Hair. We all have it. While some may have more than others and it can come in a range of colours, the overall idea is the same. You can use it to make a statement, style according to mood and even change the colour as and when you fancy. Most of us wash it regularly, and if it’s long brush it (nearly) every day, but have you ever stopped to think about the wonder what your hair is and how or why it grows? We’ve put together some of our favourite facts about the hair that grows on our head, to give you some interesting topics of conversation in upcoming weeks. Some may astound you and others will make you laugh, but whatever happens, we’re sure you’ll learn something new!
1. When wet, a healthy strand of hair will be able to stretch an additional 30% of its original length.
2. As soon as a hair leaves your scalp, a new follicle begins to grow.
3. We all hate split ends, but the scientific term for them is “trichoptilosis”. There’s no way to repair split ends, and the only way to fix them is by cutting them off, so book your hair cut ASAP!
4. Hair is the second fastest growing tissue in the body, second only to bone marrow.
5. Hair is mostly made up of something called keratin, a protein which can also be found in animal claws, hooves, horns, feathers and beaks. It is keratin that gives hair its shape.
6. Black is the most common natural hair colour in the world, while red is the rarest and only exists in 1% of the world’s population and blonde hair can be found in 2%.
7. The average number of hair strands per hair colour varies, with blondes having the most and redheads having the least.
8. When a man is going bald, it only becomes visible once he has lost over 50% of his hair.
9. The lifespan of a hair is, on average, 5 years.
10. At all times, 90% of your hairs are growing, while 10% are resting.
11. Hair is essentially a replacement for what fat does for the rest of the body, and insulates the head.
12. Hair contains information about absolutely everything that’s ever been in your blood stream. That includes drugs, and explains why it is one of the most commonly used forms of forensic evidence.
13. The average person has between 100,000 and 150,000 strands of hair on their head.
14. You may think you lose a lot of hair when brushing and blow-drying, and you wouldn’t be wrong; you shed between 40 and 120 strands of hair every single day.
15. Iron deficiency, thyroid imbalance and most drugs cause hair loss.
16. Hair is super strong. A single strand can support up to 6.5 pounds of weight, while a whole head of hair can support up to 2 tons.
17. Hair usually grows between 0.3mm and 0.5mm a day.
18. A doctor in the 16th Century once claimed you could restore hair by applying a concoction of boiled slugs, olive oil, honey, saffron, soap and cumin on the scalp. Think we’ll stick with regular hair treatments, Bristol, thanks!
19. Hair grows fastest during summer months, while you’re sleeping or between the ages of 16 and 24.
20. On average, men will spend around five months of their lives shaving.
21. In Russia in 1705, Peter the Great introduced a tax for growing and sporting a beard in order to westernise society… how times change!
22. Scientists claim that those with more zinc and copper in their hair have a higher IQ than others.
23. A strand of hair can identity nearly anything apart from gender.
24. Stress makes dandruff worse, so those suffering should ‘take a chill pill’ as it were, and destress in any which way possible.
25. The longest hair ever documented, was owned by Xie Quiping and measured 5.687 metres long. It was measured in 2004, and she’d been growing her hair since the age of 13 in 1973.
26. The word ‘shampoo’ comes from the Hindu-urdi word ‘champna’, which means ‘to smear, knead the muscles, massage’.
27. Horse urine and pigeon dung are just some of the materials used by women to dye their hair blonde hundreds of years ago…and people complain about foils!
28. By the age of 65, most girls have spent over seven months looking after their hair.
29. A lock of Elvis Presley’s hair once sold for $115,000 at an auction in 2002.
30. Hair can grow absolutely anywhere on the human body apart from on the soles of feet, palms of hands, lips and eye lids.
So there you have it! 30 weird and wonderful facts about hair! Do you know any others? Let us know if we’ve missed any via our social media channels, we’d love to hear more!