals, alcohol content and toxins, is detected through forensic evidence. According to Hordinsky et al. (2022), only a human's gender cannot be determined by the hair because men's and women's hair have identical structures.

Hair, as a structure, is made up of different elements. The composition of hair is as follows; the Carbon content of air is about 50%, with 21% oxygen, 17% nitrogen, and hydrogen and sulphur content of 6% and 5%, respectively. Each hair strand in the human body contains its nerve, blood supply, hair follicle and muscle. Additionally, a single hair strand supports a weight of about 6.5 pounds; thus, hair is known to have tensile strength. Averagely, it takes nearly 7 years for hair to grow from one's head to the waist and half the year to the shoulders (Hordinsky et al., 2022). Daily, between 50 to 80 hairs are naturally shed from a human's body, but since hair is in a growth phase almost all the time, replacement of lost hair is quicker. Most importantly, hair varies in many colors. Hair color is derived from melanin, while some colors are inherited.

According to Seladi-Schulman (2019), the average person has about 100,000 hairs on their head at one time. The number of hairs on your head can also vary depending on your hair color. The table below summarizes the number of hairs on each color:


Seladi-Schulman, Jill. (2019). How Many Hairs Are on the Human Head? Retrieved from

Hordinsky, M., Chu, S., Caramori, A. P. A., & Donovan, J. C. (2022). Hair Physiology and Grooming. Cosmetic Dermatology: Products and Procedures, 299-308.

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